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Anatoly Karpov vs Vlastimil Hort
"That Really Hort!" (game of the day Jan-03-2016)
Moscow (1971), Moscow URS, rd 11, Dec-08
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. Keres Attack (B81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-28-12  DrGridlock: <Hotdog> suggests a computer analysis that finds new moves in this position.

John Watson analyzed this position in 1998 in his book, "Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy." Watson gives 27 Rf3 an "!" with the analysis:

"Incredible! This rook is a monster! Now 28 Bf4 is threatened, and 27 ... o-o-o; 28 Bf4 Qxd5; 29 Rd3 Qh1; 30 Kc2! Qxh1; 31 Bg4+ Kb8; 32 Rxd6 Rxd6; 33 Qxd6 followed by 34 Qxf6 wins for White. So Black tries the other capture."

Watson overlooked Black's continuation at move 28 ... Qxh5. Komodo scores White's options at move 27 (depth = 21) as:

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo32 3 32bit:

1. (1.01): 27.Rf2 Rc8 28.Bf4 Qxd5 29.Qxd5 Nxd5 30.Bd2 Bg7 31.Bf3 Rc5 32.Rg2 Kf8 33.Rg5 Nf6 34.Rxc5 dxc5 35.Kc2 b6 36.Rh1 Bh6 37.Be1 Bf4 38.Bh4 Rh6 39.Bf2 Kg7 40.Rg1+ Kh7

2. (0.62): 27.Ra4 Qf5 28.Qf4 Qxd5+ 29.Kc2 Be5 30.Qd2 Qe6 31.Bg5 Qf5+ 32.Kb3 Qe6+ 33.Ka3 d5 34.h6 Qd6+ 35.Kb3 0-0-0 36.Bf3 Kb8 37.Re1 f6 38.Be3 f5 39.Kc2 Qc6 40.Rb4 Rhg8

3. (0.59): 27.Rf1 Rxh6 28.Qxh6 Nf5 29.Rxf5 Qxf5 30.Qe3+ Kf8 31.Qf3 Qxf3 32.Bxf3 Re8 33.Kc2 Kg7 34.Bg4 Bg5 35.Rf1 Re7 36.Kb3 Kh6 37.Bd1 b5 38.Bg4 a5 39.Bd1 f6 40.Bg4 a4+ 41.Kc2

4. (0.31): 27.Rf3 0-0-0 28.Bf4 Qxh5 29.Kc2 Qxd5 30.Qxd5 Nxd5 31.Bg3 Be5 32.Bc4 Nc7 33.Bf2 d5 34.Bd3 d4 35.Rxf7 dxc3 36.bxc3 Nb5 37.Bxb5 axb5 38.Re1 Bd6 39.Bb6 Rdf8 40.Ref1 Rh2+ 41.Kb3 Rxf7 42.Rxf7

Chess is difficult to play over the board, and even grandmaster and master analyses can overlook positional features a computer finds.

The key positional feature of move 27 is that the rook belongs on f2 instead of f3, since on f3 it blocks White's bishop's protection of the pawn on h5.

It's surprising that neither Hort, nor Karpov, nor Watson found this for over 30 years.

Mar-28-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<DrGridlock>

One guess who did mention it!

27. Rf3?
<The rook displays miracles of manoeuvrability, creating or, on the other hand, parrying one threat after the other. But it is still working in isolation, and the undefended state of White's queenside demands extreme accuracy of him! By leaving his h-pawn undefended for an instant, he throws away his advantage.

Meanwhile - a fact not mentioned by the commentators! - the rook had some better moves: 27. Rf1, 27. Rf2 or even the extravagant 27. Ra4....>

Garry Kasparov "On My Great Predecessors" Part V.

Garry quotes Mark Dvoretsky's 27...0-0-0!, btw.

Aug-19-14  Chessman1504: I suppose this game goes to show that the stylistic differences between the world champions are greatly exaggerated. Any great player can do what the board calls for. This is more convincing proof.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Bounced here from the Karpov discussion on the Carlsen-Anand II rematch forum.

Good stuff!

Mar-10-15  get Reti: In Karpov's book "Anatoly Karpov's Best Games", it says that 8.f4, followed by 9. Be3 was played instead of the other way around, as it is in this database.
Mar-10-15  Retireborn: I believe that 8.Be3 and 9.f4 is the authentic move order of this game.

Karpov was intending to answer 27...0-0-0 with 28.Rd3 which keeps the extra pawn, but Houdini indicates Black has good compensation after 28...R(either)g8.

27.Rf2! is stronger as then if 27...0-0-0 28.Bf4

Apr-08-15  Pedro Fernandez: An interesting move had been 14.Qg2!?, because of its aggressiveness, IMO. Notice that already black casting is not viable, but also queen castling is quite dangerous. Hort was sentenced at this early time.
Apr-08-15  Pedro Fernandez: In 24... Hort didn't play the sac of "calidad" 24...Rxh6 as the h-pawn is really dangerous. I bet Hort thought in that possibility since the couple of white bishops are so powerful.
Apr-08-15  Pedro Fernandez: To be honest, following the game, I didn't know Hort did it on move 28...Rxh6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Not as good as my pun from a few years ago.

Spassky vs Hort, 1977

Jan-03-16  morfishine: Thats just great, do we really need yet another excruciating play-on-word using 'Hort'? Enough already


<piltdown man> Sorry, yours sucked too


Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I love these games played before the invention of castling.
Jan-03-16  Sularus: <pilt> yep, yours is better.
Jan-03-16  Sularus: <TGA> :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  mike1: Hort played so many insane (and winning) games himself.... Would be nice to see some of these as GOTD as well. Vlastimil deserves it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: When I saw this pun, I was wondering, is there a double meaning to this pun? The first meaning should be pretty obvious, but what about another meaning?

Like, was someone physically, emotionally or financially hurt from this game or relating to it? Did this game hurt someone's chances from achieving success in the tournament? Is there a 2nd meaning?

Jan-03-16  schnarre: ...*chuckles at the day's pun*

...White looks to stand well here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < ughaibu: A game for those who think Karpov was well behind Fischer in 1972. >

This is the first post for this game, from October 2003. Allow me to point out that in early 1970s Hort was no Spassky. Nor was he close to Petrosian, Larsen and maybe even Taimanov.

But Karpov did play creatively here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <mike1: Hort played so many insane (and winning) games himself.... Would be nice to see some of these as GOTD as well. Vlastimil deserves it!>

Here is Hort winning a GOTD:

A P Law vs Hort, 1977

Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: <morfshine> You're a hard man to please. I thought mine wasn't bad, considering the context. At least <FSR> liked it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Karpov takes advantage of Hort's greed.
Sep-20-16  gars: Why not play 1)Qd5 instead of 16)ed5, as Karpov did? I see no reason for Karpov's choice, unless getting a Queen Wing majority.
Sep-21-16  RookFile: Qxd5 is a good move. Personally, I would play it as my move. But exd5 has its points too. It transforms an isolated e pawn into a more respectable one on d5, reduces the number of white pawn islands from 3 to 2, and opens the d3/h7 diagonal potentially for the e2 bishop.
Sep-21-16  gars: Thank you, Rookfile! In fact 16) Qxd5 is not mentioned in any of the four books I own, namely

a) "How Karpov Wins", by Edgard Mednis, which I am presently studying,

b) "Karpov's collected games", by David Levy,

c) "The Games of Anatoly Karpov", by Kevin J. O'Connell and Jimmy Adams and

d) "Karpov: un genio de nuestro tiempo", by M.Studnetzky and B. Wexler, so I thought it could not be a good move, but at the same time I could not see anything wrong with it. I find this game very difficult, full of subtle moves and your comment gave me the push I need to go back to it again and again. Thanks a lot!

Dec-05-18  oceline2: But it is mentioned in "Anatoly Karpov's Best Games". I remember he mentioned the "rule" for isolated pawns (exd5 blocks the d6 pawn) and also because it frees his bishop, specially now that the opposite is gone.
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