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Jan Timman vs Anatoly Karpov
Karpov - Timman FIDE World Championship Match (1993), Zwolle NED, rd 5, Sep-12
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-13-09  achieve: Chess; 3rd Draw in FIDE Match
Article from:The Washington Post Article date:September 13, 1993 Author: Joseph McLellan


Grandmaster Jan Timman and former world champion Anatoly Karpov drew the fifth game of their match for the FIDE (International Chess Federation) world championship yesterday in Arnhem, Netherlands. It was the third consecutive draw between the two players, but hard- fought and exciting.

For much of the game, there was an interesting dynamic imbalance on the board, with Karpov playing two bishops, a knight and scattered kingside pawns against Timman's two rooks and well-organized kingside pawns. Timman had a powerful attack, but Karpov - one of the game's great masters in the art of not losing - played a spectacular defense and saved a half-point. The match is tied at 2 1/2-2 1/2, with victory going to the first player who scores 12 1/2 points.

Timman, playing white, opened with his c-pawn, steering the game away from the minefields of the Caro-Kann Defense, which Karpov has played in two previous games. The game developed into one of the least-analyzed lines of the English Opening, and Timman built up a substantial advantage in his first two dozen moves before beginning to falter with 30. Rc4, followed by a tactical shot on the g-file that eventually left his rook in a cage of pawns - mostly his own. He might have been better advised to delay his shot for a while and continue consolidating. 30. d4 would have been a better move, and after Karpov's reply (probably 30. ... Bd6), white's control of the board could be increased by 31. Bd3.

Karpov's defense was masterful. First, his odd-looking move 29. ... Rb7 avoided a trap. 29. ... Bxc6; 30. Rxc6 would have given Timman a winning position. Then, Karpov found the only answer to the rook attack on the g-file. If, instead of 31. ... Ng5, he had played 31. ... Kh8, Timman would have won with 32. Nxf6, simultaneously threatening 33. Rg8, mate and 33. Nxe8. After Timman returned the exchange (rook for knight) with 46. Rfxc4, at the same time eliminating a dangerous black passed pawn, the draw became almost inevitable. The alternative 46. Rd4 would have been risky, allowing Karpov a discovered check, 46. ... f4, dis. ch.

Timman's decision to accept a draw was clearly signaled in moves 52-55 by his repetition of the same positions with the rook shuttling between f4 and a4. It was a prudent choice; a draw after building up such an advantage was a disappointment, but a loss would have been devastating.

Karpov and Timman play Game 6 of their match on Tuesday in Arnhem. On the same day in London, Gary Kasparov and Nigel Short will play the fourth game of their rival match.

Analysis for this story was provided by a panel of masters at the U.S. Chess Center, including Eugene Meyer.


Apr-10-11  bronkenstein: I wish we had more helpful commentators like you on these pages :)
Feb-14-14  offramp: Game 5, played at Arnhem. In the preceding 4 games both players had won a game and two games had been drawn. It is worth remembering that on their long long rivalry extending over about 100 games <Anatoly Karpov beat Jan Timman 31 to 8, with 61 draws.> So Timman is only winning about 8% of the games between them; it's pretty low.

But had Timman won this game he would have gone 3-2 up against his long-term foe, despite the 140-point gap in their ratings.

Oddly, the queens are the first pieces to be exchanged. After 17...Ne6 -

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- Timman says, <White's minor pieces are marginally more active. I now launched a sharp attack.>

He plays 18.Ne7+! Kh7 19.c5! <A temporary pawn sac to break open the position.>

After 22.Bxe5 white is obviously doing well:

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Karpov realises he is in some trouble; he plays 22...Nf6. Timman says he now should have played <23.Bxf6! gxf6 24.h4!> followed by Nf5. But he plays 23.Bf5.

White still has a big initiative. He attacks on the queenside. 29.Nc6.

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Karpov plays 29...Rb7. A bit of a surprise as the rook looks stalemated.

Timman plays 30.Rc4, attacking the bishop on a4. It also shows that he is attacking on both wings. Very hard to defend against!


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Black replied 31...Ng5! This threatens 32...Bxc6. Perhaps Timman should now have played 32.Nd4; but he saw what looked like a colossal move and he played it: 32.Bd7 - attacking the rook on e8.

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Feb-14-14  offramp: After 32.Bd7 Timman says that <Karpov had less than a minute left.> karpov played a great defensive move: 32....Re6! He had spotted that after 33.Bxe6 Bxc6

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- white's Nc6 and Be6 are both under attack.

After 35.Nxe6+ ...

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The black king has only one safe square!

White plays 36.Nd8

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This looks like it must win material - but black just about gets away with it.

After 37...Bxb7 it now looks as if the simple 38.h4 picks up - at last! - that pinned knight on g5. But black just about escapes.


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Timman <We have made the time control. Black, with his three strong pieces, has nothing to fear.>

Timman must have been very disappointed. Karpov had had a bad position but he never gave up and found <only move> after <only move> even in serious time trouble.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <offramp> I was just going to type in Timman's notes on this game from the latest NIC (2014 #1), but I see you beat me to it. Thank you for saving me the effort.

Helpful notes by Timman. Reminds us just how dangerous an attacker Timman was, and how tenacious of a defender Karpov was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: And as what happens so often, Karpov won the very next game: Karpov vs Timman, 1993

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