They met during their chess careers, battling (and not counting blitz) 91 classical games. The centenary celebrations of the city of Murmansk had again brought Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman together, two old fighting chess lovers of this noble game, scheduled for a three game match.
We stayed in the Park Inn Hotel and because the music had been curtailed, the young people had abandoned much of the city during the event.
White : Anatoly Karpov vs. Black: Jan Timman Opening: K-Indian, Fianchetto Var.
l. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O c6 7. Nc3 Bf5. This is the Larsen Variation and has a solid reputation. Square count 10/8.
8. Ne1 Be6 9. d5 c:d5 10. c:d5 Bd7 11. h3 Na6 12. Nd3 Qc8! 13. Kh2 Nc5 SC 7/11.
Here, square count is less important. White has the strong d5 square with a pawn aiming at c6 and e6 deep into enemy territory and the e-pawn has yet to move broadening the scope of the Queen. This must be now in White’s plan to develop the QB and Q.
14. Be3 N:d3 15. Q:d3 Bf5 16. Qb5 For square count purpose; 16. Qd2 was a bit better as it functions for either Q/K-side action.
16. … h5 17. Bd4 a6 18. Qb4 b5 19. Rfc1 Qb8 20. e4 Bd7 21. Nd1 h4! 22. g:h4 e5! Black hits the center d4/f4 to open some lines.
23. d:e6 e.p. B:e6 24. Kg1 Qd8! Taking charge of the dark squares and now sets his sights on …Bh6 and that long diagonal attack on the Rook.
25. Be3 Too slow and lessens the punch into black territory. Better was 25. Ne3 moving toward the enemy position. So, if 25. … Bh6 26. Qc3 Rc8 27. B:f6 R:c3 28. B:d8 R:c1 29. R:c1 R:d8 with play about equal. White has a pawn up but doubled; Black’s bishop pair is bothersome. Each has 3-pawn islands.
25. … Qd726. Kh2 d5 27. e5 Nh5 28. f4 Rad8 29. Nf2 a5 30. Qe1 d4 31. Bd2 Bd5 32. Rc5 B:g2 33. K:g2 Rfe8 34. Rac1 Bf8 35. Rc7 Qd5+ 36. Qe4 Q:a2 37. Nd3 It is a blockade, stupid! That pawn has to be handcuffed.
37. … Nf6 ! 38. Qf3 Nd5 39. Rb7 Ne3+ 40. Kh2 The Knight is immune.
40… Qb3 41. Qe2 Rc8 42. Rbc7 R:c7 43. R:c7 a4 44. h5 Qe6 45. h:g6 f:g6 46. Qf3 Rc8 47. R:c8 Q:c8 48. B:e3 d:c8 49. Qd5+ Kh7 50. Q:b5 Qc2+ 51. Kg3 e2 52. Ne1 Qd2 53. Kf2 Q:f4+ Draw.
After the game it was heard by a spectator or more that perhaps we had arranged the draw ahead of time. Apparently they could not imagine that old geezers like us would still be capable of a real fight. They changed their mind when they saw our daggers both at it at the end. Game two was also drawn and the third game Jan Timman won.