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Viktor Korchnoi vs Boris Spassky
Leningrad (1948)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Dragon. Levenfish Variation (B71)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-31-06  slomarko: no Kd8 saves the overworked knight
Premium Chessgames Member
  outplayer: <Deep Blade> Are you really deep? 12...Qf3 13.Nf6(13.gf3??) Ke7 (13...Kd8 14.gf3) 14.Nd5+ followed by gf3 and White is simply a piece up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: This game reminds me of my game played in the Challengers against the twin bros. IM Pert at Hastings in 2003 & also in my analysis I have quoted this game. I had a winning position but the game was drawn.
Jan-18-08  jovack: I read somewhere an analysis by DeepBlade.. where if the black queen first takes the white queen he can get his knight back (from white's knight checking the king on f6) by Ke7, taking back on f6 subsequently after white's pawn retakes the queen... you missed the inbetween move that saves the knight --> Nd5+ followed by gxf3 = up a whole knight.

Black's only defense is Kd8. If knight takes on f6 anyway, the weak e1h4 diagonal provides black's queen with an unanswerable fork, regaining the material. Kd8 thus saves black in MATERIAL. Black still has a losing position though. With accurate play from white, black's stranded king will prove fatal. In Spasskij's position i would have definitely played it out to the bitter end hopefully catching white somewhere tactically in the mid-game... against a player of Korchnoi's caliber, this would be futile though.

Mar-05-08  frank124c: Spassky forgot one of the most basic rules in chess "Don't be a goose and leave a piece loose!"
Oct-09-08  frank124c: Beautiful decoy!
Feb-04-09  WhiteRook48: instructive game by Korchnoi
Feb-04-09  talisman: isn't this illegal according to ages??
...i mean at least in Georgia?
Feb-16-09  WhiteRook48: and then Spassky demanded them to bring on Fischer...
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: As many has pointed out, 12.-,Kd8 saves the night. (13.Nxf6, Qh4) The position is very bad, but sometimes we manage to draw very bad positions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: 9...e5 should definitely be avoided.
Aug-14-09  kooley782: Well, Spassky was only 11. Even prodigies make mistakes like this sometimes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: In the faulty analysis department, "The Complete Sicilian: Volume Two" by the late Attila Schneider on Page 15: "11. Qxf3 Qg4?? An astounding oversight, whereupon a small combination in Capablanca's style follows. (11 ... Bg7 12. 0-0 0-0 13. Be3 Ng4 14. Rad1 Nxe3 15. Qxe3 exf4 16. Qxf4 Bxc3 17. bxc3 Qe6 was necessary with about even chances.) 12. Nd5!! and Black resigned because he cannot avoid the loss of a piece."

Maybe chess authors and book editors should spend more time here. =)

Dec-02-09  M.D. Wilson: This game still makes Korchnoi smile.
Sep-18-10  swr:

"He was crying"

Dec-10-10  Kliol: Hi,i am a beginner and my question may sound stupied, but i thought games in chess end either with mat or pat..why 12 is marked as victory??

thx in advance

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Kliol> According to Fide chess laws <the game is won by the player whose opponent declares he resigns.>

A draw agreed end the game, too. There are a few other circumstances for a draw, someone else might explain that to you. :D

Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: 12. Nd5 Kd8 13. Qxg4 Nxg4 14. h3 Nh6 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bg5+:

click for larger view

It seems that Spassky didn't see this as he thought he was simply losing a piece after 12. Nd5, but the engine evaluation for this position is the equivalent of a piece loss (not that an 11-year boy in 1948 would be in a position to appreciate such a nuance):

16...Ke8 17. Nc7+ loses the rook

16...Kc8 locks in the queen rook, and after 17. Bf6 White wins a pawn and Black is undeveloped in a hopeless position, which leaves

16...Kd7 and the king a sitting duck in the middle of the board. After 17. Bf6 and 18. 0-0-0, Black's goose is well and truly cooked.

If Spassky ever looked back at this game he might have ruefully thought that resigning was the right move anyway.

Sep-17-11  mikhs: <outplayer: <Deep Blade> Are you really deep? 12...Qf3 13.Nf6(13.gf3??) Ke7 (13...Kd8 14.gf3) 14.Nd5+ followed by gf3 and White is simply a piece up. >

<outplayer> sounds pretty arrogant and making fun of <Deep Blade> while talking out of his ass....

white is NOT "simply a piece up" as 12...Kd8 saves the knight. However black's position is still pretty misserable.

Nov-27-12  Tigranny: How does Kd8 save the knight?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Tigranny> 12....Kd8 13.Nxf6 Qh4+, though as <mikhs> notes, Black's position would have remained unpleasant.
Nov-27-12  dahtah: testing
Nov-29-12  Tigranny: <perfidious> Thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: Boris was 11, and Victor was 17 whn this game was played....
Feb-27-15  m.okun: This game took place in Leningrad Palace of Pioneers during a session of simultaneous game which Korchnoi (17 years old) gave. After a game end Spassky (11 years old) burst into tears.
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