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Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov
"Korchnoi's Complaint" (game of the day Aug-12-2010)
Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship (1978), City of Baguio PHI, rd 31, Oct-12
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-25-11  Mozart72: <AnalyzeThis> 6.1 - 4.7 = 1.4, rounded to the nearest whole number = 1. And one in the standard chess piece relative value scale is a Pawn. But I'm talking of a "theoretical pawn". A pawn that is not phisically on the chess board but that influences and affects the game result.
Oct-25-11  Everett: <visayanbraindoctor> thank you kindly for the links to all those great games. I see you put a lot of effort into understanding them. Through this you have helped me understand the endgame in general, and Capablanca's genius in particular.
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Everett> Glad you liked the games. Capablanca vs Yates, 1924 is another outstanding end-game I forgot to mention in which Capa maximizes the activity of his pieces (Knights in particular). Capa's keeps on increasing the activity and scope of his pieces so that they literally drive Yate's pieces to the edge of the board, until they can no longer move - zugzwang! Bogoljubov vs Capablanca, 1928 and Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1927 are other famous games on the same the theme (win the endgame by increasing piece activity rather than by immediately going for material gain) although they ended more quickly. Capa I think was a poor annotator and explained his games rather badly (compared say to Alekhine or Botvinnik and the Soviet/ Russian school of chess), and so he never properly explained this recurrent theme in his endgames.

<goldenbear: <visayanbraindoctor> Check out this recent save... Korchnoi vs N Grandelius, 2011>

That's an incredible save. Thanks for the link. GM Grandelius must have been amazed. Victor the Terrible at his age still showing why he is one of the greatest players of the Rook endgame.

Oct-26-11  Everett: <visayanbraindoctor> Capablanca and Karpov are similar annotators; they were players first, and annotating was not their preference. Also both "saw" more at the board without particularly calculating variations. The "calculators" are likely better annotators; Kasparov, Botvinnik, Alekhine, Korchnoi.

... Or at least better regarding accurate and thorough variations.

Nov-24-11  King Death: < sarah wayne: For someone who's supposed to display incredible technique Karpov played this very poorly.>

This is way off the mark. It isn't clear that Korchnoi can win after the adjournment, but he made Black miserable trying. This is the kind of defense that may be easy to come up with using an engine, but I'd like to have seen anyone (including me) hold this over the board. Karpov himself spent a lifetime squeezing out these endings.

Nov-24-11  Riverbeast: Korchnoi outplayed Karpov in more than one endgame in the '78 match

Back then he may have been the superior endgame player of the two

Nov-25-11  King Death: < Riverbeast: Back then he may have been the superior endgame player of the two>

That probably was true then, and I'm not sure anyone was stronger than Korchnoi in the ending at the time.

Jul-07-13  Albanius: <jmboutiere:>
"49...Rg3 better than 49...Re8"
You're no Magnus.

50 Kb4 Rxh3
51 a5! and W will play Ka5-b6-xc6
and the advanced, protected passed P on c5 should win, with the B K cut off.

Jul-08-13  Albanius: That's 51 a5-a6! of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: This is a terrific game by Korchnoi.
Jul-11-14  Chessman1504: Aha, after studying Silman's endgame course, I have a feeling White's win has something to do with bringing the h-pawn to h7, after which rook-pawn and bishop pawn is a theoretical win! Magic :)
Jul-26-14  Howard: This endgame,as well as the 28th one, is analyzed in the recent book Korchnoi: Move by Move.
Dec-05-14  kia0708: Entertaining game !
First I thought White is attacking on the King side. Then, on the Queen side. Then again on the King side.
Dec-05-14  m.okun: Korchnoi began to be called "the world champion in game without Queens".
Apr-19-16  Howard: This just in ! According to the new book Understanding Rook Endgames, 58...Rd4!! draws.

Kasparov claims in MGP IV that the draw was already gone by this point, but URE states otherwise.

I don't know what Korchnoi: Move by Move states, though. Anyone know ?

May-17-16  dernier loup de T: I'm just a patzer, but I read the analyses in magazines about this game and checked it with the help of computer: after 54..Rd4 it was draw, point. But, tired or nervous, Karpov set the miserable trap 58...b3; maybe a zeitnot of Kortchnoy let him hope as answer a blunder like in the seventeenth game, which Kortchnoy was not ashamed to call "typical of Karpov's way of playing; here, 59.Rxb3?? Rb4+ and White was lost; globally the quality of the 1978 WCC was very low because of extra chess problems; and honestly, can we hesitate for answering to the question: WHO was the principal responsable: Kortchnoy or Karpov? That's why, sorry but I could not consider these comments of the Karpov's technical level in endgames as very serious. They do not even look like a funny joke... Just nonsense without even a shadow of objectivity.
Jun-10-16  Howard: Watch out for that typo---the preceding comment meant 58...Rd4, not "54...Rd4".
Aug-10-16  dernier loup de T: Sorry, Howard; and thank you for the correction..
Aug-10-16  cunctatorg: "... maybe a zeitnot of Korchnoi let him hope as answer a blunder like in the seventeenth game, which Korchnoi was not ashamed to call "typical of Karpov's way of playing";..." Question: when Korchnoi had made this statement, at 1993 etc. or during the tense and the hardest competition of the Baguio match?!?

"... globally the quality of the 1978 WCC was very low because of extra chess problems; and honestly, can we hesitate for answering to the question: WHO was the principal responsible: Korchnoi or Karpov?" The statement, made also by CG or so, that the quality of the 1978 WCC match was low (or even "very low") is just way superficial and way arrogant...; it's just a proof that the "judge" doesn't understand the subtle difference between chess (which is essentially a fight) and mathematics, between real games and analyses, between real players and mere analysts or nowadays computers... You can find critical mistakes or decisive errors in games of every WCC match, including the Reykjavik match (read Kasparov's analysis of some Fischer's gems at OMGP or even his "The test of time") or the (greatest) Karpov-Kasparov matches...

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <cunctatorg> good point: <the subtle difference between chess (which is essentially a fight) and mathematics, between real games and analyses, between real players and mere analysts or nowadays computers... You can find critical mistakes or decisive errors in games of every WCC match>,

Of course, the 1978 Marathon match faced more "mistakes" than a pure theoretical approach of some players today (no names) sifting through gigantic databases preparing twenty or thirty moves with the computer, just to find some forced drawing lines...

<There is no exquisite beauty... without some strangeness in the proportion>, goes an old saying from Edgar Allan Poe, and base of further similar quotes later.

And yes, Korchnoi always was a player who did not 'trust' the moves of his opponent (Speelman pointed out that again recently), in 1978 sometimes both players did not even trust their own moves..., 32 games in full three months, many of them adjourned in complicated, double-edge positions, enormous emotional tension...

Just after the WCC match finished, Korchnoi went on to the Chess Olympiad at Buenos Aires, missing the first three rounds, then playing all the rounds 4 to 14, unbeaten and achieving at 81,8% the Gold medal on board one for Switzerland (7th-11th, Hungary won); he clearly was superior to the others, watch out for instance his last round game vs. Kavalek, USA: Korchnoi vs Kavalek, 1978, no energy drain, a typical Korchnoi game

Aug-10-16  Howard: Regarding the Korchnoi-Kavalek game, there was some irony involved in that game.

By beating Kavalek, Korchnoi helped the Soviets to finish in second place, rather than third.

Aug-10-16  cunctatorg: Victor Korchnoi was a toughest fighter, sometimes even an obsessed rival but never a petty one, at least regarding important issues ... and this is the reason that the Hungarians could state: "... we trusted Korchnoi..." which is THE GREAT PRAISE.
Jan-22-17  Albion 1959: Superb and instructive endgame technique from Korchnoi ! Reminiscent of Capablanca v Tartakover 1924, with pawn sacrifices to permit infiltration with the king.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I too was curious about playing 49...Rg3+ to win a pawn. So I plugged it into Stockfish 8 and confirmed the comment of <Albanius> that winning a pawn with 49...Rg3+? 50. Kb4 Rxh3?? is a bad idea:

49...Rg3+? 50.Kb4 Rxh3?? 51.a6 bxa6 52.d5 cxd5 53.c6 Rh4+ 54.Kc5 Rc4+ 55.Kd6 (+6.34 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8)

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55...h5 56.c7 a5 57.Re7+ Kf8 58.Rd7 a4 59.Rd8+ Kg7 60.c8=Q Rxc8 61.Rxc8 b4

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62.Ra8 (mate-in-30, Stockfish 8 @ 42 depth) 62...a3 63.Kxd5 h4 64.Ra4 h3 65.Rxb4 a2 66.Rg4+! Kf7 67.Rg1 h2 68.Re1 Kg7 69.Kd6 Kf7 70.Kd7 Kg7 71.Ke7 Kh6 72.Kxf6 (Mate-in-11 Stockfish 8 @ 59 depth)

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Stockfish 8 analysis appears to confirm comment by <Howard> above that 58...Rd4! holds the draw:

[Stockfish 8 64] +0.25 @ 35 depth]

58...Rd4 (diagram below)

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59.Kxa5 Kc7 60.Kb5 Rd7 61.Rb3 Rd5 62.Rxb4 Rxf5 63.Ra4 Rf3 64.h4 Rb3+ 65.Kc4 Rf3 66.Kd5 Rf5+ 67.Ke6 Rxc5 68.Kxf6 Kd6 69.Re4 h5 70.Kg6 Rd5 71.Re3 Kd7 72.Ra3 Ke7 73.Rf3 Ke6 74.Rf6+ Ke7 75.Rf1 Kd6 76.Rf8 Ke7 77.Rf4 Kd7 78.Ra4 Kd6 79.Kf6 Kc6 80.Rc4+ Kd6 = (diagram below)

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Tablebase Draw

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