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Jonathan Speelman vs Anatoly Karpov
Linares (1992), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-27
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: This game is mostly piece play without combinations. Black does an exchange sacrifice on the 18th move to keep the centralized Nd5 out of f6.

After 33.QxQ, Black is up a piece but down a pawn. White's h-pawn is passed, but Black cannot play 40...Nxh5 because of the impending g-pawn fork of the two minor pieces. Each color has an unappealing centralized rook guarding a blocked pawn sideways on the same rank, so their activity is limited. White needs to keep the Re3 to prevent the Black king from entering the center as well as preventing Bd3 and Ng5 w/the threat of a rook battery on the 5th rank winning a minor piece. The Black knight is surprisingly short of good squares. It appears Black would like to play Bb5 to protect the a-pawn and free his rook and king from their respective guard duties, but White keeps central passage bottled up without having much available on the light squares himself. Thus, both sides are reluctant to move from their defensive locations and a draw is agreed despite the slight imbalance of material.

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