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Anatoly Karpov vs Jan Timman
"A Pin, but Not a Safety Pin" (game of the day Oct-04-2018)
Brussels World Cup (1988), Brussels BEL, rd 6, Apr-07
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Central Variation. Alekhine System (D20)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-15-04  Lawrence: <Everett>, Junior 8 suggest 36.......♕a2
37.♗c4 ♕a4
38.♖xg4 ♖xb7
39.♔g2 ♖d7 eval +0.41 (50 min.)

36.......♖xb7 gets an eval of +2.78

Dec-18-04  Everett: A shame, really. So many of these games are salvagable all the way to the end, yet they are often considered inexorable wins.
Sep-06-05  Everett: Any improvements for white before that point?
Jul-11-08  pikket: In Anatoly Karpov's Best Games, he writes: "34 ...♖xb7 would have lost: 35 ♗d5! ♕a5 (35...♕xd5 36 ♖xa6+ ♔b8 37 ♖h8+) 36 ♗xb7 ♔xb7 37 ♖xa6 ♕xa6 38 ♖xa6 ♔xa6 39 f4!"

However, in the position after 39 f4 I can't find a win for white. It seems to me that (even though black probably can't take the f-pawn en passant) he will use his c-pawn to keep white's king tied down, eventually forcing white to play f5 (leaving the protection of the g-pawn) and the best white can do is to end up with a drawn ending (K+ g pawn v K) where black can easily get the opposition. Am I missing something especially subtle and clever though?

Mar-04-12  Abdooss: From Inside Chess, 1998/12
<S.W.I.F.T. World Cup I, Part Three by Yasser Seirawan
Round Six
A crazy round. Five of the six decisive games were won by Black. Karpov and Timman played the game of the tournament. See my annotations in Issue 10, page 5.>
Mar-04-12  SChesshevsky: <<Karpov and Timman played the game of the tournament.>>

This was a great game.

I was thinking maybe Black could have been better off by getting White's rook back with 26...Qa1+ 27. Rd1 then again getting a tempo with 27...Qa2.

Eventually he's probably going to have to give up the Rook for the Bishop and advanced pawn but by holding the tempo and getting one rook back and pressuring the backward b pawn and postponing White luft, I'm thinking maybe he can get and hold a Q + P vs R + R ending.

Apr-23-15  positionalgenius: Great game played here between these two legends of chess.

17.dxc6! is an innovative idea in this position

Nov-25-15  lentin: Hello pikket,

Yesterday I read this game from the book you mentioned. I also thought that 39 f4! and a claim of white win was some kind of error.

I checked with StockFish engine with SCID after 39 f4. It is a dead draw. Black does not need to capture the pawn with En Passant to achieve the draw.

StockFish recommends to keep the 2 rooks after Bxb7 for +0.60 advantage.

Nov-25-15  Olavi: An embarrassing mistake for Karpov to make, reminiscent of Shirov vs Timman, 1996 where black resigned because of 49...Kd6 50.h4 Kxc6 51.f5 and 52.f6, but it's a draw. The thought of a protected passed pawn in a pawn ending is suggestive.
Nov-29-15  Howard: Evans commented on this game in a 1998 issue of Chess Life---I think a reader won the Best Question award in that month's column for inquiring about this game.

I don't recall the exact month in 1998, but I remember this---an 11-year-old kid named Nakamura was on the cover.

Mar-03-16  Howard: Anyone have access to that particular issue, as well as what the question was?
Mar-03-16  DLev: Howard, you are correct about the cover. It was May, 1998. The question, submitted by Charles Hertan, was similar to pikket's July 11 2008 post and gives a diagram after 39. f4 in Karpov's note and a couple lines showing that black draws, with one line reminiscent of Reti's famous study. Evans' answer begins, "Right on all counts."
Mar-04-16  Howard: Yes, I do recall in that issue, someone pointed out that Karpov's note was incorrect.

Incidentally, didn't Hertan also say that that game was judged as one of the best in the Informant? If so, I think that was incorrect---but I'll double-check that volume later today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: It was a beauty prize for Karpov (Queen sacrifice). However Timman had the advantage before <22...Nc6?>. Had he played <22...c6!> he could have won (Timman).
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Looks like a more difficult win than Fischer v. Byrne. the '56 Byrne game involved chasing a King along the back rank. This position has more things going on, more ways for the side with minor pieces to go wrong.
Oct-04-18  Huddsblue: This is a positional masterpiece by Karpov - he made it look easy.
Oct-04-18  bcokugras: What happens if black plays 28.RxR?
Oct-04-18  newzild: <bcokugras: What happens if black plays 28.RxR?>

Good question. At first glance, White has 29. Re8 Qb5 (or 29...Qb4) 30. b8=Q+, but the simple 30...Qxb8 31. Rxb8 Kxb8 is winning for Black.

However, White has the zwischenzug 30. Ra8+, forcing the Black king onto the b-file and blocking the Black queen's defense of b8.

Oct-04-18  Ironmanth: Wow. Intense game!
Oct-04-18  cunctatorg: What can I say?!?

These men glorified chess...

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Everett....So many of these games are salvagable all the way to the end, yet they are often considered inexorable wins.>

One positive aspect of the computer epoch in chess has been to destroy the myth of such inevitabilities, which Nunn once wrote of as being a process in which the victor was very often characterised as playing well, regardless of actualities, whilst the hapless loser could not put a foot right.

Oct-04-18  Howard: Nunn referred to that as "annotation by result".
Oct-04-18  ajile: Pins are just bad which is why the best players try ASAP to remove them or avoid them entirely.
Mar-03-20  areknames: This game won the brilliancy prize. Towards the end of the tournament a "guest of honour", one Gary Kasparov, had been invited to Brussels. He was supposed to present the brilliancy award to Karpov but refused to do so on the grounds that it wouldn't have been well-deserved. For some reason he must not have been too impressed with the game ;)
Feb-06-21  fisayo123: What an amazing creative queen sacrifice (and game) by Karpov. Everyone talks about his positional ability but you can't be chess world #1 for a decade without being multifaceted.

It's just amazing how the pawn on b7 in line with the bishop on the diagonal binds down all of black's play despite material superiority. Timman just couldn't catch a break against him.

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