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Anatoly Karpov vs Robert Huebner
Leningrad Interzonal (1973), Leningrad URS, rd 2, Jun-04
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-22-05  Helios727: How does black hold the draw here?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: White doesn't seem to be able to avoid perpetual check; for example:

41...Kg7 42.Qxb8 Qd4+ 43.Kf1 Qxa1+ 44.Kf2 Qf6+ 45.Ke3 Qc3+ etc.

Sep-22-05  sarahbumter: would 33.Bxd6 be better?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think the response to 33.Bxd6 might be 33...Bd4; it's that weak back-rank again!
Aug-19-10  david9000: Kotov said of this game - "One of the best games of the tournament was Karpov-Huebner from the second round. Although it was drawn, the presence of fine strategical concepts, clear tactical ideas, blows and counterblows made this game an original model of creative chess. We judges even had a mind to award this game the best game prize."

yes 33.Bxd6 fails to the excellent Bd4!

It seems like 29. Nxb5 is better than Rxb5, since the knight can next go to d6 or even c7 and cause black lots of problems.

Apr-22-15  Howard: Karpov missed a win here, according to the tournament book. But I don't recall where it was.

Perhaps someone could help me out here...why was this game so raved about ? Looks like a rather dry draw to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: Howard, I can understand tat this issue is frustrating for a chess lover who is no fond of draws; so try the following way: begin to make the moves indicated by offramp; they seem to be good and plausible; but then, after his 45...Qc3+, go on; with 46.Kf4 for instance; as long I could see withe the help of the computer, White can finally find a way to win; not sure; but possible; maybe your engine is more performant than mine; si just try; of course, I recognize that it was very difficult if not impossible to find on the chessboard by the players, specially because of the time limite; but for the beauty of chess it's worthy to try; I'm not a "professional draws hater"; so I do not like when some people criticize some nice stalemate savings: they have her own beauty; but find at last a hidden win in an endgame is another affair!...
Dec-01-15  Retireborn: <Howard> I think the tournament book gave 29.Nxb5 as a winning try, but it doesn't seem to win after 29...Qc6, as then 30.Nd6 still fails to 30...Nxe5.

The game was praised because both sides play very logically; White uses his space advantage and initiative to advance his Q-side pawns, and having forced the black pieces into defensive positions on that wing, breaks open with e4-e5; Black keeps the balance with constant attacks on the e-pawn, both on e4 and e5.

When White plays 31.Nd6 he is threatening 32.Qxf7+, 32.b7, and 32.Nb7; Huebner had to see earlier that 31...Nxe5! meets everything (32.Nb7 or b7 Nf3+) as well as 32.Bxe5 Rxd6 33.Bxd6? Bd4!

I'm paraphrasing Heidenfeld's remarks in his book "Draw!"

Dec-04-15  Howard: Yes, I was familiar with that book at one time. Doesn't the author mention a certain center square that was used as a "fulcrum" at one point.

In fact, that's when I first heard of this game.

Dec-04-15  Retireborn: <Howard> Yes, Heidenfeld refers to e5 as the "fulcrum".

He obviously wanted to include a Karpov game and this was probably one of the most evenly fought of Karpov's draws when the book was published in 1982; I expect there have been better ones since then!

Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: I looked once more that game and saw that three years ago, the comment I put for Howard was just nonsense: my variant goes straight in a perpetual check, of course; it seems really that there was no way to win this endgame...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: Maybe 31.Rb1 was worth a try since after 31.Nd6 White has no more than a draw after some forced moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: No idea how 31. Rb1 would play out. Just as an idea how tense the position is, here's one try:

31. Rb1 Bxe5 32. Bxe5 Nxe5 33. b7 Rb8 34. Qc5 Nd3 35. Qc8+ Kg7 looks terrifying for Black.

click for larger view

But White can't play 36. Qxb8 because of 36...Qb6+ 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <OhioChessFan: No idea how 31. Rb1 would play out.> You are right. After 31.Rb1 the e5 pawn is hanging. Black could even play 31...Nxe5.

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