White: Anatoly Karpov
Black: Gata Kamsky
9th match game, 1996
Elista, Kalmykia, somewhere in Russia.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4 a6??
The question marks here are not because this is a bad move, but for the impudence in playing it twice against Karpov. The first game may have ended in a draw, but Karpov would have changed his opening if he had no convincing rebuff ready.
8.e5 b5 9.Qb3 Nfd7 10.Be3!
Karpov had played 10.e6 in the fifth game of the match.
10...c5 11.e6! c4 12.exf7+ Rxf7 13.Qd1 Nb6 14.Ne5 Rf8 (see diagram)
With his connected chain of Q-side pawns and firm grip on the white squares, Black must have thought he was doing well. The moment of disillusion is at hand.
15.a4! b4 16.a5!! bxc3
16...Nd5, while positionally well motivated, allows 17.Nxd5 Qxd5 18.Bxc4.
17.axb6 cxb2 18.Bxc4+ Kh8 19.Rb1 Qxb6 20.Qd2 Nd7 21.Rxb2 Nxe5!?
21...Qf6 22.Bg5 was also unappetising. Black's game is riddled with weaknesses. This "sacrifice" tries to make the best of a bad job.
22.Rxb6 Nxc4 23.Qb4 Nxb6 24.Qxb6 a5 25.0-0 a4 26.Ra1 Bf5 27.h4 e6 28.Bf4! Be4 29.Bd6 Rfc8 30.Qb5 Bc6
The bishop would prefer to sit on d5, but it must defend the a-pawn..
31.Qb4 Kg8 32.Ra3 Ra6??
The question marks here are indeed because it is a bad move. After White's reply, the e-pawn is lost.
33.Qc4! Rca8 34.Qxe6+ Kh8 35.Be5 Bxe5 36.Qxe5+ Kg8 37.h5! Be8 38.h6 R6a7 39.d5 Rb7 40.d6 Rd8 41.Rf3! Black resigned.
After 41...Rbd7 (for example) 42.Qh8+! Kxh8 43.Rf8 is mate.Reuse content