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Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov
Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978), City of Baguio PHI, rd 5, Jul-27
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Huebner. Rubinstein Variation (E42)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-27-09  WeakSquare: Here is one way for Karpov to lose:

if 99...Kf2?? then 100.Ke4 Ke2 101.Bb8 Kf2 102.Kd5 Kf3 103.Kc5 Ke4 104.Kxb5 Kd5 105.Bh2 Ke6 106.Kxa4 Kd7 107.Kb5 Kc8 108.Kc6 and Black King cannot reach a8.

This is all forced!!! Did Karpov have to calculate this or are there general principles??

Jul-21-10  LIFE Master AJ: "The bitter feud."

At the time, I think Korchnoi really hated Karpov ... these two fought on forever.

Personally, I LIKE games where one side continues on!!! And I have lost count of the number of times where I won a possibly drawn game, because my opponent was short of time or made an error.

Sometimes, holding these draws is NOT as easy as it looks! Students of the game should play this one out against the computer.

Mar-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: It seemed like black didn't mind having their pawns loss, has they can make a fortress in the corner, and no way for white to make progress, by force.
Mar-08-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <WeakSquare: Here is one way for Karpov to lose:

if 99...Kf2?? then 100.Ke4 Ke2 101.Bb8 Kf2 102.Kd5 Kf3 103.Kc5 Ke4 104.Kxb5 Kd5 105.Bh2 Ke6 106.Kxa4 Kd7 107.Kb5 Kc8 108.Kc6 and Black King cannot reach a8.

This is all forced!!! Did Karpov have to calculate this or are there general principles??>

If Black's king can get to b7, he draws. If not, he loses. Look at the route the king took in your variation. Had it been able to reach b7 that way, it would have taken ten moves: Kf2-e2-f2-f3-e4-d5-e6-d7-c8-b7. OTOH, Kg2-h3-g4-f5-e6-d7-c8-b7 is only eight moves. If you think about it that way, it's a no-brainer.

Mar-10-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Jim Bartle: I'm not an endgame expert, but I play one at chessgames.com: I think that even after he took the black pawn, black could get his king to a8, and since the white bishop can't control a8, it's a draw.

Any actual experts agree?>

Yes, that is correct. What Korchnoi wanted in this ending was either (a) a position where he was able to capture both black pawns while keeping Karpov's king away from b7/a8 (the line given by <WeakSquare> that I quoted is an example of that) or (b) keeping both of Black's pawns on the board and then stalemating Black except for the move ...b4. Then Black must play 1...b4 2.axb4 a3 and White wins. This would have been achieved if Black had not resigned in Euwe vs J Baay, 1921.

btw, in light of the above, my comment in response to <Weaksquare>, "If Black's king can get to b7, he draws." was an oversimplification. If both of Black's pawns are still on the board he must avoid letting White stalemate his king.

Aug-26-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: 49.Kh4 I like that. Doesn't everyone love middlegame king walks? I had a game this year at the World Open U1600 section, which i tied for first in, where I had a queen and knight for my opponent's two rooks and a knight. I think I had an extra pawn. Anyway, my opponent's pieces were dreadful, his king wide open on g3 and his rooks uncoordinated, with a knight on a5. For the finale, my mother was there, and her, not being too good at chess, (I can beat her with 2 rooks and Queen odds) got very worried when my opponents king went up to g3, because to her it seemed that he was advancing toward my position, attacking me. Then, when i saced my knight, her breath was taken away (she didn't spot the forced mate). Then, before the mate next move, my opponent and I shook hands, and she was very confused. My opponent just won my knight, so he must have won, but he was also looking a bit upset, as though he lost. Luckily there was a guy who explained to her what had happened.
Nov-18-14  zanzibar: Keene's Aug 4, 1978 Spectator article is a contemporaneous report:

Here is the OCR of the article that is available:

<TOiya totters FlaYmond Keene Baguio After a quiet draw in the fourth game of his title defence, an Open Ruy Lopez which followed the second game for fourteen Moves and lasted only another five, World ,iChampion Anatoly Karpov, Tolya to his friends, tottered in the fifth game. But he regained his balance when Korchnoi on move 56 played one of the most horrendous blunders ever seen in a world championship Match. 10 <.y move 70 it became clear that Korchnoi's chance of winning had gone for Lood but the game meandered on and ;.mkallY ended in stalemate on move 124. 4"e boredom of the final stages of the game ,Was alleviated by the fact that it eventually Championship two records. It was the longest World ‘-hampionship game (and indeed longer than

the other five games put together) and the first ever to end in stalemate.>

v. The opening of game 6 was a small moral ile,sr°rY for Korchnoi as Karpov abandoned -K4 with which he had obtained no advantage in games 2 and 4 in favour of the

English Opening. Again Korchnoi equalised easily and, in fact, had some advantage when the game was agreed drawn on move 23. The game was played in the interval between the second and third sessions of the traumatic fifth game and the early draw may reflect the exhaustion of both players. It has been suggested that Karpov is deliberately soft-pedalling with White in order to discover Korchnoi's main line defences and thus prepare more deeply for them at a later stage. However, this exposes him to a rough tune with Black and at the end of the second session of the fifth game he looked haggard and shattered.>

http://archive.spectator.co.uk/arti...

So, it's even more interesting than I thought. Game 6 was played while game 5 was "meandering on".

Meandering on? Not my words...

<By move 70 it became clear that Korchnoi's chance of winning had gone for good but the game meandered on and it finally ended in stalemate on move 124. The boredom of the final stages of the game was alleviated by the fact that it eventually Championship two records. It was the longest World Championship game (and indeed longer than the other five games put together) and the first ever to end in stalemate. [ed- OCR translation!]>

So, I would say calling it out as Keene does is a bit of a stir.

Nov-18-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Zhbugnoimt:

Congrats on tying first in your recent tournament.

Post the game here mate, sounds like a goodie. (you can leave out the names if you want and no notes, experience tells me when I try to lift a noted up game it won't load into my PGN thingy thing unless the notes are correctly inserted. Add some comments after the posting the game if you want.)

I enjoy playing through and very frequently use games played by under 2000 players. Someone will get an idea from it that will make them a better player. The fact it came from a player in their class makes it perfect.

The trick/trap/blunder is not tucked away unplayed in some GM note, this actually happened! I think this makes it sink in better.

And who knows, one of the better players on here - there are quite a few knocking about, might give you/us a few pointers. I'd rather be picking their brains than picking fights with them.

Mar-03-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: THe longest WC game ever! if white tries to take the pawns with the king, black moves his monarch to a8 and draws because white has the wrong color bishop and cannot chase the king away.
Jun-03-16  Ulhumbrus: Assuming that with his bishop pair and greater space White can afford to play the move 23 g4 this suggests that one plan for White is to play to smash it up by f4 and g5.
Jul-04-16  cunctatorg: One of the most interesting from A to Z (and dramatic) games of chess literature!!

Korchnoi's resourcefulness and creativity here are so remarkable as his lack of vision (a certain lack of combination vision or loss of faith?) at move 55; a draw then...

Jul-05-16  cunctatorg: Correction: though every player committed at least one grave error, this game is one of the most interesting (from A to Z) and dramatic of the whole chess literature!! The fact that this game is the longer so far in a World Chess Championship is of secondary importance but people (who are impressed by numerical facts and the charm of maths) keep pointing the lack of "mathematical perfection" and the number 124 of its moves...

Korchnoi's resourcefulness, creativity (and determination of course) here (opening, particularly middle-game and end-game) are so profound and remarkable as his lack of vision (fatigue and lack of energy in time pressure, a certain disorientation or some loss of faith due to surprising Karpov's choice for a King's walk at the very center of the chessboard or what?!?) at move 55. Karpov's fighting spirit and defensive resourcefulness are so crushing as his nearly fatal mistake, when -after a prolonged and stubborn defense- he decided to take extreme measures and bring his King at the center of the board!!...

A draw then ... in the Battle of (Chess) demi-Gods!!... Candidate Pun: the Battle of demi-Gods.

I wonder about Garry Kasparov's assessment (in OMGP) about this game.

Also take into consideration that these two Chess Titans didn't lose nerves and spirit after such an intense fight but they continued the race and raised the level of competition...; therefore I ain't an idolizing member of a fan-base when I call them Titans, demi-gods and such!...

Mar-05-19  Petrosianic: Quick Trivia Question: This was the first stalemate in World Championship play. Have there been any others since then? I believe the answer is no, but want to be sure.
Mar-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Petrosianic>
Would you consider that this counts? Anand vs Kramnik, 2007
Mar-05-19  Petrosianic: Yeah, I guess I'd have to count that. I didn't remember it either. Thanks.
Mar-05-19  restless: 55.Bf7 would have won the game immediately. mated-in 6
Mar-07-19  Howard: But, as pointed out on the first page, 55.Bf7+ would have mated in four moves, not six.
Mar-07-19  restless: Hi Howard,
The "mated-in 4" after 55.Bf7 takes 56...Kb5 for granted, but this move is not forced. Stockfish analysis says: 55.Bf7 Kc6 56.Qe6+ Kb7(!) 57.Qxe7+ Ka8 58.Qd8+ Kb7 59.Qc7+ Ka6 60.Bxc4+ b5 61.Qc6#
Mar-07-19  restless: Sorry, Typo:
It's 60.Bc4+ (not Bxc4+)
May-21-19  qqdos: 2 things about this game are puzzling and disturbing - what induced Karpov at move 51 to embark on a death-wish king walk, contrary to every precept that must have been drummed into him by Uncle Botvinnik. From h1 to d5 the Black King was dicing with certain death. He could have resigned after he played 53...Ke6?? when Korchnoi replied 54.Qh3+! What was in those tubs of yoghurt? -assuming Karpov was also given a supply. Next how did Korchnoi miss the mate on move 55. following the suicidal 54...Kd5? Distracted by the hypnotic stare of the para-psychiatrist in the front(?) row perhaps. There were only 2 candidate moves for White to assess and a first defeat for Karpov in the match would have been very bad for his morale.
May-21-19  Howard: What I fail to understand is why the computer gives a two-pawn advantage to Korchnoi even though the position at that time is an absolute dead draw !
May-22-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Howard>
Because it's simply counting material and it doesn't have a tablebase to look up the draw?
Jul-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <qqdos: 2 things about this game are puzzling and disturbing - what induced Karpov at move 51 to embark on a death-wish king walk, contrary to every precept that must have been drummed into him by Uncle Botvinnik. From h1 to d5 the Black King was dicing with certain death. He could have resigned after he played 53...Ke6?? when Korchnoi replied 54.Qh3+! What was in those tubs of yoghurt? -assuming Karpov was also given a supply. Next how did Korchnoi miss the mate on move 55. following the suicidal 54...Kd5? Distracted by the hypnotic stare of the para-psychiatrist in the front(?) row perhaps. There were only 2 candidate moves for White to assess and a first defeat for Karpov in the match would have been very bad for his morale.>

Karpov had adjourned and as he knew that Korchnoi would look for the best move to analyze he played what Hartson calls 'the second best move'. This meant that Korchnoi got in even more time trouble. So he gambled and Korchnoi blundered, missing the win.

They then played a very long endgame. I think that Karpov, being younger, knew he would ultimately beat his older and more temperamental opponent. And, I suspect, Karpov was fitter in those days. The match psychology paid off.

So that there were an unlimited number of games possible and adjournments meant that Karpov's team's strategy was , I think, to wear Korchnoi down. It was a fascinating match. Korchnoi and Karpov then played a magnificent endgame.

Errors in that long game would be forgivable whoever was playing.

Jul-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <cunctatorg: One of the most interesting from A to Z (and dramatic) games of chess literature!! Korchnoi's resourcefulness and creativity here are so remarkable as his lack of vision (a certain lack of combination vision or loss of faith?) at move 55; a draw then...>

No. The term for Korchnoi is as always:

TIME TROUBLE

He was an addict of the above drug.

Jul-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Howard: What I fail to understand is why the computer gives a two-pawn advantage to Korchnoi even though the position at that time is an absolute dead draw ! >

A lot of engines do that. You have to be wary, and wait to see if the evaluation changes. If it stays 2 pawns down it is probably a theoretical draw. Even though it is a theoretical draw it is still true that the player with a piece has an advantage. And, by the way, in some lines either player can force a win. The engine takes into account material and I presume the potential to win. Something like that.

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