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Garry Kasparov - Anatoly Karpov

Round 4
Kasparov - Karpov 2009

23.09.2009

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The score is 2-1 in Kasparov's favour. Now Karpov will face a difficult challenge to resist the great attacker with Black pieces. Enjoy the game!

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 Karpov is also repeating his defence from yesterday's game. let's wait and see the improvement.

4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.e3 Ne7 9.Bd3 g6!? In game two, Karpov continued 9...Nd7 and later h6. This time he's pushing g-pawn, hoping to limit the scope of White's Bishop and later prepare an exchange by playing Bf5.

10.f3 The best way for White to fight for the advantage is to build a strong center.

10... Nd7 11.Nge2 O-O 12.O-O c5!? This time Karpov is striking the center before White develops the initiative. Of course, there might be a problem with isolated pawn later, but there will also be targets in White's structure.

13.Qd2 Kasparov is not taking on c5, which would bring Black Knight into great position. Instead, Qd2 enables retreat for the Bishop in case of c4.

13... a6 Useful move in general, prevents some Nb5 and holds expanding b5 in reserve.

14.Rad1 cxd4 Karpov wants to move his Knight to f6 and open the light-squared Bishop, but before that he is taking care of the c-pawn. On immediate Nf6, White would take dxc5. 14...c4 is weak because after 15. Bb1, e3-e4 would come in with great force.

15.exd4 With this pawn structure, White has a longterm small advantage thanks to the d5-pawn. It is of the same color as Black Bishop, thus limiting its mobility, and it can also be pressed by White Bishop in some positions. As GM Ivan Sokolov explained in his fantastic book "Winning Chess Middlegames", White will try to trade the light pieces so that his Knight will remain against Black Bishop. He also gives an example where Kasparov and Karpov played similar structure, with same piece colours, during their London/Leningrad 1986 match.

15... Nf6 16.g4!? Responsible pawn push, but it is important to prevent Black from trading his weak Bishop on f5.

16... Kg7 17.Qf4 Trading the Queens can fit into White's plans. Qd6 is defending d5 and in case of trade, White Knight comes to f4 to further attack this pawn. The Knight can also be transferred via d3 to the dream square e5.

17... Rd8 18.Rfe1 b5 19.Qxd6 It was possible to delay this and include another useful move - h4. Then 19...b4 is met with 20. Na4! and White grabs the strong outpost on c5.

19... Rxd6 20.Nf4 Kf8 Defending the Knight and clearing g7 for potential Nh5-g7-f5 (if White pushes g5)

21.h4 Bd7 22.Kf2 Ne8 Kasparov was hesitating to push g5, but Karpov nevertheless retreats his Knight, searching for a more stable position.

23.Rc1 The pawn on d4 is perfectly safe for the time being, and Kasparov is taking an eye on the c-file, possibly anticipating b5-b4.

23... Rc8 24.a3 Now Karpov can transfer his Knight to e6 and release some pressure from d5.

24... Nc7 maybe even Nc7-a8-b6 could come into consideration?

25.Nce2 Rb6 26.Rc5 It was not clear what is Karpov's idea behind Rb6, maybe he wanted to prepare a5-b4, but now he should play something like Ne6 before White can double the Rooks and cause trouble.

26... Ne6 27.Nxe6+ Bxe6 Why is Karpov insisting oh having Rook on b6?

28.Rec1 Ke8 29.Nf4 Kd8 30.b4!? No more b4 for Black...

30... Ra8 31.h5 Rd6 32.Be2 g5 33.Nd3 Apparently, Karpov lost on time in this position. He is passive and the defence is not easy, but the game was still playable. Thank you all for following Chessdom live coverage of Kasparov-Karpov rapid games, see you again tomorrow for day 3 activities.
Meanwhile, enjoy in the live coverage of games from the 2009 Spice Cup. 1-0