World champion Gary Kasparov and challenger Anatoly Karpov have staged quite a battle in their current title match in Seville, Spain, with the score tied 11-all going into the final two games this week. The deadlock is advantageous, however, to Kasparov, who needs only a 12-12 result to retain his crown. Karpov, who must win the match to take the title, gets his last chance with the white pieces in Game 23 today. If he can't win this one, he will be forced into the difficult position of having to win with black when the two-month contest concludes Friday with Game 24.
Each player has won three games, with the 16 others drawn. The challenger led twice early in the match, but with his victory in Game 8, shown today, Kasparov evened the score - and has never trailed since. In this game, the champion got a grip on the white squares, which let him post his minor pieces to maximum advantage. This, combined with the sorry plight of the Black queen knight (proving the maxim ``A knight on the rim is dim''), presented the challenger with insurmountable difficulties.
Black was reduced to nearly complete passivity in a dour struggle. With his last move before adjournment, White finally prepared the breakthrough that enabled his pieces to get at the Black monarch.
Kasparov Karpov 1. P-QB4 P-K4 2. N-QB3 P-Q3 3. P-KN3 P-QB4 (a) 4. B-N2 N-QB3 5. P-QR3 P-KN3 6. P-QN4 (b) B-N2 7. R-N1 KN-K2 8. P-K3 O-O 9. P-Q3 R-N1 10. KN-K2 B-K3 11. P-N5 (c) N-R4 12. B-Q2 P-N3 13. O-O N-N2 14. P-K4 K-R1 15. Q-B1 P-B4 16. B-N5 Q-K1 17. BxN QxB 18. PxP BxKBP (d) 19. N-Q5 Q-Q2 20. Q-Q2 N-R4 21. N/2-B3 QR-K1 22. N-K4 N-N2 23. P-QR4 N-R4 24. P-R4 N-N2 25. K-R2 R-QN1 26. R-QR1 N-R4 27. R-R3 R-B2 28. Q-B3 R-Q1 29. R-R2 B-R3 30. N-N5 R/2-B1 31. R-K2 B-N2 32. Q-B2 QR-K1 33. N-K3 B-R3 34. B-Q5 B-N2 35. Q-Q1 P-KR3 36. N-K4 Q-Q1 37. R-R2 B-B1 38. N-B3 P-R4 39. B-K4 R-K3 40. N/B-Q5 B-KR3 41. N-N2 K-N2 42. P-B4 (e) PxP 43. N/2xP R-K4 (f) 44. NxKNP RxR 45. QxR RxB 46. PxR KxN 47. R-KB2 Q-K1 48. P-K5 PxP 49. R-B6 ch K-N2 50. R-Q6 Resigns (g)
A.Black cedes his Q4 square, hoping that his control over other central squares will afford him adequate compensation.
B.This queenside expansion is common in such positions. It can open the QN file for White's rooks or else lead to P-N5, augmenting the pressure of the fianchettoed bishop. Note that 7.... PxP; 8.PxP, NxP; 9.Q-R4 ch, N-B3; 10.BxN ch, PxB; 11.QxP ch, B-Q2; 12.Q-R6 favors White: Black's QRP and QP are weak, and Black's two bishops do not quite compensate.
C.In effect the winning move: Black's QN will be ineffective, aimlessly shuttling from QR4 to QN2. After Black plays 12.... P-N3, any attempt to shift it lets White play P-QR5 and infiltrate rooks on open rook file.
D.The pawn recapture may be preferable, though White then exerts pressure on Black's center and KBP after 19.P-B4. For next 20-odd moves White maneuvers, waiting for the optimum time to rip things open with P-B4.
E.Here it is. Kasparov made this move before adjournment. Karpov sealed his reply after 25 minutes' thought. The other plausible move he must have weighed, 42.... R/3-K1, would let White continue his buildup with 43.R/2-KB2, when he will crash through with P-B5.
F.Or 43.... BxN; 44.NxB, R/3-B3; 45.R/2-KB2, Q-K2; but after 46. Q-B2, black is losing, e.g., 46. ... Q-K4; 47.BxP, RxB; 48.NxR, RxR ch; 49.QxR, KxN; 50.Q-B7 ch, K-R3; 51.R-B6 ch, amd White's grip on the file is decisive.
G. There is no valid defense to the threat of 51. Q-B6 ch, since 50.... Q-B1 loses a bishop after the queen exchange.