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Anatoly Karpov vs Veselin Topalov
"Karpov's Immortal" (game of the day Mar-13-2016)
Linares (1994), Linares ESP, rd 4, Feb-27
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A32)  ·  1-0



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Given 75 times; par: 65 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: Well, Rxe6 really does work but I'm not going to spend all night flagellating myself for not having seen the mate in 97 in Karpov's immortal, no less! That's a puzzle?
Jan-28-18  mel gibson: I saw that but only because I knew it was a puzzle.

Stockfish 8 gives only a narrow advantage:


(20. Rxe6 (♖e1xe6 ♖a8-a7 ♕d7-d3 ♘c6-b4 ♖e6xg6+ ♔g8-h7 ♖g6-g4+ ♘b4xd3 ♗g2-e4+ f7-f5 ♗e4xf5+ ♔h7-h8 ♔g1-g2 ♗e7-h4 ♖a1-h1 ♘d3-e1+ ♖h1xe1 ♖c8-c7 ♖g4xh4+ ♖c7-h7 ♖h4xh7+ ♖a7xh7 ♗f5xh7 ♔h8xh7 ♖e1-e5 ♔h7-g6 c4xb5 a6xb5 ♖e5xc5 ♕b8-a8+ f2-f3 b5-b4 ♘c3-e4 ♕a8xa2 f4-f5+ ♔g6-f7 ♖c5-c2 ♕a2-a4 ♖c2-d2 ♕a4-a5 g3-g4 ♕a5-e5 ♖d2-f2) +2.38/32 116)

score for White +2.38 depth 32.

However -
White fails to take full advantage on move 28.

28. Rxd4
(28. Rxd4 (♖d1xd4 ♖d8xd4 ♕e6-f6+ ♔g7-g8 ♕f6xg6+ ♔g8-f8 ♕g6-h6+ ♔f8-g8 ♘e4-f6+ ♔g8-f7 ♘f6-h5 ♕a6xc6 ♕h6xc6 ♖d4-a4 ♕c6-d5+ ♔f7-e7 ♕d5xc5+ ♔e7-e8 a2-a3 ♖a4-a5 ♕c5-c8+ ♔e8-f7 ♕c8-c4+ ♔f7-f8 g3-g4 ♖a7-a8 g4-g5 ♔f8-e7 ♕c4-e4+ ♔e7-d6 ♘h5-f6 ♖a5-a7 ♕e4-e5+ ♔d6-c6 ♕e5-d5+ ♔c6-c7 ♕d5-d7+ ♔c7-b8 ♕d7-d6+ ♔b8-b7 ♘f6-d5 ♖a8-c8 ♕d6-b4+ ♔b7-c6 ♕b4-c4+ ♔c6-b7 ♕c4-b5+ ♔b7-a8 ♘d5-b6+ ♔a8-b8 ♘b6xc8+ ♖a7-b7 ♕b5-e5+ ♖b7-c7 g5-g6 ♔b8-b7 ♘c8-d6+ ♔b7-a6 f4-f5 ♖c7-c1+ ♔g1-g2) +19.14/35 68)

score for White +19.14 depth 35.

When Black resigns at move 40:

40. a4
(a2-a4 ♕f6-e7 ♕a7-b6 ♖d2-d6 ♕b6-b8+ ♖d6-d8 ♕b8-b5 ♖d8-d2 ♕b5-f5+ ♔f8-g8 ♕f5-c8+ ♕e7-d8 ♕c8xd8+ ♖d2xd8 ♗h5-e2 ♖d8-d2 ♗e2-c4+ ♔g8-h7 a4-a5 ♖d2-b2 ♔g2-f3 ♔h7-g7 a5-a6 ♖b2-c2 g3-g4 ♖c2-a2 ♔f3-g2 ♖a2-a5 g4-g5 ♔g7-f8 ♔g2-g3 ♖a5-a1 ♔g3-f3 ♔f8-g7 f4-f5 ♖a1-d1 ♔f3-f4 ♖d1-d7 ♔f4-e4 ♖d7-e7+ ♔e4-f3 ♖e7-d7 ♔f3-f4 ♖d7-d1 ♔f4-f3 ♖d1-a1) +7.52/35 71

score for White +7.52 depth 35

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Perhaps too famous for a puzzle, but still amazing to study. 6/6 for the week. On to Monday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Where's the win after 23...Qd6 ?
Jan-28-18  Honey Blend: <al wazir: Where's the win after 23...Qd6 ?>

23. ... ♕d6 24. ♕xc8 ♖c7 25. ♕g4 ♖xc6 26. cxb5 axb5 27. ♘xb5 puts white three ♙'s ahead with a comfortable looking endgame coming up.

click for larger view

Jan-28-18  newzild: <Honey Blend> Black can play 25. Qxc6 instead of 25. Rxc6, when he retains an equal number of Q-side pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: A bit too famous and recycled.
Jan-28-18  goodevans: After <23...Qd6 24.Qxc8 Rc7 25.Qg4> there's still enough heavy artillery on the board for the precariousness of black's K to continue to be a major factor.

So, for instance, <newzild>'s <25...Qxc6> may temporarily avoid the loss of another pawn but white has at his disposal moves like <Re1> (threatening Re6) and <f5> to which black has no adequate response.

Jan-28-18  jayfreeman: <piltdown man: Poor Topalov, seems like everyone played their "immortals" against him.> Poor or not, but he is a great player! And a World Champion. Once World Champion is ever World Champion! I would easily agree to be this poor:)
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Too famous for a puzzle. I played Rxe6 from memory, not skill.
Jan-28-18  saturn2: <ChessHigherCat Bxc6 seems to win a piece immediately but black has Rc7 > 20 BxNc6 Rc7 21 QxRc7 QxQ 22 BxRa8
and white is fine.
But there is another refutation to 20 BxNc6
Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: saturn2: You mean Ra7? I saw that was probably better than Rc7 when I played through the game line.
Jan-28-18  njchess: I remembered this game. 20. ♖xe6! must have come as a complete shock for Topalov. It feels like a computer move. Despite being down material, White just abuses Black's exposed king, and in the process, cleans out most of his pieces. Great game from Karpov.
Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: <Njchess> I'm sure Topalov wasn't shocked by 20. Rxe6 because superficially it looks like it wins 2 pawns and clears the way for Nd5, with all kinds of threats. If even I considered it in my 5-minute analysis there's no way Topalov missed it, he just underestimated it (as did I).
Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: <Saturn2>: I was just looking at Ra7 on WinBoard and it seems kind of iffy but I'm probably not finding the best moves: 20. Bxc6 Ra7 21. Qd3 Rxc6 22. cxb5 axb5 23. Nxb5 Rb7 24. a4 c4 25. Qc3 Rd7
Jan-28-18  saturn2: <ChessHigherCat> So you make j’adoube Ra7 instead of Rc7 as originally posted by you.
Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: <saturn2: I don't know because the line I found with Ra7 isn't very convincing either (see above). Is there something better?

Anyway, I hope you don't think that I care about my reputation as a superanalyst (je m'en fous comme de l'année quarante). I've never read an entire chess book in my whole life, just a few pages of "Pawn Power", a few chapters of Rhinefeld (spelling?) and a book with the games of the first Fischer-Spassky match. Chess is what I do as a hobby to get away from my serious pursuits. If it became a serious pursuit, I probably wouldn't like it anymore.

Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: < 28...Rxd4 29.Qf6+ apathy fluffon vims to it givehunts 29...Kg8 duck etcs ghosthung vims to it hivegourd 29...Kh7 duck etcs harangue 3 it ok have ogle chords 30.Qxg6+ abouts gufflog vims deos 30...Kf8 31.Qe8+ ludsgate evermores vims its a 31.Qf5+ ludo founts vims visu 4>

Hey Chris, you've invented chess rap!

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: This is Karpov's Immortal? I never saw it before. Not all that immortal if you ask me. As immortal games go, it's not that special. Tal probably played 100 games more immortal than this one.
Jan-28-18  ChessHigherCat: <FSR: This is Karpov's Immortal? I never saw it before. Not all that immortal if you ask me. As immortal games go, it's not that special. Tal probably played 100 games more immortal than this one.>

Nothing escapes your eagle eye. The truth of the matter is that Topalov realized that he had been drugged and just managed to write "Karpov's immoral!" on his score sheet before he nodded off, but the KGB agent assigned to the tournament added the "t" as a cover up.

Jan-28-18  stst: Black K is isolated, while White pieces have intruded. Though a direct BxN will gain some material advantage, after Rc7 (not RxB,) the White Q is uneasy. A R-sac, however would gain a tempo:
20.RxP PxR (else RxN will have huge material advantage) 21.QxP+ Kg7 (give g-P little protection)
22.BxN Rc7
23.Nd5 and Black in a lurch...if the c7R stays, NxR is way up in material, if Rc8, 24.QxB+ and Black wont last long...
Jan-28-18  stst: <'s counter-move looks like Rc7..>

Ra7 may be even stronger refutation.
These (starting with Nd5 etc) don't have the immediate effect of yielding White chances of continued checks (e.g. Rxf6+, Qe6+ etc.)

Jan-28-18  leRevenant: <ChessHigherCat: Nothing escapes your eagle eye. The truth of the matter is that Topalov realized that he had been drugged and just managed to write "Karpov's immoral!" on his score sheet before he nodded off, but the KGB agent assigned to the tournament added the "t" as a cover up.> nice
Jan-28-18  Everett: <However -
White fails to take full advantage on move 28>

I think <31.Qh6+> is the quicker win, not an improvement on 28.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I found Rxe6 which led to an interesting attack. I wasn't sure of the best follow up after Ra7 but Bxc6 looked good and Black has a dynamic positions.

A good game by Karpov. I read Karpov's book 'Chess At the Top' of games played from 1974 and there are some really good games. From the way Karpov communicates and so on I doubt he would claim any 'immortal' game here. He won some very nice games. Often he would use the Keres Attack if it was a final round or critical round...and even as Black in the English he played a beautiful game against Timman. He also beat Tal in a good game, and Korchnoi and others.

His most beautiful games though are somewhat like Fischer's of his more classical style.

No one played like Tal.

I did see, in a book on the Queens Gambit, that he took pains to show a great win by Kasparov against himself, which is one of Kasparov's many immortal games. This shows he is generous and there isn't anything KGB about him.

Kasparov fostered all that nonsense to get himself noticed in the early 80s when he was trying to win the World Champs.

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