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Viktor Korchnoi vs Mikhail Botvinnik
Leningrad-Moscow Match (1960), rd 1, Dec-03
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Fischer Variation (E44)  ·  1-0


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Given 7 times; par: 87 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-15-04  JimBean: Why Botvinnik gave up? He didn't! The official records show he lost on time.
Nov-15-04  drukenknight: Well, duh. Okay at least that explains that one. I was really wondering what the hell was going on..

Hey! We've figured out the first Nimzo Indian game this month, only 10,404 more Nimzo indians to go!

Nov-15-04  slapwa: So when was the time control? I thought Botvinnik insisted upon 40 moves in 150 mins. If he lost on time there should be fewer than 40 moves.
Nov-15-04  drukenknight: you know I went to bed last night and the sme thought as slapwas occured to me. Hmm, Korch. would not have sealed on move 41; did Botvinnik want to seal move 41 but run out of time? In which case blacks 41st was sealed and whites 42nd represents some post mortem suggestion? Hmmm.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <beatgiant> Sorry but I am not seeing the fortress position after Kg7 and Kh7 giving up the d pawn. Doesn't that open the door for the White King to come to f6 via e5? Is there a further fortress position once White achieves g6?

42. Bc3 Be2 43. Kf4 Bd1 44. g5 Bh5 45. Bb4 Kg7 46 Bxd6 Kh7 47 Ke5 how would play go from here?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <42. Bc3 Be2 43. Kf4 Bd1 44. g5 Bh5 45. Bb4 Kg7 46 Bxd6 Kh7 47 Ke5 how would play go from here?>

The problem is that White can't get in g6. Continuing your line, 47...♔g7 48. ♔e6 ♗e8 49. ♗f6+ ♔h7 50. ♔e7 ♗h5 51. ♔f8 b4 52. ♗e5 b3 53. ♗d4 b2 54. ♗xb2 ♗f7 , and the stalemate possibility allows Black to avoid the zugzwang. But maybe someone with an endgame book can look this up.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Beatgiant> I have had some problems following your above analysis, as best as I can see it should read:

<42.Bc3 Be2 43.Kf4 Bd1 44.g5 Bh5 45.Bb4 Kg7 46.Bxd6 Kh7 47.Ke5> Kg7 48.Ke6 Be8 <49.Be5+> Kh7 50.Ke7 Bh5 51.Bd6 Kg8 52.Kf6 and the pawn is on b5 not b4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Chessical> Yes, I did not spend a lot of time on that analysis as I thought (as <drukenknight> said) that <There is a standard draw position where one side has B the other side has B plus two connected pawns . The pawns can make no progress.> My analysis is wrong, and it looks like <tamar> probably has the right idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I see <Malacha> has this in his collection taken from Korchnoi's My Best Games. Were there any notes at the end of the annotations shedding light on this intricate ending? I'm inclined to think White wins, but has to avoid stalemates and certain situations where the b pawn runs to distract the bishop at a critical moment. For that reason in the above lines, I would put bishop back on b4 as quickly as possible, and keep it under lock and key.

42.Bc3 Be2 43.Kf4 Bd1 44.g5 Bh5 45.Bb4 Kg7 46.Bxd6 Kh7 47.Ke5 Kg7 48.Ke6 Be8 49 Bb4 Not maybe the quickest but eliminating calculation 49...Bh5 50 Ke7 Bg6 51 Bc3+ (avoiding the trap fxg6+ here and on the next move where Black can draw) Kh7 52 Kf6 Bh5 53 g6+ Kg8

and White can achieve the set-up of pawns g6 and f6 explained in <beatgiant's> earlier post where black cannot guard both g7 and e7 against King intrusion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Korchnoi himself gives the continuation 42...♔g8 43.♔f4 ♔h7 44.g5 ♗h5 45.♗b4 d5 46.♔e5 ♔g7 47.♔xd5 ♗f7+ 48.♔d6 ♗g6 49.♔e6 ♗f7+ 50.♔e7 ♗h5 51.♗c3+ ♔h7 52.♔f6 ♗d1 53.g3+ ♔g8 54.♔e7 and White queens one of his pawns. This analysis from 'Viktor Korchnoi's Best Games' by Korchnoi published in 1978 by Philidor Press.

In 'My Best Games - Vol 1 - Games with White' Korchnoi says "The further advance of the white pawns cannot be prevented. If, for example, Black places his king at h7 and his bishop on the h5-e8 diagonal, White takes his king to f6 and by g5-g6 he wins the game".

Nov-17-04  drukenknight: This is all wishful thinking on the part of Korchnoi, the most basic thing to think about is The Opposition. Look at moves 46-50 and see how easily the white K penetrates to e7 or whatever in Korchnoi's line.

How does that happen? Simple, he moves the black king into opposition BEFORE the pawn is grabbed, checks are given, all the stuff happens.

obviously anyone can look like a deep positional genius if they are allowed to gain opposition. Look if black throws the "useless" d pawn forward just prior to this..

(same korchnoi line but now:)
47. Kxd4 Kg8
48. Bc3 Bf7
49. Ke5 Kg7 (Now he gives opposition)
50. Kd6+ Kf8 (and again)
51. Kc5 Bc4
52. g6 Bd3

In Korch. line the K is driven into the corner g7/h8 because of the penetration. You can set up many positions of this sort, but I dont think this can be won if you can keep the opposition, but go ahead; SHOW ME YOUR WINNING LINE!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: < (same korchnoi line but now:) 46...d4!
47.Kxd4 Kg8
48.Bc3 Bf7
49.Ke5 Kg7 (Now he gives opposition)
50.Kd6 Kf8 (and again} >

DK I can follow you up to here but why 51.♔c5? Wouldn't 51.g6 be better for White and where does Black play his bishop?

Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: 1.e4 c5 2.Ke2! (distant opposition)
Nov-17-04  drukenknight: Benzol: I have to get back to you. I am setting up new computer, a windows 2000 machine. THe windows 98 machine keeps crashing on the dsl, hopefully I will be back online later today and have a better connection. thx.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: DK: No problem, catch up with you later mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <acirce: 1.e4 c5 2.Ke2! (distant opposition)> 2...c5-c7! Achieving Geller's Fortress
Nov-17-04  aw1988: <acirce: 1.e4 c5 2.Ke2! (distant opposition)> I play that all the time. I dub it the "Steinitz Opposition Gambit".
Dec-03-04  aw1988: <tamar> LOL, that one took me a while to get.
Jun-15-05  aw1988: So what's the verdict? I see a lot of previous analysis, so does Korchnoi win?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <aw1988: So what's the verdict?>

White's winning, hence all the sarcastic remarks about the opposition.

Following <Korchnoi>'s line with <drukenknight>'s attempted improvement, it goes 42...Kg8 43. Kf4 Kh7 44. g5 Bh5 45. Bb4 d5 46. Ke5 d4 <47. Kf6> breaking the blockade.

It might continue 47...d4 48. g6+ Kg8 49. Kg5 Be2 50. f6 Bc4 51. Kf4, and White's king will come around to support the f7 push. For example, 51...d3 52. Ke5 d2 53. Bxd2 Kf8 54. Bb4+ so that 54...Ke8 55. Kf4 followed by the king march to g7 and pawn to f7, or 54...Kg8 55. Kd6 Kf8 56. Kd7+ Kg8 57. Ke7, etc.

Aug-10-05  RookFile: I continue to find it humorous that
this line of the Nimzo Indian continues to be called the Fischer variation, when Botvinnik played it before Bobby did, to say nothing of Alekhine, who was playing it before Bobby was even born.
Jan-15-07  Fast Gun: Interesting problem-like ending with opposite coloured bishops: It is hard to believe that these two players only ever played each other four times, especially when you consider the number of games that Botvinnik has played against Bronstein, Keres, Smyslov and Tal !! And also the number of times that Korchnoi has played against Petrosian and Spassky: It is probably because that when Botvinnik became World Champion he did not play in tournaments, but only in World title matches and since Korchnoi was not a contender for a title match until 1978, by which that time Botvinnik had retired:
Jan-15-07  Pawnsgambit: stupid game.
Jul-27-09  kingfu: Stupid game? Between 2 of the best players ever? With opposite colored bishops? How can it be the Fischer variation when it had not been invented , yet? Have I asked enough questions?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: This was the board-one game (of 40) in the Leningrad-Moscow Match, Moscow 1960. (Tolush-Bronstein played board two.)
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