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The Day I Met Anatoly Karpov. Part 2.

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You can study Karpov’s games annotated by himself and you will find a lot of clues or a lot of hints, but not a clear theoretical explanation.   Nevertheless, some months ago I found a book written by Matzukievich ,co-authored and so endorsed, by Karpov himself. The book (in German: “Stellungsbeurtteilung und Plan” :more or less “How to Assess Positions and Devise Plans” offers a clear explanation of Karpov’s Chess creed.   He based his approach to Chess (please note I always write the word Chess with capital “C”) in the Nimzowitschean concept of restraint. He mentions seven cases in which a piece may be restrained and both authors labours upon the matter of devising plans according to the types of centre, etc.   They offer seven points to be taken into account so as to evaluate a position and  devise a plan.

Everything in keeping with the overall idea which permeates his approach to Chess: the prevention of the opponent’s counterplay. Nevertheless, up till 1986, Karpov’s style also produced wonderful attacking games but with their roots deeply buried in a classical positional approach too.

Nimzowitsch appears again… (Well, as far as I know, there is also a Spanish translation of that book with the title: “Strategy in Chess: How to Assess Positions and Devise Plans” (=”La Estrategia en el Ajedrez: Cómo Valorar Posiciones y Trazar Planes”).

Year 1993.    Since 1989 I had been acting as Deputy Arbiter in some Chess professional events. That year I was going to finally accomplish one of my dreams: León (Spain), the traditional Master Tournament was going to be held , Karpov was among the players (Yudasin, Leko, Topalov,Vyzmanavin Morovic and some Spanish GMs). I could not believe it. Apart from my task as D.A. I was also the tournament translator for the press. On May 9th (incidentally, a Sunday). Karpov arrived in León and I had my first contact with the great man: reception,statements to the press,drawing of lots and nearly ten days sharing his presence, accompaning him to official acts, lunches and homages. I spent those days in a cloud.

I had been waiting for 15 years. (Incidentally again, happiness has always been ephemeral in my life: my mother passed away that very year…). Ever since 1978 I have tried to collect everything related to my Chess idols (Fischer,Nimzowitsch,Karpov and the protagonist of the following post (s)). I saw Karpov in other events after that and I must say there is a saying in my case it is not true: that which states that “One should never meet personally the people he admires”. My admiration, instead of waning, increased. Anatoly Karpov was a real gentleman, extremely polite, always taking you into consideration, a very reflective man, with that introspective air and the ever present Russian  melancholic charm.


It is impossible to choose among the thousands of masterpieces played by Karpov. So I have chosen the games that most impressed me . Perhaps they are not the best-known, but I am sure the aesthetic pleasure you will get by replaying them is worth their inclusion in this blog.

W.: Ljubojevic (0)

B.: Karpov (1)

Linares 1981

A case in point of a good Knight vs. a bad Bishop. But you have to possess a  deep  insight so as to provoke the correct strategical  conditions…

1.e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 de4:  4. Ne4: Bf5  5. Ng3 Bg6  6. Nf3 Nd7                 7. h4 h6  8. h5 Bh7  9.Bd3 Bd3:  10. Qd3: e6 11.Bf4 Qa5 12. Bd2 Qc7      13. 0-0-0  N8f6 14. Ne4 0-0-0  15. g3  Nc5  16. Nc5: Bc5: 17. Qc4 Bd6      18. Qa4 Kb8      19. Ne5 Nd5 20. f4 Nb6 21.Qb3 Be5: 22. de5:  Nd5           23. c4 Ne7 24.Be3 c5 25. Re8: Re8: 26. Rd1 Rd1:  27. Qd1: b6 28. Qd3 g6 29. hg6: fg6: 30. a3 a5 31. b3 h5 32. Qe4 Nf5 33. Bf2 Qd7 34. a4 Kc7   35. Kc2 Qd8    36. Kc1 g5   37. fg5: Qg5: 38. Kc2 Ne7 39. Qh7 Kd7          40. Qe4 Qf5 41. Qd3 Kc6 42. Qf5: ef5: 43. Be3 Ng6    44. e6 Kd6               45. Bg5 Ke6: 46. Kd2 f4  47. gf4: h4  48. Ke3 h3 49. Kf3 Kf5 50. Kg3 Nf4: 51. Bd8 Ne2    52. Kh3: Nd4 53. Bb6: Nb3: 54. Bd8 Nc2 55. Kg4 Kd3     56. Kf4 Kc4: 57. Ke4 Kc3 58. Bf6   Kc2 59. Be5 c4   60.  Ke3 c3                  61. Bf6 Nc5   62. Ke2 Kb3   63. White resigns.       

W.: Karpov (1)

B.: Sax (0)

Linares 1983

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cd4: 4. Nd4: 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4 h6  7. Rg1 Be7            8. Be3 Nc6  9. Qe2 Bd7  10. h4 Nd4:  11.Bd4: e5  12.Be3 Bc6  13. Qd3 Qa5  14. 0-0-0 Ne4:  15. Ne4: d5  16.Qb3 de4:  17.Bc4 Rf8  18. Rd5 Bd5:            19. Bd5 Rd8   20. Bc4Bb4  21. c3 b5  22. Be2 Bd6  23. Qd5 Ke7                 24. Bc5 Bc5:  25. Qe5: Kd7  26 Qc5: Qc7    27. Qf5 Ke7  28. Qe4: Kd7  29.Qf5 Ke7  30. Re1  Rd6  31. Bc4 Kd8  32. Bb5: a6  33. Ba4 g6           34.Qf3 Kc8     35. Re7 Rd1  36. Kd1: Qe7:  37. Qa8 Kc7  38. Qa7 Kd6       39. Qb6  and Black resigns.  


W.: Karpov (1)

B.: Tal  (0)

Bugojno 1980

1. c4 e6  2. Nc3 d5  3. d4 c6  4. e3 Nf6  5. Nf3 Nbd7  6. Bd3 dc4:                   7. Bc4: b5  8. Bd3 a6  9. e4 c5  10. d5 c4       11. de6: cd3:  12. ed7: Qd7:  13. 0-0 Bd7  14. Re1 Bb4  15. Ne5 Qe6  16. Nd3: Bc3:  17. Nf4 Qd7  18. bc3: Ne4:  19. Qd7: Kd7:  20. Ba3 Rhe8  21. Red1 Kc7  22. f3 Nf6             23. Bd6 Kb6  24. c4 Rac8  25. cb5: ab5:  26. a4 Red8  27. ab5: Rd7       28. Rd4 Rcd8  29. Rad1 Rc8  30. Be5 Re7  31. Rd6 Kb5:  32. Rb1 Kc4      33. Rd4 Kc5  34. Nd3

  and Black resigned in view of the unavoidable mate.



Written by QChess

March 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

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