Karpov as an attacking player

5/14/2008 – He is known foremost as a positional player and endgame specialist, but hardly as a master of attack. Yet 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov was (and is) capable of beautiful attacking play. In Wednesday night's Playchess show Dennis Monokroussos shows us a particularly impressive example against Hungarian GM Gyula Sax in Linares 1983. See you on the server.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Most of us probably don't think of Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Champion, as a great attacking genius. A positional player and endgame specialist, absolutely, but not really a master of attack. And this view is understandable. For one thing, with Garry Kasparov as his successor, almost anyone's chess will look a bit tame by comparison. And second, his strengths in positional and endgame play were so pronounced that it's understandable that he's best known for them.

Yet Karpov was (and is) capable of beautiful attacking play – have a look at his games against the Dragon Sicilian if you want confirmation of that thesis. In fact, examples can be multiplied without any difficulty, and we'll present one of his most famous attacking efforts this Wednesday on our ChessBase show. The game is his victory over Hungarian GM Gyula Sax from Linares 1983, and it has all the classic elements of the traditional attacking game. First, a sharp opening: Karpov plays the Keres Attack against Sax's Scheveningen Sicilian. Second, sacrifices: Karpov gave up a pawn and then the exchange for speculative prospects and to keep Black's king stuck in the center – and there are further sacrifices of commission and omission later. Finally, after some subtle play, the game concludes with a sacrifice and a king hunt – the ideal finish.

It's a game with both entertainment and instructional value, which makes spending some time taking a closer look a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday evening. The show is free and directions can be found here. Hope to see you then!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).



Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.


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