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Anatoly Karpov vs Konstantin Z Lerner
"Lerner Lesson" (game of the day Nov-02-2006)
50th USSR Championship (1983), Moscow URS, rd 11, Apr-17
Pirc Defense: General (B07)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-02-06  Albertan: Lerner could have played more aggressively on move 18 by playing 18...f5 after which play might have continued:

18... f5 19. Bg5 (19. gxf5 gxf5 20. Ng3 fxe4 21. Ngxe4 Nxe4 22.Nxe4 Bxh3!? 23. Nxd6 (23. Bxh3!? 4 Nf3+) 23... Qh4 24. Bg3 Qh5) 19... Qc7 20. gxf5 gxf5 21. Ng3 Nf7 22. Nh5 Nxg5 23. Qxg5 Qe7 24. Qxg7+ Qxg7 25. Nxg7 Kxg7 26. Rxd6 Nxe4 27. Nxe4 fxe4 =

Nov-02-06  Albertan: The move 23...Ne6!? was a sacrifice allowing Lerner to get his queen into the center of the board. The program Junior 9 which is programmed to understand the concept of "compensation" also suggested playing 23...Ne6 in its analysis of the position. Lerner centralized his queen and won a tempo after 24.Rxd6 Qe5 and Junior 9 evaluates that Lerner has sufficient compensation for the pawn af ter both players played their 24th moves.

Nov-02-06  Albertan: On move 28 Lerner had a better idea in the position. He could have won a tempo by playing 28...Ng5 and after 29.Kh2 (the lost tempo) play might have continued: 29...Bg4 30.Nf4 Qh6 31.Rd4 Ne6 32.Nxe6 Qxe3 33.fxe3 Bxe6 with some compensation for the pawn.
Nov-02-06  Albertan: Lerner could have gained equality or a draw by playing 39...f6:

39... f6 40. Nd4 Qh5 41. Rg2 fxe5 42. fxe5 ( A draw would come about after: 42. Qxg4 exd4+ 43. Kxd4 Rd8+ 44. Kc3 Qh8+ 45. Kb4 Qd4+ 46. c4 Qd6+ 47. Kc3 Qd3+ 48. Kb4 Qd6+ 49. Kc3 Qd3 ) 42... Rxe5+ 43. Kd3 Bf5+ 44. Nxf5 Qxf5+ 45. Kc3 Kg7=

Nov-02-06  Albertan: Lerner's 42nd move of 42...Qd7 was dubious at best.Instead he should have played 42...Kf8 with this continuation possible:

42... Kf8 43. Qg5 Qh3+ 44. Rg3 Qh2 45. Kd3 Qf2 46. h5 Qf1+ 47.Ke3 Qc1+ 48. Kd4 Qd2+ 49. Rd3 c5+ 50. Kxc5 Qxc2+ 51. Kd4 Qf2+ 52. Kd5 gxh5=

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Black's position was already very bad after 23.Qe3, so the pawn sac was a reasonable try for play, and Albertan's fine work seems to show that it could have salvaged a draw (although I wonder about 28...Ng5; 29.Nf4).

As is so often the case, it's very hard to figure out where Karpov's victim went wrong. I'm going to guess it was ...a4, allowing a swap of the Rooks and the end of any Black Queen side play before it could even begin. Also, Lerner didn't seem to realize that with White's c-pawn on c2, instead of c4 as in the King's Indian, Black has much more trouble applying pressure to White's center. For example, as Bronstein demonstrated in many games, with the pawn structure of a2, b3 and c4, ...a7-a5-a4 becomes much more potent.

Nov-02-06  Albertan: Lerner resigned in a position where he is facing checkmate in 3 moves:51.Qh7+ Kf7 52.Qf7+ Kh8 53.Rh1# If he had played the move 51...Rd7 to prevent this checkmate then after 50... Rd7 51. Qxf5 Qc3+ 52. Kg4 Qd2 53. Re3 Qg2+ 54. Rg3 Qd5 55. Rd3 he is lost, down three pawns.

Nov-02-06  Albertan: An Englishman good evening.Thank you for your kind words. You raise and interesting point after 28...Ng5 29.Nf4. Here is some analysis I did of the seems to yield White an advantage in all variations:

28... Ng5 29. Nf4 (29. Kh2 Bg4 30. Nf4 Qh6 31. b4 Bf5 32. Rd4 Qh4 33. c4 ) 29... Qh6 30. Rd4 (30. Rd3 Bf5 31. Rd4 c5 32. Rc4 Nxe4 33. Rxc5 Qf8 34. Rc7 Qd6 35. Rxb7 Nf6 36. Qc1 Bxc2 37. Qxc2 Re1+ 38. Bf1 Qxf4 ) 30...Ne6 31. Nxe6 Qxe3 32. fxe3 Bxe6

Nov-02-06  Confuse: interesting how long it took for lerner to realize that he was slowly being strangled. karpov really is a snakey sort of player : ) well done.
Nov-02-06  azaris: <interesting how long it took for lerner to realize that he was slowly being strangled>

He was a slow Lerner.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: The black ♙ on d6 is often backward and weak in the Pirc, and it's not surprising that white bagged it. Black could have avoided this by playing 23...d5. If 24. e5 then 24...Nfe4 25. Nxe4 Nxe4 26. Nxe4 dxe4 27. Qxe4 (27. Bxe4 Rxe5) f5 28. gxf5 Bxf5 29. Qe2 Bxh3.

Or after 24. e5, black can play 24...Nce4, and if 25. exf6 (25. Nxe4 transposes into the line above) then 25...Qxc3 26. Qh6 Qxf6

Nov-02-06  Albertan: Al Wazir, if Black had played 23...d5 then white could have continued with an even stronger move than your 24.e5, that being 24.Qd2 (applying more pressure to the d-pawn).

In your line with 24.e5 this variation is also possible: 24. e5 Nfd7 25. f4 f6 26. Bxd5+!? cxd5 27. Nxd5 Qa3 =)

After 24.Qd2 this variation is possible:
24... Qd8 25. g5 Bxh3!? (25... Nfd7 26. exd5 Qc7 27. b4 Na6 28. dxc6 bxc6 29. Nce4 Re6 30. Nd6 Nab8) 26. gxf6 Bxg2 27. Kxg2 Qxf6 28. exd5 cxd5 29. Nxd5 Qc6 30. Qc3 Rd8 31. Qf3 Kg7

Nov-02-06  Yogi1991: Look here man why not the 19th move be
Bxe5 instead of Be3, if so than dxe5.
20. Qxd8-Rxd8
21. Rxd8.......
I am right here or not
Nov-02-06  artemis: Yogi1991: 19. Bxe5 Rxe5

Among other things, (such as getting the bishop to g7, 18. ... Bf8 was played to prevent the tactic you found. That said, I am not sure that black has a great position after 20. f4 in my line, but he still has his material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The opening is similar to this Karpov classic: Karpov vs Timman, 1979
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White's pawns,especially the unmoved c2,offer sufficient protection against a series of annoying checks by black. It takes a former champion to use an even overlooked pawn to hinder an opponent-or at least the talent of one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Actually,he WAS the champ at that time-my bad
Nov-02-06  Rocafella: Isn't 13.b3 a bit neagative from Karpov. Forcing the trade of rooks and losing contention for the d-file, which could have opened up soon. Is there better play here? Or am I wrong...again
Nov-02-06  aw1988: Losing contention for the d-file momentarily but momentarily taking control of the a-file, and after Black's Nc5 Karpov plays Nde2 putting pressure on the d-file with a microscopic (Karpovian!) advantage.
Nov-02-06  Rocafella: I ment e-file, sorry, but is the h-file important here?
Nov-02-06  aw1988: It's an avenue for attack that can be used... possibly not lethal but the possibility exists. I think in the current game it is important, yes, or else Black has perhaps equalised.

The e-file is simply trading one weakness for another. I realize I am speaking merely on general terms with no concrete analysis but is there ever here any way to use the e-file to Black's advantage?

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Albertan: if Black had played 23...d5 then white could have continued with 24.Qd2>

I don't understand. 23...d5 24. Qd2 allows black to play 24...dxe4, exchanging off the troublesome ♙, along with half the material on the board.

Nov-03-06  Albertan: Hi al wazir.If 23....d5 24.Qd2 then your move of 24...dxe4?? allows 25.Ncxe4 and after 25...Qxd2 26.Nxf6+ Kh8 (If 26...Kg7? 27.Nxe8+ Kf8 28. Rxd2 Kxe8 29.b4 Na6 30.Ne4 Nxb4 31.Nd6+ Kd7 32.Nxf7 discovered check (White is winning)). 27.Rxd2 Rf8 28.b4 Ne6 29.Nge4 Nf4 is winning for White (up a knight).
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Albertan>: Oh.

Well, to paraphrase T.H. Huxley, that is the tragedy of chess: a beautiful theory slain by an ugly fact.

Nov-04-06  Rocafella: <aw1988> Probably not much contention on e-fiel but could have opened up later that's what I was getting at.
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