Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Chessgames premium membership fee will increase to $39 per year effective June 15, 2023. Enroll Now!

Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1987), Seville ESP, rd 16, Nov-23
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  0-1



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 25 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 192 more Kasparov/Karpov games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you missed a Game of the Day, you can review the last year of games at our Game of the Day Archive.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-15-05  Brown: <KingG> Thanks for the response. Thought that was a version of Rossolimo (sp?) variation. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 white can play c3, which I know can lead to entirely different types of games, but it would have been interesting to see Karpov play some anti-Sicilians against his nemesis the way he plays the anti-English here...
Dec-15-05  KingG: <Brown> I don't think Anti-Sicilians where as popular then as they are now. Also, Karpov had previously had great success against the Sicilian in general, and the Najdorf in particular(turning 6.Be2 into a very dangerous weapon).
Dec-16-05  Brown: <KingG> In total agreement, and to further your point, Karpov was a classic chess kind of guy, playing openings with long pedigrees, well-trodden paths, perhaps the Zaitsev being a mild exception. And that didn't work out to well for him.
Dec-15-06  c.einstein1: Why did karpov resign?
Dec-15-06  Chess Carnival: <c.einstein1> Actually its 0-1
Jun-30-09  Knight13: < Karpov had previously had great success against the Sicilian in general> Until he had to face Kasparov's Scheveningen and, realzing that he couldn't crack it, decided to quit playing the Sicilian against Kasprov. At least temporarily.
Aug-07-09  Helios727: After the 1985 match, Karpov never used 1-e4 against Kasparov again. He did sometimes use it against other players though.
Jul-05-11  BarcelonaFirenze: Could anyone explain me why White are lost? Is it just for the pawn down? Thank you in advance.
Jul-05-11  Albertan: BarcelonaFirenza one continuation which shows why Kasparov resigned is:

click for larger view

41...Rd3 42. Bc2 Qd5+ 43. Kg1 Rd2 44. Bb3 Nc4 45. Qf3 Qxf3 46. Rxf3 Nxa3 and Kasparov would have been two pawns down in material.

Jul-09-12  Hesam7:

click for larger view

<<29 Bxd4?>

A blunder - and another blackout! How could I voluntarily give up the advantage of two bishops, the basis of White's entire strategy in this game? Karpov suggested maintaining equality by 29 Qe4(g4), but I prefer 29 Qb2!, when the two powerful bishops safeguard White against all dangers, for example: 29...Qd7 (29...Nxf5 30 Bxa7) 30 f6! gxf6?! 31 Kh1, and the 'obvious' 31...Kg7? runs into 32 g4! with a fearfully strong attack: 32...Nc4 (32...Qxg4 33 Rg1!) 33 Qc3 Ne5 34 Bh4 etc.


click for larger view

<31 Qb2?> (14)

Missing the last chance. [...] it was still possible to fight for a draw by 31 Qxe6 fxe6 [...]>

I think this game was such a big blow to Kasparov he still can't be objective about it. For example I don't see how White's 29th move is a blunder. Black's advantage after both of the following lines looks roughly the same:

(1) 29 Bxd4 Rxd4 30 f6 Qe6 (the game continuation so far) 31 Qxe6 fxe6

(2) 29 Qb2 Nac6 (Kasparov ignores this simple move) 30 f6 g6 31 Be3 h5

Jul-10-12  Hesam7: <<33 fxg7 Nc4>

Black completely dominates and the battle is at an end. What a pitiful spectacle I had managed to make of White's recent good position...

<34 Qc2 Kxg7> (02) <35 Bd5 Nd6> (04) <36 Qb2> (01) <36...Qe5> (01) <37 Bb3 a5 38 Qf2 f5 39 Qb2> (01) <39...b5 40 a3 Kg6> (01)

Here the game was adjourned.

click for larger view

<41 Qf2> (02)

The sealed move. The next day White resigned <(0-1)> without resuming (the simplest is 41...Rd3). Times: 2.32 - 2.28>

Astonishing. Kasparov is not lost until he plays a real blunder: 35 Bd5??, which he does not even comment on. 35 Qf5! might have saved White:

click for larger view

(1) 35...Ne5?! 36 Qf6+ Kg8 37 Rf5! Rd1+ 38 Bf1 Qe4+ 39 Kg1 Qd4+ 40 Kh1 b5 41 Rxe5 Rxf1+ 42 Qxf1 Qxe5 and White should draw this Queen endgame

(2) 35...Nd6 36 Qf6+ Kh7 37 Rf2 Rd1+ 38 Bf1 Qe4+ 39 Kg1 b5 40 Rf4 Qe3+ 41 Kh1 Qc1 42 Kg2 Qc6+ 43 Kh3 Qd7+ 44 g4 Qe6 45 Qxe6 fxe6 46 Kg2 Rd2+ 47 Rf2 Rxf2 48 Kxf2 certainly look defensible.

(3) 35...Qe6! 36 Qf3 exchanging Queens would have given Black a very favorable version of the endgames we have seen above. But now White has real saving chances, for example: 36...Rd2 37 a4 Ne3 38 Re1 Rd3 39 Qe4! Qxe4 40 Bxe4 Rd1 41 Rxd1 Nxd1 42 Kg2 f5 43 Bc6 Kf6 44 Kf3 Ke5 45 Ke2 Nc3+ 46 Kd3 Ne4 47 Kc4 Nd6+ 48 Kd3

click for larger view

And White should hold this.

Jul-10-12  Hesam7: Overall Kasarov's commentary of this game is well below his standards, beside the examples I have given in my earlier posts he severely criticizes 18. Rad1 for no good reason.

Overall here are the turning points of the game from my point of view:

(1) 9. ... h6? . As Kasparov says this is a mistake, now White is slightly better.

(2) 14. f3? =. Kasparov actually gives this move an exclamation mark and thinks 13. e3 was the move that lost his advantage. To be fair, finding 14. c4! Nxc4 15. Rd1 Ncd6 16. f3 Ng5 17. h4! Ne6 18. Nxe6 Qxe6 19. Qxc7 Nb5 20. Qa5 Nd6 21. Qc3 is not easy. At any rate White's advantage is all gone now.

(3) 28. cxd4? . Since Kasparov thinks 29. Qb2 would have maintained equality he does not criticize this move enough. 28. Qd3! was his best and only move, now Black is slightly better.

(4) 31. Qb2? .

(5) 35. Bd5?? .

Jul-11-12  Hesam7: A video of Karpov's commentary on this game:

1. Karpov's analysis is very close to that of Kasparov in his 2009 book. Karpov says 13. Rd1 was preferable to 13. e3, that he played 13. ... Na5 to prevent c4 and he also criticizes 18. Rad1 suggesting 18. Rae1 instead. All of which are disputed with strong computer analysis.

2. The video looks old, towards the end Henley makes a comment which makes it clear there are no adjournments anymore so I am guessing this was done in mid to late 90s.

3. Based on 1 & 2 I am guessig when Kasparov was writing his book on the 87 and 90 matches, he did not do a fresh analysis of the game. He added a few comments on the opening and for the rest of the game he just used his old notes (maybe he found it too painful to go through all that again).

Jul-11-12  Eyal: <Astonishing. Kasparov is not lost until he plays a real blunder: 35 Bd5??, which he does not even comment on. 35 Qf5! might have saved White>

Considering the way Karpov continued in the game, I'm not even completely sure 35.Bd5 is a/the losing move. It would be clearly losing had Kapov replied with 35...Ne5!:

click for larger view

Here the knight blocks the long diagonal so 36.Qb2 doesn't save the bishop as in the game (since the black rook isn't pinned), and in addition to Rxd5 Black threatens 36...Rd2 37.Qe4 (otherwise Qe2) Qxe4 followed by Rxa2. White doesn't have any decent defence, e.g. 36.Rd1 Nd3!; 36.Qb3 Qe2 37.Bg2 (another advantage of Ne5 is that White doesn't have 37.Qf3 here) 37...Rd2 38.Rg1 Rxa2; 36.Bb3 Rd2 37.Qf5 Qe2 38.Qf6+ Kf8! 39.Qxh6+ Ke8 40.Bxf7+ Nxf7 41.Qc6+ Rd7 (42.Qc8+ Nd8).

But after Karpov's 35...Nd6, I'm not sure if the final collapse doesn't occur only on moves 39-40. Perhaps 39.Rd1, for example, still gives White chances to hold.

Jul-12-12  Hesam7: <Eyal: But after Karpov's 35...Nd6, I'm not sure if the final collapse doesn't occur only on moves 39-40. Perhaps 39.Rd1, for example, still gives White chances to hold.>

You are right! After 39. Rd1!

click for larger view

The rook has to move but since the b6 pawn is undefended it only has two squares:

(1) 39. ... Rb4?! 40. Qd2 Re4 (the only move which keeps some tiny advantage; the Knight moves all allow 41. Qd7 which either equalizes or is actually winning for White. After 40. ... Nb5 & 40. ... Nb7 White mates in 10, after 40. ... Ne4 he mates in 12!) 41. Qc1! (41. Qxd6?? Re1+ wins the Queen) 41. ... Qe7 (41. ... Kg6 42. Qc7 Re1+ 43. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 44. Kg2 is a draw) 42. Bd5 Re5 43. Qc3 Kh7 (better than 43. ... Kg6 44. Qc6 after which the Knight is pinned) 44. Qc6 Ne8 45. Bf3 Qe6 (defending against Rd7 & protecting the b6-pawn) 46. a4

click for larger view

White should hold this.

(2) 39. ... Rxd1+ 40. Bxd1 Kf6 41. Bf3 Nc4 42. a4 Ne3 43 h3 Qc3

click for larger view

Looks unpleasant but it is far from lost.

Jul-12-12  Hesam7: Even as late as the 40th move Kasparov had saving chances with 40. Qc3! which is a double attack (c7 & a5), after 40. ... Nc4 White uses under double attack: 41. Qf3 (c6 & f5) 41. ... Qe4:

click for larger view

Here I am not sure about the rook ending after 42. Qxe4 fxe4 43. Bxc4. The engines give very high evaluations but it might be actually drawn. The engine recommendation is: 42. Kg1 Ne3 43. Qxe4 Rxe4 (43. ... fxe4? 44. Rf7+ Kg6 45. Rf4) 44. Rc1 a4 45. Rc7+ Kf6 46. Rc6+ Ke7 47. Bc2 Rc4 48. Rxc4 bxc4 49. Bxa4 c3 50. Kf2 c2 51. Bxc2 Nxc2 52. a4

click for larger view

Which seems drawn to me: if Black uses his King to deal with the a-pawn the White King will force exchanges on the K-side and if he uses his knight this essentially becomes a drawn pawn ending. Although Black is not forced to play 47. ... Rc4.

Aug-11-12  talisman: <Hesam7> thank you ....very instructive.
Aug-21-12  talisman: one thing though...on black's 16th...♘dc4...Why not the other Knight??
Nov-03-14  krippp: <talisman> <16..Ndc4> clears d6, allowing <17..Qe7>, escaping the bishop's diagonal, and a good square for black's queen. Otherwise <15..Qc5> made less sense, he may as well have played <15..Qh5> immediately. Even without Kasparov's <16.Be3>, at c5 the queen just blocks black's ..c5, so c5 is just a temporary square on the way to a better one.

The plan <16..Nac4 & 17..Qh5> is probably playable, but Karpov follows his original plan. ..Qh5 does allow g4 with tempo though. Maybe Karpov didn't want to help his opponent's kingside pawn-advances, I'm not sure if the awkward formation <g4 f3 e4> can be abused in any way. And if not, that's just 1 extra tempo for Kasparov.

Apr-10-15  thegoodanarchist: Look folks, this is just a grinder of a game by Karpov.

WITH THE BLACK PIECES NO LESS!!! He just wears down the reigning world champion and proceeds to steal Garry's cookies away from him.

At this point in time, the two players were darn near equal, Gary just slightly better and because of that GK retained the title.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <thegoodanarchist: ...Karpov ... just wears down the reigning world champion and proceeds to steal Garry's cookies away from him.>

For those of us in the Old World I should explain that when Americans say cookies they are referring to biscuits.

Apr-11-15  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: <thegoodanarchist: ...Karpov ... just wears down the reigning world champion and proceeds to steal Garry's cookies away from him.>

For those of us in the Old World I should explain that when Americans say cookies they are referring to biscuits.>

Well for you it is true that "cookies" are "biscuits", but for us "cookies" are "cookies".

So I wrote "steal Garry's cookies" whereas a bloke like you would write that Karpov "pinched Garry's biscuits"

Dec-14-16  RookFile: It surprised me how well Karpov did as black against Kasparov's English. Such a complex opening, a million possibilities on every move. Karpov held his own.
Feb-06-21  fisayo123: Probably Karpov's best game of the match. Kasparov didn't make any obvious mistakes but he just slowly got outplayed.
Apr-12-22  Dream Warrior: About final position:
"In time pressure, Black significantly strengthened his position. They added a positional advantage to the material one. Powerful centralization allows them not to fear the exchange of queens, and avoiding the hopeless endgame for themselves, white inevitably falls under an irresistible attack. Therefore, the next day Kasparov gave up without starting to finish playing."
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Anatoly Karpov's Best Games
by KingG
Active prophlyaxis gets karpov another fine win
from Great WCC games by positionalgenius
from c.einstein1's favorite games by c.einstein1
Karpov zooms to win and the match is even.
from tie goes to the runner/one for the road by kevin86
Karpov How to play the English Opening
by hms123
Karpov positional gem
from alligator's favorite 'simple' chess games by alligator
Karpov vs. the World Champions Decisive Games
by visayanbraindoctor
from Anatoly Karpov - My Best 300 Games by jakaiden
Anatoly Karpov's Best Games
by Psihadal
Game 16, Match tied 8-8
from 1987 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
Game 16, Match tied 8-8
from WCC 1987 [Kasparov-Karpov] by foxmt
Kasparov vs World Champions Decisive Games
by visayanbraindoctor
The Greatest Chess Rivalry Ever!!! Kasparov vs K
by Ziguratt
VervetMonkey's favorite games
by VervetMonkey
Decisive World Championship Games
by FaradayBach
The English
by Zhbugnoimt
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianche
from MKD's Favourite Games by MKD
Emoved some D games from this collection.
by fredthebear
from Anatoly Karpov - My Best 300 Games by PassedPawnDuo
Game 43
from Modern Chess 3 (Kasparov) by PassedPawnDuo
plus 30 more collections (not shown)

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC