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Etienne Bacrot vs Anatoly Karpov
Cap D'Agde (2013) (rapid), Cap d'Agde FRA, rd 6, Oct-27
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Botvinnik Line (A28)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-27-13  Jigsaw42: He still got it!
Oct-27-13  Ulhumbrus: With the move 14 Rg1 White relinquishes the right to castle in return for the pawn. In the present game the price turns out to be too high. 14 0-0 may be necessary even if Black can discover an attack upon the f4 pawn after ...d5
Oct-27-13  PaulLovric: chessgames.com pun = sitting in the back row
Oct-27-13  Everett: 39..Re1 is a nice shot.

<5.h3> and then only d4, with either an Old Indian or Makagonov KID, or the same alternate 5th move followed by g3 and Bg2 is how I would play this as White.

I can watch Karpov regroup all day. Look at him clean up his king's house from 14-22.

Oct-29-13  DiscoJew: Karpov playing some nice chess still, and on the black side of a K.I.D. !

Oh Anatoly, I thought you'd never come around.

Oct-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <DiscoJew: Karpov playing some nice chess still, and on the black side of a K.I.D...>

King's Indian? Come again?

Oct-29-13  csmath: 7. ...c5?!

is a dubious move. Bacrot has played opening well and has advantage but for some reason he got idea he will be blasting Karpov off the board. This is probably the reason why he forgot to think about the safety of his own king.

20. f5?

[Obviously 20. Kg2 and then Kh1 would provide white with serious attacking advantage.

Why did Bacrot decide to keep king in center?

Because he thought he can blast Karpov off the board with immediate pawn attack. Well, it won't happen.]

22. h4?

[this removes the last shelter where white king can hide. Bacrot is in "crazy attack" mode and it won't work. It was still not too late to think how to tuck king into h1. Even Bacrot's wild attack could have been done better:

22. fxg6 fxg6
23. f5 Ng7
24. fxg6 Rf8
25. Ke1 Rbe8
26. Qh6! hxg6
27. Qxg6

which forces black to exchange queens and leads to ending with white pawn up. Black could hope to survive due to opposite color bishops.]

27. Qh3?

[overestimation of position, intermediate 27. gxh7 is better and leads to queen exchange and a draw.]

30. Rg8?

[This loses since both kings are now open but unlike white knight which is doing nothing black knight is ready to do major damage.]

==============
Karpov's position after 19th move is actually very difficult and it has all the makings of a defeat. He is down a pawn, his castling will get attacked and he really has no any countergame. The only reason why he won this position is because Bacrot discounted the safety of his own king.

Bacrot self-destructs.

Oct-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <csmath: 7. ...c5?!
is a dubious move. Bacrot has played opening well and has advantage but for some reason he got idea he will be blasting Karpov off the board. This is probably the reason why he forgot to think about the safety of his own king.>

Why is 7..c5 dubious ??! lol

Oct-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: This is a nice game by Karpov and I was impressed .
Oct-29-13  csmath: 7. ...c5?!

is indeed dubious move as it creates weakness on d6 and black will not be able to have d5 break here. Karpov is sacrificing pawn in the 8th move because he is aware that he cannot defend d6, thus he is opening b-file in hope to create countergame if white does the long castling. But white will not castle long.

White is significantly better after 19 moves:

1. White controls center which enables him to attack black castling with f5.

2. White has pawn up and black has no countergame if white plays Kg2 as white bishop will protect the white king on h1.

Black could try d5 but that won't deter white from attack:

20. Kg2 d5?!
21. e5 Bg7
22. cxd5 cxd5
23. h4! Nc7
24. h5 Rb4 (with idea Ne6)
25. hxg6 Hxg6
26. Nc5 Qxa2
27. f5 Re8
28. e6 fxe6
29. f6! Bxf6
30. Kf1

with various threats (Rxg6, Qh6, Bh5, Rc1) and black is more or less lost.

It is actually hard to give black a good advice what to play after 20. Kg2.

Why Bacrot kept the king in center is a good question.

Oct-29-13  AlexandraThess: Another superb win by the old master Anatoly! It's a little bit disturbing having to read csmath's incompetent comments about Karpov being lucky and other nonsenses. Anyone who has any idea of chess should be excited by Karpov's superb play!
Oct-29-13  Everett: Oct-29-13
premium
member < perfidious: <DiscoJew: Karpov playing some nice chess still, and on the black side of a K.I.D...> King's Indian? Come again?>

Right? Old Indian, maybe. It's actually just solid chess, not an opening really.

Oct-29-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I'm convinced this Karpov fellow has a future in chess.
Nov-01-13  peristilo: Yes, HeMateMe! This guy seems to be good.
Nov-10-13  SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: Bacrot went fishing with the h-pawn, 26..Nf5 is just awesome exposing a double check no less. Call it 'Karp Fishing'
Feb-24-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Karpov was playing for a Bacrot mate.

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