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Anatoly Karpov vs Artur Yusupov
Candidates Match (1989), London ENG, rd 6, Oct-14
Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense. Main Line (D57)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-05  Poisonpawns: How does Karpov draw this game! or How does Yusupov not win! This is one of the most amazing endgames because Karpov has to play perfect not to lose and he does.All endings draw,unless someone can show a win :-) ex: 43..Rxh2 44.d7 Kxd7 45.f7 A1Q 46.Rxa1 Ke7 47.Ra7+ Kf8 48.Ra3 Kxf7 49.Rxe3 =
Dec-21-06  DytnTD: I wonder if ... Rxh2 might be played a move earlier 42.... Rxh2 instead of 42.... Ke6 and White cannot play d7. Instead we might have 43.f7 Rf2 44.f8/Q Rxf8 45.Rxa2 and the game is still drawn as Black's King is too far away to support e3.

Jan-26-07  ALEXIN: Was for example 41.Rb2 winning for black ? It seems not to be because 42.f6 ! is enough. Seems not easy for black to win. White side has 2 passed pawns too.
Jan-16-10  ToTheDeath: 38...Rxh2 wins easily. Yusupov was exhausted by the tough resistance of Karpov and generally fell apart towards the end of the game during this match.
Nov-08-11  DrMAL: Last game I posted on Alekhine vs Lasker, 1934 was somewhat unusual in that Lasker chose 5...Nbd7 that Capa was known for (e.g., Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927) move order transpostion between Nbd7 and 0-0 is unimportant here. Lasker ws better known to play Ne4. In earliest games, Ne4 was often played before castling on move 5 as in Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 but then convention was to castle first (5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3 Ne4) and in more modern years h6-Bh4 was added as played here, this nuance has implications that I will discuss later on. Lasker's defense has very simple idea of exchanging pieces to alleviate black lack of space. After 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 most natural (main line, most often played) is to further exchange 9.cxd5 Nxc3 10.bxc3 exd5 (opening Bc8) then going 11.Qb3 to attack d5 pawn, with 11...Rd8 played to protect it.

However, position on move 9 is a tabiya, where white has other useful options as well. It was very interesting to me what computer gives as lines here, score is also useful, here is eval.

Houdini_20_x64: 30/72 5:06:22 189,087,810,611
+0.22 9.Rc1 c6 10.Bd3 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4
+0.10 9.cxd5 Nxc3 10.bxc3 exd5 11.Bd3 Bg4 12.h3
+0.04 9.Qd3 Nxc3 10.Qxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b6 12.0-0
+0.04 9.Qc2 Nxc3 10.Qxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b6 12.0-0
+0.04 9.Qc1 Nxc3 10.Qxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b6 12.0-0
+0.04 9.Qb3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nxc3 11.Qxc3 b6 12.0-0
+0.03 9.Rb1 Nxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b6 12.0-0
+0.02 9.Bd3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b6 12.0-0
+0.02 9.Be2 Nxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b6 12.0-0
+0.02 9.h3 Rd8 10.Rc1 c5 11.cxd5 exd5 12.dxc5

In games played at high level, white has mainly used three of these options, 9.cxd5 being traditional main line but not as popular today Opening Explorer. Other moves in computer eval above were used as later moves in conjuntion with main three played first, and important this way.

A) 9.cxd5 Nxc3 10.bxc3 exd5 except 11.Bd3 in computer line is played less often, good example is recent game Topalov vs Anand, 2011 where 11.Bd3 is part of more sophisticated but basic idea is the same, white advantage is via initiative through center. Plan here with 11.Qb3 Rd8 uses 12.c4 dxc4 13.Bxc4 was thought to be quite simple until Yusupov revived Lasker defense in this WC candidates match.

Game here was best result for Yusupov, as computer indicates, first he got equality in opening. But then with 14.Qc3 instead of 14.Be2 and then 14...Bg4 castling 15.0-0 and taking N 15...Bxf3 left white K exposed from recapture 16.gxf3 and game shows how he played rigorously and very accurately to get big advantage. First small error Karpov made was 19.Rfc1 natural looking to put R onopen c-file and attack N (that simply moved), but plan to capitalize on c-file is too slow. Better was to either 19.Qc2 to open diagonal or 19.Ba6 to attack defending R on c8. When 21.Qc2?! was played it was poor, 21.f4 opens B on e2 and prevents R from swinging over to g5 as well (21...c5 22.Qb3) or 21.Qb3 right away simply gets off c-file (22.f4 is best to transpose but 22.Rc2 to double rooks is playable). 21...Qh4! f4 lost pawn with Q dangerously close to white K. But instead of taking pawn Yusupov could have gotten much bigger advantage with 22...c5! forcing 23.Qe4 first (23...Qxf2 or simply double rooks 23...Rcd8). After this was missed, Karpov escaped with a draw.

B) 9.Qc2 Nxc3 10.Qxc3 and black can play 10...dxc4 and 11...b6 as in computer line above or 10...c6 is main alternative (e.g., 11.Rc1 Re8 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Bd3). In round 4 before this game, Karpov chose this option, they played same line as computer with Yusupov equalizing then small advantage later on.

Post is too long, it is divided here.

Nov-08-11  DrMAL: C) 9.Rc1 has become most popular, it is strongest move and was played in game 8 last in match Karpov vs Yusupov, 1989 where Karpov won. Play followed computer line (truncated above) until Yusupov chose 13...e5 (instead of 13...b6). Note b6-Bb7 has inherent problem of weak c-pawn, and 9.Rc1 is dangerous this way. Early idea was to get Rc8 in for support, and another is to simply work around it with 13...e5 to open B on c8 instead. It looks like good idea, but white can get very powerful position for K-side attack as Karpov did in game. Related game with same pawn structure contributing to theory was Gelfand vs Kramnik, 1997 after Yusupov revived, Kramnik did a lot to help understand positions in era where computers had not yet taken over. 13...e5 is still played (e.g., Topalov vs Carlsen, 2009) but black has not fared as well.

C1) Bd3 was/is rarely played by itself on move 9 because of easy equality, one example is Bogoljubov vs Stahlberg, 1935. Instead, it is usually played in conjuction with 9.Rc1 as in game looked at there. A more recent game Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1996 added to theory, here play followed computer line of 9.Rc1 all the way to move 15, here is quick eval.

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Houdini_20_x64: 28/66 46:24 27,882,237,965
+0.19 15.Qc2 Bb7 16.Bh7+ Kh8 17.Be4 Bxe4 18.Qxe4
+0.11 15.Qb1 f5 16.e4 Bb7 17.Bc2 Qf6 18.b4
+0.10 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Bc6 Rd8 17.Re1 Qd6 18.Qa4

Game had good fight on c-file but Kasparov got good counterplay and liquidated position for easy draw.

C2) Be2 is another move not played on move 9 but instead in conjunction with others especially 9.Rc1 probably most notable game was in WC last year Topalov vs Anand, 2010 where Anand finessed advantage and then blunder on move 32 produced interesting win after struggle.

Feb-07-12  Poisonpawns: White has a easy draw after 32..Rxa2 by playing 33.Rb7!

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i.e Ra3 34.Kg2 Rxe3 35.Rxa7 Re6 36.d7+ Kd8 37.Rb7=

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preventing blacks next.

However,Karpov plays a weaker 33.Kg1?
Yusupov plays a5!

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Now the a pawn can decide the game.Note in the previous diagram the a pawn is gone.Position is very dangerous but Karpov continues. On move 38 Black is one move away from victory.

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Yusupov`s choice of a3? leads to a tablebase draw!Of course it is very difficult to know this over the board, especially in this pressure situation. The win is in 38..Rxh2

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Then 39.Ra6 Rf2+ 40.Ke1 Rxf4 protecting everything

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After 38..a3 note that black can no longer check on f2 and pick up the f-pawn without losing the a pawn.So a2 has to be played but now whites f-pawn can run up the board creating the draw scenario.

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After 43..Kxd6?! the draw is plain. What about 43..Rxh2

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Surprisingly this ends up as a tablebase draw after 44.f7 Kxf7 45.d7 a1(Q)46.Rxa1 Ke7 47.d8(Q)Kxd8 48.Ra8+ Ke7

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May-01-17  cunctatorg: The position after Black's 13... Nc6 strongly reminds me of the Chigorin defense... If this is the case, what a transposition!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Clement Fraud: It might just be me, but I honestly believe that Lasker's Defense (of the Q.G.D.) is lost from the outset. If White simply avoids the exchanges, the Black position is cramped and hard to develop. I once tried 8.Bg3 in a match against a player graded higher than myself, and I achieved a winning position: the more I analyze 8.Bg3, the more I see it as winning for White.

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