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Is this content inappropriate? What is less well known is that he was the winner of the only World Rapid Chess Championship in Mazadan Karpov may well be the player who earned the most money through chess, although it is impossible w establish this with any certainty. During the selection of games for that book came the realization that Karpov's games are so rich as w be wonhy of deep investigation from just one particular angle.

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The primary aim of the present rwo-volume work is w show the reader, in chronological order, how Karpov outplayed his opponents by strategic means. Karpov's strategic genius has been well documented by many chess writers, but according w my best knowledge not a single book has been wrinen on the subject in such depth as can be found in these pages. The twelfth World Champion is best known as a "python" who could slowly squeeze the life out of his opponent, but over the course of the rwo volumes we will see plenty of examples of his tactical sharpness as well.

Games involving a quick anack on the opponent's king have been omined, as they do not fit in with the overall theme of the book, but let me quash any misconceptions about Karpov being a one-dimensional player.

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When the situation on the board demanded it, he could anack with as much ferocity as almost anyone else. A number of Karpov's games which culminated in interesting endgames have been omined from this project, as they have already been discussed in the Endgame Virtuoso book. My conclusion from rhe work on both the present project and the aforementioned endgame book is that Karpov's little-known games often contain at least as much instructive and artistic value as his more famous wins. In this book I have tried w give priority w the beauty and educational value of his strategic masterpieces.

Over the coming pages I will identify the wols he uses and highlight the fearures that characterize his play. Many have called Karpov the greatest strategic player of all time. I invite the readers w become acquainted with his masterpieces and decide for themselves whether this view is justified. He learned to play chess at the age of four with his father Evgeny Stepanovich, a chief engineer. It may or may not be a coincidence that many of the world champions came from single parent families. Karpov was an exception; he grew up in a normal family environment with his parents and one sister.

Karpov's c:ceptional chess talent shone almost from the start. He became a second and then a first category player at the age of just nine. His first recorded games for the public are from We will rake the year as rhe starring point for our study of Karpov's career, as his first games in the database are from that year. Most of Karpov's games from were played in his home ciry, although he also competed in several other Russian cities including Borovichi, Magnirogorstk and Chelyabinsk.

This exposure shows that he and his supponers were already raking chess seriously at that time. It is not possible to work our from rhe database whether the Zlatoust games were played in one tournament or whether these are selected games from that particular year. He did not handle openings in a well educated way, although with Black he played one main Ruy Lopez Chigorin variation with.. His generally slow handling of the opening caused his games to last longer on average than they did in the later part of his career. He already followed reasonable plans, although of course opponents' blunders played a more significant role than in later years.

Here is our first game. A database search reveals no further games on the parr of his opponent. White could have given up the bishop under better circumstances: A subtle move; the young Anatoly wants to defend the c6-pawn without allowing his opponent to double his pawns on the kingside. We8 This move is obviously too slow, just like the whole plan with which Black intends to capture the c6-pawn.

Instead he should play The position is closed, so White can afford to spend a fourth tempo with the knight to defend it. Besides, the black rook is misplaced on b6.

This is too slow. Black should have preferred I Wd3lLlhS I6. Wd8 l7. It is difficult to understand why Karpov moved his rook to this square. He may have wanted to vacate the fl-square for the queen in the event of It is remarkable that he refrains from winning a tempo with the natural He probably f g h had a different plan in mind on b6. Anatoly Karpov- Gaimaletdinov to hurt the rook 8 7 6 5 4 3 9 Elbb8 Ela3 ib2 E:xd5 e3! Elxe3 1Uxd5 E:el 1Uxb4 E:e7 White keeps a nice edge. ClJc4 E:bl exf3 Black closes the kingside.

ClJxe7 exd3 E:fl It is not easy to for White to make his extra pawn count. It is a lovely way to showcase the theme of the misplaced rook. The knight may not attack anything here, but is serves an important function in trapping the black rook. Karpov completes his plan and the rook perishes. The rest should be simple.

Jhb7 Missing an opportunity to end the game with Karpov has such an overwhelming advantage that he can win in any way he chooses. White wins here but there was no practical value in playing like this. If Black had Anaroly Karpov - Gaimaletdinov a light-squared bishop instead of the knight, rhe win would require skilful technique. He made the win a bit harder than it should have been, but overall he played the whole game impressively. His games were of a shorter duration and his opening play had visibly improved. Blunders played a smaller role in his games than in the previous year.

Some of the games are already endgame pearls. The database shows that he achieved a draw with Black against Korchnoi, which must have been at a simul.


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Karpov's opponent in the next game was not a well-known player. The game is selected because of irs crystal clear technique. Jhd8 Karpov refuses to allow the exchange of the e7-knight, which would have eased the congestion in Black's position. In addition Black's knights have hardly any purposeful squares available. Sometimes one must visualize the second move of a knight rather than just the first.

Ir would have cost a tempo to pur the knight on c7 with This weakens the e5-square, although skill is needed to exploit the opponunit:y. A sounder alternative was Another idea was His plan involves Nevertheless after Ei:ael White's position is preferable and he could also exert pressure with Still, Black would have had better chances than in the game. White has time to transfer the knight to e5. Keeping the rooks on the board is White's most effective strategy. Note chat the black 15 Anaroly Karpov- Dmitri Piskunov knights are both a long way from e6.

Karpov believes that manoeuvring the knight co e5 is more important than keeping a pair of pieces on the board. Black has no luck with knight moves in this game. This was a much better attempt ro resist, although White keeps a big plus and should have enough resources ro grind his opponent down. M Chan Peng Kong recommended this witty move. It threatens an invasion. Alternatives include preparing a pawn break, such as a4 on the queenside or h4 followed by g4 on the kingside. He would like to improve the cS-knight but there is no easy way of doing it. Instead he must wait passively and react to White's threats.

Black can resist the onslaught with this coldblooded move. After This game is a remarkable example of chess understanding, even at the age of eleven. Karpov identified the soft point, manoeuvred to gain control and retreated at the right time to open the floodgates.

This shows the remarkable alertness of the eleven year old Anatoly. He notices that he can transfix his opponent with a lethal pin on the e-file. Jhe2 Black goes down without any resistance. In a conversation Vladimir Smirnov told me that Kasparov mentions the name in the Russian edition of the relevam volume of My Great Predecessors.

ReViewing Chess: French, Tarrasch, 3...c5, Vol. 65.1

I checked the English version but the name was not given, but with Vladimir's help I managed to find our that Karpov's trainer in this extremely formative period was Leonid Gratvol. I know in Hungary what a strong and often underestimated effect junior trainers had on the development of the Polgars and Leko, for instance, and once these players retire or drop their level how heavily Hungarian chess will pay for it and reduce the status of my country in world chess. It took some investigation to reach Mr. Gratvol and send him a few questions.

I was told his health was not good, and I was especially happy when his answers arrived. Here is the interview. When and where were you born? My mother, Antonina Gratvol , was Russian.

Chess Openings - French Defence , advanced variation #1 [ 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 ]

My father worked as an accountant in a factory. When did you learn to play chess? I left the history faculty of the Chelyabinsk Pedagogical Institute in Apart from training juniors in the Pioneers' Palace, I gave lecrures on history in an evening school. In I finished second and in I won the championship of Chelyabinsk. When did you start working with Karpov andfor how long did you work with him?

I starred to work with him in when he was nine years old and trained him for three and a half years. Our involvement stopped when the family moved from the Chelyabinsk area to Tula.