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Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky
Karpov - Spassky Candidates Semifinal (1974), Leningrad URS, rd 11, May-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. General (D58)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-31-06  euripides: <acirce> Very instructive comments from Botvinnik. He had some old experience with this structure to draw on: Reshevsky vs Botvinnik, 1938
Jan-13-09  M.D. Wilson: <Neurotic Patzer: Spassky himself said that Karpov was the toughest opponent he ever faced. He has said that when he faced Karpov in their match in 74 he was in his peak shape, unlike in the Fischer match. Kasparov also says that Spassky's quality of play was substantially higher in this match than in the Fischer-Spassky match.> <This makes sense. Didn't Spassky win categorically, one of the toughest USSR chess championship of all times, a year after losing the world title? All these people that think Spassky really lost his edge after the Fischer match should look again at his actual games between 72-74. It was after the match with Karpov that Spassky began to dwindle.> I agree with that. Spassky played very good chess after his loss to Fischer. In fact, the Soviet authorities were somewhat embarrassed when Spassky won the 1973 USSR Championship; they reasoned that if Spassky could beat his compatriots, then who could possibly beat Fischer? Enter Karpov, and then, following right behind, Korchnoi. It was Karpov that destroyed Spassky's chances of coming back.
Jan-13-09  maelith: What a mountain of a player - GM Bareev

Bareev regarding Karpov

Jan-16-09  M.D. Wilson: Yes, Spassky's toughest opponent (by his own estimation), even though Karpov was only in his early 20s. Scary considering the fact that Spassky faced everyone from Bronstein, Botvinnik, Fischer and always difficult Petrosian. Karpov was the first chessplayer in history to defend the Title, without drawing it, on two separate occassions. Karpov was the most active Champion until that time. In Olympiad play, Karpov only lost two out of 68 games.
Jul-14-09  Ulhumbrus: According to Robert Byrne, and possibly others ( eg Karpov) Black's main mistake is 16...Nb6? allowing White to take the initiative on the a file by 17 a4! instead of taking it himself by 16..a5
Jul-14-09  AnalyzeThis: Oh, there were others. Mednis in particular ridiculed Spassky's Bd8 and Bc7 idea.
Dec-29-09  M.D. Wilson: Mednis would.
Dec-29-09  CruyffTurn: <Karpov's +4 -1 =6> I think something that isn't being noted here is that Geller, Spassky's second, defected to Karpov just before the Spassky-Karpov match, taking all of Spassky's sharpest lines with him. Spassky playing the King's Indian (which he never did) in game 1 illustrates how worried Spassky was about this. I do think Karpov was the better player, but he was given as much help as possible by the authorities.
Dec-30-09  M.D. Wilson: Geller's expertise no doubt helped.
Dec-30-09  ewan14: Boris could have been excused any paranoia !

He was not meant to win the match !

Jan-01-10  M.D. Wilson: Well, perhaps if Spassky had played anyone else, he would have won. Just because he lost to Karpov doesn't lessen his own playing strength in 1973 and 1974. Fischer didn't finish Spassky, Karpov did.
Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Fischer didn't finish Spassky, Karpov did.>

I agree. Spassky's mind was still occupied with the Fischer match, but his strength actually surged after the match. Against anyone other than Karpov, he could have gotten to a rematch.

It was the combination of recovering from Fischer and encountering a comparable but different type of talent that led Spassky to the feeling in the middle of the match that he didn't understand what was going on.

With someone like Korchnoi, closer to Fischer's approach, I think he would have been able to use what he learned in that match, and defeat him.

Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Karpov was the first chessplayer in history to defend the Title, without drawing it, on two separate occassions. >

Just nit picking, but a little technicality here--Karpov wasn't really defending a title in '78 when he played Korchnoi--Karpov had not yet 'won' the title, because it was awarded to him on forfeit. But, the '74 match against VK was a defacto title match, because it determined Fischer's challenger, so, in a sense, there were two undrawn title defenses.

Jan-01-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <CruyffTurn: <Karpov's +4 -1 =6> I think something that isn't being noted here is that Geller, Spassky's second, defected to Karpov just before the Spassky-Karpov match, taking all of Spassky's sharpest lines with him. Spassky playing the King's Indian (which he never did) in game 1 illustrates how worried Spassky was about this. I do think Karpov was the better player, but he was given as much help as possible by the authorities.>

Game 3 was the King's Indian, and not Spassky's first assay at that defense. Game 1 was a quite sharp Sicilian, which Spassky won. His only victory over Karpov at classical time controls in his life, I believe. Spassky played sharp lines in the match, as you can see for yourself.

This is a request I've been making for years, but I've never gotten an answer. Does anyone know when Geller stopped working for Spassky, and when he started working for Karpov (bearing in mind that these might be two different times)? Does anyone have a contemporaneous source or sources? Spassky and Geller did not get along during the Fischer match, and I would be surprised if they kept working together after it was over.

Jan-01-10  pawn to QB4: Hi kp - <Does anyone know when Geller stopped working for Spassky, and when he started working for Karpov> does seem a difficult question to find a straight answer. Robert Byrne's account of the Spassky-Karpov match made me think it was a done deal: <"it was a terrible blow for him to learn that Geller...had now gone over to Karpov...it is difficult to understand how the Soviet Chess Federation could permit such a move..."> But, writing about the Nice Olympiad, after Spassky-Karpov but before his own match with Karpov, Korchnoi has this: <"Two trainers were sent to the Olympiad - Karpov's official trainer, Furman, and his other trainer, Geller, with whom he had already been working, although so far in secret. Geller's functions included 'helping' me during the Olympiad, but fortunately I was already in the know".> So maybe the thick plottens, and we'll never know for sure...
Nov-15-11  Helios727: What happens after 35... Re7 ?
Nov-15-11  Retireborn: <Helios727> Probably just 36.Qd8+ followed by 37.Nxh3 and 38.Nxa6 and White is 4 pawns up, or if 36.Qd8+ Re8 37.Nce6+ Kf7 38.Qxe8+ simplifies neatly enough.
Sep-26-13  Everett: <Geller's functions included 'helping' me during the Olympiad, but fortunately I was already in the know>

So Geller was basically spying on Korchnoi. Interesting .

Nov-03-13  bystander: <Benjemin Lau, 26-04-2004>, <helloween 24-07-2004>. To continue the 14..b5 discussion. Is 14..b5 really necessary for black? After this move, blacks'pawns on the queensite lost their flexibility. What about: 14..c6 15 Qc2 Re8 16 Bd3 a5 17 e4 de4x 18 Ne4x Qf4 (advance of blacks a-pawn) or 14.. Rc8 15 Rc1 Be7 16 Bd3 (16 b5 c6) and the advancing of the c-pawn (16..c5)?
Nov-05-13  bystander: Instead of 16.. Nb6: 16...a5 17 Re1 Bc8 and then 18.. Nb6. Now black has avoided 17) a4
Nov-06-13  Zonszein: Geller helping Karpov was a terrible blow to Spassky. Intrigue and coups bas were the speciality of those people. It is better to stay home, and play for fun
This world is sickening
And controlled by money, power and lower passions
Nov-06-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Zonszein

So do you actually know when Geller started helping Karpov? If so, can you share your knowledge? Or are you just maundering?

Nov-06-13  Zonszein: I was just playing in lower keys
While pushing others
That's all
Mar-23-17  The Boomerang: It's games like this that scared the crap out of Fischer's and made him avoid that 1975 match. He was up against a Monster.
Mar-23-17  Dave12: People may not agree, but i think this is one of the nicests Karpov-games i have ever seen.
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