Karpov’s Checkmating Attacks

The next example requires a delicate touch – typical of Karpov’s style.

Answer: 34.Rg7 and Back resigned; 1-0. 35.Rf3 checkmate is next on the agenda.

Karpov played many games against Jan Timman. White has an extra knight but sometimes that is not enough to win. However, Karpov finished off in style, with a forced checkmate.

Anatoly Karpov - Jan TimmanAnatoly Karpov - Jan Timman

Anatoly Karpov – Jan Timman

Bugojno, 1978

White to play and checkmate Black in three moves

Answer: 70.Rf5+ and 1-0. Timman didn’t wait for 70…Kh6 71.Ng8+ Kh7 72.Rh5 checkmate.

A Big Sacrifice

All of the deft touches shown above may give the impression that Karpov never finished games with a sacrificial flourish. The next example refutes the idea.

Anatoly Karpov - Zoltan RibliAnatoly Karpov - Zoltan Ribli

Anatoly Karpov – Zoltan Ribli

Dubai Olympiad, 1986

White to play 

Answer: Karpov unleashed a brilliant queen sacrifice. 53.Qxh7+ Kxh7 54.Rh2+ Kg8 55.Rdh1 f6 56.Rh8+ 1-0. 56…Kf7 57.g6 checkmate would have swiftly followed had Ribli not resigned.

Pawn Power

In today’s final example of Karpov’s checkmating attacks, his opponent, the tricky Ivanchuk, has just promoted a pawn on h8 to earn himself a new queen. White is ahead by one point, but Karpov finishes off the game with a fine checkmate. Accuracy is required!

Beating Vassily IvanchukBeating Vassily Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk – Anatoly Karpov

Tilburg Rapidplay, 1993

Black to play

Answer: 51…b3+ 52. Ka3 Qc5+ 0-1 Ivanchuk resigned, as 53.Kb2 Qf2+ 54.Kb1 Qa2+ 55.Kc1 Qc2 checkmate is on the way.

Incidentally, our friends at chess24.com have published a the first part of a very recent interview Karpov, which is definitely worth reading.

Chessable Courses

You may like to know that there are many more beautiful checkmating patterns in our course, The Checkmate Patterns Manual, by International Master John Bartholomew and CraftyRaf. This course won third place in our Chessable Awards for 2020.

The Checkmate Patterns Manual

There is a shortened, free version of the course here.

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