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The game that brought Karpov halfway toward retaining his title

By Arthur BisguierInternational Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times. / October 17, 1984



When world champion Anatoly Karpov defeated his countryman Gary Kasparov in the seventh game of their current match in Moscow, he took a 3-to-0 lead in the defense of his title. That put him halfway to victory, which goes to the first player to win six games, and he has since added another triumph to make the score 4 to 0 at this writing.

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In Game 7 the champion, apparently dissatisfied with his opening positions against Kasparov's Sicilian Defenses in Games 1, 3, and 5, varied from 1. P-K4 and shifted to the Queen's Gambit. Undoubtedly he was well prepared for Kasparov's Tarrasch Defense, which the latter had essayed so successfully against Viktor Korchnoi in a previous Candidates' Match. White first surprised Kasparov with 14. N-B5 and obtained a clear advantage. Kasparov, who labored under a two-point deficit and the inferior position to boot, put up a stern defense until an error induced by time pressure made further resistance futile.

Although it is true that Karpov has been playing fine chess, I am still waiting for the real Kasparov to stand up. Be assured, the 21-year-old is still one of the greatest talents ever to play chess. Tarrasch Defense

Karpov Kasparov 1. P-Q4 P-Q4 2. P-QB4 P-K3 3. N-KB3 P-QB4 4. PxQP KPxP 5. P-KN3 N-KB3 6. B-N2 B-K2 7. O-O O-O 8. N-B3 N-B3 9. B-N5 PxP 10. KNxP P-KR3 11. B-K3 R-K1 12. Q-N3 N-QR4 13. Q-B2 B-KN5 14. N-B5 R-QB1 (a) 15. NxB ch RxN 16. QR-Q1 Q-K1 (b) 17. P-KR3 B-R4 18. BxQP B-N3 19. Q-B1(c) NxB 20. RxN N-B5 21. B-Q4 R(2)-B2 22. P-N3 (d) N-N3 23. R-K5 Q-Q2 24. Q-K3 P-B3 25. R-QB5 RxR 26. BxR QxP 27. R-Q1 P-KR4 28. R-Q4 N-Q2 29. B-Q6 B-B2 30. N-Q5 BxN 31. RxB P-R3 32.B-B4 N-B1 33. Q-Q3 Q-N5 34. P-B Q-N3 35. K-B2 R-B7 (e) 36. Q-K3 (f) R-B1 37. Q-K7 P-N4 (g) 38. R-Q8 RxR 39. QxR Q-B2 40. B-Q6 P-N4 41. Q-R8 K-N2&re signs (h)

A. This routine developing move makes life too easy for White. Either 14. ... B-B1 or perhaps 14. ... B-N5! would seem to pose more problems.

B. 16. ... R-Q2; 17. B-Q4, B-K3; 18. P-B4, P-KN3; 19. P-B5, BxP; 20. RxB, PxR; 21. QxP is unpalatable for Black, but here 17. ... N-K5 may be playable.

C. And not 19. QxB? NxB, which favors Black.

D. Even stronger at this point would be Bronstein's suggestion of 22. Q-B4. The idea is to meet 22. ... NxP with 23. R-K5 and 24. N-Q5 with the three-pronged threat of 25. NxR or 25. BxN or 26. N-K7 ch. With the game continuation, Kasparov succeeded in regaining his pawn, although Karpov maintained positional superiority.

E. A time-pressure miscue. With the normal 35. ... QxQ and 36. ... K-B2, Black would have reasonable chances of drawing an inferior endgame. Hoping to gain a tempo, he actually lost a critical move.

F. This strong move forced Kasparov to retract his previous move, since he cannot allow 37. R-Q8, with a pileup on his pinned Knight.

G. This results in the loss of two pawns. Objectively better was 37. ... Q-B2 ; 38. QxQ ch, KxQ; 39. RxP, N-K3, when White should still win with his extra pawn, although Black might make a fight.

H. After 42. QxP, Black must lose a second pawn after 42. ... Q-K1; 43. BxN ch, QxB (43. ... KxB; 44. QxP ch is worse); 44. QxNP, with a hopeless position.