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Viktor Korchnoi vs Yuri Averbakh
USSR Championship (1959), Tbilisi URS, rd 2, Jan-11
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Instead of 39. Bh6, allowing 39...Bxg3, White might have kept some practical drawing chances with 39. Bc1 .

Of course after 39. Bc1 Bb5 , Averbach, being a renowned endgame player (authored an introductory endagme book and an endgame encyclopedia series), would likely have found a way to force the win. Could it be that Korchnoi figured he had more chance of Averbach missing a simple tactic than he did drawing a tortuous endgame after 39. Bc1 Bb5 ?

Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Perhaps 37. Rf3 would have given Korchnoi drawing chances. One computer generated possibility is 37. Rf3 Ra2 38. Nf1 Rxa3 39. Rh3 Bf7 40. Qe1 Qg8 41. Be3 = (Fritz 8 @ 14 depth).
Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: White had a nice attack at the start of the game that he threw away withe the weak 25.Qxh7. Better might have been:

1: Viktor Korchnoi - Yuri Averbakh, URS-ch26 Tbilisi 1959


click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.3.2a mp up:

(19-ply)
<1. (0.84): 25.Nc3> Bc6 26.Qh5+ Ke7 27.Qg4 g5 28.Rxh7+ Rf7 29.Rh6 Kd7 30.Rc1 Bd4 31.Qh5 Qe7

Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Random Visitor> Perhaps it would have been OK to grab the pawn after the in-between move 25. Qh5+!, when 25...Ke7 26. Qxh7 leaves White with a clear advantage. How does Rybka evaluate this line?
Nov-08-07  Operation Mindcrime: Good one. I got ...♗xg3 but it took me some time to see the follow-up with ♖xg2! Actually not too difficult - Black's ♕ is under attack, so he has to either move it (which is unsatisfactory) or find a more forceful move.
Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <patzer2: Instead of 39. Bh6, allowing 39...Bxg3, White might have kept some practical drawing chances with 39. Bc1 . Of course after 39. Bc1 Bb5 , Averbach, being a renowned endgame player (authored an introductory endagme book and an endgame encyclopedia series), would likely have found a way to force the win. Could it be that Korchnoi figured he had more chance of Averbach missing a simple tactic than he did drawing a tortuous endgame after 39. Bc1 Bb5 ? >

My guess would be that at that point white was so short of time that seeing that one line was bad he went into another without even checking it. Like yesterday, a complicated game that one side loses just before time control. If someone tracked these puzzles I bet they would find most of the strong modern GM mistakes fit that pattern, while games between weaker players or from the 19th century are more likely to be decided on mistakes right out of the opening.

Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <patzer2: Perhaps 37. Rf3 would have given Korchnoi drawing chances.>

I tend to agree. It actually seems that this move would have given White a small advantage. As also noted by <patzer2>, 39. ♗c1 was a final chance to try to hold a position that had become difficult.

As far as trying to explain why Korchnoi played the moves he did (especially 37. ♔h3 and 39. ♗h6), I suspect that, instead of the choice hypothesized by <patzer2> (hoping Averbakh would overlook a tactic rather than going into an endgame where his opponent could demonstrate his estimable prowess in that phase of the game), it was simply a case of severe time pressure. (I don't know whether Korchnoi was always prone to this problem, but it certainly plagued him during the period of his famous matches with Karpov [1974-1981].) The final moves of the game (42.♖c1 ♖xg7 43.♖c7+ ♔f8) were probably played before Korchnoi (and possibly Averbakh, too) realized that the first time control had been reached, with Viktor desperately hoping that Averbakh in time pressure (that was merely illusory) would neglect to defend his Rook after 43. ♖c7+. Once Averbakh had played 43. … ♔f8, the position was obviously hopeless.

Nov-08-07  Ipecac: 39...Qh7 is better than what was played in the game
Nov-08-07  MaczynskiPratten: <Ipecac: 39...Qh7 is better than what was played in the game> Don't think so, 40 Bf8+ seems to win the Q. Maybe that's the kind of thing Korchnoi was hoping for. I agree this looks like a time pressure situation - control may have been move 40 or 42 but either way White is lost by then - maybe played a couple of moves in shellshock before resigning.
Nov-08-07  griga262: It isn't often that I get a Thursday puzzle, but this one was pretty straightforward. Have I been lucky in the past four days, or is this an unusually easy week?
Nov-08-07  znprdx: I should have focused on my initial analysis regarding the limited scope of White's Bishop. After Rc2 Korchnoi must have been disheartened to realize there was no time for the logical Rf3 attack due to his back rank weakness. Black's Bishops are deadly. 38.Rc1 looks to be White's one and only chance for a time pressure cheapo.
Nov-08-07  Ipecac: <MaczynskiPratten: <Ipecac: 39...Qh7 is better than what was played in the game> Don't think so, 40 Bf8+ seems to win the Q.>

Sorry, then 39...Qh8, isnīt it stronger?

Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Well, my one track mind went off the rails a bit with 39...Qh8?!. This carries the threat of 40...Bxg3 41. Qxg3 Qxh6+ (note that black can't play 41. Kxg3 or else 41...Qg8+ and ...Qxg2 with mate soon).

Black can *somewhat* counter this threat a couple of ways:

40. Bg5, but then 40...Qxh4 41. Bxh4 Bb5 42. Rd1 Bxg3 43. Bxg3 Ra2, and now black can go to work on white's ill-protected queenside and middle pawns.

Another try is 40. Rc1, which I think leads to the same kind of situation as above: a bunch of pieces come off and black's LSB goes after the middle pawns.

Of course, these are not as strong as the text move (which I should have seen had I not been so intent on making 39...Qh8 work), but I think they might leave black with a winning game anyhoo.

Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: My highlight of this game is the trapping of the bishop by the rook. Either the bishop will be captured directly or by means of a skewer. If 42 ♗h6 ♖h2+ and the king cannot defend the clergyman via ♔g5.
Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Well, it happened again: Bxg3 and all the ensuing moves just jumped out at me. Wham, bam, puzzle solved. But HOW does that happen? Wish I knew.
Nov-08-07  Ipecac: <YouRang: 40. Bg5, but then 40. Bg5> Then 40...Bh5, and I think the White Bishop has only c1 (you may be tempted to try 41. Qxh5, but: QxQ, NxQ, pawn-on-fxB, and I canīt analize it now but I think that Black has more play, tho Iīm sure that is the best option for White)

So letīs discuss Bc1, which could be the most obvious but is the worst alternative for White:

41. Bc1 Bxg3

If White eats with Queen:

42. Qxg3 Bg3#

If White eats with King:

42. Kxg3 Qg7+ 43. Kh3/h2 Qxg2#

----------

I think is a lost game for White from 37. and further on anyway he plays.

Nov-08-07  znprdx: Oops ok 38.Rc1 won't work - it is similar to <You Rang's> analysis after 39...Qh8. As for 38.Rf3, well Bf2 and Bb5>f1 are crippling blows - it is to hard imagine a draw let alone a win for White....but I'd love to be convinced otherwise.
Nov-08-07  Peter Nemenyi: I very much doubt that Korchnoi feared Averbakh in the endgame, as some of these comments suggest. Korchnoi was a consummate master of the endgame himself--he had to be, since for a great player he found it strangely difficult to get an edge in the opening, and also tended to overlook tactical shots in the middlegame.

Or as Spassky once put it, "Viktor spends his time in the opening with the White pieces putting them in all the wrong places so that he can reposition them in the early middle game. He has done that all his life--it's his style." (Quoted in R. Byrne, Anatoly Karpov: The Road to the World Chess Championship, 1976)

Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: I think, Korchnoi played the move 39.Bh6? without calculating the consequences & lost his Bishop & the game with Averbakh simply playing 39...Bxg3!
Nov-08-07  Drudge: Can someone tell me what i'm missing?

This is the line I choose:

39. ... Qxg3
40. Qxg3 Bxg3
41. Kxg3 Bb5 - threat to d3
42. ??-- thinking rook to d1 but then just Rc3 for matrial advantage to Black?

Nov-08-07  outsider: if i do it on thursday in about 7 to 10 seconds, there must be something very wrong with the task level
Nov-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Drudge: Can someone tell me what i'm missing? >

The only thing that you're missing is that 39...Bxg3 ends up winning a whole piece [with immediate resignation probable], whereas your line (and my 39...Qh8 line, for that matter) wins a pawn or two [with a long fight to the finish probable].

Nov-08-07  ConstantImprovement: 39. ... Bg3: 40. Bg7: (40. Qg3: Qh6:+ )
Bh4: 41. Kh4: (41. Bh6 Bf2 ) Rg2: 42. Bh6 (Else Rg7:) Rh2+ 43. Kg4 (The main point: g5 is unavailable for the white king) 44. Rh6:
Jan-20-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Peter Nemenyi: I very much doubt that Korchnoi feared Averbakh in the endgame, as some of these comments suggest....>

So do I, but to give any GM, much less one with Averbakh's outstanding technical skills, a position where one would have to suffer a very long time with but a slender chance of drawing, would have amounted to seppuku.

<....(A)s Spassky once put it, "Viktor spends his time in the opening with the White pieces putting them in all the wrong places so that he can reposition them in the early middle game. He has done that all his life--it's his style." (Quoted in R. Byrne, Anatoly Karpov: The Road to the World Chess Championship, 1976)>

Priceless bit of humour here from Spassky.

Feb-03-13  Garech: lol <perfidioud> - great comment indeed.

Can't help feeling Korchnoi definitely threw away the win here; he had very strong kinsgide initiative.

-Garech

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