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Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978), City of Baguio PHI, rd 20, Sep-09
Caro-Kann Defense: Forgacs Variation (B15)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-25-09  Ezzy: Karpov v Korchnoi

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Karpov played 41 Re1 - "Karpov shows lack of simple court craft. It would have been more practical to seal this move as black's reply is forced, and white could have found the win in home analysis. Also black would have to analyse the consequences of 41 a5.


The position at the adjournment. Karpov thought for 30 minutes and then sealed an astonishingly weak move 42 Qd6?? - The simple 42 Qxb6 wins easily.

Korchnoi had considered the sealed move overnight, and already thought it would lead to a draw. After the game he said, "When I saw the sealed move, I was so overjoyed I became careless and made some weak moves, almost losing the game.

<Notes taken from my 'chess' magazine October 1978>

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: 52.Bf3 doesn't look the best. Perhaps best for White is 52.Kf3 f5 (52...Kf6 53.Kg4) 53.Ba4 (or 53.Kf4 and 54.Bd5) 53...Kf7 (53...Kf6 54.Kf4) 54.Bc2 Kf6 55.Ke3 (or 55.Na4 Kg5 56.Bc6) 55...Kg6 (55...Kg5 56.Rf8 f4+ 57.Kf3 Kh5 58.Rg8 wins for White; 55...Rxb7 56.Rxd8 Ke7 57.Rh8 Kxd7 58.Bxf5 should win for White) 56.Kf4 Kf6 57.Bxf5 a4 58.Be4 should win for White.
Jun-07-14  mcgee: Golombek was reported as saying that after this game he believed in life after death..
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: If white plays 52.Kd3 with the idea of going to pick up the a-pawn and then travel all the way to c7, what is black's defense plan? The bishop alone seems enough to stop all three kingside black pawns, isn't it? What am I missing?
Jun-07-14  Howard: You may have a point, Fusilli. I vaguely recall that around that point in the game, Karpov still had a win but botched it---just like when he botched things around the 42nd move.

Let me consult the Informant on that one---I'm not home right now, so I can't do so at the moment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Howard> Cool, I'll be curious to know what the analyst in the Informant said.
Jun-07-14  Howard: However, before I provide any further info, you (Fusilli) need to post your credit card number, expiration date, and the three-digit security code (on the back of the card). Just kindly post it right here, and then I'll be happy to help you.
Jun-07-14  Howard: My fee, by the way, is $15---billed to your credit card.
Jun-07-14  SimonWebbsTiger: I don't have <Howard's> humour.

Filip, Informator 26, game #208 mentioned 52.Bf3 threw away the win that could have been achieved by 52.Kf3.

My fee, a dollar to a charity of your choice, <Fusilli.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <H> & <SWB> Fair fees indeed! The problem is, none of you answered my query... Does 52.Kd3, with the plan I posted, win?
Jun-07-14  Howard: Looks like SimonWebbsTiger beat me to the Informant ! I was going to check my own Informant copy once I got home later today.
Jun-07-14  Howard: Fusilli, maybe you ought to consult with Uncle Fritz or Uncle Rybka on that one. On the other hand, your suggestion does look strong enough to win. Perhaps 52.Kd3 (as cited in Informant) would have been an easier way, however.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Maybe <Fusilli> has no desire to suckle at the silicon teat and would prefer to discover the mysteries of the position on his own, risking ridicule from some random player who is likely not half his strength, but is only too willing to avail himself of the lifeline.
Jun-07-14  Everett: <Fusilli> as far as I could see, your plan wins. I find Karpov's releasing of the bind quite bizarre.
Jun-07-14  Everett: Bronstein vs Lisitsin, 1947

The above game has similarities. Bronstein ties up his opponent, only to release the bind and destroy his own position. See position around move 31.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious: Maybe <Fusilli> has no desire to suckle at the silicon teat>

Maybe. I had Fritz on a computer that died and haven't bothered to replace it...

Jul-14-16  Smyslov57: Does anyone know of a book in which the Korchnoi variation 1e4 c6 2d4 d5 3Nc4 dxe4 4Nxe4 Nf6 5Nxf6 exf6 is analyzed as part of a repertoire?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: It took me a minute to see why black didn't play 29..Rxd4??? 30. Qxc7. And if 30...Nd4?? 31. Rxd4! I hope I wouldn't have had as much success finding the losing moves in the actual game as black :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 38. a5 looks much stronger to me than b5, since it creates a passed a pawn and the white bishop controls a8. b5 gives the N the c5 square, which was what b4 was supposed to prevent. What was the idea of b5?
May-16-18  Saniyat24: this game deserves to be GOTD...!
May-16-18  RookFile: Strange game. This looked like a fairly routine Karpov win for more than half the game. I guess he just relaxed too soon.
May-17-18  Howard: One book referred to Karpov's blunder on the 42nd move as an "overrefinement". That word sounds rather accurate.

Karpov, incidentally, made a similar mistake in the next game he had White in--Game 22.

May-17-18  SChesshevsky: It looks like the analytical line 55. Ra8 Rxb7 56. Bxb7 Nxb7 is pretty much forced. Leaves white up the exchange and blacks h and g pawns seemingly undefendable.

Is the probable resulting endgame, R vs. N with opposing g vs. f pawn a known GM or endgame table draw or does White still have playable winning chances?

May-18-18  Olavi: <R vs. N with opposing g vs. f pawn> is an easy draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: I remember and will never forget that Claude Lemoine , commenting this game in "Le monde", choosed as title: "MIRACLE A BAGUIO CITY", referring of course to the incredible move 42 of Karpov; since that, to speak in a joking way, I made all my family accustomed with this expression by using it often about extraordinary and unbelievable - but true- things happening even just in daily life! For the value of this chess match, voluntary destroyed by Korchnoy just for politic, or to speak more accurately, private reasons, it was obviously rather sad than amusing...
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