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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1990), Lyon FRA, rd 17, Dec-05
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: This game followed the marathon 16th game that Kasparov won: Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990. That Karpov was able to stage this comeback after that exhausting defeat says a lot about his fighting spirit and superb talent. He was able to avoid the type of unbalanced games that Kasparov loved and squeezed him in a typical Karpovian boa-constrictor fashion.
Apr-07-09  Woody Wood Pusher: What a great game.
Apr-07-09  Dredge Rivers: <Woody Wood Pusher>

Did they ever play a bad one?

Apr-07-09  Jim Bartle: Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984?
Apr-07-09  Dredge Rivers: <Jim Bartle>

That one may have been DULL, but was it BAD? :)

Apr-07-09  WhiteRook48: that wasn't bad. The game that was bad was where Karpov tried to get the arbiter to promote Garry's pawn to a bishop
Apr-07-09  Dredge Rivers: <WhiteRook48> Which one was that? I've never heard that story before.
Apr-07-09  WhiteRook48: <Dredge Rivers> Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993
Apr-17-09  WhiteRook48: where's the winning line?
Jul-01-09  Knight13: <WhiteRook48: where's the winning line?> All you need to know is that Black is positionally crushed DECISIVELY.
Dec-25-10  Aristote: The winning line goes by Qa7, with the idea of taking a6 pawn and then attacking the white queen with bishop a5 move. This plan is unstopable.
Jun-22-11  DrMAL: Karpov describes 25...Rc8 as black's decisive mistake, suggesting 25...Be5 instead ( Both describe the position after 26.Rc6 as "completely lost." Pretty strong statements worth checking out more deeply.

According to Rybka 4.1 Be5 is indeed better but Rc8, black's second best move, was inaccurate but not decisive:

[+0.53] d=22 25...Be5 26.Rc6 e6 27.Qf3 Rd8 28.Ba5 Re8 29.a3 Rc8 30.Bc3 Rxc6 (0:34:24) 191918kN

[+0.87] d=22 25...Rc8 26.Rc6 Be5 27.Bc3 Bxc3 28.Qxc3 Rxc6 29.dxc6 Qc7 30.e5 Kf8 (0:42:06) 237230kN

Of course, the term "decisive" is relative and maybe true against Karpov, he produces wins with the slightest advantage.

Looking above at the line for 25...Rc8 black plays a different move 27...Bb8 but the difference seems negligible. Both players move quite accurately and after 33.Qc5 Rybka 4.1 still evaluates white as being ahead by only one point:

[+1.06] d=24 33...Bd6 34.Qc1 Qa7 35.Bb6 Qd7 36.Kg2 Ra8 37.Ba5 Be5 38.Qd2 Kg8 (0:29:38) 164683kN

While this is probably enough for Karpov to win, the first real mistake occurs when black plays 33...h5 and is totally lost:

[+2.55] d=22 34.Bc7 Bb2 35.Bf4 Qd7 (0:19:41) 110005kN

Oct-04-11  DrMAL: After this amazing game, Efim Geller suggested an interesting line for black involving 12...h6 13.hxg4 hxg5 but what was played evaluates as best by Houdini. Moreover, after 12...h6 white can play 13.Nxf7! Kxf7 14.hxg4 for possibly bigger advantage (e.g., 14...Bxd4 15.Bc4+ Ke8 16.Bxd4 Qxd4 17.Qxd4 Nxd4 18.Rd1 for favorable endgame). Still, it was creative idea.
Oct-07-11  DrMAL: While 25...Rc8 was second best to 25...Be5 I could not see how after playing it black was "completely lost" as described in video link above. This bothered me, some sort of line hinting to a win should be apparent. Checking deeper on computer, Houdini chose same line as above until next depth 33/79 nearly two hours and some 53 billion positions into it, then switched to line below (truncated), refined further on move 31 at depth 37/94.

Houdini_20_x64: 37/94 31:24:46 941,850,014,125
+0.58 26.Rc6 Be5 27.Qc2 Rxc6 28.dxc6 Qb6 29.Bh6 Bd6 30.g3 e5 31.Kh1 a5 32.Kg2 Qc7 33.Qc1 Bb4 34.Qd1 Bf8 35.Bxf8 Kxf8

I can only conclude that statements made during match were brilliantly intuitive but tainted with emotional impression, after 25...Rc8 white had edge but it was far from decisive, there is no forced win from here. Video has great historical value it is wonderful to hear how players were thinking, but like many things historical in chess the opinions are not completely accurate.

Jul-26-12  Moszkowski012273: After 30. Qc3 Kasperov probably could of played to a draw w. RxR. 30. Qb6 gives white a stronger position and wins a pawn to boot.
Jun-08-13  csmath: One thing you can always notice with Kasparov and that is his major weakness that he becomes very nervous in inactive positions and in protracted fight where he has little to no initiative. Even though he defends very well this is a major reason why he lost to Kramnik in 2000. The seeds of that loss were clearly exhibited in this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <csmath>: Quite so; it was very much against Kasparov's nature to play passively, same as his predecessor Alekhine, though the latter was probably better able to play such positions.
Jul-16-13  talisman: after the game...what was his mistake? "little ones" replied Karpov.
Mar-27-14  SpiritedReposte: 26. Rc6! sets it off and from there it seems Kasparov has no chance.
Aug-03-14  Conrad93: 10. Ng5! was a great novelty.
Jan-16-15  SpiritedReposte: Still one of the most crystal clear games of chess I have seen. Classic Karpov technique.

Even though when asked what his style was Karpov responded "Style? I have no style" lol

Feb-27-15  carpovius: "little mistakes" game:)
Sep-25-15  kamagong24: yes! vintage Karpov!
Mar-01-16  SimplicityRichard: A true Karpovian game; Black has been squeezed and thus run out of space.#
Premium Chessgames Member
10. Nf3-g5! TN

click for larger view

Kasparov reckons that the source of this novelty was Igor Arkadievich Zaitsev.

Oddly enough it was Igor Arkadievich Zaitsev who devised Karpov's greatest-ever novelty:
11. Nf3-g5! TN.

click for larger view

That is from Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978.

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