Memory lane: Kasparov vs Karpov in Seville 1987

by ChessBase
8/19/2009 – It was arguably the most dramatic match in chess history. Challenger Anatoly Karpov was on the verge of winning it, when he took game 23, but was foiled by World Champion Garry Kasparov in the very last game. History only remembers the winners, but as Dennis Monokroussos shows in his Wednesday night Playchess lecture, Karpov's best efforts are worth another look. So are these videos.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

In the greatest series of matches in chess history, the most dramatic was probably the fourth between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. Played in Seville, Spain in 1987, Karpov took the lead with one game to go by winning in game 23, only to have Kasparov break his heart yet again by winning the final game. The result was a pity for Karpov, of course; not only for the obvious reason, but because he had the most interesting theoretical contributions and the match initiative much of the way. While history only remembers the winners, Karpov's best efforts in the match are worth another look.

Memory lane: Kasparov vs Karpov in Seville 1987 – game eight, which Kasparov won

The critical phase of game 23: Kasparov tries to win by force but gets caught by Karpov's
53. Bh6 which he overlooked. In total disbelief and utterly disgusted Kasparov resigns.

One such effort was his win in game 16. The players had a vigorous battle in the English in that match, and in the variation 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bb4 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 in particular. Karpov won with black in game two and Kasparov avenging the defeat in game four, and afterwards one side or the other avoided this position until game 16. In the earlier games Karpov played 6...e4, but now he chose 6...Re8 – a variation that continues to be tested at the highest levels to this day. The game quickly grew tense, with both sides enjoying their trumps: White a mobile pawn center and the bishop pair, Black the better pawn structure and strong blockading knights. On this occasion, Karpov handled the strategic complications better and won – and this despite the painful memories of games past.

We'll say more about that, and much more about the game itself, when we present it on the Playchess server this Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET (= 3 a.m. CET Thursday morning). It's free to watch; just log on to the server at the relevant hour, go to the Broadcasts room, find and select Kasparov-Karpov under the Games tab, and you're good to go.

Hope to see you then, especially as this will be our last show for several weeks. (We aim to resume regular service on September 17.)

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).

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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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