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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
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <WorstPlayerEver: Because the KGB and the CIA cooperated to keep Bobby from playing. All they had to do was 'to work on his paranoia..' To milk that 'concept'.

Both the Mericuns and the Soviets did not want Bobby to 'proceed'. For reasons pretty well known by now (please don't become the ultimate moron here and ask me 'why' lol).>

Sounds a bit far-fetched.
I understand the Soviets having an interest in Fischer leaving the scene, but why would the US hold him back?

Feb-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Worst Player Ever>

<Both the Mericuns and the Soviets did not want Bobby to 'proceed'. For reasons pretty well known by now (please don't become the ultimate moron here and ask me 'why' lol).>

Why?

Feb-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <keypusher: <Worst Player Ever>

<Both the Mericuns and the Soviets did not want Bobby to 'proceed'. For reasons pretty well known by now (please don't become the ultimate moron here and ask me 'why' lol).>

Why?>

Well, as everybody knows, Bobby had threatened to reveal how NASA faked the video of the Apollo moon missions.

Feb-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Look at the picture at the head of this piece. There is a guy just above Korchnoi's hand and to the right a bit looking away from the chessboard.

That's Bobby Fischer.

Feb-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Sally Simpson> Sure does look like him!
Feb-21-16  Howard: And I suppose the Statue of Liberty is pregnant with twins, too----correct?
Feb-21-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Howard,

Me and you have to sit down and have a talk about the birds and the bees.

The statue of liberty is a virgin.

Feb-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <The statue of liberty is a virgin.>

I had the impression that many men have been inside her.

Feb-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: She's had a pretty sordid past. Consorting with the poor, the tired, the huddled masses even.
Feb-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <tamar> In the period just after WWII, she should have been run to ground before HUAC as a dirty Red and a subversive element, by that anti-Commonist (his pronunciation) J Edgar Hoover.
Feb-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: Isn't Trump going to do anything about it?
Feb-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I wish Trump would do something about the picture at the top of this page. It's not as if there were no cameras at Baguio.
Feb-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <tamar: She's had a pretty sordid past. Consorting with the poor, the tired, the huddled masses even.>

<huddled masses>

She must have gone to Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

...it's large enough for "plus-size" individuals.

Feb-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <keypusher: I wish Trump would do something about the picture at the top of this page.>

He's promised to "Make Baguio City Great Again."

<It's not as if there were no cameras at Baguio>

Unfortunately, "hands around throats" tended to block the players faces in most pictures.

Jun-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: 10 reasons why the 1978 Karpov – Korchnoi World Chess Championship match was the weirdest ever, according to Rappler, a social network / news website based in the Philippines:

http://www.rappler.com/sports/by-sp...

Jun-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <diagonal: 10 reasons why the 1978 Karpov – Korchnoi World Chess Championship match was the weirdest ever>

Wow, sounds like Korchnoi never
"received" payment for the match.

Jun-22-16  Olavi: Without otherwise commenting on the 'slightly' inaccurate paper, the FIDE congress decided that Korchnoi would receive full payment even though he never, as far as I know, acknowledged his defeat.
Jun-22-16  Petrosianic: I'd heard he acknowledged it to Petra and his entourage right after the game.

But that was Korchnoi for you. Whereas it was hard to drag Fischer to the board, it was hard to keep Korchnoi away from it. He would always play now and complain later. If a game was played under illegal conditions, you refuse to play. You don't play anyway, take the result if you like it, and complain if you don't. That trick never works.

He never seemed to realized the power he had. The world simply wouldn't have accepted Karpov by default a second time. Korchnoi could have gotten his family out or gotten any halfway reasonable conditions he wanted if he'd been less willing to sit down at the board.

Jun-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Absentee: <Olavi: Without otherwise commenting on the 'slightly' inaccurate paper, the FIDE congress decided that Korchnoi would receive full payment even though he never, as far as I know, acknowledged his defeat.>

Half of the stuff in there smells of fiction. It doesn't help that it's completely unsourced.

Jun-22-16  zanzibar: "Slightly" inaccurate?!

Yes, I wondered too... Consider this statement:

<3. ... Mikhael Tal, one of Karpov’s seconds later told Korchnoi, “There, in Baguio, we were all afraid of you – if you had won the match, you could have been physically eliminated. Everything had been prepared for this.”>

Is this believable?

I tried searching for the source, and found this:

<Two years later, at the Novi Sad Olympiad, Tal had a conversation with Korchnois ... >

https://books.google.com/books?id=R...

So, it's a bit unclear who is the source. It must either be Tal or Korchnoi, but how did Johnson come by it?

Jun-22-16  Petrosianic: It looks like it was written by the Baguio Chamber of Commerce rather than by someone really familiar with chess. Many of the points are simply oddities, which in no way add to the "Weirdest Match Ever" claim, and little or no comparison is made with other matches.
Jun-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I've read the '10 Reasons Article'

Ray Keene's 'Chess in a Ghost Town' article appeared in The Spectator during the match.

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/arti...

I know Keene wrote in his book on the match that Korchnoi thought his life may be danger if he beat Karpov. Keene and others did not take this seriously but were glad not to be asked to act as food tasters.

The venues who bid for the match were Germany, Austria, Holland and The Philippines. The various camps were asked to submit their choice in an order of 1-4.

The flags issue is true. But left out Korchnoi offering to play under a Soviet flag with 'I've escaped' written on it.

The sunglasses, chair and yoghurt incidents happened. And the Korchnoi camp did employ for a while a couple that were wanted for murder to counteract the 'rays' from DR. Zoukhar.

The writer missed out Korchnoi's intended opening ceremony protest to sit down at the playing of the Russian anthem.

Much to Korchnoi's amusement the band played the wrong tune!

Jun-22-16  Petrosianic: Not entirely wrong. It WAS the Soviet National Anthem. Sort of.
Jun-22-16  Olavi: Until 1944.
Jun-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <Sally Simpson:
The sunglasses, chair and yoghurt incidents happened.>

Chair x-rays were all the rage after Fischer/Spassky 1972.

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