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Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov
Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978), City of Baguio PHI, rd 21, Sep-12
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Main Line Old Main Line (D37)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-25-03  drukenknight: Two more endgames from the 1978 world champ. This was game 21, that enabled Korchnoi to catch up with his second win, score became 4-2.

Keene thought that messed up move was 24...Qe5 and black is unable to defend the q side. I dunno, maybe 31..Rxb2 is the mistake, perhaps 31...a4?

The passed pawn on the b file looks fatal after this pt. A major problem is that the K is unable to blockade the passed pawn another problem is that the e pawn eventually kicks out the B.

KOrch. apparently missed a stronger continuation in 39 Rc7 since if BxR pxR Rc1 the N will go 41 Nc5 Rxp and N forks K/R. 39 Rc7 was Oscar Panno's suggestion, he was now helping the Korchnoi team since he had slipped into Bagiuo thinly disguised with the title: "journalist."

The sealed move was 43 f5 thought to be the only way to make progress.

The messed up move according to Keene was 46...h5, they had studied 46...Rb5 and felt that they were beating the Russians (Tal et al) at the end game analysis.

Korchnoi said at the press conference: "Lord forgive them. They know not what they do." PResumably a reference to the Russian mistaken end game analysis.

Jul-25-03  drukenknight: The opening contains a novelty 10...Re8 the pt. being 12...Nd4 and it looks tricky having to move that queen back to b1.

It looks to be a very tricky opening that karpov has pulled off but when he exchanges on the 15th move this lets all the steam out of it. I wonder if 12...Ng5 would be better looking to sack the B on e3 and create a fork. There is a similar B sack in the sicilian for white.

Also on this, the finish has a nice tactical pt. w/ 59...Nd3 since at this pt. if the B falls it is all over. I think this is why the thought h5 was the losing move, that breaking up the k side pawns would allow whites e pawn to hit hit the B.

It makes you think, that maybe it would have been better for Karpov to sack the exchange R for N in order to maybe hold off the pawns on the k side with the B vs R?

Jul-25-03  Sylvester: Which was the game where Korchnoi missed a forced checkmate? Was it a really long one?
Jul-25-03  drukenknight: Look it up as the Nimzo Indian that goes 124 moves and is 1/2 1/2. It has comments from us previous. that was game 5 of the match when the match was 0-0.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I truly think that this is one of the best games ever from a World Championship. There were some erors but Kortschnoi showed his super class!
Feb-03-07  Fast Gun: Karpov's 30th move a5?! Would it have been better to exchange on b5 with axb instead of a5? A possible line could be
31. Rxb5 Rxb5
32. Nxb5
Alright so Korchnoi still has a passed pawn on the b-file, but would Karpov have fared better with this line? It is curious that emergence of the pawn on the b-file survives from 30 until move 60 when Karpov resigns !! Quite an achievement to hold onto this straggly pawn that seemed to be doomed:
Apr-09-08  Knight13: Haha Korchnoi must've been like "You pushed me too far!"

Like 11...e5 and then ...Nd4 is really stretching it.

Oct-21-12  chezzy: why not 11.b4
Oct-21-12  Shams: <chezzy> 11.b4 Nxb4 12.axb4 Bxb4 13.Rc1 Ne4 14.Be5 f6 looks good enough.
Feb-06-13  vinidivici: <I truly think that this is one of the best games ever from a World Championship. There were some erors but Kortschnoi showed his super class!>

Yes, Korchnoi doing good in this game but that just merely an unusual opening from Karpov. He dug too much to get himself in the complex and sharp opening that very unusual to him

I think we could blame this loss to the blacks opening.

Its so not Karpov style.

Just examples:
10...Re8 is a dubious move. The main line is 10...Be7.

And i want to know is it any game in this database BEFORE this that put 10...Re8 on the line?....i dont think so. This is dubious novelty

After position already vulnerable...the next black move MUST the attack moves (the actual game:e4,Nxc2+), this is forced because the threat of white's b4. And theres another attacking line from black
14...Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Ne4 but after 16.Ncxe4 dxe 17.Qxe4 Nb3 18.Qc2 would be down a pawn.

After 24.Rd1, black just gotten into awry position, and for this kind position theres no such thing about the "good defense", so the best choice is the "least risky" defense.

24...Qe5 (the actual game) , just what we have seen, not also a super-defense.

24...Be7 25.Rd4! Rxd4 26.exd Bf6?? 27.Nxe4 Qd5 28.Nf6+ (1-0)

Bf8 lines:
24...Bf8 (according to Korchnoi himself this is the best defense) 25.Rd4 Rxd4 26.exd Qg5 27.Kf1! (not 27.Nxe4 Qd5 Qd3 Qa2...blacks better) Qh6 28.Nxe4 Qxh2 29.g3 (white now slightly better).

25.Rd8 g6 26.Qd2 Kg7(26...Qe5 27.Ra8 Kg7 28.Rxa7...white a pawn up) 27.Rd4 Qc8 28.Rxe4 Bxa3 29.Rxc4 Qxc4 30.bxa...whites better.

This just a bit of the variations that shows black weak game over the match because the dubious opening. And that made black so hard to seek the initiative coming the mid-game.

This is a good win from white but not in the picturesque style.

Jun-30-14  Howard: This game is analyzed in the new book Korchnoi: Move by Move.
Dec-29-15  zanzibar: <Howard> Did Korchnoi mention the story told here?

You mentioned that Keene mentioned it, but I wonder about the K-man himself?

Kibitzer's Café (kibitz #167400)

Kibitzer's Café (kibitz #167411)

Oct-01-17  Howard: Trying to remember...I think NIC mentioned in its write-up on Korchnoi when he died, that there were a couple of errors near the very end--one by Karpov, and one by Korchnoi.

Remind me to dig up that issue.

Oct-07-17  Trammy Cotch: 15 ♗ f1!
Oct-07-17  mcgee: Yes, 15 Bf1 looks like a killer. This game is in Korchnoi's My Best Games With White: I'll have a look and see what (if anything) he wrote about that. Still a great effort by Korchnoi to win this one though.
May-29-18  Toribio3: Korchnoi played like Capablanca. The game is very instructive.
Nov-25-18  Ibisha Biscotto: totally sweet
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