Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Karpov’s Trap

Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov is a Russian chess grandmaster and former World Champion from 1975 to 1985.

Karpov has been famous for his highly positional play which some authors have called “boa constrictor” style. In his beginning as a chess player, and opposite to his colleagues, he usually chose quiet openings characterized by piece manoeuvering. With White, he opted for the tedious Sicilian closed variation while with Black, he answered 1.e4 with 1…e5 going for positional lines requiring calm play of pieces.

Nevertheless, he always has been alert to the requirements of each position, reacting mercilessly to any of his opponents’ errors.

In today’s game, for instance, played in the USSR team championship, his opponent made an inaccuracy and Karpov punished it immediately.

Karpov played this game one year after winning the European Junior Championship. As a teenager, Karpov used to play quickly. He used less thinking time than his opponents. That is always a fact creating in the rival the impression of facing a well-prepared player.

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