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Anatoly Karpov vs Bent Larsen
Montreal (1979)  ·  Scandinavian Defense: Main Lines. Mieses Variation (B01)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-04-08  arsen387: can't believe Karpov overextended his position. A gem by Larsen. I admire such games
Feb-09-09  fref: <kostich in time: Controversially, this game received the first brilliancy prize at Montreal 1979.> In fact, this game won the second brilliancy prize, not the first.
Feb-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Has anyone Fritzed this game? Nimzo to the contrary, it is difficult to believe Karpov didn't miss something around move 26-28?
Feb-16-09  fref: It was Karpov's first defeat since he won the World Champion Title in 1979 at Baguio, Phillipines (against Korchnoi).
Feb-16-09  slomarko: it was 1978 and he didn't won the title but defended it.
Feb-17-09  swarmoflocusts: Karpov tries for a Swarm of Locusts on the queenside. When it doesn't work, he tries for one on the kingside. His mistake was a simple one, and easily corrected: The point of the Swarm is to checkmate the KING. The KING is on the KINGSIDE (why else would we refer to it as such?). Therefore, we swarm first on the KINGSIDE, continuing on to the queenside if our opponent castles in that direction.

Just kidding, by the way.

Feb-17-09  JuliusCaesar: Karpov doesn't have many weaknesses. But here's one of them on display: An occasional complacency that allowed him to miss out-of-the-blue tactics (36...Bxh4!). Kasparov punished him quite a few times for this in their many encounters.
May-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I cannot accept that white's first 25 moves were played by Karpov. A pawnstorm on the queenside, followed by another on the kingside? Impossible -- this is the strategy of a Tal or a Topalov, or one of their many imitators.

I suspect Karpov used a double -- the soviets always had doppelgangers for VIPs -- to begin the game. But the double got too ambitious -- and the real Karpov arrived too late.

In fact, an attacking player could have continued in the same style with reasonable chances of success: 26.h5!? is one option. Or Rg4 on move 26 or 27. Of course, once Bf4? was played, Rg4 was no longer possible.

Karpov-2 actually played some nice Karpovian moves after that -- his knight maneuver to f2 is excellent, and the queen-for-rooks exchange is a good try. But it just wasn't his type of game, and a few hesitant over-cautious moves handed Larsen the initiative. And Bent knew what to do with an initiative.

The whole story will be found in the book <I Was Karpov's Double> ... some day. Although this particular double was probably shot for advancing all those pawns.

May-27-09  Open Defence: maybe Lev Alburt was onto something
May-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Domdaniel: I cannot accept that white's first 25 moves were played by Karpov. A pawnstorm on the queenside, followed by another on the kingside? Impossible -- this is the strategy of a Tal or a Topalov, or one of their many imitators.>

But see:

Karpov vs Spassky, 1974

Karpov vs Yusupov, 1993

Karpov vs Nunn, 1982

Those are awfully slow to be called pawn storms, though. More like pawn slogs.

May-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <keypusher> I've only looked at one game on your list so far: Karpov vs Nunn. I enjoyed it so much I had to check out their 17 or 18 other encounters as well. One, at least, is not in the CG database.

But the 1982 game is among the best. I'd seen it before -- I've got the tournament book. For some odd reason, even though I was (a) playing chess, and (b) frequently in London in 1982, I didn't drop in to watch them play.

It's pure Karpov, though. He builds up a huge positional advantage over 20-something moves, and only when he's clearly winning does he go a bit gonzo with g4. Allowing just a little counterplay. Unlike our ringer here, who was gonzo from the start.

I agree: a slow storm isn't really a storm.

May-27-09  smaragdus: Scandinavian is absolutely beautiful for black, but it requires exquisite technique and and deep positional insight. It is a shame that almost no one of the so called super grand masters keeps it within their inventory. A similar beauty of a game that shows how marvellous Scandinavian Defense is- Topalov vs Nisipeanu, 2007
This is the bravest answer to the ugliest and cowardliest of all chess moves- the abominable E4. Study Scandinavian, study Chess!
May-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <smaragdus> -- <the abominable E4.> Absolument. A move for a Yeti. And not a GM Yeti.

*Smaragdine* is one of my favorite words, btw. What opening do they play in the Emerald City? Perhaps the Icelandic Gambit... the not-in-Kansas-anymore Variation, of course.

Has Anand totally given up the Scandinavian? It must be the creeping neurosis that overtakes world champions.

Some never play again, like Fischer. Some get lazy, like Petrosian. Some play more carefully, like Spassky after 1969 or Kramnik after 2001. (I know the *fetal drawnikoids* can't believe it, but he *was* a dashing and exciting player as a teenager).

And some feel they should act dignified as befits their high office, so they stick to 'respectable' and Orthodox openings. Anand is one of these.

The best model I can think of is Karpov, who broadened his range after becoming world champ, and regularly revamped his openings while winning many tournaments.

Alekhine gets the runner-up spot, for drinking milk to beat Euwe. Now that's smaragdinous.

May-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: My award includes all of Karpov's doubles, of course, including those who were shot for playing gambits or exiled to Siberia for developing an unsightly paunch.

Siberia was surprisingly good for the figure, if your idea of physical beauty tends to the skeletal.

Jun-22-09  TheChessGuy: This is the only game Karpov lost in Montreal 1979, sharing first with Misha Tal. Strange how he had White against the player who took last place.
Jul-18-09  tranquil simplicity: Ladies and Gentlemen! It is very interesting to me that Domdaniel used the words over-CAUTIOUS moves to describe Karpov's loss. I will not even go as far as considering the KARPOV DOUBLE story as I do not believe at all! Karpov the man, is certainly one of the strongest Chess Masters of all time. However he has to me, an overly CAUTIOUS, PROPHYLACTIC, DRY and TECHNICAL STYLE that is considered elegant by some but that i find dull. So I believe in this game, it was Karpov the man who overextended himself in the opening (perhaps assuming the Scandinavian defense is weak) but failed to nail Larsen quickly, then became his old CAUTIOUS self. Unfortunately it was too late!!
Aug-08-09  ToTheDeath: I like Karpov's play actually- 26.h5 and 31.Nde5 Rf5 32.hxg5! look promising for White. Karpov simply overestimated his position and fiddled around for too long, allowing counterplay on the F file.
Oct-17-09  dannygjk: Even as late as move 46, it seems White can get an even game with, 46.Rde1. The rooks support each other and work together to prevent/create threats.
Oct-17-09  bravado1: Karpov seems to have big problems when someone plays against him a less popular opening (of course Scandinavian is quite common, but rare on a grandmaster level). This poses a question whether his strength was not in the endgame technique, as it is believed, but in a good opening preparation.
Oct-19-09  dannygjk: Hi, <Bravado1> ya, that makes sense, since masters/gm's perform better if a chess position, 'makes sense', if it is, 'normal'. This is proven by studies involving masters/gm's and players who have not made chess their life study.
Oct-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Interesting point, danny. Any place to look up those studies?
Oct-19-09  dannygjk: ya, start with DeGroot :)
Sep-11-10  Atking: I like the way Larsen negociated this opening. Rooks came first on d file then on e file an finaly on f file...
Feb-18-12  RookFile: In the opening, Karpov didn't want to play an early Nf3, meeting Bg4 with h3, and playing g4 after the bishop goes to h5. But that's exactly how you get an advantage.
Nov-16-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I love the rope-a-dope style. I LOVE using it but - my friends - I have been annihilated scores of times! But that is my opponents' fault!
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