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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Rematch (1986), London ENG / Leningrad URS, rd 17, Sep-17
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D98)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-24-04  Lawrence: "Fiddling while Rome is burning" is the way Karpov describes Gazza's "a" pawn advance on moves 18, 19, and 21. Tolya says Gazza should have played 18...e5. White seems to dominate from start to finish.
Apr-09-08  sallom89: even though the queen capturing the gambit pawn seemed weird but it was a well played game by Karpov.
Apr-09-08  buRnINGbeNd: Queen capturing the gambit pawn? I didn't see any gambit here. This was at least 18 moves of theory at the time.
Jun-29-09  Knight13: Kasparov plays White in the same opening:

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1986

But was unable to pull off a win.

Shows that Karpov isn't a downplayer.

Jan-20-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: They played the first 13 moves two games prior to this one. In the meantime Kasparov had gone +3, but Karpov equalized by winning three games in a row, starting with this one.

In the previous encounter, Karpov quickly played 14.Nb5 (even though ..Nc8 was a novelty at the time), getting nothing. Here his team had prepared a nasty reply, and Kasparov for some reason captures with his bishop on e5, practically lost right out of the opening. Karpov suggests 18..a5 as the losing move in his book on miniature games, recommending 18..e5, which must be better. In the match book Keene gives 18..e5 19.Be3 Bxe3 20.fxe3 Ne7 21.Rd7 Nf5 22.Kf2! Rfd8 (..Rac8 23.Ne4!)23.Rfd1 Rxd7 24.Rxd7 as winning, however.

May-16-12  WiseWizard: Ah, the good old days of weak preparation.
Jun-01-12  MarkFinan: Karpov really takes Gazza apart here.. Just don't see the Idea when Kasparov keeps pushing the a pawn!! It achieves nothing whatsoever!
Jun-01-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <In the match book Keene gives 18..e5 19.Be3 Bxe3 20.fxe3 Ne7 21.Rd7 Nf5 22.Kf2! Rfd8 23.Rfd1 Rxd7 24.Rxd7 as winning, however.>

That evaluation is nonsense, if you look at the position at the end of this line:


click for larger view

<24... Rc8 25.Ne4 Kf8 26.Nf6 h5> or <24... Rb8 25.b3 Rc8 etc> will easily hold.

Jun-01-12  MarkFinan: <Whiteshark> Yes black looks fine In you're above diagram, and the possible continuation too..

I just think Kasparov played really poor pushing that a pawn, I just can't see what he thought it would achieve? Maybe he should have just exchanged that Rook on a8 for the knight on a4 when he had the chance, because he'd have had a lot better chance at promoting that a pawn, and *surely* that was his plan?? He just played poor!

Iv'e only ever seen Kasparov play what I consider to be really poor In classical chess twice (although i'm no historian!), and I forget the other game but It was against someone I'd never even heard of!

I'll try find the game because I did comment on It, but under one of my old handles... And I've had a few lol

Jun-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Ah, the good old days of weak preparation>

<They played the first 13 moves two games prior to this one [Karpov vs Kasparov, 1986 ] ... In the previous encounter, Karpov quickly played 14.Nb5 (even though ..Nc8 was a novelty at the time), getting nothing.>

When Kasparov chose to repeat the line from game 15, he was clearly expecting Karpov to deviate somewhere; however, he mistakenly believed that he managed to refute the whole 12.e5 idea in that game, so he expected the deviation earlier and prepared accordingly. In his book on the 1986-87 matches he says that he and his team did look at <14.h3!> but missed the power of <16.Bxc6!> a couple of moves later; instead, they analyzed 16.Rd7 e6 17.Bxc6 (17.Bh6 Re8 18.Nb5 N8e7 19.Nxc7 Rad8!) 17...bxc6 18.f4 Bg7! 19.Rxc7 Re8 20.Rxc6 Ne7 21.Ra6 Reb8 regaining the pawn with sufficient counterplay, and considered this as ok for Black.

<Karpov suggests 18...a5 as the losing move in his book on miniature games, recommending 18...e5>

And in fact, <18...e5!> was played against Karpov just three weeks after the match in Karpov vs Timman, 1986 (Tilburg) and he didn't manage to get any advantage, even though he was probably still following his preparation: 18...e5 19.Be3 Bxe3 20.fxe3 Ne7 21.Rd7 Nf5 22.Rxc7 Rfc8 23.Rd7 Rd8 24.Rfd1 Rxd7 25.Rxd7 Nxe3 26.Rc7 Rb8! (perhaps that's what he missed) 27.b3 Rd8 28.Ne4 (the importance of Black's 26th move becomes clear after 28.Rxc6 Rd2! 29.Rc8+ Kg7 30.c6 Rxg2+ 31.Kh1 Rc2 and because of the weakening of the knight's position on c3 it has to move, and Black can handle White's c-pawn) 28...Rd4 29.Nf6+ Kg7 30.Rxc6 Rd2 and draw was agreed after a few more moves.

Kasparov gives 18...a5 a question mark, but thinks that the losing mistake might actually be the following move, <19...a4?> - perhaps <19...f6!> (pushing for e5) could still hold, e.g. 20.Re6 Rd8! (20...Ra6 21.Ne2! [stronger than 21.Nd5 Bd6! 22.Nxf6+ exf6 23.cxd6 cxd6 24.Bxf6 c5 and Black is still fighting] 21...Bh6 22.Bc3 Kf7 23.Nd4 Na7 24.Rde1; Rd8 counters this kind of maneuver) 21.Rxc6 Ra7 22.g3 Bh6, and it's not clear if there's anything definite for White. For example, 23.Be3 Rxd1+ 24.Nxd1 Bxe3 25.Nxe3 Kf7 26.Nd5 Ke8 27.Rxc7 (27.Nxc7+? Kd7) 27...Rxc7 28.Nxc7+ Kd7 followed by 29...Kc6, regaining the pawn, is a draw.

Jun-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <I just think Kasparov played really poor pushing that a pawn, I just can't see what he thought it would achieve?>

Yes, he got into a terribly passive position which he didn't expect; as I mentioned in the previous post, White's idea as revealed on move 16-17 came as a very unpleasant surprise , and he couldn't find a good way to extricate himself. This "empty activity" of pushing forward the a-pawn is actually reminiscent of game 5 of this match (Karpov vs Kasparov, 1986), where Kasparov's loss was also related to faulty opening preparation, only there the pawn was at least a passer...

Jun-30-17  Howard: Karpov said in NIC back in early '87, that after his 24.Rxc7, the e-pawn was "now hanging". I hope this doesn't sound like a dumb question, but why wasn't the e-pawn ALREADY hanging when Karpov was playing his 24th move?
May-28-19  Howard: 14.h3! had the point of trying to keep Black's knight on c8 bottled up, if I remember right.

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