chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

  WCC Overview
 
  << previous HISTORY OF THE WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP next >>  
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981
The Massacre in Merano

Having beat Petrosian, Polugaevsky, and Huebner in the candidates matches, Viktor Korchnoi once again earned the right to play Anatoly Karpov for the title. The match was held in Merano, Italy. The format was identical to the 1978 match: the first player to achieve 6 wins (draws not counting) is crowned world champion.

Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 The headline of the tournament again largely centered on the political issues. Korchnoi's wife and son were still in the Soviet Union. His son was promised to be released to join his father in exile if he gave up his passport. When he did so he was promptly drafted into the Russian army. Korchnoi took the opportunity of the match to publicize the situation of his wife and son, drafting an open letter to the Soviet government to release them both. This continuing effort likely led to his dismal performance as Karpov swept to victory in what was dubbed the "Massacre in Merano".[1]

The match was supposed to start on September 19th, but because of Korchnoi's insistence that he would not play unless his family was released, Fridrik Olafsson, president of the International Chess Federation, made a unilateral decision to delay the match for a month. Perhaps in the name of human rights the Soviet Government would release the family. The Russians were outraged. Early in August, at a meeting of the International Chess Federation in Atlanta, they made a great protest, after which it was decided that the "official" date would return to September 19th. But since Merano was not yet ready, actual play would start October 1st.[2]

In spite of the protests, Korchnoi's son was arrested for evading army service, sentenced to two and half years in labor camp, and served the full sentence.

The match took place between October 1st and November 19th, 1981. The purse was 800,000 Swiss Francs. After 18 games, with a score of 6 to 2, Anatoly Karpov successfully defended his title.

click on a game number to replay game 123456789101112131415161718
Karpov11½1½0½½1½½½01½½½1
Korchnoi00½0½1½½0½½½10½½½0

FINAL SCORE:  Karpov 6;  Korchnoi 2 (10 draws)
Reference: game collection WCC Index [Karpov-Korchnoi 1981]

NOTABLE GAMES   [what is this?]
    · Game #9     Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981     0-1
    · Game #1     Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981     0-1
    · Game #18     Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981     1-0

FOOTNOTES

  1. Victor Korchnoi article at Wikipedia.com
    2 Cold War in the World of Chess, Harold Schonberg, New York Times Sept. 27, 1981.

 page 1 of 1; 18 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Korchnoi vs Karpov 0-143 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
2. Karpov vs Korchnoi 1-057 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC67 Ruy Lopez
3. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½41 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
4. Karpov vs Korchnoi 1-053 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC42 Petrov Defense
5. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½68 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Karpov vs Korchnoi 0-141 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
7. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½31 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½84 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC53 Giuoco Piano
9. Korchnoi vs Karpov 0-143 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½32 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC53 Giuoco Piano
11. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½35 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½47 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchA16 English
13. Korchnoi vs Karpov 1-041 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Karpov vs Korchnoi 1-046 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
15. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½41 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
16. Karpov vs Korchnoi ½-½42 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
17. Korchnoi vs Karpov ½-½23 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Karpov vs Korchnoi 1-041 1981 Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship RematchC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
 page 1 of 1; 18 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-24-08  hedgeh0g: A completely unfair match, psychology-wise. Then again, given the Soviet Union's human rights record, something like this shouldn't come as a surprise. Anything to win, right?
Oct-24-08  Petrosianic: Korchnoi could have stopped it. He could have refused to play in 1978 unless his family were released. The world would not have accepted Karpov as world champion by default twice.

The fact that he later married the secretary he had while his wife was stuck in the USSR might have something to do with why he didn't.

Oct-24-08  Petrosianic: <Perhaps the most amusing part is the initial introduction, where Karpov briefly holds out his hand, and Breshnev ignores it.>

Remembering how Brezhnev was in 1978, he might not have even noticed it.

Jan-22-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: i like the new picture.
Mar-01-09  WhiteRook48: think this tore away their society
Sep-29-10  myschkin: . . .

"Das Brett ist der einzige Platz, an dem er sich erholen kann."

(by Mikhail Tal)

Hör auf, du kleiner Wurm!

"... Alle Aktivität im Gefolge Karpows war dieses Mal leise. Der geradezu feierlich übereinstimmenden Bemühung einer Truppe, die zusammenhielt wie ein Brückenkopf, stand Kortschnois Ensemble gegenüber als ein bunter Haufen von Exoten und Versprengten. Seine Sekundanten flirteten mit Mädchen, verschlangen Cartoons, indes Karpows Mannen Zug für Zug sofort analysierten. ..."

(by Peter Brügge, Der Spiegel 48/1981)

source: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print...

Apr-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <chess61: <Slomarko> Your question is valid and very logical. This should not be called a "rematch". Korchnoi had to qualify. If we stick to World Chess Championship terminology, this is not a rematch.> I agree entirely. This match was NOT a rematch.
Apr-22-11  HeMateMe: <The fact that he later married the secretary he had while his wife was stuck in the USSR might have something to do with why he didn't.>

Did Korchnoi really remarry while his wife and son were held back in the USSR? Maybe he thought they would never be allowed to leave. Did he divorce his wife?

Apr-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: <HeMateMe> Ah Petra, Dr. Zoukhour, Korchnoi was always going for the Big W...the Win and Wuv.
Apr-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: Mmmmm...that was 1978 talisman...drink another cup of coffee and stop talking to yourself.
Dec-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Petrosianic: Korchnoi could have stopped it. He could have refused to play in 1978 unless his family were released. The world would not have accepted Karpov as world champion by default twice.>

I suspect you are overestimating how much the world would have cared, although we will never know.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure that if he had beaten Karpov and become the world chess champion, then his chances of being heard and supported by the international community would have been much stronger. In other words, the best possible scenario for him would have been to become world champion, and I am sure he had blind confidence that he would.

Jan-07-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The word <rematch> in the title really gets on my tits. It makes it look as if Karpov said, "That match in 1978 was so close I'm gonna let you have a rematch, free of charge!"

A rematch is what Botvinnik had 2 of!

Mar-13-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This match was a massacre. Kortschnoi was on the back foot for the whole match. Game 13 was his sole achievement. His other win was a bit lucky.

Kortschnoi was level with Karpov in 1978, but in 1981 Karpov was at an apotheosis.

Mar-13-15  Howard: Now you know the reason that the match was sometimes referred to as the "Massacre In Merano".

Out of fairness to Korchnoi, he got off to an extremely poor start in that match, scoring only a draw out of the first four games. For the remainder of the match, he was able to steady himself, but it was way too late by then.

Mar-13-15  Petrosianic: He was down by the same 4-1 score in the first match and made it competitive.
Mar-13-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <offramp> Correct, this was not a REMATCH. Korchnoi fully qualified. Korchnoi was given nothing!. But he was a bit lucky Bobby was not playing, cause he would not have played in any World Championship Matches. Bobby and Karpov would have had their duals!!
Mar-14-15  Howard: Regarding Petrosianic's comment, your point has been made before. But please bear in mind the number of games involved in these two instances. In the 1978 match, it wasn't until 17 games that the score was 4-1, with 12 draws. In the 1981 contest, it was only 9 games before it became 4-1--a rather significant difference.

To put it another way, Karpov's play in the second match had been superb, including for those first nine games--probably the reason few people were giving Korchnoi much of a chance after those first nine games. But in the first match ?! Let's see.....Karpov should have damn well lost Game 5 and it was by a miracle that he drew. He should have lost Game 7, too, but then (to be fair) so should Korchnoi. And in the infamous 17th game, Karpov should have lost that too, but won.

As I see it, 4-1 in the first match was a different ball game than in the second one.

Apr-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: To say Korchnoi was "a bit lucky Bobby was not playing" is true only if Korchnoi had been afraid of playing against Fischer which I highly doubt.

Anyways, Bobby Fischer stopped playing in 1972. I wonder which accepted branch of logic dictates that because a person stopped doing something, he/she would absolutely beat someone nine years later in the thing in question.

As for this match, Karpov had one title defence behind him. Maybe not the most convincing but a title defence altogether which made it easier for Karpov to come to the second World Championship match.

Apr-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <A.T PhoneHome: To say Korchnoi was "a bit lucky Bobby was not playing" is true only if Korchnoi had been afraid of playing against Fischer which I highly doubt. Anyways, Bobby Fischer stopped playing in 1972. I wonder which accepted branch of logic dictates that because a person stopped doing something, he/she would absolutely beat someone nine years later in the thing in question.

As for this match, Karpov had one title defence behind him. Maybe not the most convincing but a title defence altogether which made it easier for Karpov to come to the second World Championship match.>

Fischer stopped playing in 72' ..

Is your argument Victor would've beaten Fischer in 75' ? .. or 78' ?

Ofcourse not ! lol

Petrosian beat a younger Korchnoi in 71 and then Fischer ofcourse breezed past Tigran ...

A motivated Fischer would've killed Karpov and ALL his "red carpet" "advisors" ....

Apr-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: With all due respect <harrylime>, you can't possibly know that. It is also true that I can't prove the opposite end and that's simply because we didn't have Fischer playing after 1972.

And my post concerned year 1981. So you cannot expect me to answer to your question as I never addressed those two years.

By the way, I share your admiration for Bobby Fischer and I consider him to be one of the greatest so don't get me wrong. But I don't understand why we should draw hypotheticals on things that never took place and say that Fischer would win games that were never played. The fact Fischer stopped playing in 1972 doesn't suddenly make his results bad.

Apr-10-15  Petrosianic: <A.T PhoneHome>: Before you waste too much time here, I should warn you that Harrylime is about a 1200 player, fanatically in love with the Bobby Fischer legend, but absolutely despises the real Fischer for not living up to the myth he's built. Presenting facts to harry will make no difference, he'll simply giggle and forget them.
Apr-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Not to mention finding, or inventing, arguments which transcend unpleasant realities.

lol

Apr-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: <Petrosianic> Before I registered here, I went through quite a few games and read the kibitzing and I saw him kibitz on many of those games so I knew his stance before I posted here so it's okay. He has his stance and I have mine and I can certainly share my take on something.

And being a 1200 means being stronger than me! :P

Apr-10-15  Petrosianic: <A.T PhoneHome>: <Before I registered here, I went through quite a few games and read the kibitzing and I saw him kibitz on many of those games so I knew his stance before I posted here>

Yeah, but you seem to actually know something about the events that transpired. The question isn't really about stances so much as about ability (or lack of ability) to discuss them intelligently. If you want to waste your time, go ahead, I just didn't want you to be taken off guard.

Apr-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: <Petrosianic> Thank you for the first statement, seeing it's a compliment! And it's not necessarily wasting time. After all, I am not disrespecting Fischer or anyone for that matter. If my posts on this subject matter weren't of constructive manner, I'd be wasting my time.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 4)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2015, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies