How Karpov nursed a pawn edge to beat Kasparov in Game 3
Defending champion Anatoly Karpov has moved out to a quick early lead after the first seven games of the world championship match now taking place in Moscow. Karpov won Games 3, 6, and 7, with the rest being drawn, to open up a 3 -to-0 advantage over 21-year-old challenger Gary Kasparov. Victory in the open-ended match goes to the first player to win six games, draws not counting.
In today's featured third game, the 33-year-old champion accepted a proffered pawn and, displaying his customary technical excellence, nursed the material advantage to a victorious conclusion.
We may never know what provoked Kasparov to select a rare and apparently dubious opening innovation. It was he who varied from standard practice on his 12th move. A few moves later, after a forced sequence, he studied for 50 minutes before gambling a pawn rather than defending an inferior endgame. It is true that this policy has stood him well in other matches, but against a relentlessly accurate Karpov it achieved nothing but a lost position.
Karpov Kasparov 1. P-K4 P-QB4 2. N-KB3 P-K3 3. P-Q4 PxP 4. NxP N.QB3 5. N-N5 P-Q3(a) 6. P-QB4(b) N-B3 7. N(1)-B3 P-QR3 8. N-R3(c) B-K2 9. B-K2 0-0 10 0.0 P-QN3 11. B-K3 B-N2 12. Q-N3 N-QR4(d) 13. QxP NxKP 14. NxN BxN 15. QxQ BxQ(e) 16. QR-Q1 P-Q4(f) 17. P-B3 B-B4 18. PxP PxP 19. RxP B-K3 20. R-Q6 BxP 21. RxP R-N1 22. B-B5 R-K1 23. B-N5 R-K3 24. P-QN4 N-N2 25. B-B2 B-K2 26. N-B2 B-Q4 27. R-Q1 B-N6 28. R-Q7(g) R-Q1(h) 29 RxR(6) RxR 30. R-K1 R-B2 31. B-N6 Resigns (i)
A. Not 5. ... P-Q4?; 6. PxP, PxP; 7. QxP, QxQ; 8. N-B7 ch.
B. White opts for the Maroczy bind, a formation which, at one time, was considered a near-positional win. With sophisticated modern defensive techniques involving a judiciously timed ... P-QN4 or ... P-Q4, the variation is now considered quite playable for Black.
C. This decentralizing retreat, rather than 8. N-Q4, is made to hinder Black from playing the P-QN4 or P-Q4 breaks.
D. Usual at this point is a conservative buildup with 12. ... N-Q2; 13. ... R-B1; 14. ... Q-B2; and 15. ... KR-Q1, continuing to develop and biding time until a break becomes tactically feasible. The text is impetuous and ill-advised.
E. Of course recapturing with a Rook loses to 16. B-N6.
F. 16. ... B-K2 is objectively superior to the text. Black is apparently unwilling to play a simple endgame with White enjoying spatial superiority and the queenside pawn majority. But it would not be easy for White to capitalize on these advantages and advance his pawns until the offside knight at QR3 was redeployed. Simply stated, the Black endgame after 16. ... B-K2 was probably tenable; after 16. ... P-Q4, it is lost against the best play.
G. This strong move ices the win. Karpov threatens simply 29. RxR, PxR; 30. RxB.
H. Undoubtedly a better try at this point would be 28. ... BxN (not 28. ... B-B1? 29. N-Q4!), but despite the paucity of material, White is winning after 29 . RxR, PxR; 30. RxB, N-Q3; 31. B-B1, RxP; 32. B-B5, R-N8; 33. K-B2, N-B4 (33. ... N-N2; 34. B-Q4); 34. R-K8 ch, K-B2; 35. R-B8 ch, K-N3; 36. P-N4, N-R3 (36. ... N-R5; 37. B-K7); 37. P-R4, R-N2; 38. P-R5 ch, K-N4; 39. K-N3, N-B2 (39. ... R-B2; 40. B-K7 ch, RxB; 41. P-B4 mate); 40. P-B4 ch, K-B3; 41. P-N5 ch, K-B4; 42 . B-R3 ch, K-K5; 43. B-N2 ch and 44. BxR. It is not often that we have a virtually forced variation 15 moves long - well within the calculating scope of either of the Soviet stars.
I. Black's vulnerable back rank costs him a piece after 31. ... RxN; 32. RxB, N-Q3; 33. B-B5.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion, has won or shared the US Open title five times, and has captured virtually every other major tournament in this country at least once during more than three decades of competition. $K$A