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Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978
Baguio City, Phillipines

The 1978 World Chess Championship was played between challenger Viktor Korchnoi and champion Anatoly Karpov in Baguio City, Phillipines. The conditions of the match were changed for the first time since 1951: the 24 game format was replaced with an unlimited game format, with the first player to win 6 games being declared champion. The rematch clause for the Champion, which had been discarded since 1963, was brought back into effect.

 Korchnoi vs Karpov
 Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 Candidates Matches, Moscow
This was not the first match betwen Korchnoi and Karpov. In the 1974 candidates matches, after defeating Lev Polugaevsky and Boris Spassky in preliminary matches, Karpov beat Korchnoi in the 1974 candidates final by the close score of +3 -2 =19.

Korchnoi had been one of the USSR's top grandmasters for over 20 years. He had won the Soviet Championship on four occasions and had had reached the Candidates final twice. When Korchnoi dramatically defected from the USSR in 1976, he set the stage for one of the most bitterly contested matches in WCC history, filled with high political drama, tension, and accusations. The political ramifications of a Soviet defector winning the chess crown hung heavy on the match atmosphere.

Numerous accusations were traded by the two camps. Korchnoi continously complained that he was being stared at by a member of Karpov's team during play, a parapsychologist supposedly with hypnotic powers. Karpov objected to Korchnoi's wearing of sunglasses which he said deflected light on his eyes. At one point in the match the players stopped shaking hands and all further communication stopped. Draws offers were conveyed through the arbiter.

According to Grandmaster Robert Byrne:

Korchnoi, the challenger, thrives on rancor, developing instant aversion for every opponent he plays. Their mutual dislike began with Korchnoi's disparaging remarks about Karpov's play during their final Candidates' Match in Moscow in 1974. True enmity did not blossom, however, until their title match in Baguio City, the Philippines. After Korchnoi defected from the Soviet Union in 1976, his wife, Bella, and son, Igor, were prevented from joining him. Karpov was not amused when Korchnoi called him "the jailer of my wife and son", implying that Karpov could have obtained their release from the Soviet Union so they could have joined Korchnoi. Karpov retaliated by terming Korchnoi "immoral" for leaving his family behind when he defected to the West. Korchnoi screamed, "Filthy!" and Karpov would no longer shake hands.[1]

Karpov's FIDE Rating going into the match was 2725; Korchnoi's was 2665. The match opened with seven draws. Karpov opened up a 5-2 lead and seemed sure to win when Korchnoi made an astonishing comeback winning three games to tie the match at 5-5. Karpov, however, won the very next game to win the match.

click on a game number to replay game 1234567891011121314151617181920
Karpov½½½½½½½1½½0½11½½1½½½
Korchnoi½½½½½½½0½½1½00½½0½½½

click on a game number to replay game 212223242526272829303132
Karpov0½½½½½100½01
Korchnoi1½½½½½011½10

FINAL SCORE:  Karpov 6;  Korchnoi 5 (21 draws)
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Karpov-Korchnoi 1978]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #8     Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978     1-0
    · Game #17     Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978     0-1
    · Game #31     Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. Korchnoi Bids for Chess Title Karpov Holds, Robert Byrne, New York Times, 1981
        As Chess Matches Go, This One's Well-Behaved, New York Times, Dec 1 1987

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 32  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½18 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
2. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½29 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
3. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½30 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchE42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
4. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½19 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
5. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½124 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchE42 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein)
6. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½23 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
7. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½42 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
8. Karpov vs Korchnoi 1-028 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
9. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½41 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½44 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
11. Korchnoi vs Karpov 1-050 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchA07 King's Indian Attack
12. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½44 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
13. Korchnoi vs Karpov 0-161 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Karpov vs Korchnoi 1-050 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
15. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½25 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½51 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC07 French, Tarrasch
17. Korchnoi vs Karpov 0-139 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
18. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½64 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchB08 Pirc, Classical
19. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½39 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
20. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½63 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchB15 Caro-Kann
21. Korchnoi vs Karpov 1-060 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½64 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC07 French, Tarrasch
23. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½42 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
24. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½45 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
25. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½80 1978 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship MatchA22 English
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 32  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Sorry if this has been posted before, but here is a youtube clip with some old TV footage from the time of the match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=capu...

At the end Karpov does well to share a laugh with Breschnev (does he have a choice?).

Nov-18-14  Petrosianic: Did Brezhnev know who Karpov was by that point in his life?
Nov-18-14  Petrosianic: <Karpova: Behind the scenes of Korchnoi's team: <Backstabbing in Baguio>, Kingpin, Online February 25, 2010:>

Looks like either a satirical piece, or a very badly written one.

Mar-14-15  Everett: <
Nov-22-13
premium
member Karpova: Behind the scenes of Korchnoi's team: <Backstabbing in Baguio>, Kingpin, Online February 25, 2010: http://www.kingpinchess.net/2010/02... Michael Francis Stean: <The terrible thing was that Viktor had always been betrayed and let down. That was why he defected. He needed people around him he could trust.>>

To at least some degree, we each make our own beds. Karpov went with the flow of the Soviets, Korchnoi did not. The rest is simply evidence of those decisions.

Aug-01-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Some match-footage: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/R...
Aug-01-15  thegoodanarchist: <whiteshark: Some match-footage:>

Outstanding historical documentary! I thank you kindly for the link to this.

Aug-02-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <thegoodanarchist> You are welcome!
Aug-02-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Indeed, all the AP reporting <whiteshark> found is great.

But this one in particular is fantastic.

Who was the women serving as a pseudo-second to Korchnoi in addition to Keene?

See is briefly mentioned by name, and is seen at the table (1:55) and dancing at 3:27.

Aug-02-15  Retireborn: <z> That looks like Petra Leeuwerik, who was Korchnoi's girlfriend at the time and still is, I believe. Her official title was head of Korchnoi's delegation.
Aug-02-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Ah, thanks, <rb>...

I thought they were on rather, er.. "friendly", terms seeing them dancing together.

On the other hand, I know that Korchnoi was still married, and waiting for both his wife and son to emigrate from the USSR.

Here's more:

<
“The arrival of the family was in 1982 and the divorce proceedings started long after in 1988.”

Are you sure this is right? Here’s a notice in Time Magazine from August 8, 1983:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/a...

“SEEKING DIVORCE. Viktor Korchnoi, 52, tempestuous Soviet chess grand master who defected in 1976; and Beta Korchnoi, 50, who emigrated to Switzerland last year with their son Igor, 23, after the young man spent 30 months in a Siberian labor camp for refusing military service; after 25 years of marriage; in Wohlen, Switzerland. Korchnoi, who twice lost world championship matches to erstwhile Countryman Anatoly Karpov, pleaded with Leonid Brezhnev to allow his family to leave in 1978, though he was linked romantically with his Austrian-born manager, Petra Leeuwerik.”>

http://www.chessintranslation.com/2...

Aug-02-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Korchnoi's wife's name is incorrect in the above... as noted later in the link given.

It's Bela (not Beta).

Oct-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I truly believe that Kortschnoi's wins in this match were "better" than Karpov's. I know that a win is a win and a point is a point...

Often Karpov's wins were as a result of a Kortschnoi blunder, but Kortschnoi's wins often show a bit of artistry. I suppose that that means that Karpov is much harder to beat!

But this was, in its totality, a great match, one of the best. Two chess players both on top form, scandals, murder (the Ananda Margas were wanted for murder), political intrigue, hypnotism, musicals, hurricanes, the wrong chess set for game 1, and a quasi-Armageddon finish.

That is a match!

Oct-24-15  Howard: True--out of Karpov's six wins, three of them (Games 13, 17, and 27) came out because of blunders by Korchnoi (with the 17th game being by far the most blatant example!).

In contrast, out of Korchnoi's five wins, only one (Game 11) came about due to a Karpov blunder.

But, on the other hand, what about the category of "botched wins" ? Jeez, Korchnoi should damn well have won the 5th game, but most of us know how that turned out ! Then there were Games 20 and 22, in which Karpov had easy wins but blew both of them.

Frankly, I wouldn't call this "one of the best" WC matches, at all. The level of play left a lot to be desired, plus the ridiculous off-the-board shenanigans didn't help matters.

Oct-24-15  HeMateMe: Don't all victories come from blunders?
Oct-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM: Don't all victories come from blunders?>

Maybe for ordinary mortals, but all mine came after dazzling displays of supreme talent.

Oct-24-15  Howard: There's a difference between outright blunders, and minor mistakes.
Oct-24-15  Olavi: In the professional parlance also mistakes that only slightly worsen the position can sometimes be called blunders. Meaning that the player had completely missed something obvious, (s)he was just lucky it didn't turn out worse. Whereas a mistake that turns a normal position into a lost one is not necessarily a blunder, for instance if the decisive difference appears after a long and complicated, hard to calculate line.
Oct-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <HeMateMe: Don't all victories come from blunders?>

That is true. Or from errors, let's say. But this match was very high-tension, because Kortschnoi was a defector and Karpov had an ingrown toenail on his right hallux.

Oct-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Well, there's blunders, and then there's blunders,

Outright gifts, and also plunder,

not to mention the "accumulation of small advantage",

often seen only with engine vantage,

quite different from Morphy's strikes of thunder.

There's also the philosophical version - if you blunder on the board, and nobody sees it, is it still a blunder?

Oct-24-15  Albion 1959: Game 21 was my favourite game of this match !!
Oct-25-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Not to change the subject of this page too much..but what if........Korchnoi had beaten Karpov (he almost did) in the 1974 Candidates Final match....would Bobby and Korchnoi found a way to work out details for a match in 1975? Bobby would have surely beaten Korchnoi in a match at this time, but then Karpov would have been Bobby's opponent for the 1978 Match. This would really have been the ultimate match!!! 20 years older than Karpov and Karpov barely won this match in 1978. Bobby only has 8 years on Karpov.....Bobby would have almost for certain won a match against Karpov in 1978....only I believe in 1981 would Karpov have maybe pulled out a victory. Bobby would I bet have wanted to get revenge and there could have been another Karpov-Fischer Match in 1984.......Garry might not have contested a match until 1987....oh well sorry to digress...
Oct-25-15  HeMateMe: <would Bobby and Korchnoi found a way to work out details for a match in 1975?>

No. However, if Larry Evans or Jude acers had been presented as challenger in 1975, with a purse of $1M, I think Bob would have played.

Dec-18-15  thegoodanarchist: <offramp: <HeMateMe: Don't all victories come from blunders?>

That is true. Or from errors, let's say. But this match was very high-tension, because Kortschnoi was a defector and Karpov had an ingrown toenail on his right hallux.>

I thought it was the left hallux...

Jan-14-16  thegoodanarchist: <<<<>>Apr-19-11 fab4: This match is quite possibly the worst since FIDE took a hold on chess..>

Apr-19-11 HeMateMe: It was sligtly more competitive than Kasparov v. Short.

This match had Defector v. party boy, older star against young turk. The best active players in the world. A long match, hard fighting chess, two players who were opposites and did not like each other.

Fab, you have zero understanding of drama in the sporting arena.>

Just so you know, the Kasparov-Short match was NOT a FIDE match.

Jan-15-16  Lt.Surena: Joshka: writes "What if". Dude, you need to take up science fiction. Meanwhile back in the "ranch" ie. cheap motel in Pasadena circa 1974, 75, 78 Bobby had surrounded himself with bags 'n bags of his favorite/beloved oranges. He was too afraid to face the new generation of players.

Korchnoy was never the best player in the world and that's a fact. He was/is too emotionally unstable. Even the ever docile Spassky could not stand Victor's face in a match and would play from a different room.

Victor is the same guy who made a huge fuss about his wife being locked up behind the iron curtain during the match with Karpov. All the while Victor was messing with his secretary. He married her while she was in Soviet Union. What a guy !!

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