The Amateur Eye – QGD Charousek Var. Moscow match Karpov vs. Kasparov

Jan Timman’s The Longest Game NIC is a 5 star book every chess student and lover of quality should have on their library shelf and used. It focuses on a time in literature rivaling the previous eras of world champions when computers were yet to give sway a machine age perception of human achievement.

l. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. c:d5 e:d5 5. Bf4 Nf6 6. e3 O-O 7. Nf3 Bf5 8. h3 c6 9. g4 Bg6 10. Ne5 Nfd7 11. N:g6 f:g6 12. Bg2 Nb6 13. O-O Kh8.

Square count is w13/b8 Please note each has 7 pawns, g-file doubled pawns. Black has access to two half open files and white a half-open c-file. The position is dynamic but Karpov almost owns the whole board requiring Kasparov to strike out for aggressive counterplay using his active Rooks, defensive Bishop and two Knights. One advantage he has is a solid pawn chain b7-d5 and a good King side passive defense which is a target that Karpov attempts to undermine.

14. Ne2!?

It was suggested that 14. Bh2 Bd6 15. B:d6 Q:d6 16. e4 was a good plan of attack for White but it seems to me that getting the Knight to the kingside was logical to support an attack against the king position and pressure on f4/g3 squares as possible jump-off points in furthering an attack against the enemy monarch. Sometimes just threatening to tickle squares entering the enemy’s grounds will create the pressure necessary to soon engage the enemy in direct fashion. Kasparov seems to favor counter play to sitting on a position and perhaps in this thought of character traits of the opponent that Karpov chose this Knight maneuver aiming at steadfast pressure while avoiding premature aggression.

14. …. g5 15. Bg3 Bd6 16. Qd3 Na6 17. b3 Qe7 18. B:d6 Q:d6 19. f4! g:f4 20. e:f4 Rae8! 21. f5

The pawn soldiers march on!

21. …. Nc7 22. Rf2 Nd7 23. g5 piles on his pawn majority attack that presents continued threats into the end game.

23. …. Qe7 24. h4 Qe3!!

Ingenious plan initiated by Kasparov here is to just trade Queens and using his control over the e-file to extract suitable counter on White aggression.

25. Rd1 Nb5 26. Q:e3?!

White falls into a trap that exchanging Queens only helps the defense since the Rook is activated on the e3 square and proves an annoyance.

26. …. R:e3 27. Kh2 Nb6 28. Ng3 Nc8

This Knight is headed to the d6 square! There, it will exert pressure to counter balance Karpov’s edge to this point.

29. Nf1! Re7?!

Not best as 29. …. Rc3 was needed to keep in the game.

30. Rd3! Ncd6 31. Ng3 Ne4?

Now it is the “Case of the Active King!

32. B:e4 d:e4 33. Re3 N:d4 34. Kh3!

Black wins a pawn but the active King assures Karpov the advantage with the advanced pawns and King mobility.

34. …. Re5 35. Kg4 h5+

The 3rd error blunder clearly loses. He had to play the passive defense ….Rfe8 and pray.

36. K:h5 N:f5 37. R:f5 Rf:f5 38. N:f5 R:f5 39. R:e4 Kh7 40. Re7 b5 41. R:a7 b4 42. Kg4 Black resigns.

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