Anatoly Karpov’s 5 Best Chess Tactics

Anatoly Karpov’s 5 Best Chess Tactics

GM Eugene Perelshteyn is an absolute expert in chess tactics. In one of his latest videos, he revealed the 8 most incredible chess combinations which ever occurred in the long history of chess.

This time, GM Eugene Perelshteyn shares some of the best chess tactics by former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov with you. Nowadays, Karpov is not known for his spectacular tactical masterpieces, but for his excellent positional technique. But that’s only half the story. Many chess players forget that Anatoly Karpov also was an extremely strong tactical player. Of course, if you want to convert your hard earned strategic advantage in chess, at some point in the game you need to go for the final combination. This is what Karpov often did in his games.

As GM Perelshteyn explains, Karpov did particularly well in spotting small tactics. Small tactics are combinations that involve 3-5 moves and need to be calculated precisely. Are you ready to see how Karpov executes his best chess tactics?

Let’s take a closer look at some of them:

Karpov, Anatoly – Huebner, Robert

best chess tactics

This position arose (see the diagram on the right) in a game between Anatoly Karpov and the former World Chess Championship contender Robert Huebner. At first glance, it looks like Black’s king is relatively safe. If White plays Rg8+, Black can simply go to h7 with his king and it seems like White can’t make any progress in the position. However, as it’s always worth considering forcing moves like checks and captures first, we should not put the idea of Rg8+ aside too fast.

After Rg8+, the Black king has only two escape squares. It’s not difficult to see that …Kf6 runs into plenty of more checks and the Black king will be mated quickly. White could go for Qf3+ Kg5 and h4 is checkmate. So what happens after …Kh7?

White needs to get the queen into the game in order to come up with decisive threats on the kingside. Karpov found a really beautiful move here. He realized that although the action takes place on the kingside, Black has an unprotected rook on the queenside. Hence, with his next move, he wins an important tempo to bring his queen over to the queenside in time.

He played Qe3! White attacks the Black rook on b6 which either has to be protected or move to a safe square. Huebner went for …Rf6. Now, can you spot the winning combination for Karpov? best chess tactics

Yes, it is mate in 2! He played the winning move Rh8+. If Black takes the rook, Qxh6 is mate as the White bishop on d5 controls all the light squares next to the Black king. If the Black king moves to g7, Qxh6 also leads to mate immediately.

In essence, this example is an important lesson to always look at the whole board. Karpov didn’t only focus on the kingside but he also saw the unprotected rook on b6 which allowed him to win a decisive tempo for his mating attack.

Karpov, Anatoly – Topalov, Veselin

best chess tactics

The position at hand (see the diagram on the right) is from a game between Anatoly Karpov and the Bulgarian chess grandmaster and former FIDE World Chess Champion Veselin Topalov. Again, Anatoly Karpov finds a nice move to force the Black king out of his safe home on g7. He went for Nf6. This move forks queen and rook and if Black tries to exchange queen on f3, White has the winning intermediate move Nxe8+.

Consequently, Topalov had to take the White knight – Kxf6. But now, Karpov played another excellent move – Be5+. It’s a double check. Again, the Black king needs to take the bishop as other moves would simply lose the queen after Qxe4.

Now, as the Black king is stuck in the centre, almost every chess player would expect Karpov to game for a mating attack. This, however, wasn’t his intention at all. He simply exchanges queens with Qxe4 Kxe4 and played Re1+. Black loses material. The king has to leave the e-file and after Rxe8, both of Black’s bishops are hanging. Topalov resigned.best chess tactics

Conclusion 

In conclusion, we learned that Karpov, in addition to be one of the greatest strategic and endgame players of all times, is actually a very tricky player.

He is able to spot small tactics quickly and calculate them precisely. Even the world’s best chess players fell victim to his tactical abilities.

In the article, we could only presented 2 out of 5 of Karpov’s best chess tactics. If you want to see three more bright tactical ideas by Karpov, we definitely recommend you to watch the whole video.

Do you want to watch more breathtaking tactical combinations by some of the greatest chess giants? Click here to get a special discount on “Tactical Decisions” by GM Maxim Dlugy.

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