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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984/85), Moscow URS, rd 2, Sep-12
Queen's Indian Defense: Classical Variation. Polugayevsky Gambit (E17)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-12-04  Benjamin Lau: A very tense draw.
Aug-16-04  offramp: "Ten exclamation marks for Karpov, none for me; and still I make a draw! Amazing!"
Oct-31-04  offramp: 40...♘xf6! wins more or less immediately.

Analysis by Fritz 6:

1. (-5.22): 41.♘d4 ♘e4 42.♕h6 ♖5f7 43.♘c2 ♕b2 44.♗g2 ♘xf2 45.♘e1 ♕xa2

2. (-5.78): 41.♕e1 ♕xe1 42.♗xe1 hxg6 43.♗g2 ♘d5 44.♗d2 ♔g7 45.a4 ♘f4

3. (-6.19): 41.♕h6 ♘g8 42.♕h4 ♖xf2 43.♕xf2 ♖xf2 44.♖xg8+ ♔xg8 45.♔xf2 ♕xa2+

4. (-6.34): 41.♖g5 ♖xg5+ 42.♕xg5 ♖g8 43.♕xg8+ ♔xg8 44.♘e7+ ♔f7 45.♘f5 ♘e4

May-31-05  offramp: [Event "K-K I. World Chess Ch, Moscow 1984-5"]
[Site "Moscow, Hall of Columns"]
[Date "1984.09.12"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Kasparov, Garry"]
[Black "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E17"]
[WhiteElo "2715"]
[BlackElo "2705"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate “1984.09.09”]
Jun-25-05  waddayaplay: offramp -- it may have been time trouble. Unusual for Karpov, sure, but after such a game?
Nov-28-05  KingG: Does anyone here play this gambit against the Queen's Indian? Any opinions?
Nov-28-05  RookFile: I think Kasparov was fighting for a
draw here. This shows how tough it
was to become world champion. The
whole system was a refinement on
a system that Petrosian actually used
to use, and Kasparov won a number of
games with it. Needless to say, Karpov was ready for this when they met in 1984 for the championship match.
Nov-18-06  Fast Gun: If my memory serves me correctly here,
this was the 2nd game of the match: At this time Kasparov was still playing in his usual flamboyant style, this approach prior to this match served him well and was able to mow down many top grandmasters, but against Karpov this tactic was never going to succeed: The fact that he was 0-4 down after only nine games convinced him of this: From hereon Kasparov changed his tactics to a more solid position style like that of Karpov and was able to
put the brakes on and lost only one more game in the next 39!! Quite an achievement against the World champion who was used to winning regularly: I can only conjecture how long it would have taken for either player to score the required six wins for the title if the match had not been aborted and if Kasparov had played like he did from the beginning, it may well have taken 80 to 100 games before there could have been a result: This would prove just how far these two were ahead of the other top grandmasters and just how difficult it was for these two to defeat each other !!
Apr-11-08  Knight13: <KingG: Does anyone here play this gambit against the Queen's Indian? Any opinions?> I don't play this, but like most other gambits, White's trying to grab the initiative with it and leaving black with some passive pieces. Looking at this game, it's playable.
Jul-03-09  Knight13: 11...Nd6 and White gets to trade off one of his knights with a bishop, which is better in this open position. Also, after ...Bxd6 Qxd6 Black is temporarily restricted.
Aug-28-10  echever7: In a book by Karpov (!!)et al I had while living in Moscow there's a com about the position after 40.Rxg6 that says that Rxf2 wins. That's ridiculous. After 41.Qf2-hxg6 42.Qh4 Kg8 43.Qc4 the knight is lost. Black must struggle for a draw. Curiously in a Colombian newspaper (El Espectador) at that time the move they showed for black, before the adjourning, was that Rxf2. My little brother (12 at that time) found the not so difficult combination I posted above. "So my little brother refuted Karpov!" :O. I just cannot believe it. Next day the newspaper brought the right move, the correction, and a little analysis by Colombian chessplayers confirming why Rxf2 was an error. Four years later I arrived in Moscow bought that book read the com: "Rxf2 gives an easy win, because Kxf2 (Qxf2-hxg6) Nxf6 etc." I believe Karpov didn´t write that book.It was written with a colaborator (I don't remember who -Gik?-) But he didn't analyse this position for that book.
Dec-03-10  lopezexchange: Actually, 40...Rxf2 wins also (40...Nxf6 wins much faster though. For example 41.Qxf2,hxg6; 42.Qh4+,Kg8; 43. Qc4,Qxf6; 44.Qxd5+,Kh7; and black does not struggle for a draw at all. In fact it has a simple technical win here. For example 45.Qd7+,Rf7; 46.Qh3+,Kg7; 47.Qg2,Rf8; 49.Qe2,c4; now all that is left for black to do is to march the c pawn and force a queen exchange. 50.Qe5,Qxe5; 51.Nxe5,c3; 52.Nd3,Rd8; 53.Ne1,Rd1; and it is useless to continue. Black won.
Dec-04-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: Hey, <lopezexchange> nice name you have there. Uh, you didn't steal it, uh, from someone say, like me? It's OK if you did but give me the credit.
Dec-04-10  lopezexchange: Hey, technical draw, i like your lopez exchange game collection. it is one of my most fearsome weapons too. 5...Qd6 is a pain to crack.

Back to the current game: horrible quality. Karpov had multiple wins in his hand, 4-5 at least. This low level quality is suspicious. It was also early in the match and fatigue cannot be used as an explanation.

Feb-16-12  Chesslover30: 40...R5xf6?? ... my God, such an error. I know it is clear to spot Nxf6 after an obvious and quite easy analyse with your mind clear, but at this level, when you are the world chess champion, I find it inadmissible, even with your flag hanging. No offense, but I wonder how many world chess champions would have done this move in such a situation. Kasparov may had many innacuracies in the games from 1984 WCM but he faught vigurously, he exploited the last drop from every game. Karpov had to put more pressure on Kasparov, especially after game 27 (come on, at 5-0!! you can afford a little risk and complications on the chessboard just to deliver once the final blow, not to wait for more childish mistakes that did not come anymore; it is crystal clear that this was not a good approach). And when you you think this game could might lead to an eventual 6-0. :). But despite these "little" mistakes we probably haven’t witnessed five awesome championship matches till 1990. Kasparov managed extremelly well the entire championship gaining experience with every game. Needless to to bring into discussion the tensions before the match and its "improper" outcome. Thank you.
Feb-18-12  Chesslover30: Ok, I think I was too harsh on my assesment (R5xf6??) after such a consumpting struggle in such a tense position, particularly in time trouble. Only after the game you realize the importance of one move in the economy of the match. In the first 9 games the amount of mistakes for a world championship was very high. After 4-0, I don't know who thought that Garry had a chance to turn the odds.
Dec-21-12  Shibin: g4 again! (in the first game it was in the 6th move). A move that lower-rated players wouldn't even consider for fear of weakening the kingside, GMs play with ease...

26.Rf3!an exchange sacrifice seemingly for nothing!now i know why Garry Kasparov is called the greatest player by many.

Jun-11-14  offramp: This brilliant game has an equally good avatar. Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 is so similar as to tempt one to suspect the machinations of the occult.

Black won the 1927 version, though.

Nov-18-20  fisayo123: Super game. Karpov was dictacting the terms for most of the game and misses a clear win 40...Nxf6 in time trouble. 31...Rxe4 was also devastatingly strong but Karpov chooses to safeguard his king first but it gives Kasparov time to go for the pawn push counterplay with g5, f6

Kasparov also misses a chance to be clearly better with 38. Be1 where everything hangs. 38. Bf1 looks natural but it relieves the pressure on the d5 knight.

Nov-18-20  SChesshevsky: Here Kasparov goes for the sharp Polugaevsky Gambit. Think Polugaevsky invented it for a bit earlier match with Korchnoi. Not sure why the header has a different name? Unless there was another guy with a coincidently similar name who played it even earlier.

Maybe Kasparov trying to surprise a bit as there doesn't seem that much practical testing for the gambit up to here. Though Karpov was ready. Game against Timman about year earlier shows Karpov understood basics on how to defuse attack. A line with ideas that I think became mainline defense.

Looks like Kasparov tries his best to get the thematic king side pressure. Feels like maybe even pushing it a bit artificially.

QID defenders probably need to know this gambit. And might be a nice option for the white side to have. Certainly was for AlphaZero, who made Stockfish pay dearly for what I thought was less than stellar defense.

Nov-19-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Polugaevsky revived Pomar's 7.d5 in his 1980 Candidates match with Korchnoi, who had actually tried the White side in Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1971. It has scored well, but during the 1980s, the whole 4....Bb7 variation was largely passed by in favour of 4....Ba6.
Dec-29-21  Heidi Baxendale: In game 2 of their 84/85 match it seems Karpov played slightly more accurate than Kasparov with a WEV of 0.34 versus Kasparov's 0.38. Running total after the first two games has Kasparov slightly ahead in accuracy with a WEV average of 0.27 versus Karpov's 0.29.

Instead of 17.e5 perhaps stronger is 17.Bxc7 Qxc7 18.exd5 a5 19.g5 Bxc3 20.Ne7 Kh8 21.Qxc3 Rae8 22.Nxc6

position after 22.Nxc6


click for larger view

Dec-29-21  Heidi Baxendale: Kasparov blundered with 25.hxg4, necessary was 25.bxc5 gxh3 26.Rf2 and white is fine.

Looks like 31...Kh8 was a blunder. Instead 31...Re4! 32.f6 Qg6 33.Nf5 Bxf5 34.gxf5 Qh5 35.Rg3 Kh8 36.Bxe4 Qxh4

and after 36...Qxh4 it is perhaps a forced win for black


click for larger view

Dec-29-21  Heidi Baxendale: 36...c5?? was a huge blunder by Karpov but Kasparov missed the win with 38.Bf1?? Instead 38.Be1 Bf7 39.Bxd5 Bxd5 40.g6 was necessary for the win
Dec-29-21  Heidi Baxendale: Kasparov made a terrific blunder with 39.g6???? Necessary was 39.Qe1 Qxe1 40.Bxe1 and white should be able to hold.

Karpov missed a win with 40...R5xf6????
Necessary for the win was 40...Nxf6 41.Qh6 Ng8 42.Qh4 Rxf2 43.Qxh2 Rxf2 44.Rxg8 Kxg8 45.Kxf2 Qxa2

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