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Anatoly Karpov vs Veselin Topalov
"Karpov's Immortal" (game of the day Mar-13-16)
Linares (1994)  ·  English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  1-0
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Given 66 times; par: 66 [what's this?]

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sac: 21.Rxg6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: How come some of the best games attract the silliest kibitzing? There seems to be some perverse law of nature at work here where the quality of the comments is in inverse proportion to the quality of the game.

It's Karpov's immortal so the question has to be which of the three rook sacrifices we are being asked to find. Ah yes, it's the first. White needs to get his attack in before black gets in either Rc7 or Ra7 to kick the queen away. 20.Bxc6 goes nowhere after 20...Ra7 followed by Rxc6 (after the queen has run away).

So it has to be 20. Rxe6 and if black refuses the sacrifice we play 21. Rxg6+. Then the Nc6 falls. For his rook, white wins a knight, a couple of pawns and an attack against the black king. A veritable bargain.

And, yes, everyone's chess software these days points out that 31. Qh6+ is stronger than 31. Qe8+. Karpov didn't have Fritz or Shredder running in the background when he played this game. 31. Qe8+ wins - and that's all we need to know. So let's turn off the computer and admire the attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A truly beautiful game by Karpov. Like many people here, I'd seen it before, but it's nice to be reminded.

On another issue, doesn't the homepage say something to the effect that one purpose of CG is to be a place where weaker players can learn from stronger ones, and the strong can help out the weak. With due respect, somebody who doesn't see that 20.Bxc6 is refuted by 20...Ra7 is probably among the weaker brethren.

By politely pointing out to HMM why 20.Bxc6 fails, <Abdel> was helping him and furthering the aims of CG. To respond to this as if insulted is idiotic.

What's a 'hall monitor' anyway? Some type of lizard found in English schools?

Mar-07-15  BOSTER: <JohnBoy: the rook sac as crown jewel>. As usual, the sac is giving up material for the sake of a better cause. As usual, Tal's sac has such element as a <risk>. In game Karpov vs Topalov after 23.Bxc6 , only two and half moves after 20.Rxe6, white had the knight plus two pawn and the save king vs rook and opened black king in the pos . where black lost all white squares. Where is the sac.
Mar-07-15  JohnBoy: <Boster> - I suppose that if one sees an immediate loss of material is compensated in the future, it is not really a sacrifice. But, as I said, I do not have the mastery to set stuff like this up. Sometimes I can see it through once it falls in to my lap. Maybe you are better than me on both counts.
Mar-07-15  boz: What does Karpov say about this game?
Mar-07-15  dunamisvpm: Imho, Topalov did not recognize Karpov scheme to weaken Black squares on e6 and g6. Thus, white rock sac on e6 came about. Have fun! GOD bless
Mar-07-15  stst: Too diverse Black's defense, though White should prevail with the active pieces...

One possible line:
20.Rxe6 fxe6
21.Re1 Ra7
22.Qxe6+Kf8 (Kh8 led to easier White win)
23.Qxg6 Rd8
24.Bxc6 Rd6
25.Qh7 Rxc6
26.Nd5 Qd8
27.Rxe7 Rxe7
28.Qh8+ Ke7
29.Qxd8 Re8
30.Qf6+ Kg8
31.Ne7+ Kh7

and Black is heavily down in material, White should win easily

Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: I did not see how quickly White got a piece in compensation. That's really the essence of the combination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Cheapo by the Dozen> It can be a bit tricky to see. Let's see if we can break it down. Here's the puzzle position:

click for larger view

White is attacking the Nc6 twice (bishop and queen) but it is defended only once (rook). So the obvious first try is 20.Bxc6

But that runs into 20...Ra7 when the white queen has to run away from the defence of the bishop. There is currently no safe square near the bishop for the white queen to use. White has to prepare Bxc6 first.

That's where 20. Rxe6 comes in. After 20...fxe6 21. Qxe6+ we would have arrived here:

click for larger view

The white queen has found a safe place to stand where she can attack the c6 square without being attacked. After black gets out of check, white plays Bxc6 with level material (knight + 2 pawns vs rook) but with an attack against the exposed enemy king.

That's probably all we need to see to have the confidence to play into the sequence. The rest of the game is another matter.

Mar-08-15  rayoflight: Why most immortals are against Topalov?
Mar-15-15  alshatranji: <I suppose that if one sees an immediate loss of material is compensated in the future, it is not really a sacrifice>

Every sacrifice has to be compensated in the future somehow. Otherwise, it's just a mistake.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Whoever thought of today's pun should totally be ashamed of herself.
Mar-13-16  piltdown man: Poor Topalov, seems like everyone played their "immortals" against him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: "Karpov's Immortal" should be one of those crushes in which it's almost impossible to work out what his opponent did wrong, rather than a sacrificial attack, that's Karpov's signature style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Once....And, yes, everyone's chess software these days points out that 31. Qh6+ is stronger than 31. Qe8+. Karpov didn't have Fritz or Shredder running in the background when he played this game. 31. Qe8+ wins - and that's all we need to know. So let's turn off the computer and admire the attack.>

That is indeed all the human player, who has presumably expended considerable clock time and energy arriving at this position in preliminary analysis, should need.

That dang Karpov--when he come over ta visit me on my 15000 acres o' cotton n soybeans fore headin ta Spain, I <tole> him to use Fritzie 2 to help him out some. He'da done that, he mighta won <ever> game at that there Lee-nares, steada givin up some draws.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This game has exactly the same degree of immortality as E Takawira vs T Tlale, 2011. They will both cease being immortal at the exact same moment.
Mar-13-16  ndg2: <offramp> very random comment, I might say
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Karpov himself opened all his books with his very young (1966 or 1969, not sure) win against Gik, praising Rxf5 from that game for combining five or six tactical motives simpltaneously.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: This game I meant Karpov vs E Gik, 1968
Mar-13-16  Ayaend: <piltdown man> yes Kasparov and Karpov played their "immortals" against Topalov... Double Rock sacrifice too !
Mar-14-16  newhampshireboy: chrisowen is definitely onto something here!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White wins with five pawns for the exchange.
Mar-15-16  Exploding: Karpov is a PINGAS!
Oct-24-16  kirkow: It seems that Topalov is the perfect client for immortalizing his opponent's game. Both Karpov and Kasparov played as white against him their best games. And the brilliant combination of both of them began with a rook sacrifice.
Oct-24-16  Petrosianic: Hasty Generalization Fallacy

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