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Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov
"Crisis in Seville" (game of the day Nov-07-2008)
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1987), Seville ESP, rd 24, Dec-18
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A13)  ·  1-0



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Given 22 times; par: 113 [what's this?]

Annotations by Garry Kasparov.      [1 more game annotated by Kasparov]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-06-12  Conrad93: Conrad93: Karpov is forced to the defense of both his pawn and knight, while the white queen and bishop are free to roam all over the board with numerous threats. Karpov would have no choice but eventually lose as he has no way to defend all of his pieces at once.

It would just be slow torture for Karpov, and I'm sure he was already exhausted by this point.

Aug-09-13  landogriffin: @Akshay999: Bd1-f3-e4-xg6
Mar-17-15  offramp: I could never bear to play through this game more than once. I was rooting for Karpov, and I had predicted to Martin Barkwill that Karpov would win game 23 and then win the title back. KARPOV was do close to proving me right.
Sep-03-15  RookFile: If Karpov could have been prepared to play 1....e5 instead of 1...e6, I think he may have at least drawn this game.
Sep-03-15  Howard: So, where was the point of no return in this very crucial game? In other words, at one point did Karpov throw away the draw for good ?
Sep-03-15  Jim Bartle: <If Karpov could have been prepared to play 1....e5 instead of 1...e6, I think he may have at least drawn this game.>

He had already played it five times in 11 games (2 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw) in this match, so I suspect he was "prepared."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <Sep-03-15 Howard: So, where was the point of no return in this very crucial game? In other words, at one point did Karpov throw away the draw for good ?>

Karpov missed an equalizing improvement before the time control (see previous posts) and then it seems 42..g6 is roundly condemned by most. Perhaps trying to defend Black without the g6-h5 pawn formation is a good place for investigation.

Sep-03-15  RookFile: Sure Jim. I remember some of those games. Evidently Karpov wasn't mentally prepared. Somehow Kasparov knew going into this game it was going to be a long siege, and Karpov was coorperative. As it was, Karpov almost did what he needed to do.
Sep-03-15  Jim Bartle: Maybe Karpov thought it would be easier to draw playing the Queens Gambit than the English. But Kasparov played into the Reti.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <Sep-03-15 RookFile: Sure Jim. I remember some of those games. <Evidently Karpov wasn't mentally prepared.> Somehow Kasparov knew going into this game it was going to be a long siege, and Karpov was coorperative. As it was, Karpov almost did what he needed to do.>

Interesting that you think Karpov's choice of opening came from such a negative place when you have the option many explanations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Kasparov's task in this most crucial game was not at all simple, his redoubtable challenger having held the balance against both 1.e4 and 1.d4.
Dec-14-16  RookFile: I'm starting to do a study of the English in some depth. It seems to me that the 1. c4 c5 systems give black good play and are tough to beat. I guess Karpov hoped it would be a Queen's Gambit.
Jan-04-17  Goldesel: Did Kasparow have engine access back in 1987 for the adjourned game? The position was not too tricky for the computers back in the days??
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Garry defeated Deep Thought 2-0 in 1989, so it is doubtful a 1987 engine could be used for anything more than a blunder check.
Jul-24-18  Howard: So, exactly where was the point of no return--that is, where did Karpov throw out the draw for good ?

45...h5 seems to be universally labeled as a mistake. But, did Karpov still have a draw before playing that?

Nov-09-18  ajile: <Kasparov: It was without question the loudest and longest standing ovation I had ever received outside my native country. The theater thundered as Spanish television cut from futbol to broadcast the conclusion of the match.>

I just received "thunderous applause" from my family after I read this and didn't roll my eyes in disgust.

Jan-06-19  m.okun: 33. ... Ne7? To draw led 33. ... Nc5!
Aug-29-19  nelech: I am frustrated that no extensive analysis of this truly historic endgame has been published. Kasparov just wrote that for him the chances of a win and a draw seemed ruoghly equal and that Karpov assessed his chances more pessimistically, 30% for a draw against 70% for a win.
Jul-17-20  Helios727: Oddly enough when I plugged the final position into Stockfish and had it play itself at minimum 24-ply, the two sides just kept dancing around even though it soon gave White a position of better than +8. I had to force it to have the Bishop take the g6-pawn in order for a win to result. Stockfish did not even have that move in its top 4 choices.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: A marvelous piece of chess history, this game. The New York Times had all of the games and adjourned positions.

I was wondering what the final line was. From Seirawan's notes:

<64.Kg2 1-0 It is impossible to prevent Bf3-e4xg6. >

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <A marvelous piece of chess history, this game. The New York Times had all of the games and adjourned positions.>

And dramatic also, because people could analyze the adjourned position for a day (I assume it was one day). Without computers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: i don't understand the pun, though. Surely it's about more than a crisis for Anatoly Karpov...?
Feb-20-21  Z 000000001: In his New Yorker 2018 video ("Four Most Memorable Games"), Kasparov talks about the game from the point of adjournment, labeling Karpov's 45...h5 as the decisive mistake:

(Black to move 45...h5)

click for larger view

It's interesting, if only because his 2007 annotations omit any comment at all.

From the New Yorker transcript:

<I have to say that was my coach, we were analyzing this, but we couldn't find
any decisive ideas, and then I saw Karpov entering the stage.

That was the crucial moment because I could look at his eyes, I could look at his body, and he looked doomed. I could immediately understand that he didn't believe he could defend his position.

And that's everything, it's about your confidence that you can either win or defend, and that will make all the difference for the outcome of the game.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Anand:

<The World Championship match between Kasparov and Karpov in Seville in 1987 offered me a profound lesson in objectivity. Here was the world’s greatest player, Kasparov, trailing 11–12 in the match, but instead of striking his head against the washboard over his predicament, he spent the entire night playing cards. He had realized that he wasn’t going to come up with answers overnight. Giving yourself time to recover emotionally is worth a lot more than the flash of a great idea. You may have the best preparation in place but if you’re emotionally distraught it’s unlikely you’ll be able to summon up the means or the will to execute any of it. On match day, Kasparov woke up in the afternoon, had a late, lazy lunch and headed to the tournament hall telling himself he was just going to keep it going, maintain enough pieces on the board and play decent chess.>

Dec-11-21  Oldisgold: This, I consider as the greatest positional game played by the greatest player of the world..
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