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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
"Karpov Diem" (game of the day May-23-2013)
Karpov - Kasparov World Championship Match (1984/85), Moscow URS, rd 9, Oct-05
Tarrasch Defense: Classical. Carlsbad Variation (D34)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-14-15  The Kings Domain: WDenayer: Interesting comment. Kasparov and Karpov kept Chess in the limelight after it peaked with Fischer with their personalities and skill. They represented and were responsible for the last great era in Chess. Their rivalry was the greatest of the sport. But I don't get your comment on how you don't get their games, particularly in contrast to Fischer's which you claim is "clear". Kasparov's and Karpov's games are the same as any master where each player jockeys for the best position in order to win. Perhaps what you meant with Fischer's games as being "clear" is that they stood out, particularly in quality where some were brilliant. Kasparov and Karpov were never able to pull off a "Game of the Century", much more when they were Fischer's age when the latter accomplished that feat. Kasparov and Karpov were pretty much representatives of the Botvinnik school: the cold, calculating style of play which Tal rebelled against.
Dec-14-15  Brandon D Davis: The Kings Domain,how can you say that Kasparov or Karpov never pulled off a so- called game of the century and use as a measuring stick between the 3? First of all in regards to the Donald Byrne vs Fischer game that you're talking about, yes it was a brilliant game and impressive for his age but it was one guy (maybe Golembek) that saw the game and dubbed it as such and the term stuck. You take Kasparov's pre Championship career and Kasparov vs Anderson Tilburg 1981 can easily be put on the same level as Fischer's win over Byrne if u ask me,which by Kasparov's own admissions was the best in his career for a long time. And please let's not forget Kasparov's famous "octopus game" in their first match WCC 1984 against Karpov,that's probably one of the most well known game in all of chess...And Karpov at a very early age had the famous attacking game against Gik which have been reprinted in tactical books the world over and is a model game for destroying the Sicilian Dragon as his game against Korchnoi(another game that was talked about the world over!)in their famous 1974 match where he brilliantly destroyed Korchnoi's Dragon and picked up the top brilliancy prize to boot!Karpov in these two games looks like a refined Tal... His games in 1971 against Hort with White and 1974 against Unzicker with white are also sheer Masterpieces. And Fischer for the record didn't turn out brilliancy prizes at every tournament he went too either, as a matter of fact I'm sure Kasparov and especially Alekhine trumps him in that department by a wide margin! I think you're wrong to try and take that one game and make claims about Fischer being the better player. Personally I don't think Fischer wanted any parts of Karpov,he knew what he was up against.He had more than enough chances to defend his title and under very reasonable circumstances and didn't do it. That's his fault.Karpov is a true Champion!
Dec-14-15  WDenayer: What I meant to say is that I did not understand these games. It was only later, when Timman provided long and extremely detailed analyses of the games in Schaakbulletin that I got it: many, many moves that had the sole purpose of creating and then exploiting a slight weakened square – it turned out to be important 25 moves later on. Unbelievable. The chess that these guys played was better, more complex, more sophisticated than anything that had ever been seen before. And this was before computers could do anything.
Nov-29-16  andrea volponi: 66...Ah1!!-Cf5 Rd5-Cg3 Ag2-Ce2 Rc4!-Cf4 Ac6=
May-01-17  ZackyMuhammad: Knight vs Bishop
May-01-17  offramp: A game that proves that the worst bishop is better than the best knight. Black could have drawn this very late in the game.
Jul-23-17  andrea volponi: 55Nh5(!gm marin,ecc...) Bxf3 -Nxf6 Be4 -Kg5 Bd3 -Ng4(!gm marin) Bf1 -Ne5 Bh3 -Kg6! Ke6 -Nc6 Kd6 -Na5 Ke6!!(Ke7 marin,dvoretsky) -Nb7 Ke7 -Nc5 Bc8 -Kg7 Bf5 -Nxa6 Bd3 -Nb8 Be4 -Nc6+ Kd7 -Ne5+Ke7 -Ng4 Ke6 -Ne3 Bd3 -Kh6 Kf6 -Nxd5+ Kf5 -Nc3 Kf6 -a4 bxa4 -Nxa4 draw tablebase .
Mar-03-18  AgentX: After deep analysis, and consulting the Endgame Manual, I think 55.Nh5 wins, following 55...Bxf3 56.Nxf6-Be4+ 57.Kg5-Bd3 and now 58.Ng4!!. The simple idea is to bring the knight over to the queenside (the c5-square), trying to win a6, and when the bishop is stuck defending the pawn from c8, white invades with the king.
Jun-18-18  Omnipotent00001: 70. Nd6 is a mate in 20 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < offramp: A game that proves that the worst bishop is better than the best knight. Black could have drawn this very late in the game.>

OK, so the long-lost <offramp> says Black could have drawn. Based on a line by < andrea volponi>?

I don't know.

I can tell you this - Karpov played an exquisitely subtle and beautiful endgame for a non-silicon engine player. Obviously he studied Fischer's end game play, and may have drawn from it himself in this game, which was played at the highest level of chess - a WCC match.

This endgame is so sophisticated it is difficult for a non-master to really learn a lot from it the first go-round.

Aug-01-19  Chesgambit: 46.gxh4?? Bg6!!
Aug-22-19  Chesgambit: notice Nh5 is draw and opps gxh6?? is bad move not losing move but now white knight is better than bishop
Oct-02-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

47.Ng2!! was a stellar move. It would be interesting to know how long Karpov thought before he found this winning move. I guess that 99% of the chess players would have played the automatic capture 47.gxh4 which only draws. Stockfish 14 finds the move Ng2!! in just 20 seconds or less, but it has the advantage that it calculates millions of variations per second. Karpov couldn't calculate with that depth or with that speed and did not need to do that. He just understood that it was essential for his King to have access to the critical dark squares on the K-side.

Oct-02-21  Gaito: Bobby Fischer's outrageous claim that "All the K-K games had been prearranged and staged" was just one more symptom of his deranged mind. Poor Bobby, he underwent a lot of mental suffering (and maybe also physical suffering) during his last years. But why did Bobby make such a childish and crazy claim? It is possible that he couldn't believe that Karpov and Kasparov were capable of playing such outstanding moves as 47.Ng2!!, or it is just possible that Fischer merely wanted to give himself an excuse for refusing to play the two Ks when the real reason was that he was afraid he would have lost badly against either of the two Ks. I believe that Bobby became frightened when he analyzed Karpov's Candidate match games vs. Spassky and Korchnoi in 1974 as well as Karpov's games at the Nice Olympiad in 1974 (especially Karpov's win against Unzicker). Bobby understood that Karpov was playing on a level well above Spassky, Larsen or Petrosian, and he became terribly frightened by Karpov. A proof of that is the condition of "match being won by him in case of a 9 to 9 result". When Bobby said that, it was because he understood that Karpov was capable of winning not one game or two against him but nine games. The man who had beaten Larsen and Taimanov 6 to 0 was suddenly considering the possibility of losing nine games against the young Russian upstart!
Oct-02-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

Karpov took a difficult decision here. The static central pawn configuration in the center of the board is what makes Black's bishop "bad". By capturing Black's d5 pawn, White allows the bishop to stop being "bad" and start being "good" at the price of a measly pawn. The engine (SF!4) suggests that White play instead 55.Nh5 keeping Black's bishop in the category of "bad bishop". Numerically, the engine's evaluation after 55.Nh5 is +4.05, whereas after 55.Nxd5 the computer's evaluation drops down to +0.00, on account of the bishop being transformed from a "bad" one to a "good" one. So Karpov had to win the ending again. In hindsight maybe Karpov shouldn't have captured Black's d5-pawn so soon. It was an exceedingly difficult ending that had to be played with clockwork precision!

Oct-02-21  Gaito: 56...Kd7 was maybe slightly inaccurate. After 56...Kd6 Black would have saved a tempo, as he had to play ...Kd6 anyway a couple of moves later.
Oct-02-21  Gaito:

click for larger view

This was the critical moment of the ending. Maybe by dint of exhaustion and clock pressure Black finally threw away his last chance to draw, which could have been accomplished by 66...Bh1! Instead he was careless and played 66...Bb7?? a move that turned out to be the losing mistake. It is easy to say that now in hindsight and with the aid of powerful engines and computers. But without engines, is there any chess payer who can say that 66...Bb7 will lose by force?

It is one thing to watch the bullfight in the bleaches eating popcorn and quite another to be down there in front of the beast. (I hate bullfights by the way, and hope they will someday be prohibited)

After 66...Bh1! 67.Nf5 Kd5 68.Nh6 Bg2, etc., White would hardly be able to make progress.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Gaito was a short timer. He certainly tried to contribute quality posts.
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: <ftb>

Gaito was certainly one of the (relatively) new members whose posts I also enjoyed. It's a shame he's gone already but I understand it. There seem to be fewer and fewer new members nowadays thanks to the sites various problems, and the administrators lack of ability and/or care to deal with them. Incidentally this game is probably one of my all-time favorites.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have quite a detailed video annotation of this game here:

Feb-07-23  Temi: After this win by Karpov the score is 4-0 in his favor and won again another game to make it 5-0. I cannot understand why he cannot clinch the win in the last 21 games until it is aborted. If he lack that killer instinct how can he have a chance against the mighty Bobby Fischer?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Some GMs opined that if Karpov had simply played some more aggressive openings, some unbalanced positions, he could have picked up that sixth win, even if it meant perhaps losing two games along the way.

Stubborn pride. Karpov thought Kasparov would keep beating himself. Didn't work out that way.

Feb-07-23  SChesshevsky: <Some GM's opined that if Karpov had simply played some more aggressive openings...>

Kind of agree. Don't think playing anything greatly outside his repertoire is a good idea. But after this 4th win, something with initiative with white would seem logical.

Very surprised that he seemed to lie down quietly v. Kasparovs Sicilian. Karpov did build a reputation as a Sicilian killer earlier in his career. Would figure at least make Kasparov work the defense.

Also kind of surprised, after it appeared he didn't have much against non- Tarrasch QGD, Karpov didn't play more 1. c4 or 1. e4.

Kind of see why Fischer was suspicious. Feels like pretty weak preparation and very poor advice before and during the match. Hard to believe Kasparov would've been taken that lightly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Pfleger wrote of how Karpov could well have forced matters in his favour by opening up when the score was 5-0 and being willing to accept some losses in return for a verdict of 6-2 or 6-3.
Feb-07-23  generror: Of course Karpov would have won this match if he had just played a bit more loosely, not necessarily aggressively, but just create somewhat unbalanced positions, just catch Kasparov a bit off guard, just a bit more experimentally and playfully.

But I actually think that's not what Karpov really wanted. He wasn't a guy who was content to just winning the match -- what he wanted was to completely CRUSH his opponent. Maybe not always, but after having been at 5-0, definitively -- he didn't want Kasparov to win one single game. He would have played on defensively until he had died from exhaustion :)

I know, a lot has been said about "evil" Karpov vs. "good" Kasparov which is a load of nonsense (chess fans seem to like thinking in black and white, right? ;), but this inclination towards not just winning, but annihilating his opponent, can also often be seen in Karpov's playing. He often literally often suffocated his players and made them completely helpless before winning.

That was one of his strengths, but in this match, his strength turned into a weakness, as strengths often do.

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