Open Ruy Lopez, Lubomir Kavalek – Anatoly Karpov, Montreal 1979

Lubomir Kavalek – Anatoly Karpov, Montreal 1979
Throughout his lengthy chess career, Anatoly Karpov has been a leading exponent of the Ruy Lopez with both colors. His principled encounters with Victor Korchnoi to a very large degree defined the modern theory of this opening; however, in all those games Karpov played with White pieces. This game is one of those rare instances when he ventured to play the Open Variation with Black.

Karpov’s opponent was Lubomir Kavalek, one of the leading Western grandmasters since late 1960-ies till early 1980-ies, peaking as the world’s #10 in the 1974 Elo rating list. While Montreal was not one of his most successful tournaments, he finished it with four victories and five defeats, beating Ljubojevic, Hubner, Timman and Larsen – the true chess elite of the time.