So I come across this position in Timman’s latest book The Longest Game about the five Kasparov-Karpov matches from 1984-1990.
Here Garry plays 13.Bf4 with Timman noting “Against Marjanovic in La Valetta 1980, Kasparov had played 13.exd5 and won convincingly.”
I was wondering about that game and so I looked it up. Wow…just wow.
The blunder happens in this position:
The threat of course is 17.Nh6+ with the discovered attack on the queen. This game is the stem game in this line, and Marjanovic chooses the worst way to deal with the threat by moving his king to h8, after which his position implodes since the knight on c3 is able to come into the attack via e4 with tempo since the queen is unguarded on d7.
An interesting factoid here is that this game also seems to be a possible example of who was staying current in chess literature at the time and who wasn’t due to the very next game in this line, which took place the following year in Buenos Aires between Argentinian IM Raimundo Garcia and Columbian Augusto Pereira. I can find ratings in the high 2200’s for Pereira so it seems likely he was close to FM strength although he never got the title.
The two games are the same through White’s 19th move:
Here Pereira deviated with 19…Qc5 rather than 19…Qf6. No matter, he still lost quickly.
The reason for my comment about staying current in literature is that back in these days there were no databases and it could be hard to find recent games. Those players who were better at it often had an advantage over those who weren’t.
The Kasparov game had been published in Informant 30, but unless players took the time to truly read and digest the Informants they would often be at the mercy of their better prepared opponents.
Til Next Time,
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