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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Rematch (1986), London ENG / Leningrad URS, rd 19, Sep-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Prins Variation (D97)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-22-08  bravado1: Everyone praises Karpov's endgame technique, but Kortchnoi was of a different mind. Karpov was labeled so very early in his career and now everone seeks only the games where Karpov's endgame superiority is shown. He, however, made also a lot of mistakes in endgames. It seems that Karpov's biggest asset was his great opening preparation combined with deep understanding of a given position. As to endgames, I think Smyslov was almost w/out a flaw. When it comes to squeezing points out of nearly better positions Botvinnik was considered the best. Anyway, that's what Kortchnoi, Unzicker and others say. I'm much below this level of chess, so I can't argue.
Jul-22-08  Everett: All the greatest chess players have great tactical awareness, positional understanding, cool-headedness and strong technique.

What I find makes Karpov unique (not necessarily better) is his ability to play into middlegame positions that seemed to respond to endgame principles. His best handling of the Caro-Kann fits this description, as does some of his Gruenfelds. Of course, he basically put aggressive prophylaxis on the map and based an entire style around it. Only when Kasparov was able to "speed up" the action, did Karpov at times (and only rarely) seem out of breath.

I agree <bravado1> with your Smyslov comment. If I could have the ability of one player in the endgame, it would be Smyslov, bar-none.

Jul-23-08  dwavechess: Rybka at 14 plies agrees 80% of the times with kasparov, Karpov less than 50%, but wins, very strange.
Jul-24-08  Everett: It seems that Karpov, at his best, is less understandable to chess computers (and maybe the rest of us), than most others.

The 20% Rybka didn't agree with from Kasparov is what to look at in this case. Kasparov's mistakes may have been graver than Karpov's, and Karpov's may have been only marginally off from the "best" moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <dwavechess> You might run Rybka on some other games from that match.

The Gruenfeld was borderline even in 1986. Black has a narrow range of options, and if he messes up even a little, White has free game with many choices.

That could be why Rybka agrees more with Kasparov here. He has a bad game after an error, but plays the maximally tough moves after that.

Jul-25-08  tomfoolery: And additionally, computers just don't play the same chess humans do. Unless Rybka disagrees tactically, it's not always right.
Aug-25-08  dwavechess: "It seems that Karpov, at his best, is less understandable to chess computers (and maybe the rest of us), than most others." I think the same, not just for this game, of thousands of games I put rybka to analysis, karpov is perhaps the one that more times could defeat the oponent having far less agreement with rybka. Other players I saw a few times doing this were Kasparov, Tal, Aronian. Perhaps Karpov could be the most rybka-killer player ever.
Sep-09-08  dwavechess: Very interesting! perhaps expected, at
3 minutes per move with Rybka 3 w32 4cpu Karpov agrees 66%, much more.
Sep-11-08  dwavechess: Rybka 3 w32 agrees with Kasparov just 65% at 3 minutes per move, so R3 its a better tool.
Dec-26-08  morin: 14. Bb5 was an innovation on that time. It turns the game around white d pawn.

15. ... Rad8 or 15. ... Bd7 are better.

Mar-16-09  WhiteRook48: and kasparov goes berserk
May-31-09  Valiantangel: But whats the idea of 14.Nb5?...i find it hard to understand
May-31-09  WhiteRook48: Kasparov is tied up...
Jun-29-09  Knight13: <Valiantangel: But whats the idea of 14.Nb5?...i find it hard to understand> To control the d6 square. White needs that square for his passed pawn.
Aug-04-09  WhiteRook48: superb chess by Karpov!
Mar-14-10  Everett: From move 19-30, the great players are having a dance over the fate of the pieces on the d-file. Strangely omplex yet isolated play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I would love to see the Karpov of 1981 play the Rybka of today! If I had 3 wishes, this would be the third one:)
Mar-15-10  Everett: Three chess wishes:

Lasker vs. Rubinstein in 1913 or 1914

The qualifiers run without the Botvinnik rule, allowing Stein and Bronstein to get in the mix in the 60's. Would have been great, great chess...

Fischer vs. Karpov in '75 (of course)

May-30-10  talisman: <Everett> that is one heck of a post...i agree
Mar-05-12  zakkzheng: a very crazy game
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: SpaceRunner: Almost perfection from Karpov...especially the endgame!

Kasparovs decisive mistake was
23... Bxd2 ?? and 26...g5 made it easy (for Karpov!).

The end is more likely to be:

41....a6 42. Be3 , Ne5 43. Kd4 , Nc6 44. Ke4 , Nb4

Dec-06-13  Robyn Hode: I doubt anyone would play the Na6 line anymore. Better is the Nc6/Nd7-b6 line.
Dec-06-13  Everett: < Robyn Hode: I doubt anyone would play the Na6 line anymore. Better is the Nc6/Nd7-b6 line.>

<Gelfand vs Topalov, 2013>

Black has 3 solid replies to have equal play by move 14. Line seems fine and healthy .

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Black plays 13...♘f6-e4. This knight provides the focus for the entire game. It will soon become pinned to a rook on e8.

click for larger view

Black sets his sights on f2; he gives up the exchange to reach this position, after 18...Qxb2:

click for larger view

Black attacks white's rook on e1 with 22...Bc3

click for larger view

Karpov responds with a threat of his own. He interposes his knight with 23.Nd2. This creates the threat of Nxe4 and if ...Bxe4 then f3 wins the pinned bishop.

But Kasparov tries to make use of the Rf1's complete lack of squares: 24...Bd7 has the simple threat of ...Bb5 winning back the exchange. The bishop on d7 also protects the rook on e8, so that ...Nxd2 is now a threat.

click for larger view

What can Karpov do? He plays 25.Bf4. After 25...Bb5 26.f3 Kasparov tries to disconcert his opponent with 26...g5.

click for larger view

He is shocked by the simple 27.Bxg5.
This is based on s very strange trick: If 27...Nxg5 then 28.Rxe8+ Bxe8 and now 29.h4! wins the knight!

click for larger view


A little later, after 34...Rxd5,

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Karpov plays the superb 35.Rg5+! avoiding all future tricks. He then plays to reach the time control at move 40 and Kasparov resigns.

Feb-09-17  clement41: Superb play here, both tactically and strategically in this ...Na6 Grünfeld
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