Game 11 was key for Kasparov
Whenever he thinks about his near-miss in the recent world championship match, it will be hard for Anatoly Karpov not to look back to the horrendous oversight he made on his 35th move of the 11th game. The blunder enabled world champion Gary Kasparov to win a rook for a minor piece and convert his material advantage to an important victory - one that gave him the lead for the first time in the match. Karpov, to his credit, fought back gamely to tie the match and even take the lead again, but the champion won the 24th and final game for a 12-12 deadlock by which he retained his title.
So, in the final analysis, it may well be argued that it was the 11th game, featured today, that cost Karpov his chance to recapture the crown he wore from 1975 to 1985.
The challenger, whose play in the past decade has been almost error free, was trying to make use of a minuscule material edge. When there was no win in sight he instead found a way to lose.
That the blunder occurred so close to adjournment aggravated the error, and when play resumed, Kasparov had no difficulty in scoring the critical victory. Gr"unfeld Defense
Karpov Kasparov 1. P-Q4 N-KB3 2. P-QB4 P-KN3 3. N-QB3 P-Q4 4. PxP NxP 5. P-K4 NxN 6. PxN B-N2 7. B-QB4 P-QB4 8. N-K2 N-B3 9. B-K3 O-O 10. O-O B-N5 11. P-B3 N-R4 12. BxP ch RxB 13. PxB RxR ch 14. KxR Q-Q3 15. K-N1 (a) Q-K3 16. Q-Q3 Q-B5 (b) 17. QxQ ch NxQ 18. B-B2 PxP 19. PxP P-K4 20. P-Q5 B-R3 (c) 21. P-KR4 B-Q7 22. R-Q1 B-R4 23. R-QB1 P-QN4 24. R-B2 N-Q3 25. N-N3 N-B5 26. N-B1 N-Q3 27. N-N3 N-B5 28. P-N5 K-B2 29. N-B1 N-Q3 30. N-N3 N-B5 31. K-B1 K-K2 32. B-B5 ch K-B2 33. R-B2 ch K-N2 34. R-B6 B-N3 35. R-B6? (d) N-R4 36. BxB NxR 37. B-B7 R-B1 ch 38. K-K2 R-B2 39. B-Q6 R-Q2 40. B-B5 N-R4 41. N-B1 R-QB2 42. B-Q6 R-B7 ch 43. K-Q3 RxRP 44. N-K3 K-B2 45. N-N4 N-B5 46. NxP ch NxN ch 47. BxN P-N5 48. B-B6 P-N6 49. P-K5 (e) RxP 50. P-K6 ch K-B1 51. Resigns (f)
A.The first 14 moves are identical to Games 5 and 7, both of which were drawn. In those games Karpov played 15.P-K5, Q-Q4; 16.B-B2. The text is designed with an eye to returning the gambit pawn in order to purchase the initiative.
B.In a similar position in the ninth game, Kasparov now captured the KNP, which yielded Karpov a dangerous and enduring initiative. Here the champion discreetly plays for a pawn-minus endgame in which he has considerable compensation in the form of a queenside pawn majority. Moreover, White's extra kingside pawn is doubled, so chances are about equal.
C.Black correctly plays to activate this bishop, whose mobility had been hampered by his king's pawn.
D.Unable to find a winning continuation, Karpov makes an uncharacteristic blunder that costs the exchange and the game. Obviously he simply overlooked the reply. A more sensible winning try might have been based on an attempt to make something out of his kingside pawn structure - a possibility being 35.BxB, PxB; 36.P-R5 (not the passive 36.R-B2, R-R6, when Black may stand even better); 36.... RxP; 37.P-R6 ch, K-N1; 38.R-B6 with complicated and interesting possibilities for both sides.
E.Losing more slowly but equally hopeless was 49.K-B3, R-K7; 50.KxP, RxKP.
F.The continuation might have been 42.P-Q6, P-N7; 43.BxP, RxB.
International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion and has won or shared the US Open title five times.