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Peter Svidler vs Anatoly Karpov
Donostia Chess Festival (2009), Donostia ESP, rd 5, Jul-12
Russian Game: Modern Attack. Center Variation (C43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-12-09  chaarl: Nice rook offer to finish.
Jul-12-09  DCP23: Unfortunately for Karpov, he is unaware of the modern theory on the Petroff.

Svidler does not often play vs the Petroff but this is the man who defeated Kramnik and Gelfand, among others, in this opening. Small wonder he opens up Karpov's position like a tin can here.

Jul-15-09  kingfu: Karpov got wiped out twice with the Petroff! He knows the Ruy Lopez. Why not that defense? The Petroff seems kind of shaky now. Antway, Karpov's play is horrible.
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  Benzol: It would have been hard to imagine Karpov being beaten like this twenty years ago.

Karpov may not aware of the latest theory but he wrote a series of books on the openings in action from the mid to late 80's so he must have more than a passing idea about the "Russian Game". I think the main problem is that he usually had the White pieces and was facing the defence not playing it.

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1974 is one example.

Others I can think of were twice in 1982 vesus Portisch and game 41 of his first match against Kasparov. This last nearly saw him go 6 - 1 up and retaining the World Title. Chess history would have been very different if he'd won instead of drawing that particular game.

Jul-25-09  M.D. Wilson: Some people loving winning games of chess. Some people just love chess, despite the result. Karpov isn't the player he used to be, but he stopped seriouly preparing for tournaments years ago. I'm sure he could still win a game or two against top opposition if in the 'mood for a win' or if he wanted to expend the energy. His opponents would still be nervous facing him. I doubt he devotes much time to the game. For a man of Karpov's enterprise, there's more important things in life than pushing around pieces of wood.

I look forward to his upcoming games with Kasparov, a man he knows very well indeed.

Aug-04-09  The Rocket: 10 nd8? is the start of many very poor moves from karpov in this game
Aug-08-09  M.D. Wilson: Don't hold it against him.
Oct-02-09  tranquil simplicity: Actually i'm not entirely convinced by the argument that Karpov stopped preparing for games long ago and thus his loss in the game in question. First of all, even in his heyday Karpov was well known for his DRAWISH repertoire as BLACK! It seems Karpov was happy to draw as Black...he never really went out from the outset for a win. The Petroff is another of those well known drawish openings this game Super GM Svidler plays aggressively and opens up Karpov like 'a can of tuna'! This is the reason why i have never really warmed up to Karpov's cautious style! Having said that, I want to acknowledge that Karpov will remain one of the strongest Super GM's of all time in his characteristic QUIET POSITIONAL PROPHYLACTIC STYLE!!
Oct-28-09  M.D. Wilson: To say Karpov only played in a 'quiet positional prophylactic style' is short changing him. There are a multitude of games where he beats his opponents in almost every way imaginable. His style was really 'universal'. He himself said: 'Style? I have no style'. I think that's about right. Every WC since Spassky has been a 'universal' player. Karpov favoured efficiency and safety above all else, but it didn't mean he lacked tactical vision; this is probably key to his tournament record, the greatest of all time.
Oct-28-09  JuliusCaesar: 10...Nd8 is typical of Karpov's style. He protects b7 and overprotects e6. And yet Svidler plays e6 anyway, vacating the square e5 for his knight. Karpov simply couldn't re-adjust after that. Back in Karpov's heyday, only two players would've had the temerity to sacrifice a pawn in that manner - Kasparov and Tal. In those days it was seen as dashing and creative; today it's the way the game is played. Modern chess is sharp, dynamic and highly theoretical...not exactly Karpov's cup of tea.
Oct-28-09  AnalyzeThis: I think 10...Nd8 was fine. However, ...h5 was a shocking move from Karpov. I can't imagine him playing like this when he was in his prime.
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