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Anatoly Karpov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Linares (1994), Linares ESP, rd 11, Mar-11
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Reynolds' Variation (D48)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-27-06  you vs yourself: <18.Be3 "This unassuming little move is Karpov's earth-shattering invention...>

I don't understand why this move is being praised so much. It seems logical to develop the only minor piece on the back rank so that the two rooks are connected. The bishop has 3 sqaures it can go to; one will lose. So, of the two possible squares for bishop, it seems logical to move the bishop to a square where it attacks the centralized knight. What's so earth-shattering about that? What am I missing here?

Mar-27-06  notyetagm: <you vs yourself> This game is dissected in the newest volume, V, of Kasparov's My Great Predessors.

I do not remember all of the details of the excellent analysis but the main point was that no one prior to Karpov thought that this move 18 ♗e3! promised White anything at all. Karpov saw that it could give him a small advantage. Kramnik, a Semi-Slav expert, was then confronted with a new position over the board and was totally outplayed by Karpov.

This game probably decided the tournament. Because of the lot drawing, players had to play Kasparov and then Karpov in succession. Kramnik had just beaten Kasparov's KID when in the next round he lost this game to Karpov.

Sep-29-06  positionalgenius: Karpov's best victory at linares,amd his best win ever vs kramnik.
Oct-04-06  colles: <WMD: "Karpov has beaten me in Linares - 94, in that tournament he scored 11 of 13. I was making normal moves but I do not understand why there appears a lost position. Even after the game I could not understand anything> That reminds me of a statement made by Spassky to whom asked who was the strongest player he ever met: "It was not Fischer. It was Karpov: he was the only player that gave me feeling of not understanding what was going on the chessboard".
Oct-04-06  cotdt: How exactly is this won for Karpov? I know Kramnik's flag fell, and later he admitted that he was lost anyway. But I've played through the final position with an engine and it seems like black can save the game. Black's knight maneuvers can take the h4 pawn, and white can't make progress on the kingside. meanwhile, black can trade off the queenside pawns. the remaining position looks drawn.

41. Rc8 Kh7 42. Kg3 Ne6 43. Kg4 g6 44. Rc6 a5 45. b3 Nd4 46. Rc7+ Kh8 47. Nxa5 Nf5+ 48. Kf3 Rb5 49. Nc6 Rxb3+ 50. Kf4 Nxh4 1/2-1/2

Oct-05-06  positionalgenius: <cotdt>You trust a chess engine over two of the greatest chessplayers ever?:) Schiller gives ...<Kf7 is met by Nd6.The endgame is lost>In standard chess openings.
Oct-05-06  cotdt: <positionalgenius>I trust what I can understand, and these GM's didn't explain why White is winning. Also, GM's are poor endgame players in general. I'm not saying this to be arrogant, I'm just stating a well-known belief in correspondence chess circles.

Why Kf7 when you can move Rb4? Fine then let's take 40...Kf7 41. Nd6+ Kg8 (forced)
42. Ra8 (or h5, which changes little) Rxb2+
43. Kg3 (or Kf3 doesn't matter) g6
44. Rxa6 (or Ne4, which also draws) Rb3+
45. Kg4 Rb4+ 46. Kh3 Rb3+
47. Kg2 Rb4 48. Ne8 Rxh4 Draw

Oct-05-06  positionalgenius: <cotdt>is this a serious post?? "GMs are poor endgame players in general" Um,if they were they wouldn't be grandmasters.If Kramnik says he's lost trust me he's lost.And karpov and Kramnik are two of the greatest endgame players of all time.
Oct-05-06  cotdt: From Page 1, Danny King annotated:
"40...Rb4! is better: 41 Rc8 Kf7!. The kingside pawn majority could yet prove its worth, but while White's knight is tied to the defence of the b-pawn - and while the rook is tied to defending the knight, for that matter - I think the game is more likely to end as a draw."

So even a GM thinks it's a draw! so why did Karpov claim it was a win? he's supposed to have a deep understanding of chess, but his games show mainly just good opening preparation. Can someone with a 6-man tablebase do the calculations to the very end? Might take a long time but it'll be worth it.

Oct-05-06  cotdt: <positionalgenius> really? I've seen very many games where Kramnik, Karpov, and Kasparov screwed up the endgame. Even a specialist at endgames like Korchnoi screws up a lot of endgames. in kramnik's case, it's just about every single game he played so far in this WCC match. only tablebases can be trusted in the endgame. computer engines are weak in the endgame too, but with human guidance they are much stronger.
Oct-05-06  positionalgenius: <cotdt>my gosh-Danny king??? He's the master of the endgame,so lets believe him before two great world champions!!!!! Pardon me!!!!
Oct-05-06  positionalgenius: Everyone is human,nobody is a tablebase.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <cotdt> After 40...Rb4 white can play also 41.Re4 and if 41...Rb3, then 42.Re3 (instead of Re8 with repetition) 42...Rb4 43.b3. I cannot say that this is won by force for white but in practice it would be very difficult to play it with black against player like Karpov. Also after 40...Kf7 41.Re3 Rb4 42.b3 white has a solid chance to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Also after 40...Kf7 41.Re3 Rb4 42.b3 white has a solid chance to win.> Well, here 42...Kg6 with threat Kh5 would be quite annoying. So 40...Kf7 41.Re3 Rb4 42.Rf3+ Ke7 (or Ke8 or Kg8) 43.b3 looks better.
Oct-05-06  positionalgenius: <Honza cervenka>Thanks for the winning lines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Thanks for the winning lines.> I don't think that they are winning. They keep the game alive but due to very reduced material black has objectively fine chance to save it. Especially if he eliminates white b-Pawn his task would be quite easy. He can sac the Knight for both Ks Pawns with theoretical draw in K+R vs K+R+N endgame.
Oct-05-06  positionalgenius: <honca cervenka>Two super-GMs (and world champs)agree that its a win for white.Why is everybody saying draw?
Oct-05-06  Everett: <karpov and Kramnik are two of the greatest endgame players of all time.>

Karpov yes, but not flawless. Kramnik, good, but not considered one of the greatest.

<positionalgenius> The clear winning line is a long way off, but the advantage is still with white. Karpov would have to prove it, and it won't be easy. So the position is not a foreseeable win, at least not yet.

Nov-02-06  Sularus: <lostemperor: you have to learn to draw before you can paint>

harharhar! very funny!

Nov-05-06  pilobolus: To chessgames.
Somehow the Slovak chess player
Ftacnik name is copied to
event and site field.
Feb-28-07  micartouse: The comments on 18. Be3! by GM King seem very odd to me: "How many night's slaving over a hot chessboard had it taken for Anatoly to discover this possibility? We can only marvel at the alchemy that changes a position previously thought to be equal into one where White has ... a miniscule advantage."

With all respect to King, I think he's way off the mark here. I bet Karpov spotted the possibility almost instantly when trying to improve theoretically equal endgame lines. The move is natural and therefore an obvious candidate for exploration. Maybe he took a few minutes to work it out and convince himself it had potential, but I hardly picture him slaving away like some demented scientist. But who knows?

Feb-28-07  Brown: <micartouse> I took King's commentary to be snide, with the "..." pause, mocking Karpov, either for the work Karpov may have put into it, or for the "miniscule advantage" the novelty produces.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Daniel ♔'s annotations are pretty cool.
Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Absolutely. I have always liked them, although they tend to be a tad sensationalist.
Aug-16-08  M.D. Wilson: <colles: <WMD: "Karpov has beaten me in Linares - 94, in that tournament he scored 11 of 13. I was making normal moves but I do not understand why there appears a lost position. Even after the game I could not understand anything> That reminds me of a statement made by Spassky to whom asked who was the strongest player he ever met: "It was not Fischer. It was Karpov: he was the only player that gave me feeling of not understanding what was going on the chessboard".>

Interesting. Yes, Spassky did say Karpov was the toughest player he ever faced in his many years against the best.

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