After the 1985 Karpov-Kasparov world championship was terminated in suspicious circumstances, Karpov began to receive a bad press. I believe that a prime reason for this is that the former champion simply refused to put across his own case. Recently, however, Karpov has modified his reticent stance. In the December issue of Pergamon Chess magazine Karpov has a lengthy interview, in which he counter- attacks against many of Kasparov's politic- al charges in Child of Change. In addition, Karpov has just brought out an excellent book, The Semi-Open Game in Action (Batsford £6.95), in which he takes up analytical cudgels with Kasparov over several key games of their world title clashes. I was particularly impressed by Karpov's modest and realistic approach to these complicated games and his readiness to analyse his defeats as well as his victor- ies. Here now is the famous and controver- sial 24th game from 1985, the game which brought Kasparov the title, with notes based on those by Karpov. Karpov's book, by the way, is highly recommended.
Karpov — Kasparov: Sicilian Defence, Scheveningen Variation. I e4 c5 2 Nt3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 8e2 e6 70-0 Be7 8 f4 0-09 Khl Qc7 10 a4 Nc6 11 8e3 Re8 12 Bf3 Rh8 13 Qd2 Bd7 14 Nb3 b6 15 g4 Bc8 16 g5 Nd7 17 Qf2 BM 18 Bg2 Bb7 19 Radl g6 20 13c1 Rbc8 21 Rd3 Nb4 22 Rh3 Bg7 Karpov writes that he should now have played 23 f5 and gives the following variation as best play for both sides: 23 . . . exf5 24 exf5 Bxg2+ 25 Kxg2 Qb7+ 26 Kgl Rc4 27 fxg6 Rg4+ 2R g3 Rxg3+ 29 hxg3 Ne5 30 gxh7+ Kh8. 'In this position White has two extra pawns but he is still far from winning. The active positions of Black's pieces allow him to hope for a draw'. 23 Be3 Re7 24 Kgl Rce8 25 Rdl f5 26 gxf6 Nxf6 (Diagram)
Position after 26... Nxf6 Apropos the pawn sacrific Black has offered Karpov writes: 'I should have accepted at once. After 27 Bxb6 0b8 28 a5 Rf7 29 Qd2 Nh5 30 Ne2 and 31 c3 it is not difficult to work out that Black's position would be nearly hopeless. I remember how Kasparov showed me absolutely brain-twisting variations, trying to convince me that Black could hold the position. But in fact I have never insisted that White had a forced win, though the fact that Kasparov's team had to spend more than several dozen hours in order to defend Black's position says much about the position's assessment'. 27 Rg3 1217 28 Bxb6 Qb8 29 Be3 Nh5 30 Rg4 Nf6 31 Rh4 g5 32 fxg5 Ng4 33 Qd2 Nxe3 34 Qxe3 Nxc2 35 Qb6 Ba8 36 Rxd6 Rb7 37 Qxa6 Rxb3 38 Rxe6 Rxb2 39 Qc4 Kh8 40 e5 Qa7+ 41 Khl Bxg2+ 42 Kxg2 Nd4+ White resigns.
Judith Polgar finished the Olympics with a last round win, which catapulted her into the best overall performance, ahead of her older sisters and the eloping Akhmilov- skaya. The following win (from the Romania-Hungary match) is most impress- ive. Judit's 12. . . Qa5! is a big improve- ment over 12. . . Be7 played by Ulf Andersson against Ehlvest in the Belfort World Cup, a game in which Black went down to speedy defeat.
Polihroniade — J. Polgar: Sicilian Defence, Taimanov Variation.
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Be2 a6 7 f4 Nxd4 8 Qxd4 b5 9 Be3 Bb7 10 0-0-0 Rc8 11 Rd2 Nf6 12 Bf3 Qa5! 13 e5 Bc5 14 Qd3 Bxe3+ 15 Qxe3 b4 16 Bxb7 bxc3 17 Rd3 Ng4 18 Rxc3 Nxe3 19 Rxc8+ Ke7 20 Rxh8 Qxa2 21 g3 Nc4 22 Kdl Qbl+ 23 Ke2 Qxc2+ 241(13 Qb3+ 25 Kg4 Ne3+ 26 Kh4 Qxb7 27 Rg 1 Qf3 White resigns.
I conclude this week with brief homage to the Dutch Grandmaster Jan Donner.
Donner was a giant of a man, almost seven feet tall. He had a fine positional sense but was notorious for losing miniatures, when his lack of a sense of danger often betrayed him. Donner suffered a stroke in 1982 which left him half blind and virtually paralysed, and last week he died in an Amsterdam nursing home. This win was one of his favourites:
Donner — Troianescu: Wageningen 1957; Nimzo-Indian Defence.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 0-0 6 Nf3 d5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 a3 cxd4 9 exd4 dxc4 10 Bxc4 Be7 11 Rd l a6 12 Ba2 b5 13 d5 exd5 14 Nxd5 Nxd5 15 Qxd5 8b7 16 Qh5 g6 17 Qh6 Nd4 18 Ng5 Bxg5 19 Bxg5 Qb6 20 Radl Rc8 21 Re7 Qd6 22 Khl Qc6 23 Rxb7 Nf5 24 Bd5 Qc2 25 Re! Qe2 26 Bxf7+ Black resigns.