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Simple Chess is good chess

Simple Chess is good chess

By: Charles Kayle

In this article about the Ruy Lopez Opening, I am presenting to you one famous classical game, played between the two legend players for the highest title: Anatoly Karpov and his challenger Viktor Kortschnoi. What distinguish this game is that Viktor, the terrible, tried to deviate from the major plan of the variation, by mixing two systems: Open Lopez and Grunfeld. Sometimes this can work, but the attempt was too late executed. Please notice how Karpov, with his positional style, plays simple moves, but in reality based on correct tactical nuances, refuted his challenger ‘strategy.


Karpov,Anatoly (2725) – Kortschnoj,Viktor (2665) [C80]

World Championship 29th Baguio City (8), 03.08.1978


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Nxe4


This move characterizes the Open Lopez. White sacrifices, temporarily, his e-pawn, to speed up his development, profiting, if the opportunity occurs, from attacking the presence of the black king in the center.





This is the correct reaction to increase his initiative, as after 6.Re1 Nc5 7. Bxc6 dxc6 8. Rxe5+ Be7 doesn’t pause any real problem for black.


… b5


This is forced, as after 6…exd4 7.Re1 d5 8. Nxd4 threatening Nxc6 and f3 is winning for white.


7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5



Black could play 9…Bc5 or Be7, but Kortschnoi prefers to keep some tension in the center.


10.c3 g6 ?


A dynamic move, but very dangerous. It was better to speed up development by 10…Be7, followed by castling as quickly as possible.

Of course 10…Nxb3 11 Nxb3 followed by Be3 gives white full control of the central d4 square.


11.Qe2 Bg7 12.Nd4!



An excellent pawn sacrifice that clears the way to the f-pawn his triumphal march.


12..Nxe5 13.f4 Nc4 14.f5! gxf5 15.Nxf5 Rg8


A dream of the attack on the g-file, without being realized.



16.Nxc4 dxc4 17.Bc2 Nd3 18.Bh6!



Proposing the exchange of the piece that guards the dark squares around the king.


18…Bf8 19.Rad1!


Bringing the last army to the battle


19..Qd5 20.Bxd3


No time for black to castle long.


20… cxd3 21.Rxd3 £c6 22.Bxf8 £b6+

[If immediately 22..Kxf8, then 23 Nd4 Qb6 24 Qxe6]

23.Kh1 Kxf8

[23..Rxf8 24 Qf3 ! Rd8 25 Ng7+ Ke7 26 Qf6 mat]

24.Qf3!  Re8 25.Nh6 Rg7

[If 25..Rg6 then 26.Qxf7+!! Bxf7 27 Rxf7 lead to mat.]




A move that comes as the answer to the question: How to continue the attack?


[If 26..Bxd7 27 Qxf7 Rxf7 28 Rxf7 mat.]

27.Nxf7! Bxd7

[If 27..Bxf7 28 Rxf7+ Kg8 29.Rf8 + Rxf8 30 Qxf8 mat.]

A little exercise: White to play and mat:

28.Nd8+! 1–0