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Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Training Match (1971), Leningrad URS, rd 5
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation General (B83)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-28-06  slomarko: karpov played too aggresivly. did they play a match in 1971?
Aug-28-06  positionalgenius: <slomarko>Yes they did,but I can't find it anywhere,such as
Aug-28-06  slomarko: was an official match or some sort of training match? and why korchoi played with black more games?
Aug-28-06  positionalgenius: <slomarko>It was a candidates doesn't have all of the games,I think.
Aug-28-06  slomarko: i dont think it was a candidates match. their first candidates match was in 1974 this seems to be from 1971. karpov didnt play in that cicle.
Aug-28-06  Albertan: This game is from a 6 game training match the two players had in Leningrad in 1971. The match was drawn 3-3.

Aug-29-06  positionalgenius: <Albertan>Thanks a ton.3-3?Even in 1971 Karpov was good.:)
Aug-29-06  Albertan: positionalgenius: <Albertan>Thanks a ton.3-3?Even in 1971 Karpov was good.:)

Positionalgenius your welcome. Yes Karpov excelled even in 1971. In 1971 he won the Alekhine Memorial Tournament,finished 2nd (on a tie-break to Korchnoi) at Hastings, and he finished 4th in the USSR Championship (1.5 points behind Savon).

Aug-29-06  positionalgenius: <Albertan>Yes, at Moscow 1971 Karpov had some great games.Like his win over Hort.
Aug-29-06  Albertan: Yes and check out this game in which he sacked a piece:

Karpov vs Velimirovic, 1976

Aug-29-06  slomarko: did karpov play 5 games with white in this match?
Aug-29-06  positionalgenius: <slomarko>I guess so.
Aug-29-06  slomarko: funny they played a training match and later become such rivals... enemies.
Aug-29-06  schlink: Do we have the other games on If I remember correctly, these other games were included as part of the book on the Karpov-Korchnoi 1978 WCC match. If we need them on this site, I'll see what I can do to get them up.
Aug-29-06  schlink: I just looked - are we missing game 3?
Aug-29-06  positionalgenius: <schlink>Yes is missing one I believe.Any help would be appreciated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <schlink> <positionalgenius> Don't think you're missing any guys.

Game 1
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971

Game 2
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971

Game 3
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971

Game 4
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971

Game 5
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1971

Game 6
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971

Aug-30-06  slomarko: where was this match played?
Aug-30-06  schlink: Leningrad.
Aug-31-06  slomarko: so they played 4 matches:
1971: training match, Leningrad
1974: candidates final, Moscow
1978: wch, Baguio
1981: wch, Merano
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: In the book of the 1974 match, Keene & Hartston describe the 1971 training games as "light-hearted affairs with nothing at stake" and add that the games "do not merit standing alongside the fighting encounters" (ie, of their 5 other meetings before '74). On the other hand, one of these authors has said "there is no such thing as a friendly game of chess".
Dec-07-09  Ulhumbrus: 9 g4 begins what may be an unsound attack. One difference between this and the Keres attack 6 g4 is that Korchnoi has played 7...a6 before playing 9...d5 so White can't play the check Bb5+.

14 c3 is a sign of trouble for White. It disturbs the pawns on the Queen side after White has already advanced his King side pawns. However on 14 Qd2 Bc5 15 Qc3 Qb6 16 0-0-0 Nc6 attacks for a fourth time the pinned N on d4.

Karpov keeps his King in the centre and White's King becomes eventually more exposed to attack in the centre than Black's King becomes exposed to attack on the King side.

However on 16 0-0-0 Nxd4 17 Nxd4 Bxd4 White's c3 pawn is pinned, and removing the N on d4 prevents White from castling on the Queen side.

If Korchnoi has foreseen all this when choosing the move 13...Rd8, this suggests that the move 13...Rd8! is a masterly response to the premature attack 13 g5.

This suggests in turn that one objection to the attack 13 g5? is that it loses a very important tempo which White needs in order to castle on the Queen side. On 13 Qd2 (instead of 13 g5) 13...Rd8 14 0-0-0 Bc5 15 Qc3 Qb6 16 Rh3 Nc6 White has managed to unpin the N on d4 on time and can move it by 17 Nxc6.

26...Qc6 places the black Queen upon a long diagonal which is obstructed by the e4 pawn, but Black threatens to open the diagonal by the advance ...e3.

White's Queen therefore blockades the e4 pawn by 27 Qe3, but this blockade is not secure.

A few moves later Korchnoi offers a piece by 28...Bxh5!! whereupon the White KB is overworked. If it takes Black's bishop it does not then cover the d3 square.

On 29 Bxh5 Rd3 attacks the White Queen which is then short of squares.

The White Queen has to abandon her defence of the c5 pawn and on 30 Qc1 Qxc5 the Black Queen occupies the diagonal h1-a7 and so attacks White's Rook on g1. Black has then a winning attack.

Black threatens at least three things. Black threatens 31 ...Qf2 mate, 31..Re3+ 32 Kd1 Qd5+ 33 Qd2 Qxd2 mate as well as 31...Qxg1+. White cannot answer all three Black threats. On 31 Rf1 Re3+ 32 Kd1 Qd5+ 33 Qd2 Qxd2 is mate. On 31 Qxb2 Qxg1+ 32 Ke2 Qg2+ wins White's Queen.

Dec-07-09  Everett: <there is no such thing as a friendly game of chess> Whether it was Hartson or Keene, this must be a rough way to feel. So much for playing for the fun of it, for them at least.
Dec-07-09  Ulhumbrus: <Domdaniel> <Everett> A person who says that there is no such thing as a friendly game of chess speaks for himself.
Dec-08-09  Everett: <Ulhumbrus> well said!
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