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Anatoly Karpov vs Robert Huebner
Montreal (1979), Montreal CAN, rd 10, Apr-24
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A powerfully played game by Karpov and it is a pity he missed the win with 39.♖g8+ ♔h7 (or 39...♔f6 40.♕f3+ ♔g5 41.h4#) 40.♕e3 ♖d6 41.♖h8+ ♔g7 42.♕xh6+ ♔f6 43.♕h4+ ♔g7 44.♖g8#
May-09-06  AdrianP: Nigel Short, on this game

Jan-15-13  stanleys: I'm sure that Karpov didn't have enough time at this point (39th move). The idea is not so obvious, but he would have find it without problems if the position was reached after the time control
Mar-09-14  Everett: This would be a another well-known Classic had Karpov found 39.Rg8+ and 40.Qe3; a Subtle and beautiful quiet move.
May-10-14  PJs Studio: I actually saw 39.Rg8 and 40.Qe3 right away so I STRONGLY assume he was trying to make the 40th move in haste. Especially Karpov who always was a deliberate (read slow) player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Especially Karpov who always was a deliberate (read slow) player.>

In what way? At this stage of Karpov's career, he was generally well ahead of opponents on the clock.

May-13-14  PJs Studio: I did not know that. Thanks. Later in his career he was always behind Kasparov in their matches & was accused of being especially slow in the opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <PJ> For an example, see the last note in the annotations to Karpov vs Keene, 1977; I remember Keene writing on this in the BCM at the time and being taken aback, though already familiar with Karpov's great speed of play from other annotators' comments.

It was something of a surprise to me, therefore, that Karpov soon began having trouble with the clock, particularly in his matches with Kasparov.

Dec-10-16  paul1959: paul1959: According to the tournament book by Gligoric, Karpov still had 30 minutes at move 39 to Huebner 3. It seems that everyone at the time missed Qe3, giving 40-Rxg6 instead. This should also win but Qe3 is much better of course.
Jul-30-18  Howard: 40.Qe3 was the move I missed!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

This one is an unheard melody. Karpov produces a positional showpiece and just at the moment when you have to crown positional play with tactics he forgets to switch mode and take advantage of the unprotected Black Queen and Rook.

click for larger view

39.Rg8+ Kh7 when White has 40.Qe3 hitting the loose Rook and threatening Rh8+ with mate in a few.

Or the two bob trick 39.Rg8+ Kh7 40.Rxg6 when either 40...Rxg6 or 40...Kxg6 win the unprotected Black Queen with a Bishop check.

When I played over this game from the book of the event I felt kind of depressed that 39.Rg8+ not played. It still rankles me and is up with with with the missed win in Schiffers vs Chigorin, 1897 and Morphy missing the quicker win 22...Rg2 in Paulsen vs Morphy, 1857


Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: This is a nice game by Karpov. However, a positional masterpiece??

White had a slight advantage before Black BLUNDERED at move 38. The correct move is Bd8 keeping the rook from g8. The rook at b6 prevents Rc6.

White has the edge, but nothing near decisive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious: <Especially Karpov who always was a deliberate (read slow) player.>

In what way? At this stage of Karpov's career, he was generally well ahead of opponents on the clock.>

That's my recollection too. Karpov was virtually never in time trouble during his world championship reign.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

NM JRousselle,

That is what positional play is all about. Pushing, probing, improving, tacking...knowing what bits what to swap (note the difference between the two Bishops.)

click for larger view

The defending player has tp tread carefully and often as not a blunder is squeezed out of them. Karpov, then at his peak (in the next round Karpov pulled a brilliancy out of the bag v Timman - Timman vs Karpov, 1979) but here Karpov let the chance pass by. (also see my post there Timman vs Karpov, 1979 (kibitz #79))

in '79 I was starting to get good and this game was one I poured over in the Montreal book. It made an impression on me, one of those up the ladder a wee bit games.

Karpov was doing all things I could not,yet at the very moment it mattered. He missed doing something I was doing day after day...spotting a two move trick.

At the time I was toiling a wee bit against the good guys unless it got into a tactical melee. Something stuck.

I think we all have wee 'light bulb - ding!' games rolling around in our memory. You will have yours, this was one of mine.

Another one of mine is: J M Craddock vs J Mieses, 1939 where I decided (late 60's) I wanted to set traps like that.

Sadly I never quite outgrew my first love. I tried to set up the positions and play like Karpov did but sooner or later a tactical idea would pop up and off we would go on a last to blunder bender.


Jan-08-20  W Westerlund: The article in The Guardian, link given above, incorrectly names Short as Dr Short.

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