Anatoly Karpov effortlessly won the fourth game of his match with Victor Korchnoi yesterday in Merano, Italy, starting from an adjourned position that was already hopeless for his opponent. The game, which had been an easy draw for Korchnoi at move 20, looked like a loss for him by move 30, but he hung on grimly and sometimes ingeniously until move 53.

The quality of the challenger's play in the first four games of the match has varied from flashes of his brilliant, aggressive old style to periods that seemed to border on irrationality. Karpov has now won three games, and the player who wins six is the winner of the match.

The following are the complete moves of the game. Yesterday's continuation begins with black's 41st move.

White-Karpov Black-Korchnoi: 1. e4, e5,; 2. Nf3, Nf6; 3. Nxe5, d6; 4. Nf3, Nxe4; 5. c4, d5; 6. Bd3, Be7; 7. 0-0, Nc6; 8. Re1, Bf5; 9. Bb5, Bf6; 10. Nbd2, 0-0; 11. Nf1, Ne7; 12. c3, Ng6; 13. Bd3, Nd6; 14. Bxf5, Nxf5; 15. Qb3, b6; 16. Qb5, a6; 17. Qd3, Qd7; 18. Ng3, Nxg3; 19. hxg3, a5; 20. Bg5, Bxg5; 21. Nxg5, Rfe8; 22. b3, rad8; 23. Nf3, f6; 24. Nd2, Kf7; 25. Nf1, h5; 26. Rxe8, Rxe8; 27. Qf3, Rh8,; 28. Ne3, Ne7; 29. Re1, g6; Qf4, Kg7; 31. g4, g5; 32. Qf3, hxg4; 33. Nxg4, qd6; 34. g3, c6; 35. c4, f5; 36. Qe3, Ng6; 37. c5, Qd8; 38. Ne5, bxc5; 39. Nxc6, Qf6; 40. Qe6, cxd4; 41. qxd5, d3 (sealed move); 42. Qd7ch, Qf7; 43. Ne7, Kh7; 44. Kg2, Re8; 45. Rh1ch, Nh4ch; 46. gxh4 Qxe7; 47. Qxf5ch, Kg7; 48. hxg5, Qb7ch; 49. f3, Re2ch; 50. Kf1, Kg8; 51. Qxd3, Re6; 52. QdBch, Kg7; 53. Qd4ch, and black resigned.