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Jan Smejkal vs Anatoly Karpov
"Battling Bishops" (game of the day Dec-04-2013)
Leningrad Interzonal (1973), Leningrad URS, rd 16, Jun-25
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation (B46)  ·  0-1


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sac: 18...Nxe3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Poisonpawns: This game is also annotated in english by GM Mednis in "How Karpov wins" He says smejkal "dropped" a pawn in time pressure by 39.Qf1? when Kg2 draws.33.Qe6!is better than Bd7!? and would make blacks King rather uncomfortable.
Feb-26-05  morphy234: what a great finishing move!!
Aug-27-05  ameekmalhotra345: what happens if 18.Q:b2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: After 18 Qb2 Bxc3! uncovers a mating attack on h2 with the queen.
Sep-25-05  ConfusedPatzer: Is queen and bishop vs queen a draw?
Dec-30-05  gladiator367: Wow! What a beautiful finish by Karpov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<I'm looking at white's 71st and thinking there is something else there.>>

If you mean 71.e6 (instead of 71.Bxh3+), then 71...hxg2 72.e7 g1/Q 73.e8/Q Qd4+ 74.Ke6 (74.Kc6 Qa4+) Qe4+ 75.Kd7 Qxe8+ 76.Kxe8 g2 is pretty convincing for Black.

Jan-21-08  mikecy: A masterpiece example about Karpov game, especially after Be7 and Qf6 capturing defence and prospect attack positions at the same time and the magnificen move of Qf8 game was directed for the final result.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Woody Wood Pusher: This is one of the most impressive endgames I have ever seen. I cannot even begin to imagine playing against Karpov, what a beast!
Premium Chessgames Member
  drukenknight: Can 57 Qd2+ save this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Woody Wood Pusher: <Can 57 Qd2+ save this?> I haven't carried out an exhaustive analysis of course, but my guess is....NO


Dec-15-08  blacksburg: <Gypsy - I have noted that traditional Anglo/American endgame theory relies too havily on oposition and strethes it far beyond its useful range.>

i agree, and i think it's because the simple opposition is such an easy idea to teach, even though it's just a really simple example of corresponding squares. ever since i read "my system", i've agreed with nimzo that the term "opposition" is useless and that ideas like the "reserve blockading square" are much more practical.

Premium Chessgames Member
  birthtimes: If the bishop was on d5 instead of b7, White would have 50.Qxf2 Bxf2 51.Kf5 g4 52.Bc4 which prevents Black from queening his shortside pawns...
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Clerical error


Dec-04-13  independentthinker: Can someone explain how the game would continue if white takes the bishop and black queens with white's pawn stuck on the 7th rank? I can't find the win. Just lots of checks.
Dec-04-13  independentthinker: Oh I think I see it - wait until the white king moves to the 8th rank infront of the pawn and then start marching the king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <independentthinker>

In principle, you prevent queening by bringing your ♕ close to the pawn. White will have to protect him with his king and with check you force him on the first rank in front of the pawn, then you have one move to bring your king closer, until both ♕ and ♔ attack together, e. g. after 1...Qf6+

click for larger view

2.Ke8 Kg4 3.Kd7 Qf7 (to pin the pawn) 4.Kd8 (to prevent Qe8) 4...Qd5+ 5.Kc7 Qe6 6.Kd8 Qd6+ 7.Ke8 and Black again has time to bring the ♔ closer.

Just an illustration of the general mechanism which is based on reaching this position:

click for larger view

Dec-04-13  fishcat: 46. Bb7 makes it look like White thinks he's winning.. surely not? He'd have to neutralize Black's 2:1 kingside pawn majority AND support the pawn pushing to a7 somehow to have a chance... so why not just repeat positions?
Dec-04-13  Ratt Boy: The position at Move 72, with Black to move, would be a pleasant Tuesday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <fishcat: so why not just repeat positions?>

Smejkal probably tried to win due to the tournament situation - The first 3 players qualified for the Candidates matches. This was the penultimate game and Smejkal was behind Byrne so he needed a win to have a chance to overtake him. A draw would not have sufficed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: black queens first and with CHECK. Then the queen can defeat the long pawn. It looks like white fumbled this one earlier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  JohnBoy: Excellent GoTD choice.
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  Domdaniel: This is one of the best games I've ever seen. Phenomenal play by AK.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Is the theory behind 9. Na4 that 9...b5 is met with Nb6, where black can't take the knight without allowing 11. Nxe6 with discovered attack on the black queen, followed by 12. Nxg7+?
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: How to win in a difficult situation? It seemes to me that Karpov in this game was a inheritor of Laker's way of playing even more than of Capablanca's...
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