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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
"Tossed on the Flohr" (game of the day Aug-15-2010)
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Rematch (1986), London ENG / Leningrad URS, rd 16, Sep-15
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System (C92)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Kasparov's cooments in "Umlimited Challenge":

"Game sixteen, however, was one of my best in the match. The clash of profound strategic plans, the sacrifices and counter-sacrifices, the mass of bewildering variations, all the quintessential features of a fight at the highest pitch of intensity which demands from the opponents all they have: this skirmish had it all. For a long time it seemed that Karpov's position was better. That impression was strengthened after his rook infiltrated my queenside to win my trapped knight. Until move thirty-two, the watching grandmasters were sure I was beaten. It was a surprising turnaround. Faced with innumerable and incalculable variations, Karpov lost control over the position and overstepped the fateful line. When, at the thirty-seventh move, I inflicted a fatal thrust against his King with an exposed pawn, the audience burst into applause. The chief arbiter, Lothar Schmid, waved his arms in the air, urging the spectators to be quiet, and for a while he succeeded. But when I returned to the stage to sign the scoresheet, the crowds erupted again. Karpov left the stage without the traditional handshake."

Sep-17-10  sevenseaman: A good game, no doubt; but as usual Kasparov is brusque and caustic towards his opponent, a character flaw he could have done without.
Jan-22-12  King.Arthur.Brazil: From Kasparov's comment 33...Qxa3 was wrong and the correct answer would be ...Txa3,when the natural 34. Nh6 meet Qf6! which didn't allow 35. Rxg6 nor 35. Qb4+ Qe7. Then, Karpov's mistake allowed the Kasparov tactical combination. Seems to me that when in despair, Gary throw all pieces in the board to attack, while Karpov seems like lost in paradise... didn't see any simple trap...
Aug-23-12  Hesam7: It seems to me that after <26. ... Qf5!> Black is winning. Kasparov does not come out and say this explicitly but the lines he gives look very bad for White. Here is his main line:

<27. Rf3> he also looks at 27. Rg3 Kh8 28. Rf3 Qxd5 29. Ne3 Qd7! <27. ... Qxd5 28. Ba2> neither 28. Nf6+?! nor 28. Bh6? work according to Kasparov <28. ... Rd8! 29. Nf6+ gxf6 30. Rg3+ Bg7 31. Bxh6 Kh7 32. Bxg7 Ne4 33. Bxf6 Ndxf2!> "with good winning chances." -- Kasparov

click for larger view

White is a pawn up but he is about to lose a piece. For example:

(1) 34. Qe1 Qd1 35. Re3 Rd3 36. Re2 Rd2 37. Re3 Nxf6 38. Nxc4 Nd3 39. Qxd1 Rxd1+ 40. Kh2 Nd5 41. Rg3 Bxc4 42. Bxc4 Ne5 43. Bxd5 Rxd5

(2) 34. Rg7+ Kh6 35. Qc1+ Qd2 36. Qxd2+ Rxd2 37. Kh2 Rd7

click for larger view

And White loses the bishop because 38. Be5? Rd1 39. g4 Rd2 40. g5+ Nxg5 41. Bc3 Re2 42. Kg1 Nfe4 traps the Rook and 43. Rxg5 Kxg5 44. Bxc4 Bxc4 45. Nxc4 Nxc3 46. bxc3 f5 is hopeless.

Aug-23-12  Hesam7: <RandomVisitor: After 29.Qf3, Rybka would take the black king on a long walk:

Rybka 3: <[-0.01] d=19 29...Bd6> 30.Be3 <Kf8> 31.Bh6+ <Ke8> 32.Nf6+ <Kd8> 33.Bg5 <Kc8> 34.Bxd3 cxd3 35.Ne8 Be5 36.Qxf7 d2 37.Bxd2 Qxd2 38.Nd6+ Bxd6 39.Qe8+ <Kb7> 40.Qc6+ <Ka7> 41.Qxd6 Qd4 42.Qxg6 Bd3 43.Qg7+ Qxg7 44.Rxg7+ <Kb6>>

Nice find! After 29. ... Bd6 30. Be3:

click for larger view

Kasparov only looks at 30. ... Bxg3 31. Nf6+ Kg7 32. Qxg3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Fantastic game by both players!

Analysis by Houdini reveals:

33..Qxa3 Is losing
32..Rxd3 and the game is probably a draw

Easiest draw 31..Qd4 and white have no better than the exhange of queens!!

But I can imagine how hard it must have been to defend this position for karpov..Trouble for karpov could have been that his position throughout the whole game was easy to overestimate !

Jul-30-13  SimonWebbsTiger: Kasparov uses pages 136-161(!) in <On Modern Chess Part Two> to analyse this game.

As <Hezam> notes earlier, 26...Qf5! would have been big trouble. 26. Qc2! was indicated as best instead of 26.Ng4?

At move 33, Kasparov argues 33...Rxa3 is strongly met by 34. Rf3! and that 33...d2 was the only way to justify 32...cxd3?! He analyses 32...Rxa3 and 32...Rxd3, saying Black goes into an endgame a pawn down but can hold the Draw by exact defence.

31...Qd4 is not mentioned.

Karpov had three minutes on his clock when he captured 32...cxd3, it must be remembered.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Houdini agrees!

"At move 33, Kasparov argues 33...Rxa3 is strongly met by 34. Rf3! and that 33...d2 was the only way to justify 32...cxd3?! He analyses 32...Rxa3 and 32...Rxd3, saying Black goes into an endgame a pawn down but can hold the Draw by exact defence."

Mar-09-14  Everett: < Honza Cervenka: This game had shaken my trust in closed RL as playable opening for black for a while when I saw it for the first time. Awasome performance by Gazza.>

I always found these games curious because Karpov decides to go toe to toe with Kasparov instead of working with the tamer, saner Breyer, or maybe even a Berlin. Instead, he plays the most volatile version of the Ruy possible. And in later games in the opening he plays even riskier, with 17..f5.

My take on this game, and most of the Ruys that Karpov lost back then, is that Karpov was always going for a win, and took too many risks with his K-side defenses.

Yet, Karpov was often like this, leaving his K breezy, with the minimal defensive army around it. In this sense, the Zaitsev Ruy was perfect, with the Q-side material and initiative and a minimal army at home. Worked against everyone except Kasparov.

Mar-09-14  RookFile: Kasparov said: Bishop on b7. That's nice. I'll attack the king, and that bishop can do whatever it's doing over there. Karpov was effectively a piece down where it mattered.
Mar-09-14  Everett: <RookFile: Kasparov said: Bishop on b7. That's nice. I'll attack the king, and that bishop can do whatever it's doing over there. Karpov was effectively a piece down where it mattered.>

Funny, Stein said that too: Stein vs Karpov, 1972

And Kasparov had two pieces buried on his own q-side for most of the game.

You get no points for endlessly condemning Black's bishop development in the QID, French, and the Zaitsev Ruy.

If things weren't more nuanced than that, half of Blacks openings would not exist, and Karpov would not have been WC and #2 in the world while using such development.

Aug-17-14  fisayo123: Fantastic tussle by two of the greatest players of all time.
Jan-03-15  1 2 3 4: I didn't get the pun, I thought: Salo Flohr didn't play in this game? Then I looked at the opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <1 2 3 4> The opening is the <Flohr System> of the Ruy Lopez/Spanish.
Jan-03-15  tonsillolith: <Everett: Yet, Karpov was often like this, leaving his K breezy, with the minimal defensive army around it. In this sense, the Zaitsev Ruy was perfect, with the Q-side material and initiative and a minimal army at home. Worked against everyone except Kasparov.>

Well it seems like a good strategy not to use more piece for defense than necessary. Capablanca said you must try to achieve every task with the fewest possible piece, in order to maximize efficiency and therefore what you can achieve on the board.

The problem is if you err on the side of too little defense (and there will often be error), attacking players of high caliber will make you pay for it.

Jan-04-15  RookFile: Everett, I'll address your points in the order that you presented them:

In the game you mentioned:

Stein vs Karpov, 1972

Stein could have emerged from the opening with a clear advantage with 15. Bd3. No doubt there are games where it is an excellent idea for black to play the bishop to b7 (more in that in a moment), but this is not be best example - with accurate play white gets a clear advantage. Stein just rushed the attack.

<And Kasparov had two pieces buried on his own q-side for most of the game.>

Here is the position after move 18:

click for larger view

I see something other than white pieces <buried> on the queenside for most of the game.

a) There is white rook that can swing over to g3.

b) There is a white bishop bearing down on h7, after a predictable e5 thrust from white.

c) There is a white bishop lined up on h6

d) The queen has access to a host of kingside attacking squares

e) On the next move, white plays his d2 knight to f3.

f) The e1 rook needs no explanation.

At some point white permits himself the pleasure of winning the b5 pawn as well. That drew the b7 bishop to an even worse square to defend a weak pawn. No matter, white still had plenty of pieces left to run black's king over with.

<Everett: You get no points for endlessly condemning Black's bishop development in the QID, French, and the Zaitsev Ruy.>

Actually, I have no problem with the Queen's Indian defense, and play it sometimes myself. It's my belief that in many <1. e4 openings>, black has no business putting the c8 bishop on b7. I find in many cases he would have been better off simply leaving the bishop on c8 and focusing his efforts elsewhere. Sometimes a way that black benefits with a c8 bishop is he can play something like ....Ra7 and swing the rook over to the kingside. Or, the c8 bishop might chop off a white knight going to f5.

The Petrov is an excellent opening because a lot of times that bishop comes out and finds good work on f5 or g4. I believe the Petrov is the soundest defense black has to 1. e4.

Finally, Kasparov has made the same point. He says that in a lot of positions, you can just count up how many pieces white has attacking the kingside, and compare it to how many black has defending. A bishop on b7 is doing something other than defending.

I realize it is all very complex. There are some nuances here, for example, there was a game in the 1992 Fischer vs. Spassky match where Fischer allowed Spassky to attack on e4, because he wasn't aware of the wrinkles in the position. That would be a better example of black having success with a b7 bishop. So yes, there are exceptions to the rule. I prefer not to try to chase those, myself. To each his own.

Jan-04-15  RookFile: This is the game I mentioned, to give an example of an exception. Black has success with his b7 bishop. In this 1992 match, Spassky showed he knew some wrinkles about this b7 bishop that Fischer was not aware of. But, the great Fischer adapted his play in later games, as he was always able to do.

Fischer vs Spassky, 1992

Jan-15-15  reticulate: 37. d6

What a fantastic move. After Kasparov pushed the pawn, Karpov, who had thought he was winning, reportedly just sat in a daze for several long moments. Gobsmacked, I believe the British call it.

Jan-15-15  Everett: <rookfile> all my points stand, thanks. Btw, I was talking about the Bb1 and Na3, not the swinging rook. And thanks for confirming that the main-line Breyer is a safer bet, with a bishop on b7 no less.

You may well be right about the Petrov, and I wish you luck with it.

Jan-15-15  RookFile: The bishop on b1 is hardly out of play. Surely you can see some scenarios where white merely has to play e5 and that bishop may be the most dangerous piece on the board.

As you know, to every rule, there is an exception that can be pointed to. That is part of what makes chess great.

Jan-16-15  Everett: The Bb1 could do nothing but exchange itself for a piece on d3. Karpov buried it there, and that is all it could aspire to. White did play e5 and nothing happened with that bishop.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: "Putting It Altogether"

<I mentioned before that tactical ideas rarely occur in isolation and that the most effective ideas usually involve a combination of factors. Here is a fine example which demonstrates all three elements we have been considering.> [Fork, Pin, Skewer]

<This position is from a crucial game in my 1986 World Championship match against Anatoly Karpov (who is playing Black). At the cost of a piece I have launched a ferocious attack but in the position below it looks as though this attack might have burnt itself out.>

click for larger view

<I am a piece down and must do something drastic or the material advantage will soon tell in Black's favour. For a start my queen is pinned against the king. Although this does not involve a threat to win material it is a problem because if the queens are exchanged then my initiative will evaporate and Black will win. So, I played:>

1. d6+!

<This wonderful move (which I was very pleased to have spotted some time ago) leaves Black with three possibilities, all of which succumb to a tactic along the lines of those we have considered in this chapter:>

<1) 1 ... Kxd6 2. Nxf7+ forks king and queen.>

<2) 1 ... Qxd6 2. Nf5+ again forks king and queen.>

<3) 1 ... Ke6 2. Re8+ with a winning skewer.>

<This is a beautiful idea but not that difficult to find when you arrive in the position. However, without an instinctive understanding of how the basic tactical ideas operate it would be very hard to see this several moves back.>

Garry Kasparov, "Checkmate Tactics." Everyman Chess, London, 2010.

Mar-02-18  That Roger: could 32. Rxd3 have been better for black?
Jul-10-18  Howard: The London-based magazine Chess has an interesting article in its July issue, saying that Karpov and Kasparov were both experts when it came to making quiet king moves which were actually deadlier than they may have looked.

It cites Kasparov's 31.Kh2! as an example.

Jul-02-19  Patzer Natmas: Thanks @ tpstar for the insight into this tremendous end game!

The final position is an art piece! Perhaps I can make a shirt showing this grand work off to others...

Game featured in "New in Chess - Tactics Training - Garry Kasparov "

Solve for white on move 36.

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