World chess champion Anatoly Karpov toiled for two days and 86 moves last weekend in Moscow before agreeing to a draw with challenger Gary Kasparov. The draw in game 20 of the match moves Kasparov one small step closer to the world championship. With a match score of 11 to 9 in his favor, Kasparov needs only three more draws in the four remaining games to win the title. Karpov can hold the match to a draw and retain his title by winning two games -- a prospect that becomes less likely with each drawn game.
Game 20 featured a prolonged end game, a relative rarity in this match, which has tended to have fairly short games that would either peter out into a draw or reach a sudden, violent end in the middle game. Some of the moves made by both players hint that they were thinking of settling for a draw long before the game ended, but the game stretched out to epic length. In the final position, although Karpov has one more pawn than his opponent, all the pawns on the board can be either immobilized or eliminated; each player must leave his own unprotected to stop his opponent's and, if a last-ditch situation should arise, a bishop can be traded for a pawn without fear of losing the draw.
Toward the end, Kasparov seemed to suffer from a minute disadvantage, though one that hardly threatened defeat. Karpov, who needs victories badly, doggedly pursued the elusive breakthrough as long as there seemed to be any possibility. Kasparov may have acquiesced in prolonging the game as a way of wearing down his opponent's strength and power to resist. What happened, in effect, was that Karpov expended as much energy as he would have done in two games, only to end up with a draw that, at this point, is almost as good as a win for his opponent.
White/Black -- Karpov/Kasparov
1. d4d5 2. c4e6 3. Nc3Be7 4. cxd5exd5 5. Bf4Nf6 6. Qc20-0 7. e3c5 8. dxc5Bxc5 9. Nf3Nc6 10. Be2d4 11. exd4Nxd4 12. Nxd4Qxd4 13. Bg3Be6 14. 0-0Rac8 15. Bf3b6 16. Rfe1Qb4 17. Be5Bd4 18. a3Qc5 19. Bxd4Qxd4 20. Rad1Qc5 21. Qa4a5 22. Qd4Qxd4 23. Rxd4Rfd8 24. Red1Rxd4 25. Rxd4Kf8 26. Kf1Ke7 27. Ke2Bb3 28. Ke3Rc5 29. Kd2h6 30. Be2Ne8 31. Bf3Nf6 32. Rd3Re5 33. h3Rc5 34. Rd4Rc8 35. Be2Rc5 36. Bd3h5 37. g3g6 38. Ne2Nd7 39. Re4chRe5 40. Nd4Bd5 41. Re2Rxe2ch 42. Bxe2Nc5 43. Nb5Ne4ch 44. Ke3Nd6 45. Kd4Bc6 46. Nxd6Kxd6 47. Bc4Be8 48. h4f6 49. Bg8Kc6 50. Ba2Kd6 51. Bd5Ke7 52. Bg8Kd6 53. Bb3Ke7 54. Bd1Kd6 55. Be2Bd7 56. Bd3Be8 57. Bc4Ke7 58. Be2Kd6 59. g4hxg4 60. Bxg4Bf7 61. f4f5 62. Bd1Bd5 63. Ba4Bf3 64. Bb3Be2 65. Bf7Bh5 66. Kc4Be2ch 67. Kc3Bh5 68. b4Ke7 69. Bc4Kd6 70. bxa5bxa5 71. Kd4Bf3 72. Bf1Bd5 73. Be2Bb7 74. Bd1Bd5 75. Ke3Kc5 76. Ba4Bf7 77. Bd7Kc4 78. a4Kc5 79. Bb5Kd5 80. Kd3Kc5 81. Kc3Kd6 82. Kd4Bb3 83. Be8Ke7 84. Bxg6Bxa4 85. Bxf5Kf6 Drawn