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Anatoly Karpov vs Juan Bellon Lopez
Madrid (1973), Madrid ESP, rd 5, Dec-01
English Opening: King's English Variation. Reversed Closed Sicilian (A25)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-22-04  henrilin: This game looks familiar to me. I checked and it is a copy of Saidy vs Fischer, 1969 until 23... Nb4. Does anybody know if Karpov (and Bellon) knew about Saidy-Fischer 4 years earlier. The question is if Karpov liked defending so much he volunterly took this position, or if he had an improvment prepared somewhere in the line. To me it lokks as if Bellon always had good play for the pawnsac. Fortunalely for Karpov he saw and took the chance to get a perpetual in the final position.
Mar-28-05  Backward Development: Very keen eye! Dennis in his chessbase lectures used these two games to create his April fool's joke.
May-08-08  Whitehat1963: A different kind of puzzle after 48...Qc1.
Jun-19-08  sitzkrieg: Tim Krabbe mentions these two games in one of his books (arguing Fischer would win of Karpov;) Very entertaining, dutch version of the book is called Schaak Curiosa 2.
Apr-29-12  garyz: The Karpov-Bellon game was very interesting and contained the stunning rook sacrifice by Karpov to get the draw. I studied this game with the help of my computer running the Stockfish chess engine and I believe Karpov could have won the endgame.

I. Karpov played 36.Kg2? and my software went from +339 to 0. A better move I believe is 36.Qd1! My software gives it +327 with the following possible lines. A 36....Qf5 37.Kg2 d5 38.Qh1 Qh5 39.Rc8 h3+ 40.Qxh3 Qxh3 41.Kxh3 dxc4 42.Rxc4 Rb2 43.Kg2 +452

B 36....Qf5 37.Kg2 Rb2 38.Qf3 hxg3 39.Kxg3 Rb8 +448

C 36....Qf5 37.Kg2 Rb8 38.Qf3 hxg3 39.Kxg3 +472

II. Another option for White one move earlier is: 35.Qa1! instead of Karpov's 35.Qxf1. 35.Qa1 Qh3 36.Qxf1 Qxf1+ 37.Kxf1 +315

Of course just about anything else by Black on 35. such as 35...Bxd3? 36.Qxd4 wins quickly although Black can try a Rook sac at 37...Rh1+ and trade queens to play the exchange down.

In both alternative lines for White, the move made by Karpov is made one move later with greater effect. I have only analyzed these positions for a few minutes since I haven't tried to use the chess engine for overnight analysis.


May-10-12  Alphonse1973: <henrilin> You can see both games, with comments, here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <garyz> Very interesting lines, thank you for sharing them.

It would have been quite reasonable to expect Karpov to find <35.Qa1!> threatening Qa7, Qa8, and possible Qxd4 depending. Black's extra B doesn't change a thing.

Best play after <35.Qa1!> seems to be <35..Qh3 36.Qxf1 Qxf1 37.Kxf1> with a won rook endgame. Karpov was always finding these moves OTB. Too bad he missed it.

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