Biggest Blunder in Chess History – Karpov vs Bareev – Linares (1994)

#agadmator I forgot to turn off my Facebook, so there are a couple of message sounds in the video. Sorry about that 🙂

Anatoly Karpov vs Evgeny Bareev
Linares (1994), Linares ESP, rd 2, Feb-??
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System (C07)

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. ed5 ed5 5. Ngf3 Nf6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Bd7 Nbd7 8. O-O Be7 9. dc5 Nc5 10. Nd4 Qd7 11. N2f3 O-O 12. Bf4 Rfe8 13. Re1 Bf8 14. Ne5 Qa4 15. c3 Qa6 16. Qe2 Qe2 17. Re2 Bd6 18. Nd7 Bf4 19. Re8 Re8 20. Nc5 Bc7 21. Nd3 Bb6 22. Nb3 Kf8 23. Rd1 a5 24. Kf1 Rc8 25. Nd2 a4 26. a3 g5 27. Nf3 g4 28. Nh4 d4 29. cd4 Bd4 30. Nf5 Bb6 31. Nb4 Ne4 32. f3 gf3 33. gf3 Nc5 34. h4 Rd8 35. Rd5 Ba7 36. Rd8#

The 12th Annual Linares Super Tournament held from February 23rd to March 14th, 1994 was the first Category XVIII event ever held. Fourteen of the world’s best players, including both World Champions, competed in a round robin format. The participants were (in order of Elo): Garry Kasparov (2805), Anatoli Karpov (2740), Alexey Shirov (2715), Vishwanathan Anand (2715), Vladimir Kramnik (2710), Vassily Ivanchuk (2710), Gata Kamsky (2695), Boris Gelfand (2685), Evgeny Bareev (2685), Alexander Beliavsky (2650), Veselin Topalov (2640), Judit Polgar (2630), Joel Lautier (2625), and Miguel Illescas-Cordoba (2590). When asked about the strength of the tournament, Kasparov famously stated that the winner could consider himself the world champion of tournament chess. Ironically, it was to be Karpov, his longtime rival, who would be the man of destiny, culminating in the greatest single tournament performance of all time! Karpov won the whole ball of wax, undefeated with an astonishing 11/13!!!

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36 thoughts on “Biggest Blunder in Chess History – Karpov vs Bareev – Linares (1994)

  1. Definitely the worst, but Kramnik's missed mate in 1, and Fischer trapping his bishop against Spassky were pretty bad too.

  2. What ever it is, either he played in his mind or probably he didn’t see, that’s the biggest blunder I have ever seen by a higher rated player of his caliber. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I have to rewatch the entire video now because I was expecting Karpov to make the blunder the entire time

  4. Seeing a grandmaster make that kind of mistake gives me hope that even they miss obvious moves… still not as much as i do but yea..

  5. I was waiting for “ you can pause the video and try to find the biggest blunder in chess history “

  6. These blunders are common from me so I can guess the reasons :

    1) He didn't want to trade rooks because of the two knights being so close to his king.
    2) Its obvious he forgot that the bishop protected the rook.
    3)He wanted to move his bishop to protect it in advance from next move Rd6 by white.
    4) He moved Ba7 to keep protecting the black knight (and yes forgetting about the rook)

    Just a Brain Fade moment.

  7. Agree. I think the blunder was simply his mind was ahead of what had actually happened.
    Like when you start typing a sentence, miss a couple words that you hear in your head, and the sentence on the screen is missing those words.

  8. What a brilliancy by Bareev. I think that a kid who hardly knows chess played that when Bareev was on a walk.

  9. Q U E S T I O N , P L E A S E — How much time did Bareev think about his next move before his Bishop to a7 blunder? Thanks.

  10. I do that mind trick in having thought a trade was made and then proceeding like it has. It produces impressive blunders.

  11. Most likely he was thinking a few moves ahead and didn't realise they hadn't happened yet. I do it all the time… But I suck anyway so, way more often

  12. I'm probably a bit above average for someone who doesn't know chess very well, but I lose to anyone who actually studies chess theory more than half the time, and even I have trouble imaging missing that one.

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