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WCC: Karpov-Korchnoi 1978
Compiled by WCC Editing Project
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ORIGINAL: Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978)

Korchnoi quotes- http://porto-fr.odessa.ua/index.php...

DRAFT <Chessical>

Introduction

This acrimonious match captured the attention of the world’s press. In the exotic backdrop of the Philippines, Korchnoi the stateless Soviet defector was pitted against Karpov and the might of the Soviet chess establishment.

Interest climbed as insults and accusations were exchanged, robed mystics deployed against a para-psychologist and an apparent walkover was transformed into an amazing fight-back. Both players were under considerable pressure. Karpov ,with the Soviet establishment to satisfy, had lost his trainer of ten years Semyon Abramovich Furman on March 17th 1978 whilst his own father was terminally ill.

Korchnoi’s stated “If I win this match, my life is in danger”. (Chess, August 1978, vol.43, nos.799-800 p.326).

A bitter candidate semi-final against Boris Spassky had left Korchnoi believing that he had been subject to "hypnotic waves" and the fear that his thoughts could be interfered with by hypnosis. (Chess, February 1978, vol.43, nos.787-88 p.129). Korchnoi was also desperately trying to get his wife and his son out of the Soviet Union. An open letter to Brezhnev was read out at the opening ceremony requesting that they be allowed to emigrate. (Chess, August 1978, vol.43, nos.799-800 p.325)

Karpov was regarded as the favourite but Korchnoi was admired for making advances at his age. In the West he was sympathetically portrayed as the underdog.

The teams

Korchnoi’s seconds were: Raymond Keene , Michael Francis Stean , (Chess, May 1978, vol.43, nos.793-94 p.229) and Yacov Isaakovich Murey (“Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors”, Vol.5. p.111). Korchnoi prepared with a three week’s training session in Brighton, England, in May 1978. (Chess, July 1978, vol.43, nos.797-98 p.297)

Karpov’s team consisted of Yuri Balashov , Igor Arkadievich Zaitsev , Mikhail Tal and Evgeni Vasiukov (“Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors”, Vol.5. p.111)

The match

Seven bids of received, Karpov first choice was Hamburg as it was “the nearest to Leningrad” whilst Korchnoi chose Graz. The Philippine bid was accepted as a compromise. (Chess, July 1978, vol.43, nos.797-98 p.297)

Lothar Schmid a German Grandmaster who had been the Arbeiter at the Spassky-Fischer championship match in 1972.

There were three games per week. Draws did not count; the match winner would be the first to achieve six victories. The victor would take 5/8 of the £350,000 prize fund. (Chess, May 1978, vol.43, nos.797-98 p.320). Karpov, however, later revealed that he received only 20% of the prize. (http://www.anatolykarpovchessschool...) The match was organized by Florencio Campomanes, then FIDE’s Vice President. (Chess, May 1978, vol.43, nos.797-98 p.293). In a pattern that would become familiar, Campomanes’ financing was opaque, at first it was to be from the Philippine government, then from selling TV rights and finally from Pepsi Cola. (Chess, May 1978, vol.43, nos.797-98 p.294) The match was held in a newly built conference centre were good, but there was an immediate dispute over Korchnoi’s flag which led to his suggestion of the Soviet flag with “I’ve escaped” emblazoned on it. Then Korchnoi’s chair had to be x-rayed at the Soviet’s insistence. At the start of Game 8 Karpov ignored Korchnoi’s attempt to shake hands. <The disputes>
A great deal of Korchnoi’s nervous energy was expended in dealing with issues away from the chess board. There were disputes about: flags yoghurts, seats, and sunglasses but the major problem was that the Russian delegation included a professor of psychology Dr Vladimir Zukhar. Korchnoi was afraid of being hypnotised by Zukhar who was staring at him from the audience. During Game 17, Korchnoi became so agitated that he threatened to attack Zukhar. After wasting 13 minutes on his clock, one move before the time control and in time trouble he fell into a mating trap. (Chess, August 1978, vol.43, nos.799-800 p.326). The Soviet delegation denied Zukhar’s presence was contentious

“… (he) acted as consultant to the World Champion, observing his work, sleep, rest and mood, and giving necessary advice”. (“From Baguio to Merano” A. Karpov and V. Baturinsky, p.79)

and fought to keep him as close to the front of the auditorium as possible despite Korchnoi’s vehement complaints.

What was even worse was the breakdown of Korchnoi’s trust in his principal second Raymond Keene. Raymond Keene, had a contractual agreement not to write or prepare material for a book on the championship whilst the match was underway. Korchnoi became increasingly suspicious of Raymond Keene telexing material and believed that Raymond Keene was breaking his contract, diverting his energies and jeopardising their preparation by sending sensitive material for his book which the Soviets could have accessed.

In “Chess” January 1979, Korchnoi was quoted as saying in a French interview:

“...Did Karpov get to know of my (analytical) discovery before we resumed? One of my English seconds, Raymond Keene, was writing a book on the games throughout the match, in breach of his contract. He was telexing copy to London continuously. Somebody might have spied on the transmissions. One of our rooms was bugged and there was even a little spy-hole through which we could be watched”.

As Korchnoi moved away from Raymond Keene ,he began depending more on people who would actually increase the tension. Ironically, two members of the Ánanda Márga Pracáraka Sagha who had been teaching Korchnoi meditation became the centre of controversy when the Soviets claimed that they were on bail for attempted murder. (Chess, September 1978, vol.43, nos.801-802 p.357)

Raymond Keene found their presence uncongenial and left Korchnoi's team.

“I was placed under the intolerable strain of defending, on Korchnoi's behalf, the two members of the Ananda Marga sect ... which culminated in my eventual resignation from the joint post of chief second and jury representative and my unequivocal disassociation from his effort to demand a replay over the Zukhar issue” (Karpov - Korchnoi: Massacre in Merano p.20)

The progress of the match

The match opened with seven draws. Game 5 lasted for 124 moves and was the first stalemate in a world championship; Korchnoi kept it going for 12½ hours.

Korchnoi was never ahead in this match and by Game 18 he was three behind. Yet, he then won four games to one to equal the score, leaving the final and 32nd game to be the decisive encounter.

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http://www.kingpinchess.net/2010/02...

http://www.kingpinchess.net/2013/09...

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Winter chessnote 8389 http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/

8389. Korchnoi’s name deleted (C.N.s 8279 & 8384)

Dan Scoones (Port Coquitlam, Canada) writes:

‘Victor Korchnoi’s participation in the 1977-78 Candidates’ cycle was covered in rather curious and inconsistent fashion by the leading Soviet chess publications. Unlike mainstream news outlets such as Pravda and Izvestia, the chess publications could hardly suppress his name but they did make a serious effort to suppress his results.

In the weekly newspaper 64 there was detailed coverage of all the Candidates’ matches except the ones involving Korchnoi. The bare results of his matches against Petrosian and Polugayevsky were given, but no games were published. Detailed analysis was provided of all the other games from the quarter-final and semi-final matches. For the final match, Korchnoi v Spassky, only the weekly standings and the final result were given. There was just one exception: the moves of the final game were published.

Shakhmaty Riga followed a policy similar to that of 64. There was detailed analysis of all matches except the ones involving Korchnoi, for which only the bare results were given. For the final match against Spassky, the box score and the moves of three games (4, 12 and 18) were published.

In Shakhmaty v SSSR there was no coverage of the Candidates’ cycle, including the non-Korchnoi matches, except for three or four annotated games from the “non-Korchnoi” quarter-finals. This is remarkable. A leading master qualifies to play a match against the Soviet world champion, and the whole matter is completely ignored by the leading Soviet chess publication.

Shakhmatny Bulletin published all the games of the cycle and did not refrain from identifying Korchnoi by name. In keeping with the magazine’s general editorial policy, there were no annotations and no added comments. However, in the annual index, published in the 12/1977 issue, none of Korchnoi’s games that had appeared in earlier issues was indexed.

The front and back covers of the 3/1978 issue of 64:

korchnoi

korchnoi
That is the issue which should have announced Korchnoi as Karpov’s official challenger on its front cover. Instead, the news is buried on the back page. This may be contrasted with the front cover of the 48/1974 issue, which announced Karpov as the winner of the 1974 Candidates’ cycle:

korchnoi
The 1978 world championship match received normal coverage in all four publications, but for the Candidates’ matches the general policy seems to have been to ignore Korchnoi as much as possible.’

Course of the Match

1st game

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2d game

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3d game

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4th game

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5th game

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6th game

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7th game

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8th game

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9th game

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10th game

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11th game

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12th game

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13th game

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14th game

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15th game

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16th game

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17th game

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18th game

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19th game

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20th game

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21st game

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22d game

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23d game

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24th game

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EDIT <JFQ>

<Many contemporaneous reports from the Singapore Press here: http://sgchess.net/2013/05/07/623-l...>

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http://www.nytimes.com/1981/10/01/n... Robert Byrne, New York Times, 1981

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/01/n... New York Times, Dec 1 1987

Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978 
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

3 games

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