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Stefano Tatai vs Anatoly Karpov
Las Palmas (1977), Las Palmas ESP, rd 13, May-24
English Opening: Symmetrical. Three Knights Variation (A34)  ·  0-1



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Given 41 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...Qd3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-09-04  Benjamin Lau: A nice surprise at the 23rd move from Karpov (who's playing black). Cover the moves and guess.
Mar-06-04  Lawrence: Ben, surprisingly, the computers find this move but don't think it's such great shakes. They mistakenly think they're going to be able to block things with 25.Ne3. Junior 8 prefers the innocuous 23...Kh8 and Fritz 8 goes for 23...h6. My faith in computers has been shaken.

Better than 30...Bd7 is 30...R2d5+, mate in 10 (Junior 8) but with the advantage Karpov has already--he's about to win the Bishop and if White tries to stop it K. has time to go mate immediately with 2 Bishops and Rook--White did well in resigning.

Feb-26-05  woodenbishop: What an EXCELLENT game!!! Karpov played such beautiful chess in this game that I have a new respect for him... and this is even after I have for years considered him one of the ten best players of all time.
Mar-08-06  s4life: He's probably the 2nd best player of all times... and if he didn't lose the 24th game in the '87 match he would have been considered the best.
Jul-25-07  M.D. Wilson: Agree.
Oct-21-07  notyetagm: <woodenbishop: What an EXCELLENT game!!! Karpov played such beautiful chess in this game that I have a new respect for him... and this is even after I have for years considered him one of the ten best players of all time.>

What a beautiful game by Karpov.

Mar-10-08  Saul.Richman: As a child, I loved this game because I'd never seen such a beautiful move as ... Qd3. Now I'm a bit older, I've seen a lot of other beautiful moves, but this still holds a special place in my mind.
Sep-18-08  Saul.Richman: Sorry - it's me again!

I finally just played through this with a couple of Engines in Chessbase (Crafty 17.13 and Friz 5.32) and I tell you it's quite impressive to see how much Karpov must have had to analyse. The Engines are coming up with all sorts of desperate resources to avoid Bc5 and Ra8 mate. But Mr K. must have seen them all. Even more impressive!

BTW, is it me been an old fogey, but is Chessbase rather Unintuitive - I keep closing it down by mistake when I don't want to or vice-versa. German software hey? .-) Only kidding of course!

Sep-20-08  Woody Wood Pusher: Great game. 23..Qd3! is an amazing move especially followed by 25..Re2+!

Just look how quickly Karpov grabs the initiative in this game! He pushed white's whole army to the back of the board in a few moves and flushed out the white king for mate on the a-file.


Oct-22-08  gulliver: Am I missing something? It seems White could have won with declining the Queen sacrifice. Instead of 24. exd3? , White can play 24. Qd2 QxQ 25.Kxd2 Rad8+ 26. Ke1 Bf3 and 27. exf3. I don't see any tactics for Black. 27..exf3+ 28. Kf1 fxg2+ 29. Kxg2 b3 Am I missing something
Nov-04-08  Saul.Richman: Hey Gulliver, well spotted!

I had a look on my own, couldn't see anything decisive against 24 Qd2, then reluctantly turned on the Silicon Magician - and he couldn't see anything either.

24 ... Qb3 would be my choice but 25 Qe3 definitely seems playable. Crafty is saying exchange Queens and 26 ... Bd7!? Mmmm, hardly decisive, though you'd have to favour Karpov technique in practice.

So, nice work Gulliver! It's the old adage "sideways moves are hard to find". This from a man who overlooked Qh6 x Qb6 last week in a League Game and is still sleeping badly at throwing away a full-point :-)

Anyone else try to refute 24 Qd2 ??

Feb-07-09  M.D. Wilson: Karpov often successfully blunted and ultimately smashed the English.
Jan-23-10  Touchdown: Gulliver,

after 29...b3 Black is winning : rooks on the open file and they can go on the second rank, weakness on b2, strong pawn in b3. White knight cannot move because he defends b2, he can't connect his rooks. Too much.

Rybka give in your variation, instead of 27.exf3 27.Rg1 fxg2 28.Rxg2 and give equal position. Only a computer can think that a rook on g2 is not a bad square in this position !

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: 23...Qd3, this is real chess!

this may not be the best move if analyzed using a robot but Karpov was in the mood of painting a Mona Lisa against Tatai..

bravo Tolya!

Sep-26-14  SpiritedReposte: Karpov took some Shirov pills for this game.
Mar-06-15  TheBish: I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but it's not really a sacrifice when you immediately win the piece back! Not to take anything away from 23...Qd3!!, which is truly a brilliant move... but it's not a sacrifice! Sham sacrifice maybe, but not a true one.
Mar-06-15  Petrosianic: <it's not really a sacrifice when you immediately win the piece back!>

Yep. That's what's known in the business as an "Exchange".

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It is amusing in its way that two relatively short games of the late 1970s were crushing victories for Black in the Symmetrical English, another being Polugaevsky vs Tal, 1979, though the subvariation employed in that game is well known for sharp play.
Apr-14-19  ChessHigherCat: This variant leaves black a rook up, which suffices for evil materialists:

22...e3 23. Nxe3 Qxb2 24. Qxb2 Bxb2 25. Ra2 bxa3 26. Nc4 Be6 27. Nxb2 Bxa2 28. Nd3 Bb1 29. Nc1 a2 30. Nxa2 Bxa2

However, the variant with 23. fxe3 is a bit harder to deal with:

22...e3 23. fxe3 Qb6 24. O-O Bf5 25. Qc1 Rac8 26. Qd2 Red8 27. Bd5+ Kh8


Leading to this, where I think white has to sac the exchange or lose a piece:

click for larger view

Apr-14-19  ChessHigherCat: Wow, I looked at 23...Bf3 but I figured white would just castle. The pseudo queen sac is considerably fancypantsier.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: A bit famous.
Apr-14-19  Walter Glattke: 22.-e3 23.Qb3+ Be6 24.Qxe3 / 23.-Kh8 24.Nxe3 Rxa3 25.Rxa3 bxa3 26.Qxa3 Rxe3 27-Qa8+ / 23.-Re6 24.Nxe3 seem all to win for white
Apr-14-19  schachfuchs: The engine gives 24.Qd2 Qxd2+ 25.Kxd2 bxa3 26.Rxa3 Rac8 and now

a.) 27.Nc3 (-2.04)
b.) 27.f3 (-2.08)
c.) 27.Ke1 (-2.09)

Apr-14-19  MrMelad: That went way over my head. Nice game!
Apr-14-19  goodevans: Karpov - <Karpov!> - offers a queen sac and you take it? What were you thinking?

SF gives <24.Qd2> but I'd have played <24.Qxd3>. Either way white gets slowly crushed rather than the fireworks that follow <24.exd3?> so I guess we can be grateful to Signor Tatai for not 'believing' Karpov.

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