Anatoly Karpov shows how to DISMANTLE 👨‍🔧 the Queen’s Gambit Declined! (vs Yusupov)

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In 1988, Anatoly Karpov was no longer 👑 World Chess Champion (having relinquished that title to Garry Kasparov 3 years earlier) but he was still rated #2 in the world and was a major force in world chess. In fact, Karpov enjoyed his greatest tournament successes after losing the title.

The 1988 USSR Chess Championship featured no less than 5 world chess champions, past, present and future: Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal and Alexander Khalifman (FIDE World Champion). Sadly, Mikhail Tal had to withdraw after one round.

And other big names were competing too: Vassily Ivanchuk, Artur Yusupov and Andrei Sokolov.

Even when they weren’t facing each other, the Garry Kasparov vs Anatoly Karpov rivalry continued in the race to 1st place. Here they were both winners: finishing joint 1st with an identical record of 6 wins, 10 draws and zero losses. There was supposed to have been a playoff match to decide the ultimate winner but both players refused, despite organizer Mikhail Botvinnik’s pleas. The result: both declared the winner and both received a winner’s trophy.

In this game, Anatoly Karpov has White against Artur Yusupov, the world #3 famously coached by Mark Dvoretsky.

Karpov opens with 1.d4 and GM Artur Yusupov responds with the Queen’s Gambit Declined, leading to Karpov’s Petrosian Variation with 7. Qc2 provoking an interesting novelty from Yusupov with 8. e4 Nxe4!? 9. Bxe7 Kxe7 – leading to double-edged play.

Karpov was able to seize a dangerous initiative against Black’s exposed king, although Artur Yusupov achieved some counterplay based on White’s inability to activate his h1 rook.

Anatoly Karpov’s execution of the attack is near-perfect as he maintains control of the game through a long series of checks that he used to gain valuable time on the clock. The former World Chess Champion emerged from the complications with an extra exchange that he converted with immaculate technique by first fixing the h7 pawn and gaining tempi while developing his rooks and checking Black’s king.

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