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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
Linares (1994), Linares ESP, rd 7, Mar-04
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Smyslov Variation Main Line (B17)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: 12.Ne5 is a blunder: it allows Black in the game to play 13...Bxa3!, which both players missed. Karpov instead plays 13...a4??, returning the favour.
Nov-11-03  talchess2003: Karpov is a good grandmaster in positional chess and opening theory, but he will always be a novice to tactics....
Nov-11-03  Spitecheck: Not really a fair claim Talchess, considering Kasparov a supposed tactical genius missed the same thing :). Karpov's tactics have always been good, the problem I believe is when he tries to play intuitively rather than to the concrete calculations that are evident in so many of his glittering victories. Karpov often won a chessgame because of a superior tactical appreciation of the position than his opponent and that included against Kasparov. The opinion of many a GM that the perception about Karpov was wrong he wasn't some deep strategist, he was first and foremost a his play developed he more and more became a tactic preventer rather than a tactic creator....which is a reason many prefer the style of Kasparov, Fischer and Tal etc to players like Petrosian and Karpov. Players who are prepared to drop the shield and take up the two-handed sword in an effort to get a result.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Some oversights and omissions in his games (by the way, very rare especially in his best years) don't prove that Karpov is bad in tactics. In fact he is a superb tactic as everybody can see from myriads of his games. For some good examples see Karpov vs Huebner, 1982 , Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971 , Karpov vs Van der Wiel, 1980 , Karpov vs Hort, 1978 or Larsen vs Karpov, 1980
Nov-12-03  drukenknight: what is the follow up to 13...Bxa3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Drukenknight>: It appears to be 13...Bxa3 14.bxa3 Qc3+
Nov-12-03  drukenknight: what if white gets in 14 Qb5+?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Drukenknight>13...Bxa3 14.Qb5+ Bd7 followed by Bb4+ and Black is better.
Nov-12-03  drukenknight: after Qb5+:

14...Bd7 15. Nxd7 Bb4+ 16. Ke2 Nbxd7 17. Nf3 O-O 18. Be3 Qb6 19. Qxb6 Nxb6 20. Ne5 Nfd5

doesnt look too bad. Perhaps a better way is simply 14 Nff6?

Dec-02-03  waddayaplay: How can two world champions make such a mistake? Does anyone believe any other world champion would have missed this? I think I remember an interview with Karpov from this time, where he said that Kasparov claimed he saw it, and Karpov questioned why then he would make the move Ne5?

Maybe all the games between the two have gotten their chess minds melted together.

Or maybe Kasparov has simply no chess intuition.

Dec-02-03  ughaibu: Alternatively, can anyone suggest a world champion who never made a blunder?
Dec-02-03  Catfriend: <waddayaplay> First, it senseless to claim somebody (Karpov and Kasparov!!) is weak or has no intuition because he blundered. Surely, Chigorin had both intuition and calculation ability! Now, look at the last game of the 1894 match - the worst blunder in chess history! I may dislike Karpov personanaly, but as a player he's great. Kasparov: "Karpov is a whole period in chess!" Karpov's combinations are sometimes better than Kasparov's, arguably the best tactitian ever! In Bugojno, 1980, Karpov defeated tactically Tal himself, who, undoubtly possessed grand intuition. Positional players are often great tactitians, but they prefer using tactics only as a casual option, not as a base for a plan. Petrosyan had tactical forsight beyond most players, and Euwe sometimes outsmarted Alekhin, the king of combination. I consider Anand a positional player, but he's a great sacrificer!
Dec-05-03  waddayaplay: <Catfriend> Ok ok, I admit Kasparov and Karpov are great players. I agree with you in all you say. It is sort of dumb to say Kasparov is a patzer.

But how can you explain both players overlooking such a simple combination?

Dec-05-03  Spitecheck: Familiarity breeds contempt (for low level calculating), they know each other so well that, when a blunder at that stage of the game in this type of position occurs neither sees it as it is simply not possible. Look again is it really a blunder :) LOL. They're to busy looking 10 moves deep to worry about a baby two mover like that (it's not even a mate), heck that's not chess. Look at Karpov's game against Christiansen, he's not looking at the whole board.

Summing it up they were both wearing blinkers.


Dec-05-03  Catfriend: U missed the point.. it wasn't a glory-song to the great players! It was a claim that a tactical blunder says nothing about tactical skill! For heavens sake, did Alekhin possess combinational strength? Look at Keres vs Alekhin, Marget 1937! The great champ misses such a simple move! I"ll ask the same question u asked: how can u explain such an awful blindness? Well, there is the vodka-explanation:) but also the gruelling game! U all speak about B:a3!! as about a simple mate in 1.. but it isn't! It requires some concentration to see, and in the opening both sides tend to play automatically.
Dec-05-03  Spitecheck: I'll add to what Catf.. is saying here, without looking at the game, in chess you sort of change "hats" now and than. Ie between opening, positional, tactical, endgame, mating, strategical, coffee's to sweet etc etc you get my point. At this point in the game it is possible neither player grabbed their tactical hat, which is nec to see this move. Karpov especially with the move ...a4 my have had the wrong hat on entirely (his coffee was the sweetest). Kasparov missed it for another reason, and that would be overconfidence especially in the opening against a man who has been is chess playing partner for more than a decade so to speak.

This is not a straightforward combination either, it's in the books yes but it's in the middle of the doesn't revolve around mating and just directly wins material.

Find a game that has the roughly the same combo in it....there won't be many.

Add to that the Caro-kann defense where black can't in theory (especially someone like Karpov) hurt a fly and it make's it that much more hens tooth in a hay stack doesn't it.


Dec-05-03  Spitecheck: There is another feature here, the combination occurs after the prepatory cxd4, Karpov calculated the cxd followed by a4 etc all in the one line most likely and did not stop after cxd to survey the tactical opportunities posed by the bishop diagonal being extended as well as the queen's vertical penetration. In affect making the combination that much more hidden.

It would be alot different perhaps if he approached the position freshly (candidate moves etc) after the c-pawn was exed.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: The main reason both players missed ...Bxa3! is because the combination, while simple, is unusual - like Spitecheck has said, find a game that has roughly that same combo in it. I can't recall ever seeing one.
Dec-05-03  Shadout Mapes: Actually, the combination reminds me of Huzman vs Kasparov, 2003 !
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <Actually, the combination reminds me of Huzman vs Kasparov, 2003!>

It does????

Dec-05-03  OneBadDog: Everybody makes mistakes! When the wolds elite make mistakes, it often seems that it's for non-chess reasons, i.e., nerves, fatigue, etc..
Dec-05-03  Spitecheck: How's that <shadout> Huzman didn't miss it, or is just that Kasparov missed something which is rare.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Note that the Huzman combination was not all that rare. Not at all.
Dec-09-03  waddayaplay: I just found this site, by the way. In case you haven't read it:

It is about GM-blunders!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Very entertaining reading, waddayaplay. Thanks for that link!
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