Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov created a sensation in the World Chess Championship yesterday by accepting a draw with challenger Victor Korchnoi immediately after resumption of play in the seventh match game in the Philippines.
Experts had predicted that Karpov had a winning position when the game was adjourned Tuesday and would take the first decisive point in the championship. This draw sets a record for opening deadlocks, surpassing the six draws at the beginning of the match between Boris Spassky and Tigran Petrosian in 1966.
Analysis by grandmasters at the match site in Baugio City. Philippines, and by local masters at the "Your Move" Club in Georgetown confirmed that Karpov had substantial chances to win. The final position features two of Karpov's pawns on Korchnoi's third rank, able to support each other in efforts to queen. Against this, Korchnoi has play against the black king.
The problem for Karpov was that he would have been forced to sacrifice his knight at , some point, to free his king from Korchnoi's checks. Ordinarily, chess professionals carry such analysis to the point of exhaustion - with reasonable accuracy. But Karpov either lacked the resources or did not entirely trust his teams analystical results.
The Korchnoi team claimed after the game that Yasha Murey, 38, a recent Russian emigre to Israel, has discovered a line that would have allowed Korchnoi to continue though would have the better chances.
Karpov's prospects for the match must be questioned, as this seventh game suggests, he is too timid to enter complicated positions. It will be impossible to hold the championship without taking the risks to win.