24 August 2009

World Championship Opening Preparation

How many top level chess games are won (or lost) during home preparation? Quite a few, it appears. Here are three well known examples from World Championship matches.

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Karpov: 'a classic example of a battle which was decided entirely in the process of home preparation' ('Anatoly Karpov's Best Games' by Karpov; p.94)

Anatoli Karpov vs Garry Kasparov; World Championship Rematch 1986
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1067222

See 14.h3.

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Kasparov: 'I told my mother, "Just pray he will play the Ruy Lopez. Then he will be dead. Instantly."' ('The Day Kasparov Quit' by ten Geuzendam; p.45)

Garry Kasparov vs Viswanathan Anand; World Championship Match 1995
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1018625

See 15.Nb3.

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Bareev, Kramnik's second: 'We'd been given a firm directive to prepare this variation specifically. Unfortunately, the work went in various directions and although there were several of us, we didn't manage to analyse the position as much as we should have done, and we couldn't give a precise evaluation in all the lines.' ('From London to Elista', Bareev & Levitov; p.240)

Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Leko; World Championship Match 2004
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1309482

See 23.Qf2.

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There are many other examples and I'll add to the list as I encounter them.

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Korchnoi: 'I ran up against a painstakingly analysed, prepared variation from which, by a direct attack, Karpov won. It was clear that the whole game, from beginning to end, was analysis. This was Karpov's best achievement in the match, but I found it strange that the Informator [Informant] jury should judge it to be the best game of the year. After all, there was no fight, no creativity.' ('Chess Is My Life', Korchnoi; p.108)

Anatoli Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi; Moscow cf 1974
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1067858

See 19.Rd3.

1 comment:

Harvey Kelly said...

Not won/lost, but very nearly... Game 4 of Fischer-Spassky. Killed the Sozin for the match - in his next White Fischer opened with 1.c4 and when he went back to 1.e4 he played the Rauzer against Spassky's Sicilian. Whoever in the legion of Soviet GMs who worked out 9..a6; 10...Nxd4; 11...b5 (Geller?) did a great job, Fischer was hanging on just trying to survive, and on a different day Spassky probably would've beaten him. "This was the surprise! It turns out that the challenger's narrow opening repertoire has its negative side. At the board Fischer is forced to solve a complictaed theoretical problem that had been thoroughly analysed by his opponent." (Smyslov)