Understanding before Moving 182: Chess history in a nutshell (63)

by ChessBase
6/16/2024 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 182nd episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and continues to look at the career and games of Anatoly Karpov, World Champion from 1975 to 1985. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Anatoly Karpov (4)

When discussing Karpov's career, we cannot overlook the epic battles he fought for the world title against Garry Kasparov. At first, Karpov (born May 23, 1951) was clearly stronger than his much younger opponent (born April 13, 1963). When Kasparov worked his way up and won the Candidates Matches (with victories over Beliavsky, Kortchnoi, and Smyslov), their first match took place in 1984 in Moscow. Karpov was then 33, and Kasparov was 21. The match was to be decided by six won games, with draws not counting, exactly as Fischer had wanted. Karpov proved superior, especially in strategic play. He won the third, sixth, seventh, and ninth games before a series of draws ensued. When the defending champion also won the 27th game, it seemed the match would soon be over.

However, Kasparov, who had already managed 17 consecutive draws, was determined. He decided to play the same openings as his opponent with both White and Black pieces, which had two advantages: it made Karpov play against himself and allowed Kasparov to match him strategically. After the 27th game, Kasparov finally managed to defeat his opponent in the 32nd game after four more draws, marking his first victory against the world champion. Following another series of 14 draws, Kasparov struck twice more, winning games 47 and 48.

Then FIDE President Florencio Campomanes decided to end the match, arguing that the five-month-long contest was detrimental to the players' health. Both Karpov and Kasparov opposed this decision. Karpov noted he needed just one more win, while Kasparov argued that his opponent was on the verge of collapse. It was decided that at the end of the same year (1985),  a new match would begin, which would consist of a limited number of 24 games, with the defending champion needing only a 12-12 tie to retain his title. We will discuss the outcome of this match when we talk about Garry Kasparov.

From the 1984 match, I would like to highlight the endgame from the ninth game. Here, Karpov demonstrates his strategic superiority by brilliantly handling a very difficult endgame. The move he played in the diagram position is perhaps the most genius move ever played in a World Championship match. Presumably, every chess player knows the fantastic move Karpov made after Black's last move 46...gxh4.

Master Class Vol.6: Anatoly Karpov

On this DVD a team of experts looks closely at the secrets of Karpov's games. In more than 7 hours of video, the authors examine four essential aspects of Karpov's superb play.

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