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Viktor Korchnoi vs Yuri Balashov
Moscow (1971), Moscow URS, rd 10, Dec-07
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: It's really very simple once you see it. I might have got it if I wasn't looking for something more subtle!
Jan-08-06  jperr75108: I saw b4! but didnt see a5!! I was thinking Rab1 or Rfb1, but I couldnt see a follow up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's some analysis with the Opening Explorer and Fritz 8:

<1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3> This move enters the Samisch variation of the King's Indian, which is still a reliable weapon in the modern GM Opening repertoire as illustrated by White's amusing win in Dreev vs A Cabrera, 2005. <5...e5> The most popular move here is 5...0-0 as in
Grischuk vs Smirin, 2005 or A Ushenina vs Lahno, 2005. I suspect 5...e5 has fallen out of favor, as the only recent game with 5...e5 since 2002 in the Opening Explorer is a predictable win with the White pieces by a much higher rated player in D Andreikin vs J Skurski, 2005. <6. Nge2 c6 7. Bg5> This is good, but a worthy alternative is 7. Be3 as in Jobava vs Smirin, 2005. <7...Qa5> Perhaps this is a bit premature and risky. Safer IMO is the developing move 7...Nd7 =. <8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. d5 cxd5 10. cxd5 h6 11. Be3 a6 12. Ng3 h5 13. Bd3 Nh7 14. O-O O-O 15. a4!>

This move (15. a4!) sets a clever trap anticipating <15...Nc5?>, which Black played to fall into it. Better was 15...Qd8 or 15...h5 conceding White a strong center advantage, but still leaving Black enough counter-play to continue the fight. <16. b4!!> White springs his positional trap to force <16...Qxb4 17. a5! Bh6> This move (17...Bh6) is forced to minimize the damage to Black's position. Alternatives, such as 17... Nxd3? 18. Qxd3 , are much worse for Black. <18. Bxh6> White must be careful here to avoid the blunder 18. Rfb1?? Bxe3+ 19. Qxe3 Qxc3 <18... Nb3> Black's position is lost, so he probably figured the Knight Fork was as good as any attempt to complicate and try to swindle a draw. However, IMO he could have put up more resistance with the interesting 18... Qd4+!? 19. Rf2 Qxd3 (not 19... Rd8? 20. Bc2 Qxd2 21. Bxd2 ). However, after the clever surprise 20. Qxd3! (20. Bxf8 Qxd2 21. Rxd2 Kxf8 22. Rb1 ) 20... Nxd3 21. Bxf8 Nxf2 22. Bxd6 Nd3 23. Na4! Bd7 24. Nb6 Rd8 (24... Bb5?? 25. Nxa8 ) 25. Bc7 Re8 26. Nxd7 Re7 27. Nxe5 Nxe5 28. Bd6 Re8 29. Rc1!, Black cannot save his b-pawn, and with two pawn deficit is clearly lost after 29...h4 30. Nf1 f5 31. Rc7 fxe4 32. fxe4 Nf6 33. Nd2 g5 34. Rxb7 .

<19. Qb2> This wins, but a good alternative is 19. Rab1! h4 (19... Nxd2 20. Rxb4 Nxf1 21. Bxf8 Nxf8 22. Nxf1 ) 20. Bxf8 Nxf8 21. Rxb3 Qxb3 22. Nge2 . <19... Qd4+ 20. Rf2 Nxa1 21. Bxf8 h4 22. Nge2 1-0> Black resigned here, in lieu of 22...Qxd3 23. Bxd6 Nc2 24. Nc1 Qe3 25. Qxc2 .

Jan-08-06  euripides: The idea of c6, Qa5 and e5 in the KID is generally associated with Kavalek. Korchnoi had already confronted this approach in the fianchetto line: Korchnoi vs Kavalek, 1967. It remains a pretty well respected approach, I think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's an interesting puzzle from this game, after the possibility 18... Qd4+!? 19. Rf2 Qxd3:

click for larger view

[After 18... Qd4+!? 19. Rf2 Qxd3, find White's (20. ?) strongest continuation.]

Jan-08-06  euripides: ... on closer incpection I find that againsst the Saemisch Kavalek usually played the Byrne set up with a6 and c6 rather than the 'Kavalek' set up seen in this game. Perhaps this is because of White's stronger hold on e4 in the Saemisch.
Jan-08-06  lurch: I've got to be missing something. If 22...Qxd3 23 Qxa1 Nxf8 then black is up by a pawn...
Jan-08-06  bob000: lurch 22.Qxd3 23.Bxe6! Nc2 24. Nc1! And white is up a piece.
Jan-08-06  bob000: Incidently trapping the queen by offering the b pawn is a common idea in the KID when black decides to wander around in a region that belongs to white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's a second puzzle after 22...Qxd3:

click for larger view

[After 22...Qxd3, find White's strongest winning (23. ?) move.]

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Roland Tesch> <I wonder what would have happened if Black had played the straightforward 18...Qd4+, followed by taking the Bishop on d3 (in a couple of ways). Even after White wins the exchange with Bxf8, it seems that Black still has some compensation.> After 18...Qd4+ 18... Qd4+!? 19. Rf2 Qxd3 20. Qxd3! instead of 20. Bxf8 seems to give White a forced win per Fritz 8's analysis. However as a stronger player, I was wondering if you see any improvements for Black to hold in the analysis in my long post above? Also, doesn't White with the exchange and the initiative have good winning chances after the simple 20. Bxf8?
Jan-08-06  headmutant7: <patzer2> This is a great puzzle with a lot of variations. I worked out the actual puzzle moves for both black and white from moves 16 thru 18 and thought the point of black's Bh6 was to follow with the immediate 19...Qd4+. I don't have the advantage of a computer program but I played it on a board for about a half an hour until I finally got a headache. I can't find a significant difference between 20.Qxd3 or 20.Bxf8. Either way, I think white winds up at least the exchange ahead (or maybe at worst 2 pawns up - I got lost in one of the variations I could not duplicate) which translates to a win with Korchnoi at the helm.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <headmutant7> Thanks for taking a look at my first puzzle above. I suspect the 20. Bxf8 continuation is the hardest to try and find a forced win. However, if you'll follow the analysis in my first long post above, you may be able to follow Fritz 8's winning line for 20. Qxd3!!
Jan-08-06  headmutant7: <patzer2> After another half hour (ugh!) 20.Qxd3 is definitely more clear, though I believe with sharp play 20.Bxf8 would require black to play perfectly to survive. This is why I quit playing...this took an hour and a half out of my life because I get too involved (I do love it though and it keeps me young).
Jan-08-06  erimiro1: <patzer2>For your second puzzle:23.B:d6 Nc2 24.B:e5, doesn't leave black with a lot of hopes.
Jan-08-06  chesspadawan: Thank you Mr.RolandTesh for your wonderful gift of premium membership. you are a great example to all of us. It isn't that often that people find it in their heart to give anything away to a complete stranger. once again thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <emiriro1> Your solution works well. Fritz 8 gives 23. Bxd6! Nc2 24. Nc1 Qe3 25. Qxc2 grabbing the extra piece. However, taking the second central pawn after 23. Bxd6! Nc2 24. Bxe5 in your line is also clearly decisive.

Of course much weaker is 23. Qxa1?! Nxf8 24. Qa3 Nd7 25. Qxd6 , when White's win is neither certain or easy.

Jan-09-06  marcwordsmith: I feel a little slow, but I'll ask anyway. WHY is 18. Rfb1 (after having moved 17. a5) such a terrible threat? Why can't Black simply plan to block with Nb3? Someone suggested above that after Qc2 Black would lose the pinned knight but clearly that's not the end of the story, since after Qc2, Black goes Nxa1, and Black would be attacking the White queen on c2, and then if White were to take the black queen, Black would take the White queen and be up an exhange. So . . . help, someone? What's the big threat that White is threatening after his 17th move?
Jan-09-06  RolandTesh: <marcwordsmith>

....Qb2 should be, instead of Qc2

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Ale/Alekhine-sounds like two synonyms to me-lol. White takes this one as the adverse queen is chased from pillar to post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  peckinpah: In his book, "My best games, vol. 1, Games with white", Korchnoi comments this game criticizing very strongly the play of Balashov. Was there anything personal between them? Anybody knows? Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <peckingpah> Perhaps Korchnoi was smarting from this beating that he suffered at the hands of same opponent:

Korchnoi vs Balashov, 1972

Jun-11-16  MorphinTime: It is time
Jun-11-16  Razgriz: What. I was looking for a mate and what happened was a win in material (knight at the corner is mated so even if the black king recaptures the bishop, black still loses material.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black threatens 16... Nb3.

White can trap the black queen with 16.b4 Qxb4 (16... Nb3 17.bxa5 Nxd2 18.Bxd2 wins a knight) 17.a5:

A) 17... Nb3 18.Qb2 Bd7 (due to 19.Ra4) 19.Ra3 wins.

B) 17... b6 18.Rfb1 Nb3 19.Qb2 bxa5 20.Qxb3 Qxb3 21.Rxb3 wins a knight and the a-pawns later.

C) 17... Nxd3 18.Qxd3 b5 19.axb6 (19.Rfb1 Qc4) 19... Bh6 20.Bxh6 Qxb6 21.Bxf8 + - [R].

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