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Franklin Alvarez vs Anatoly Karpov
"So You Think you Kan Dance?" (game of the day Jul-24-2014)
Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 1 (1972), Skopje MKD, rd 6, Sep-24
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-06  NguyenVo: Those knights sure can dance.
Jan-03-10  M.D. Wilson: What a nice way to finish the game.
Jul-24-14  master of defence: Just now I've realized that after either 31.Kf1/h1, Black wins White's queen and the game with 31...Nxg3+, followed by 32...Nxf5.

These knights were amazingly well managed by Karpov, which outplayed his opponent in such a beautiful finish. The pun is very good as well, showing the knights' dance around White's king.

Jul-24-14  vsiva1: Win for 2 knights and 1 bishop Vs 1 Queen + 1 Rook, due to tactical positions created by Karpov and proved to be a legend.
Jul-24-14  Retireborn: <master of defence> Actually 31...Nxg3 is checkmate, so Black will not be allowed to take the queen. So unfair!
Jul-24-14  moi: 27 Rde1 seems odd, since it weakens the critical f2 square. Isn't there a better alternative?
Jul-24-14  Retireborn: <moi> Black was threatening 27...Re5 followed by 28...Rh5 mate, which is going to win the queen at least. White is already completely lost, so Rde1 is as good or as bad as anything.
Jul-24-14  mmousez: Very beautiful game. Amazing Knight moves towards the end. I'm lost for words...
Jul-24-14  morfishine: Sweet move sequence by Karpov but the last thing he needs is help

25.Qf5?? Both 25.Qh4 & 25.Nd4 improve


Jul-24-14  Retireborn: I suppose 17.Qf3 is the losing move and he had to play 17.f5, as giving Black the e5 square is disastrous. However I don't really like White's position then either...he's gone wrong in the opening somewhere, although I couldn't say where.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Dancing knights, you say? Perhaps. But let's not forget that they had backup...

Tucked away on a7 is a deadly sniper. The black bishop is gunnery sergeant Bob Lee Swagger. Shooting from cover a heck of a long distance away with twigs in his hair, shaggy rags over his weapon (!) and makeup from Revlon's camo range (because you're worth it).

So sure the knights were deadly ninjas, whirling kungfu assassins deep inside enemy territory. But let's not forget that the sniper bishop made 28...Nf2+ possible and turned 29...Ne4+ into a discovered check.

Jul-24-14  dfcx: White puts the last nail in his own coffin with 27.Rde1?? losing the control on f2.
Jul-24-14  dfcx: Crafty thought 22. Nd5 was bad. White should have played 22. Bf2, to take out the "sniper" as <Once> called.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: 31...♘g3 is checkmate despite which way the king will move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sandtime: 25 ....Rg3 is the imaginative move, causing white to make a few mistakes.
Jul-24-14  master of defence: Good catch, <Retireborn>.

However, in order to avoid an immediate mate, White will have to lose his rook, and the queen as well, e.g, 31.Re3(31.Kf1/h1 Nxg3#-I thought White's king had a escape square via either h2 or e2, which has been proven to be wrong of my part) Bxe3+ 32.Kf1 Nxg3+ 33.Ke1 Nxf5. Hope everything is correct now.

Jul-24-14  gars: A very good game, the black position after 14)... Bb7 is just beautiful! Simple and very menacing, full of potential energy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: It's always good to see a well played game by my favorite player! 8 ) The "dancing" ♘s & the "sniper" ♗ on a7 contributed to this victory but the ♖s really weakened Alvarez's position & paved the way for Karpov's attack. In this game Karpov implemented the same themes that he normally does.: 1) prophylactic moves that prevent his opponents from getting their pieces & pawns to key squares 2) getting his pieces to ideal squares & waiting for the best opportunity to strike 3) after his opponent makes a mistake, then he strikes. After 22.♘d5?? ♗xd5 23.exd5, the ♖s charged down the e-file, the brilliant shot 25...♖xg3!! was played & just a few moves later Alvarez resigned. Yet another game where Karpov was in his element.
Jul-24-14  ColeTrane: notice how many kibitzers say the kan is a bad opening on other games. plenty of talk about "good" and "bad" openings....its strange. why not attribute these labels to the players themselves.

after all, an artist uses the tools in their surroundings to create. who ever said a sculpture was great due to the marble, or a painting is poor because of the canvas? these mediums are simply vehicles for a concept

Jul-24-14  WhiteRook48: And here I thought 30...Nxd3+ should be good enough to win the game. That it is, but it isn't the best. Karpov played this game superbly.
Jul-25-14  gars: This is Game 25 in "How Karpov Wins", by Edmar Mednis (second edition, Dover Books).
Jul-26-14  Retireborn: <gars> Don't have that book...does Mednis identify White's opening error(s) at all?
Apr-23-17  clement41: Wow what a piece coordination. Look at these knights and Ba7!
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