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July 1, 1997 the Mephisto Chess Challenger (MCC) chess program played 2 games against world champion Anatoly Karpov in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

MCC played on a fast Pentium PRO 200 Mhz, used time control 30 minutes for the whole game. Both games ended in a draw, Karpov as the better chess player and the computer as the tough defender.

Mephisto Chess Challenger is developed in cooperation with Hegener & Glaser AG, Munich Germany and the Schröder BV, Deventer The Netherlands and is meant for the mass market. For more information please contact the german distributor Schach Niggemann at Schach.Niggemann@t-online.de

MCC comes with the Rebel Gold chess engine and most of the Rebel 8.0 features including a 25,000 game database, all on Cdrom.

Mephisto Chess Challenger - Karpov, A

    [Event        "?"]

    [Site         "Gelsenkirchen"]

    [Date         "1997.07.30"]

    [Round        "?"]

    [White        "Mephisto Chess Challenger"]

    [Black        "Karpov, Anatoly"]

    [Result       "1/2-1/2"]

    [Annotator    "Jeroen Noomen"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5

Position after 3. e5
Against Karpov I would rather prefer the computer to play open positions by means of 3 Nc3! Now it gets a very postional and closed game, which is not very suitable to a computer.
3... Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O c5 7. c3 Nec6 8. Be3 Nd7 9. a3 Be7 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. b4 cxd4 12. cxd4 Nb6

Position after 12... Nb6
Well, it's clear what Karpov's intentions are: Try to get a piece to the weak square c4.
13. Rc1 Rc8 14. Nb3

Position after 14. Nb3
Overlooking a nice pawn-sacrifice for positional compensation. Much better was 14 Qb3, overprotecting c4, or maybe a plan with Nf3-e1-d3-c5.
14... Nc4 15. Bxc4 dxc4 16. Rxc4 Qd5 17. Rc1 a5

Position after 17... a5
The point. Karpov wins his pawn back, after which the white squares in the computer's position are very weak. Combined with the passed b-pawn and the backward white d-pawn, Black's advantage is obvious.
18. Nxa5 Nxa5 19. bxa5 Qxa5 20. Qb3 Be4 21. a4 Bd5 22. Qb5 Qxb5 23. axb5 Bc4 24. Rfd1 Bxb5 25. Rxc8 Rxc8

Position after 25... Rxc8
In this position (especially against Karpov!) a human player would be very depressed and lose without a chance. But the computer is unimpressed and starts to defend in a very accurate way.
26. Ra1 Bc6 27. h3 h6 28. Nd2 Bd5 29. Rb1 Rc3 30. Kh1 Kh7 31. Kh2 Kg6 32. Rb2 h5 33. Rb1 h4 34. Rb6 Kf5 35. Rb5 g5 36. Rb2

Position after 36. Rb2
Karpov has played very well up to here, but it remains a mistery to me why he doesn't try to advance his passed pawn. 36 ... Bc6 followed by b7-b5 looks like a logical plan.
36... f6 37. Nf3 Rb3 38. Rxb3 Bxb3 39. exf6 Bxf6 40. Ne5

Position after 40. Ne5
Of course Black is still better here, but it is not so clear anymore. Furthermore, Karpov was getting short of time.
40... b5 41. Bd2 Be7 42. f3 Bd5 43. Nd3

Position after 43. Nd3
Stopping the b-pawn. Karpov sees no way to make headway and steers the game towards a draw.
43... Bd6+ 44. Kg1 Bc4 45. Ne5 Ba2 46. Nd3 Bc4 47. Ne5

Position after 47. Ne5
Draw agreed

Last updated: Tuesday, 29. July 1997
Annotator: Jeroen Noomen, email: jnmchess@xs4all.nl
© Schröder BV, email: rebchess@xs4all.nl
WWW: http://www.xs4all.nl/~rebchess/