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Alexander I Zakharov vs Anatoly Karpov
USSR Championship (1976), Moscow URS, rd 11, Dec-13
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Accelerated (E24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-08-17  offramp: Alexander Zakharov played 19. Be3.

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Karpov replied 19...Nxe4! In playing that he must have seen as far as 24...Nd2,

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and probably even as far as 28...Nxc1.

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That position, however, seems more or less level, and a little later Karpov looks to be in trouble:

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With 35...Re8 Karpov offered his a-pawn. Play could have gone 36. Rxa7 Nxf4 37. Ng5 and there would probably be a repetition. Zakharov, possibly in time trouble, may have thought there was more to be had in the position.

Eventually the knights come off and there is a rook ending on the board:

click for larger view don't need to be as strong as Karpov to win that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <offramp> I'm not checking with a computer, but Zakharov doesn't seem to have anything better than 19.Be3 anyway. Since 19...Nxe5 is easy to spot, I would guess that Zakharov also calculated many moves deep.

Certainly 36.Rxa7 was the way to go, pretty much securing a draw against the world champion. Strange that Zakharov thought he had more. In the subsequent moves he helps Karpov improve his king considerably too, so the time trouble guess seems apt.

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