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Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), Moscow URS, rd 4, Sep-22
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-06-13  RookFile: Korchnoi had a number of good efforts with the French Defense. I wish he had used it even more than he did.
Apr-06-13  talisman: I wished he had used it instead of the Pirc 4 yrs. later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <talisman> He did, on two occasions:

The sixteenth game: Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978

In game 22, Karpov improved against the doubtful 6....Qe7 and VK was lucky to draw: Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: < Korchnoi had a number of good efforts with the French Defense. I wish he had used it even more than he did.> Apparently his plan in this match was to play the Sicilian, the Petroff, and the French against 1.e4. After losing with the Sicilian and Petroff, he reverted back to the French, and drew his remaining games against e4. Perhaps if he had played the French from the start the match might have ended differently?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Game 4 of the match. Sunday, 22nd September 1974.

This was the first French Defence of the match. In those days Karpov was a habitual 1.e4 player, so the French was likely to turn up.

The position after 10...Bc8-g4...

click for larger view

...also occurred in games 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16. All were drawn.

This position, after 9...Bc5-d6, also appeared in game 18:

click for larger view

In that position Karpov's usual move was 10.Bg5, for example in Karpov vs Uhlmann, 1973. But a few months before the Candidates' Final, this game (not at was played at the Nice Olympiad:

[Event "Nice olm fin-A"]
[Site "Nice"]
[Round "11"]
[Date "1974.6.??"]
[White "Torre, Eugenio"]
[Black "Byrne, Robert E"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nc6 5.exd5 exd5 6.Bb5 Bd6 7.O-O Ne7 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Nb3 Bd6 10.Bg5 O-O 11.Bh4 Bf5 12.Nfd4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 1/2-1/2

In view of that, Karpov preferred 10.c2-c3.

There are many exchanges, then Kortschnoi plays 23...Ng6

click for larger view

Karpov could have taken the knight here and that would have been a total draw. But he chose to keep the minor pieces on.

I think Kortschnoi outplays Karpov over the next twenty moves, but not enough to win. Black offered the draw at the end.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: 42...b5 was the sealed move, but is 42...g5 stronger for Black, with the threat 43...g4? After 43. Bg2 (43.g4 hxg4 44.Bxg4 Rf4 45.Bc8 Re4+ 46.Kf2 Kc7 47.Bh3 Nxd4 wins a pawn) 43...Re8+ 44.Kf2 g4 looks good.

The game ended after 45...Re8+ but it looks like Black could play on with advantage after 46...Nxb4. If 46.Kd3?, then 46...Nxb4+ 47.Kc3 Nc6 (threatening 48...Re3+) 48.Rd3 Ra8 and 49...Ra4, 50...Rc4+ and 51...Rxd4, winning a pawn)

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