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Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
Kasparov - Karpov World Championship Match (1987), Seville ESP, rd 11, Nov-09
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Seville Variation (D87)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-30-09  Knight13: <Brown: More evidence that Kasparov's "superiority" was more statistical than real.> And yet here you are criticizing Kasparov's "superiority." Who are you to judge?

Oh I'm sorry I didn't know your rating was 2900.

Jul-05-09  returnoftheking: knight-I don't think otb rating is a measure of logical reasoning or even judgement of chess.
Jul-05-09  M.D. Wilson: Karpov and Kasparov stood head and shoulders above the rest of the chess world for years. No one could touch them. Thanks to all the chess lessons Karpov gave him (especially the 40 free ones in '85), Kasparov perhaps became the strongest chess player in the history of the game. Iron sharpens iron. Karpov benefitted too, of course, and obviously stakes a claim for second spot in the eyes of any objective observer. Their achievements speak for themselves. They were active champions and were stimulated by competition.
Jul-05-09  returnoftheking: Pitty Kasparov ducked f.e. Shirov and Karpov for some time;)
Aug-05-09  Brown: <Knight13> Can one criticize "superiority?" I disagree with those who believe Kasparov was significantly better. That's all.
Sep-28-09  hedgeh0g: <Brown> While their head-to-head record suggests Karpov and Kasparov were very close in strength, it should also be noted that their styles were very different. Kasparov himself has said Karpov's slow, positional approach was difficult for him to deal with (at least in their first match), as Kasparov favoured tactics and complications. I think comparing the two players' results against their contemporaries at the time as well as head-to-head will yield a more accurate answer regarding the strength disparity between these two titans.
Jan-22-12  King.Arthur.Brazil: 45. Ng4 seems a waste of time, since the capture Bxe5, Nc4, Nxc4, bxc4+, Kxc4 Rxg2 gives a extra tempo for white K. Then, I guess that more than once, Karpov failled on endgame position. Is typical of him in these matches, after catching some advantage, he begins to play bad and lose...
Jun-15-12  LoveThatJoker: GG


Jun-15-12  waustad: We actually have 200 games between these two. That is astounding.
Dec-22-12  whiteshark: In his book "Siegen mit Grünfeld-Indisch" Karpov gave <33.Rf2?> and called it the critical moment of the game <and> of the whole match!

He then wrote that after <32. Ke2> black would have been unlikely to save the game.

click for larger view

On <35. Rc6??> he wrote that after <35.Bf2> he still would have had the better chances and that he simply blundered, missing the Na5 jump which cost the exchange.

Jun-25-13  csmath: That is a general agreement between Karpov and Kasparov (and others analizing the game) but that error is not so obvious.

It is amazing that after getting the biggest advantage of all Sevilla variations (5, 7, 9, and 11 rounds)Karpov loses exactly that one.

Having outplayed Kasparov in this opening he gets nothing but 2-2 in those games.

In many ways this match is a tragedy for Karpov, so close and yet not there. This is also not only theoretically important match but one of the best matches for WC in the history.

Jun-25-13  csmath: <@notyetagm: In <More Simple Chess> on page 77, GM Johm Emms writes "35 c5-f2 keeps a clear edge in this endgame." ... Anyone have a <RYBKA> eval for the suggested improvement 35 c5-f2 ? Thanks>

No but Houdini will do. :-)

35. Bf2! Rf8 (hard to see anything else)
36. Bxb6 Nxb6
37. Rxf8 Kxf8
38. Na4 Nf1

Houdini says +0.42 but my hunch is that might be just a very dynamic draw.

Apr-30-14  Brown: <Whiteshark> thanks for the info, though the diagram is not correct. If Karpov played 32.Ke2, then the Bishop should still be on f2, not c5.
Mar-20-15  carpovius: Bravo <Brown>! Kasparov may and must be criticized. He is not the Krist)
Apr-10-15  thegoodanarchist: <csmath: ...

In many ways this match is a tragedy for Karpov, so close and yet not there...>

OK however he has no one to blame but himself! Leading the match after the 23rd!!! game and all he needs is a draw to regain the title? Yet he loses. OK, fine, whatever, I am glad Kasparov won the match, but I feel no pity nor sympathy for the fellow who could have won and did not.

So there, I said it!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I am sure Kasparov deserved to win. He often outplayed Karpov, particularly in the Spanish, but he was also very strong in the Nimzo-Indian:

6-0 with 5 draws.

Apr-10-15  MagnusVerMagnus: Opinions are like @ssholes has them...the results say Kasparov kicked his @ss, and this being down 5-0 in first to 6 match to start..IRMC
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: Kasparov was better than Karpov by more than negligibly. Period. He was better against Karpov himself, and against their fellow Grandmasters. Case closed.
Jan-06-16  ToTheDeath: Kasparov...developed the intimidating stare into something approaching an art form. His technique differs from that of his Soviet predecessors. While Tal specialized in straightforward aggression, and Karpov in "look no hands" brain-scans, Kasparov's gaze is designed to humiliate.

The best example, or rather the worst, that I actually witnessed was during the eleventh game of his 1987 world championship match against old snake-eyes himself, Anatoly Karpov. Karpov fell for a sinister little one-move trap which allowed Kasparov to turn a terrible position into a winning one. When Karpov fell into it, Kasparov could have flashed out his prepared winning reply. But he did not. Instead he gazed across the board with undisguised contempt.

At that moment Karpov must have realized what he had done: his right hand, which was writing down his own last move, suddenly froze in mid-hieroglyphic. Kasparov, savouring the moment, slowly lifted his own right hand from the table, and with a sweeping gesture, like a matador putting on a cape, played the killing reply. He then sat and stared at Karpov, while clapping his now free right hand over his mouth, as if to stifle a giggle.

-Dominic Lawson, The Inner Game

Aug-23-17  Everett: Funny, how "tough" Kasparov is against chess-players, yet not so much elsewhere. Perhaps he was stifling a giggle after receiving a gift in a lousy position, a boyish (or girlish) response to shadenfruede. He often comes off as the bully, yet maybe because he was always a bit of a mama's boy for most of his life. This could explain his infantile tantrums over the years.
Aug-23-17  izimbra: The error <35. Rc6>, losing the exchange is surprising in a WC match. Two alternatives, <35.Bf2> and <35.Bb4> leave White with good winning chances. The second one is hard for a human to see because Ne3+ leads to the loss of the g2 pawn with tempo. However, Stockfish confidently sees that Bc3 sets up an attack on e5 that is eventually decisive, while Nxh4 fails to tactics.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A game played 30 years ago today.

Karpov played that tedious Bxf7+ variation of the Grunfeld that he tried throughout the match. I don't know why Kasparov persevered with it, it was SO boring. Not Kasparov's style at all. TBH Karpov didn't score very well with his little pet line, and he only got it right after the match, in the game Karpov vs Kasparov, 1988.

White, as usual, won a pawn but it is a doubled g-pawn. There is a load of manoeuvring around. Eventually this position turns up:

click for larger view

Karpov is still a pawn up. He also has a protected passed pawn on d5. He has a slight weakness in the a-pawn, but he might be able to get rid of that with ♙a2-a4 at some point.

The best plan seems to be Ke2, folowed by Ng3-f1-h2-g4.

click for larger view

The trouble is, Black has lots of moves to play as well, and in fact he is not really badly off at move 32.

To improve his position, Karpov had the idea to get his rook to a more active position first, to cut down Black's chances while he tried to move his knight round to g4.

So Karpov played 33. Rf2+ and Kasparov played 33...Kg7.

click for larger view

It is worth remembering that Kasparov played 28...Kg8-f7, followed quickly by 31...Kf7-e7, 32...Ke7-f7 and now 33...Kf7-g7. It looks as if White has won a load of tempos but tempi are not important in this position.
Black's dilly-dallying makes Karpov think he is doing really well, when in fact the position is still a level.

Soon afterwards, Karpov played his 35...Rc6 error and lost the exchange. He must have been very deflated.

Jul-10-18  Howard: Does anyone know if the 12.Bxf7+ line
is still in fashion?

Game 5 of the match was probably the first well-known case of this having been played. K and K played this line about 3-4 times during the match, as well.

What's the status on it now ?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This whole deathly-dull line was played up to move 20 in Le Quang Liem vs Sutovsky, 2012. That was six years ago. The line is one of the least popular Grunfeld variations.
Feb-06-21  fisayo123: You could tell Karpov was slowly exiting his peak. There's no way a young Karpov would have mised a 2-3 move tactical motiff which he was rightly famed for being arguably the best ever in. Especially as this was still early in the match so fatigue was not as excuse

And of course, Kasparov gives him no chances after that.

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