Karpov Wins
Fischer Wins ?!?!!!!!

 3/24/2005 - Unfortunately you don't hear that very often. The 1975 world chess championship match between Fischer and Karpov never occurred.

       Fischer wins, Karpov wins. Thatís the first time I heard that one.  Both the 11th and 12th world champions won their games today. Both games were hard fought, grinding endgames.

     Karpov won the decisive 4th game of the match against GM Istratescu. It was a typical Karpovian squeeze. Karpov is known for converting small advantages into a victory. 

    Karpov used his space advantage on the queenside and converted it to a pawn advantage. The game evolved into a minor piece endgame with Karpov being up a pawn. It was Karpovís rook, bishop, 4 connected kingside pawns, and an outside passed b-pawn versus Istratescuís rook, bishop and 4 connected kingside pawns. Karpov sacrificed his rook and bishop in order to queen his passer. 
Materially the position was even. However, there is much more to chess than material. Karpov expertly took advantage of the queen vs. rook and minor piece imbalance. In order for a rook and minor piece to successfully battle an opposing queen, they must be coordinated with the king.       

      Upon queening his pawn, Karpov took advantage of the disorganized position of his opponent.  Istratescuís king was dangerously exposed and his rook and bishop were hanging. This spells disaster against a queen, whose mobility can create deadly forks. Karpovís queen immediately started forking Istratescuís pieces. Istratescu kept finding the best defense, however he was not able to break free from Karpovís squeeze.  

Karpov won a bishop with move 46. g4. The endgame was transformed again into Karpovís queen and h-pawn vs. Istratescuís rook and connected g and h-pawns. Even though down material, Istratescu looked like he could create an impenetrable fortress. However Karpov kept the squeeze on and opened up Istratescuís king shelter by sacrificing a pawn on move 50 h4. 

     Karpovís king and queen pushed Istratescuís king into the corner. A master endgame strategist, Karpov used the subtleties of zugzwang to force his opponent to move his rook to a square where the queen could fork it. Faced with loss of a rook and mate to follow, Istratescu resigned on move 64.  Karpov won the classical phase of this match and will play a 4 game rapid match with Istratescu.


Replay Karpov vs. Istratescu - Bucharest 2005 - Game 4
Karpov vs. Istratescu match  - Official site
Fischer wins his game
Anatoly Karpov - Chess Reporter
What If Fischer played Karpov in 1975