Gary Kasparov, in winning the 14th game of his world championship chess match with challenger Anatoly Karpov, assumed a substantial 8-to-6 lead. Up to the time of writing, the 23-year-old champion had won three games to the 35-year-old ex-champion's one, the other games being drawn. With wins counting as a full point and draws as half a point, either six victories or 12 points will win the match. Kasparov retains his championship if the match ends in a 12-12 deadlock, so Karpov's prospects of regaining the title are slim indeed. This match, which is now being played in Leningrad, saw the first 12 games played in London.
The fact that Karpov was a point behind going into the 14th game undoubtedly affected his strategy in today's game, featured below. He uncharacteristically opted for complications that were very much to the liking of the youthful champion.
Today's featured game was undoubtedly a very difficult one, with tough decisionmaking for both sides. Once again, time pressure must have affected Karpov's play, weakening his resistance.
The manner in which Kasparov played for two knights against the vaunted bishops, and subsequently created play that was favorable to the knights, was worthy of Mikhail Ivanovich Tchigorin, who was the greatest of the early Russian chess champions and one who is still lionized by the prodigious Soviet players today. Ruy Lopez Kasparov Karpov 1. P-K4 P-K4 2. N-KB3 N-QB3 3. B-N5 P-QR3 4. B-R4 N-B3 5. O-O B-K2 6. R-K1 P-QN4 7. B-N3 P-Q3 8. P-B3 O-O 9. P-KR3 B-N2 10. P-Q4 R-K1 11. QN-Q2 B-KB1 12. P-QR4 P-R3 13. B-B2 PxQP (a) 14. PxQP N-QN5 15. B-N1 P-B4 16. P-Q5 N-Q2 17. R-R3 P-B5 18. PxP PxP 19. N-Q4 RxR (b) 20. PxR N-Q6 21. BxN PxB 22. B-N2 (c) Q-R4 23. N-B5 N-K4 24. BxN PxB 25. N-QN3 Q-N3 26. QxP R-R1 27. R-QB1 P-N3 28. N-K3 BxRP 29. R-R1 R-R5 (d) 30. N-N4 B-KB1 31. R-QB1 (e) Q-Q3 (f) 32. N-B5 (g) R-B5 33. RxR PxR 34. NxB PxQ 35. NxQ BxN 36. K-B1 K-N2 37. P-B3 P-B4 38. N-B2 P-Q7 39. K-K2 B-N5 40. N-Q3 B-B6 41. N-B5 Resigns (h)
A. The Breyer recipe is 13. . . . N-N1 and 14. . . . QN-Q2, maintaining the strong point at Black's K-4. Karpov cedes the center to obtain the QN5 outpost for his knight and to set up a counterthrust with 15. . . . P-B4.
B. It would have been less committing to play 19. . . . Q-N3. Black complicates, offering a pawn, the acceptance of which would lead to obscure complications.
C. Discreet. If White captures the queen's knight pawn, Black would then obtain the initiative.
Simply 22. NxP N-B4, maintaining the obstreperous pawn at Q6 and pressuring the king's pawn, affords compensation, and both 22. . . . Q-R4 and 22. . . . Q-N3 have something going for them.
Note that if 22. . . . Q-N3, 23. Q-N3 is a blunder, because of 23. . . . N-B4; 24. Q-N1, BxP.
D. With this and his next move, Black sets a small trap, which White gingerly avoids.
Since it only results in a loss of time, Black would have done better with the immediate 29. . . . B-KB1.
E. Very good, this move. Now Black is in trouble. Not 31. NxP? RxR ch; 32. NxR, B-N2, which would win a piece for Black, in view of the pin on the long diagonal.
After 33. Q-QB3, the simplest move for White is Q-KB3, which does the job.
F. After this Black is definitely lost. Though it was not convenient to defend the KP directly, Black might have tried 31. . . . R-R7. It is clear that White stands better with his strong, protected QP, but the win, if available, is still a distance away.
G. This simple strong move, which underscores the sorry state of Black's QB, leaves Black with no effective retort, since 32. . . . R-R2; 33. QxP is obviously going to lose for him.
Karpov's attempt to make further complications leads to a hopeless ending, in the face of Kasparov's implacable accuracy.
H. The game was adjourned at this point, but Karpov resigned without resuming play, since White's protected passed QP leaves Black helpless.
Passive defense is futile and attempts at counterplay are doomed; e.g., 41. . . . K-B3; 42. N-N3, K-N4; 43. P-N3, P-B5; 44. PxP ch, KxP (44. . . . PxP is no better); 45. NxP, K-N6; 46. N-B4, KxP; 47. P-Q6, B-N5; 48. P-Q7, B-K2; 49. NxP.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.