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Another game by Karpov shows relentless grip of his planning

Today's featured game, the 10th of the match between Anatoly Karpov and Andrei Sokolov, was a magnificent positional achievement by Karpov; the middlegame and the endgame seem to flow as a natural concomitant of the opening. It is the type of game that we might expect to find in a collection by the towering Cuban genius, Jos'e Raoul Capablanca, and it has our complete admiration. The deep planning appears effortless. After we see the moves, they all appear natural. Even at the end we may feel that Sokolov was sneaking out, but the contrary is the truth. The game was always well in hand. It was probable that this game was responsible for Sokolov's gambling so recklessly in the 11th game, featured last month, since he must have felt outclassed by Karpov's superior positional insights. Queen's Indian Defense Karpov Sokolov 1. P-Q4 N-KB3 2. P-QB4 P-K3 3. N-KB3 P-QN3 4. P-KN3 B-R3 5. P-N3 B-N5 ch (a) 6. B-Q2 B-K2 7. N-B3 O-O 8. P-K4 P-Q4 9. BPxP BxB 10. KxB PxP 11. P-K5 N-K5 12. Q-K2 NxN 13. BxN Q-Q2 14. K-N2 N-B3 15. KR-K1 (b) N-Q1 16. N-N1 P-QB4 17. P-B4 PxP 18. BxP Q-B4 19. QR-Q1 B-N5 20. R-KB1 N-K3 21. Q-Q3 QxQ 22. RxQ QR-B1 23. N-B3 R-B7 ch 24. R-B2 KR-B1 25. P-B5 NxB 26. NxN RxR ch 27. KxR R-B8 28. P-N4 (c) K-B1 29. K-B3 R-B8 ch 30. K-N3 R-B8 31. K-B4 P-KR3 32. P-KR4 K-K1 33. N-B3 R-B7 34. P-R4 R-QN7 35. N-Q4 B-K2 36. P-KR5 (d) P-R3 37. K-B3 B-B4 38. N-K2 (e) P-Q5 39. N-B4 K-Q2 40. P-K6 ch K-K1 (f) 41. K-K4 P-R4 42. R-KB3 R-N8 43. N-Q5 R-N8 44. K-Q3 (g) RxP 45. P-B6 B-Q3 (h) 46. NxP R-N4 47. PxP RxNP 48. N-B4 B-N5 49. PxP ch RxP 50. RxR KxR 51. N-K5 ch (i) K-B3 52. N-B6 B-K8 (j) 53. NxQP B-N5 (k) 54. N-B6 B-K8 55. K-K2 B-B6 56. K-Q3 B-K8 57. K-B4 K-N4 58. NxP (l) BxN 59. P-N4 B-Q1 60. P-R5 KxP 61. K-N5 B-N4 62. P-R6 B-K6 63. K-B6 Resigns

A.The purpose of this maneuver is to dissuade White's bishop from its natural habitat on QN2.

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B.The start of a deep plan whose long-range goal is the mobilization of the kingside pawn majority.

C.White's strategy has produced a mobile kingside, whereas Black's QP is effectively blockaded.

D.Excellent if somewhat surprising, since we might have expected 36.P-N5. Actually, White's aim is to safeguard the kingside and win on the opposite wing.

E.He abandons the blockade, forces the advance of the QP, and prepares to penetrate on the white squares.

F.The Black KNP would abe a sitting duck after 40.... PxP; 41.NxKP.

G.This pawn sacrifice ultimately forces a liquidation in which White captures all Black's queenside pawns.

H.This is forced. White threatened 46.N-B7 ch and 47.P-K7 ch, winning the bishop. Equally unavailing is 45.... BPxP; 46.P-B7 ch, K-B1; 47.N-B7. And of course 45.... NPxP; 46.NxP ch costs Black his rook.

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I.Initiating a clever knight's tour which gains several critical tempos. The prosaic 51.KxP would be ineffective against 51.... K-B3; 52.... K-N4; and 53.... KxP, when Black's RP soon assumes awesome proportions.

J.Note that here or in subsequent positions, Black cannot allow NxB, which would release the White QRP.

K.Black's king is kept at bay, since 53.... K-N4 or 53.... K-K4 loses the bishop to the knight fork on B3.

L.The most efficacious way to conclude. The bishop is overmatched by the K and Ps. The conduct of White's knight throughout the game was truly sans reproche.