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Anatoly Karpov vs Vladimir Kramnik
Melody Amber Rapid 3rd (1994) (rapid), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 8, Apr-??
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran. Reynolds' Variation (D48)  ·  0-1



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Given 27 times; par: 47 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-18-05  ThomYorke: Really beautiful game, but it´s hard to understand everything...high level.
Oct-19-05  KingG: Interesting sacrifice by Kramnik, but i'm not sure it's completely correct. In any case Karpov was winning until he blundered with 38.Bc2??. But of course this is a blindfold game so you can't be too harsh. Karpov had to find the winning move 38.Bxf3 Rxf3 39.Ne4! winning.
Jul-12-08  Landman: This one was rapid. The blindfold game they played at the 1994 Melody Amber is Kramnik vs Karpov, 1994
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <KingG: Interesting sacrifice by Kramnik, but i'm not sure it's completely correct. In any case Karpov was winning until he blundered with 38.Bc2??. But of course this is a blindfold game [Note: -- Actually, it was a <rapid> game – <with> sight of board – as pointed out by <Landman> on Jul-12-08.] so you can't be too harsh. Karpov had to find the winning move 38.Bxf3 Rxf3 39.Ne4! winning.>

It seems fair to say the sacrifice (<16. … hxg5>) is dangerous, if not entirely correct. Nevertheless, I believe it has disappeared from GM practice.

Karpov may have been extremely short of time, but the winning line (as noted by <KingG>) is very logical (eliminate Black’s LSB with <38. Bxf3> and then defend the f2-square, with tempo, by <39. Ne4>). Karpov had played very well through move 37 in navigating the shoals of Kramnik’s dangerous attack, even though he was facing a novelty. [Certainly the position after <16. … hxg5> was new, and even <13. … Be7!?> may have been a new move.] Thus, it is a bit surprising that ultimately Karpov faltered so badly.

According to Fritz, BTW, <38. Bxf3> and <39. Ne4> were both “only” winning moves. (At move 38, Queen to f6 or d8 would have been equal, but every other move was losing.) Sometimes, however, “only” moves are not very difficult to find, especially for a player of Karpov’s class.

Feb-22-12  Everett: I love to see the 25.Rd2 - 26.Rxd6 stutter-step. There is no loss of time, as Kramnik also spent a tempi moving the piece he needed to recapture anyway, and White sacs back the exchange to gain the two bishops, rest control of the dark squares, and squash Black's attacking potential.

If Kramnik hadn't tried to load up on the b8-h2 diagonal, it is likely Karpov's mini rook-lift would have allowed him more options. Flexibility and potential...

Karpov's chess sense is such a pleasure to watch in action. A shame he didn't see 38.Bxf3, but it was beautiful chess up to that point anyway.

Feb-22-12  Everett: BTW, is there a chess book in the works regarding the Amber/Monaco tournaments? To me, this two-decade stretch of blind/rapid was a bright spot in the history of chess, and a book would be welcome...

As well as an updated book on the 88-89 World Cup, another high point...

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