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Anatoly Karpov vs Gyula Sax
"Sacs Sacks Sax" (game of the day Feb-19-2010)
Linares (1983), Linares ESP, rd 3, Feb-14
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation. Keres Attack (B81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-19-10  Everett: Exactly <crwynn>.

That's the thing about Karpov's understanding of chess. He plays for and converts the most subtle and nebulous of advantages with glacial patience.

Over the years, many players have played "Karpovian" moves, but few have played entire games in this style. Karpov made a career out of it.

Feb-19-10  BarcelonaFirenze: Just incredible! It remembers me a couple of Fischer's games... Wouldn't you agree?
Feb-19-10  SirChrislov: It should be "Six Six Six" for that diabolical attack. 18.Rd5!! is a rare example of the beast hidden inside the Nimzovichian Karpov. 23...Ke7 is just ugly.

The combination was a beaut to see, like watching a gorgeous woman undress.

Feb-19-10  WhiteRook48: that pun was...adequate
Feb-19-10  Billy Ray Valentine: Given Karpov's style, it always amazes me that he played the Keres attack so frequently. But I guess, as this game demonstrates, he seemed to do well with it.
Feb-20-10  M.D. Wilson: "Style? I have no style." Karpov
Premium Chessgames Member

<It is difficult to find one particular game that is typical of my 'style'

<<<< - Bobby Fischer, 1963 >>>>>

Feb-20-10  M.D. Wilson: Bobby also said once, that if you've seen one Alekhine game, you've seen them all. Hmm...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <M.D. Wilson: "Style? I have no style." Karpov>

Is that like fighting without fighting?

Feb-21-10  M.D. Wilson: More like maximum effect with minimum effort, my friend.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: And both are near quotes from the film "Enter the dragon", which was the pun for the GOTD quite recently...
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <If the opponent offers keen play I don't object; but in such cases I get less satisfaction, even if I win, than from a game conducted according to all the rules of strategy with its ruthless logic.>

Anatoly Karpov

Feb-22-10  M.D. Wilson: "Maximum effect with minimum effort" is a direct quotation from Kasparov, the man who would know best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <M.D. Wilson><"Maximum effect with minimum effort" is a direct quotation from Kasparov, the man who would know best.>

Actually, the Bruce Lee quote is "Maximum anguish with a minimum of effort." Paraphrased by Kasparov. I believe it is from The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, describing Bruce's fighting method.

<TheFocus> is a jeet kune do student.

Feb-22-10  M.D. Wilson: I can imagine that Kasparov was a Bruce Lee fan, at least in the '80s. He, no doubt, got the translation wrong. Remember what Marat Safin said about tennis? "It's a brain fight." I think, Marat, you mean "mind game"...
Feb-23-10  mendellevin: Karpov at his best. A great game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I suspect that the problem is translation from English to Russian and then back into English. That often produces unusual effects, such as the infamous mistranslation of "the flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing" into "the meat is awful, try the vodka".

Or maybe that was an urban myth, like the majority of the sayings attributed to Dr Spooner...

Feb-23-10  Everett: I was wondering if anyone with a program has put this game in for analysis. I'm guessing 18.Rd5 is seen by the comp, but is it evaluated highly? Would white to move at move 18 qualify as a "nolot" position designed to test computer programs?
Feb-23-10  goldenbear: Why not 23.Qxc3+ for Black? Wouldn't Black stand better there? What am I missing?
Feb-23-10  goldenbear: I've looked at this as closely as I can seeing as I don't have a computer program, and I'm pretty sure the ending after 23.Qxc3+ 24.bxc3 Ba3+ is winning easily for Black. Why has no one mentioned this possibility? Am I mis-evaluating this?
Feb-23-10  1. h4: <goldenbear>

After 23...Qxc3, White's other possibilty, 24.Kb1, is the way to go. Then something like 24...Qc7 25.Bxb5+ Ke7 26.Rc1 Qb8 27.Rc6 puts Black in agony. White's threat is 28.Bc5, etc.

Feb-23-10  goldenbear: Wow, you're right! Thanks <1.h4>. Qxc3+ does little to change the position. You know, I didn't even consider NOT taking the queen. How stupid of me!
Feb-23-10  1. h4: Glad I was helpful. :)
Apr-03-10  Kinghunt: <Everett: I was wondering if anyone with a program has put this game in for analysis. I'm guessing 18.Rd5 is seen by the comp, but is it evaluated highly? Would white to move at move 18 qualify as a "nolot" position designed to test computer programs?>

That's a very interesting question. My engine does not find 18. Rd5. Indeed, it maintains that is very equal and up through move 22, after which 23...Qc7 was needed, which my engine evaluates as +0.19 for white at d=22. For example, after 23...Qc7! 24. Bxb5+ Ke7 25. Qxe4 Rb8 26. Bc4 Bc5 27. g5 Bxe3+ fxe3, the following position is reached:

click for larger view

This looks relatively drawish, and white will have few winning chances. Black's position is secure, and while his king is still in the center and exposed, white has no means by which to exploit this. My engine evaluates this as +0.24. Maybe Karpov could win this endgame, but even for him it wouldn't be easy.

Compare this to 18. g5, which is both what my engine recommends and the natural move in this position. My engine evaluates this at +0.63 for white at d=22, and it certainly looks like white has a promising attack. For example, after 18. g5 hxg5 19. hxg5 Rc8 20. Bd5 Qa4 21. g6 fxg6 22. Rxg6 Qxb3 23. Bxb3 Rxg7, the following position arises:

click for larger view

To me, this looks more promising for white. White has a rook on the 7th rank, a queenside pawn majority, and very strongly placed bishops. I would much rather play this position than the previous one. My engine agrees, evaluating this position as +0.72 for white at d=24.

So as inspired as 18. Rd5 is, I don't think Karpov's move is worthy of being put in a Nolot test suite because it isn't objectively stronger than the alternative, 18. g5, and may even be technically incorrect. I believe that, from a purely objective point of view, the engines are right to dismiss it as a weaker move.

Apr-03-10  A Karpov Fan: This is so cool game :-)
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