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Anatoly Karpov vs Artur Yusupov
Linares (1989), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-23
Dutch Defense: Leningrad. Warsaw Variation (A88)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-24-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: 16 Nb5 looks like it could give Black a few difficulties. I haven't calculated a clear win after

16 Nb5 Qd8
17 Nd6 e4

but I'd certainly be happy to have White's position at that point. I think other lines win a pawn for White straightforwardly, e.g.

16 Nb5 cxb5
17 cb Nc5
18 b4

16 Nb5 cxb5
17 cb (Queen moves)
18 bxa6 e4
19 ab

16 Nb5 Qb8
17 Bxe5

16 Nb5 Qb6
17 Bxe5

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Love this game. Karpov was a fantastic player. One of the greatest ever. He will always be Top 10.

I saw 16. Nb5 in under 5 seconds.

Oct-24-14  abstract: Ruthless kasparov doesnt care about pawn structure
Oct-24-14  morfishine: If the puzzle features Karpov or Nezhmetdinov, I pretty much resign myself to not seeing the solution.

Here, I am ecstatic to have "found" <16.Nb5> & <20.Qd5+>

22.Rc6 sure was sweet


Oct-24-14  cocker: To justify 16 Nb5 you have to see through to 22 Rc6.
Oct-24-14  patzer2: <The exchange offer with 22. Rc6! is also strong as 22...bxc6 23. Qxe6+ Kh8 24. Qxc6 clearly favors White.> In solving today's Friday puzzle, I came up with this same line I found seven years ago.

However, I can't find anything other than a strong advantage for White after 16. Nb5! cxb5 17. cxb5 Nc5 18. Bxe5 Qb6 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Qd5+ Ne6 21. Qxd7 Rad8 22. Rc6! bxc6 23. Qxe6+ .

Is there a forced win here?

Oct-24-14  diagonalley: way, way above my head... i could only manage 16.NxP ... despite realising that it couldn't possibly have been the answer... diagonalley: nul points
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wrong knight sacrifice. I was thinking of 16.Nd5 instead of 16.Nb5.
Oct-24-14  Olavi: It is surprising that Karpov didn't include this game in at least two collections of his games that have been published after 1989.
Oct-24-14  greenfield67: I reckon you need to see 22.Rc6 to claim to have solved this puzzle, because there is no other way to extricate the queen after regaining the piece. Even after that, there are a few niceties that I'm sure Karpov thought through, like how to avoid his b6 rook being picked off by the bishop. Of course, I didn't get nearly that far and would probably have tried 18.b4, but after ...Nfe4 I don't think it looks promising.
Oct-24-14  Olavi: <greenfield67: I reckon you need to see 22.Rc6>

Exactly. That's what makes it so impressive. And if you work through the moves, it had to be seen when playing 16.Nb5, along with some sidelines of course.

Oct-24-14  erniecohen: Way, way too hard for a friday, particularly since there is no clear win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I got the 16.Nb5 simply because it was a set position and I am told to look for something. Not sure if I would have smelt it OTB.

click for larger view

After 16. Nb5 cxb5 17. cxb5 Nc5

click for larger view

I thought the idea was to win back the pinned piece with 18.b4.

As played 18 Bxe5 forces the Queen out of the pin so that line was not giving it's due consideration.

I persisted with 18. b4 and liked some of what I saw so went with that.

"I liked some of what I saw'...."

This is how to play chess lads, only look at the variations you like. Those you don't like hope he does not play them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Subtle stuff. The whole combination nets white two pawns, but one is doubled and isolated.

It is interesting to speculate when the combination finishes. After 16. Nb5 cxb5 17. cxb5 Nc5 18. Bxe5 Qb6, we get to here:

click for larger view

Now the line played by Karpov is 19. Bxf6 and 20. Qd5+ to gang up on the black Nc5. As several of m'learned colleagues have pointed out, you need to see 22. Rc6 before you go down this line.

The alternative is 19. Bd4 which Fritz's says is within a gnat's pube of 19. Bxf6. It scores +0.90 compared to +0.94.

All that work for a lowly 9 tenths of a prawn!

Oct-24-14  patzer2: <ocker: To justify 16 Nb5 you have to see through to 22 Rc6.> Or, like me, realize you were lucky to have 22. Rc6! available after being surprised by 21...Rad8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Open the file- now!
Oct-24-14  Olavi: Yes, it is conceivable that Karpov saw Bd4 when startin the combination, since that is very straightforward, and only upon reaching the position looked further. That would be very natural, he knew he wasn't risking anything.
Oct-24-14  sfm: <patzer2: [ocker: To justify 16 Nb5 you have to see through to 22 Rc6.] Or, like me, realize you were lucky to have 22. Rc6! available after being surprised by 21...Rad8.>

Yeah! Chess is like that.

I recall a comment from Jens Kristiansen to one of his games:

"When we reached this position I suddenly understood the depth and ingenuity of my previous moves!"

Oct-24-14  JTV: Tough puzzle because there are no immediate checkmates and 16. Nb5 gives white a pawn advantage and a fierce Knight pin after 16...cxb5 17. cxb5 Nc5. I gave move 18. Nxe5 but Karpov played Bxe5 attacking black's queen, preparing for Rc6 in the near future. Great puzzle!
Oct-24-14  Shams: Two amusing lines on this thread. Thanks <Sally Simpson> and <sfm> for the laughs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

The rook on c1 x-rays the black queen and the bishop on b2 x-rays the pawn on e5. These details suggests 16.Nb5:

A) 16... cxb5 17.cxb5

A.1) 17... Nc5 18.Bxe5

A.1.a) 19... Nxb3 20.Qe3 with the double threat 21.Bxc7 and 21.Qxb3 seems to win the knight.

A.1.b) 19... Qc8 20.b4 seems to win a pawn at least.

A.1.c) 19... Qb6 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Qd5+ Ne6 23.Qxd7 Rad8 24.Rc6 bxc6 25.Qxe6+ and 26.bxc6 with three pawns for the exchange, unclear.

A.2) 17... Qd8 18.bxa6 Rxa6 19.Bxe5 wins a pawn at least.

B) 16... Qb6 17.Nxe5

B.1) 17... cxb5 18.Nxd7 Nxd7 (18... Rfd8 19.Nxb6 Rxd7 20.Bc3 wins the exchange) 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qxd7+ Rf7 21.Qxb5 wins two pawns.

B.2) 17... Rad8 18.Qd4 Qxd4 19.Nxd4 wins a pawn.

C) 16... Qd8 17.Nxe5 cxb5 18.Bxb7 Ra7 19.Bd5+

C.1) 19... Nxd5 20.Qxd5+ Kh8 21.cxb5 with three pawns for the piece and the initiative, unclear.

C.2) 19... Kh8 20.Nf7+ Rxf7 21.Bxf7 with a rook and two pawns for both knights.

D) 16... Qc8 17.Nd6 followed by Nxe5 wins a pawn at least.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: I started backwards. I saw the c-file white R but I was focusing on trying to snitch the e5 pawn. I saw the Nf3 and potential of Bb2 attacking it and that it was protected by the Queen. That lead me to consider Nb5 to have two attackers to e5. This seemed to be a sac until I saw the pawn exchange that challenges the black Knight and leaves a discovered attack of the black Queen. I thought I was going to pick up a pawn and get my Knight back. I missed 17...Nc5! I never got to 22. Rc6. I was struggling to get a pawn up. Tough position but a good structural situation to remember. I guess this is why we keep replaying the games of those who have this type of vision!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: A bit of that fabled Kasparov tactical elan! Just the thing to buoy my spirits on a rainy afternoon.
Oct-24-14  vajeer: <Once> Thanks for pointing out 19. Bd4. I went with 19.Bd4 instead of 19.Bxf6, but now I can claim to have solved it :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  carpovius: don't play against karpov Dutch:)
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