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Anatoly Karpov vs Yuri S Balashov
USSR Championship (1976), Moscow URS, rd 4, Dec-01
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System (C92)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-08-04  tayer: Ooops! Not a happy day for Yuri Balashov.
Jul-25-05  who: Wasn't Zaitsev the first to play this position as black or am I confused.
Jul-17-09  WhiteRook48: 43...Qa5??
Feb-04-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Karpov - Balashov

after 43.Rb3


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43...Qa5?? horrible! :(

Aug-09-13  Everett: Somebody mentioned somwhere that this is one of the games thrown to Karpov. this was Karpov's first national championship after becoming WC, and Balashov was on his squad.

Yet, before the gross blunder, Karpov is a pawn up with a safe king. The blunder seems unnecessary for White to likely win. Just a subtle mistake or two would suffice, and how hard is that vs Karpov?

Aug-09-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett>: Balashov threw this one to his old friend and contemporary? First I've heard of that rumour.
Aug-09-13  Everett: <perfidious> perhaps I have the wrong game. Wouldn't be the first time.
Nov-25-14  Markov47: <Everett> is right. In "Karpov's Strategic Wins 1", Tibor Karolyi says that <The end of the game was rather mysterious, as Balashov made a freakish blunder, placing his queen on a square where it could simply be captured by Karpov's knight. This appeared suspicious, and not only to Fischer.>

I think <perfidious> was being sarcastic.

Feb-27-15  Touchdown: According to the authors of "KGB plays chess", Balashov had voluntary put his queen under attack. Balashov was Karpov's coach.
Feb-27-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Wasn't Zaitsev the first to play this position as black or am I confused.>

Good question. I realised I'd never seen a game of Zaitsev's in this line, so had he played or merely championed it in print? Turns out the source game is Rajna-Zaitsev, Szolnok, 1975. There's also Kostro-Zaitsev, Dubna 1976. Each opponent tried the unsubtle 11.Ng5 and both lost. Karpov seemed to know what he was doing.

The second mystery is what is Flohr's connection with the line. The third is why the variation is also referred to as the <Lenzerheide>.

Oct-13-18  Inocencio: Bury Yuri. This was not Mafia. Karpov was winning even without the blunder of Queen sacking.
Oct-14-18  cunctatorg: GM Yuri Balashov was just ... an agent provocateur!!

Karpov had excellent chances to defeat him here but this Balashov's provocative move made Karpov a suspect in our eyes!!...

lol; excellent anti-conspiratorial conspiracy theory; imho GM Balashov just made a ... kind gesture!!

Nov-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  woldsmandriffield: An incomprehensible finish to the game. Black is hanging in there after 43..Rxa4
May-11-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Uff... OK, let me contribute my own conspiracy theories:

a) Balashov ended up in mad time trouble, lost track of move number, blundered his queen and immediately resigned.

b) Balashov decided to resign, put his queen on a5 in jest and simultaneously extended his hand to Karpov, conceding.

Where's the conspiracy, you asked? Exactly.

May-19-20  MrCalculater: My friend: why do he resigned after his awesome queen sac? Me: Uhh... that is called a "blunder", I believe.

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