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    Entries in Anatoly Karpov (19)

    Saturday
    Apr122014

    Bundesliga Finale

    The latest Bundesliga season ended last weekend, with Baden-Baden winning for about the 30th time in a row. (Okay, it was only their ninth consecutive title. Other teams had better find rich benefactors if they hope to break this strangehold.) Levon Aronian was the special guest star helping push them over the edge to victory, scoring 2.5/3 over the final weekend to not only help them but himself as well as he aimed to recover from a poor finish at the Candidates.

    More about that here, but I'd like to focus on Anatoly Karpov's surprise appearance. He played a couple of games, drawing with the lower-rated Felix Graf before defeating the 2664-rated Maxim Rodshtein in his second game, and with the black pieces. You can replay those games here, and I would especially draw your attention to Graf's unusual drawing combination in the first game. Most sacrifices involve captures - think of bishop sacrifices on h6 and h7, for example - but sometimes a piece is moved to an empty square. It's even rarer to have the first sac accepted only to have a second empty-square sacrifice on the next move, but that's just what Graf did. There are probably other examples of this happening, but I'm unable to recall any offhand. If you can think of some other examples, please share them with us!

    Wednesday
    Jan012014

    Recently Completed Events: Karpov Beats Timman 2.5-1.5

    One of the sub-events in Groningen over the Christmas holiday was a 4-game match between former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov and Dutch great Jan Timman. The match commemorated their FIDE World Championship match 20 years prior, and finished with the same result: Karpov won. The first three games were drawn, but Karpov won a nice technical game to close out the match - have a look.

    Thursday
    Dec262013

    Korchnoi Out, Karpov-Timman Underway

    According to the Zurich Christmas Open website, Viktor Korchnoi had to cancel his participation in the tournament due to health reasons. Here's the Google Translate version:

    Unfortunately, Viktor Korchnoi can not fulfill his wish of participating in the traditional tournament. Health reasons force him to stay at home. We wish him a speedy recovery and all the best in the coming year.

    For those of you looking to get your fix of old-timey chess players, Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman are playing a four-game rapid (40' + 30") match. Game 1 was played earlier today and was drawn in a fairly dull game, thanks to Karpov's unfortunate but understandable continued advocacy of the Scandinavian with 3...Qd8.

    Sunday
    Nov032013

    Hardy Russian Stock...Brrrrrrr

    Anatoly Karpov as you've never seen him before:

    Sunday
    Nov032013

    Karpov-Kasparov Nostalgia

    As intriguing as many find the upcoming world championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, there is as yet no rivalry in chess history that compares with that between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. They played five world championship matches in a six-year period, comprising 144 games in total (no wimpy 12-game matches for those two), and in all of them the outcome was unclear until very near or even at the very end.

    Here is a video compiling both photos and footage of their rivalry from a simul battle in the mid-70s through their rapid and blitz match in 2009. A remarkable highlight to me is the footage of the end of the Seville match in 1987, which must have been one of the most shattering events of Karpov's career - if not his life. To look at Karpov (at the 9:00 mark; see the next 75 seconds or so as well) when he resigns the 24th game is to be amazed. Just to judge by outward appearances, he looks no more disappointed than many of us would be after losing a game at our local club. I've been unhappier after losing blitz games than he seems to be. That kind of remarkable composure probably helped him a great deal in his career.

    Saturday
    Nov022013

    The Karpov-Muzychuk Endings From Cap d'Agde

    In my summary post on Cap d'Agde, I mentioned a long and fascinating ending between Anatoly Karpov and Mariya Muzychuk from their semi-final match. Here it is, with my annotations.

    Saturday
    Nov022013

    Bacrot Wins Cap d'Agde, Defeating Karpov in Blitz

    When we left off yesterday in our Cap d'Agde recap, Anatoly Karpov had drawn the first game of his semi-final with Mariya Muzychuk while Etienne Bacrot had defeated Vassily Ivanchuk. After that, Karpov defeated Muzychuk in a long and eventful ending to make it to the final. First it was a knight vs. bishop ending, then a fascinating pawn ending, and then a queen ending Karpov pulled out after more than 100 moves. Bacrot then defeated Ivanchuk a second time, and Saturday's final was set.

    Karpov and Bacrot drew both rapid games (25' + 10"), and so the match moved on to a blitz phase (), and only here did Karpov taste defeat for the first time in the entire tournament. Unfortunately for Karpov, he lost both games - and despite having won positions in both. In the first, blunders near the end cost the game, while in the latter he was still winning in the final position and so presumably lost on time. Alas - but that's blitz. Despite his tremendous success in the preliminary stage Karpov still came in second overall, but even so it was a fantastic result. Of course a very good result for Bacrot as well, and congratulations to both players are in order.

    Tuesday
    Oct292013

    Crazy Karpov Update: 8/9

    Anatoly Karpov's crazy streak continues, and he's up to six straight wins. In round 8, opening the second cycle of the preliminary round of the Cap d'Agde rapid tournament, Karpov defeated Vassily Ivanchuk when the latter blundered in a better position, and then in round 9 the ex-champ beat Mariya Muzychuk as well. Is this tournament being sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation?

    Monday
    Oct282013

    I [Heart] The '80s: Karpov Leading In Cap d'Agde

    One fears it's too good to last, but in the meantime enjoy the fact that Anatoly Karpov, 62 years of age and retired from serious play for going on 15 years, is leading after the first cycle of Cap d'Agde with a magisterial score of 6/7. He has won four games in a row, including wins over Yannick Pelletier and second-seed Etienne Bacrot (who is in second with 4.5 points).

    Starting tomorrow they'll begin the second cycle of this rapid tournament, and once that's over the top four will play elimination matches for the championship. Karpov is in great shape to qualify: Marie Sebag and Maria Muzychuk are tied for third-fourth with 4 points apiece, and I would be surprised if they maintained their placement. Half a point behind them are top seed Vassily Ivanchuk (seven draws!) and Pelletier.

    Saturday
    Oct262013

    Ongoing: Rapid Chess in Cap d'Agde

    Le trophée Anatoly Karpov 2013 is underway in the resort city of Cap d'Agde, France, and it will be going for a while. It's an eight-player double-round robin - or at least that's how the first stage will work. After that the top four will play a pair of knockout rounds to determine a champion. The three biggest names in the event are Vassily Ivanchuk, Etienne Bacrot and Anatoly Karpov himself. After two days and four rounds, Yannick Pelletier, Bacrot and Karpov are tied for first with three points apiece; Ivanchuk - who barely averted a loss to Karpov in round 1 - has two points.