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Aivars Gipslis vs Viktor Korchnoi
USSR Championship (1963), Leningrad URS, rd 8, Dec-05
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Poisoned Pawn Accepted (B97)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: Beautiful game by Gipslis. What was Korchnoi's decisive mistake?
Jul-15-06  euripides: I think K-side castling is risky in this line.
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  chancho: In Edward Lasker's revised edition of "Chess Strategy" this game is annotated by him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Gipslis is threatening Qxf8+ followed by Rg8#. If Korchnoi moves the f8 Rook, then Nxh7 wins.
Nov-03-10  swr: 16. ... O-O?

Then after 19. O-O White has two rooks, a queen, a knight, and a bishop all aimed at Black's K-side, with only about a rook's worth of opposition.

Jan-07-11  Deathstroke: I've found an odd resource for Black that, ultimately, may be futile. However, it adds counterplay that could make White uncomfortable for a little while.

22... Raf7

Now I could be missing something obvious with this move, but I can't see an easy way for White to break in for the mating attack now.


This throws another piece into the attack, and it will only take White a move or two to mangle the Black King. However, moving the Bishop has removed the guard from the c4 pawn.

23... Bc5+
24. Kh1 Qxc4
(or 24. Rf2 Qxa2)

In this line, Black is now threating a back-rank mate. The one thing I can't seem to figure out is whether White can buy enough time to bring home his attack. The simple looking 25. h3 might do the trick, but it seems like that opens the door to perpetual check.

It could also be that White has something better than 23.Bh5 that I'm not seeing. Can someone check my logic, and prove that White still has a clear win in this line?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 22...Raf7, 23.Qg5 wins.
Jan-07-11  Deathstroke: Ahh... Perfect! Thanks, Sastre... I KNEW I was missing a simple continuation. :)
Jan-04-13  tjipa: A fine opening preparation, although the game itself is more Tal- not Gipslis- style. The same line was later used by Alvis Vitolinsh, another great Latvian master. 20... Qa5 would probably had held, yet there is no fun for the black.
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