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Boris Gelfand vs Anatoly Karpov
Vienna Millenium (1996), Vienna AUT, rd 3, Aug-11
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Catalan Defense (A14)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  GlassCow: It's a rare day when Karpov is outplayed positionally, and even rarer when he is outplayed in the endgame. Gelfand manages both here.
Jun-13-12  LoveThatJoker: GG


Feb-05-20  Howard: If I'm not mistaken, this game didn't make the Informant---rather surprising, in my view.
Feb-05-20  Retireborn: <Howard> You're mistaken :) It's 67/607 with notes by Gelfand, who gives 28.Ra1 a !!
Feb-07-20  Howard: Must have missed that, Retireborn. Thanks very much ! Lemme check that volume again.
Feb-08-20  Howard: Just looked at Volume 67 last night---you're right, Retireborn. What threw me off was the crosstable in that volume was given as Wien, 1996---when I'd thought it would say "Venice". Same city it turns out.

Some book (I think it was Karpov's Strategic Wins Volume 1) referred to this game of Gelfand's as a "positional masterpiece".

Dec-02-22  Atking: Reminds me Akiba Rubinstein at his best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Truly impressive game by Gelfand, in the style of his great opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Howard: Just looked at Volume 67 last night---you're right, Retireborn. What threw me off was the crosstable in that volume was given as Wien, 1996---when I'd thought it would say "Venice". Same city it turns out.>

Too late for Howard, but Wien is Vienna.

click for larger view

After 31.Rdb1, Karpov avoided this patzer's pawn-wrecking preference, 31....Rxb1 and 32....Nxd4. Rightly, it seems, since after 33.exd4 Nh5 34.Nb4 Gelfand will win Black's a-pawn in exchange for his own much less valuable f4 pawn. If 34....Bb5? 35.Bxb5 axb5 36.a6 wins right away.

Dec-03-22  SChesshevsky: <...Truly impressive game by Gelfand...>

Yes. Incredibly patient. Maybe a bit surprising for him. But think Karpov inaccurate early and ends up seriously passive. Maybe giving Gelfand lots of confidence.

Some possible reasons for the confidence:

Generality that the better white g2B, the better chance white to be better in these Catalan like positions seems appropriate.

Black very passive. Doesn't seem to get beyond fourth rank until very late. And Karpov shows his tendency to drop pieces back to the first rank. A tendency with maybe mixed results at best.

Blacks little midgame rook dance on the second rank hints he really doesn't have anything.

Think Karpov shows his stuff however. Making a decent attempt to wiggle out at the end.

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