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Viktor Korchnoi vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Curacao Candidates (1962), Willemstad CUW, rd 16, Jun-02
Spanish Game: Closed. Pilnik Variation (C90)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 23 times; par: 125 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-13-06  Rama: From move 32 to 44 there are no captures. After this prolonged period of maneuvering Victor messes up with 45. Re1 ..., which eventuates in the very pretty 49. ... Bc3+. Both players were pugnacious and resilient, a good game.
Nov-13-06  Nasruddin Hodja: I should hope so. I think I've read somewhere that Korchnoi and Tal were the two Soviet players who did not take part in the infamous Draw Pact of Curacao 1962, which Fischer publicly accused. Come to think of it, it's from this time period that Korchnoi's hatred of Petrosian (who did participate) became evident.
Nov-13-06  ughaibu: How was Korchnoi's "hatred" of Petrosian evident, from 1962?
Nov-13-06  Runemaster: Thanks for pointing this one out, guys.

I thought it was instructive in the ending that for a long time, Petrosian follows the usual principle of keeping his pawns on light squares so as not to restrict his bishop.

But then, when the moment is right, he puts his 'b' and 'f' pawns on dark squares to blockade the enemy pawns, which are trapped on light squares and vulnerable to attack.

Nov-12-10  Knight13: 45. Qd6 is best.
Mar-05-14  zydeco: 27.Qxf6 Qxb1 28.Bh6 doesn't work because of 28.....Qxd1+ 29.Kh2 Qd4

34.Qxa6 fails to 34.....Rxe3

Lots of little tactics in this game, but Petrosian inexorably squeezes Korchnoi into a tighter and tighter position (all the more impressive with so many heavy pieces and open fields on the board). I have a feeling that this was Petrosian's best game of the tournament.

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Nasruddin Hodja: I should hope so. I think I've read somewhere that Korchnoi and Tal were the two Soviet players who did not take part in the infamous Draw Pact of Curacao 1962...>

Funny story at Lilienthal vs Capablanca, 1935:

<After Geller and Keres had agreed a lightning-fast draw in Geller vs Keres, 1962, Kortschnoi turns to Geller, who had played the white pieces, and asks him, "You make draws without playing. Who do you think to beat in this way?"

Whereupon Geller replies, "YOU!"> LOL!

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Nasruddin Hodja>: <I should hope so. I think I've read somewhere that Korchnoi and Tal were the two Soviet players who did not take part in the infamous Draw Pact of Curacao 1962, which Fischer publicly accused.>

No one's ever shown that there was such a pact. Fischer's accusation was that Korchnoi threw games to the others to make up for their draws, which, according to Korchnoi, Fischer didn't believe himself a few years later. It looks like what happened at Curacao was the same thing that happens at a lot of tournaments: The top players drew with each other and beat up on the weakies. What made that tournament remarkable is that one of the weakies was a guy named Fischer.

May-04-15  Howard: Granted, Fischer probably could have been classified as a "weakie". Despite his impressive first place finish at Stockholm, this 19-year-old kid was simply not ready to take on five battle-hardened Soviets (complete with a small army of seconds !) in the Curacao tournament.

But, on the other hand, the circumstantial evidence has always suggested that there was some kind of pact between Geller, Petrosian, and Keres.

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Howard: ...the circumstantial evidence has always suggested that there was some kind of pact between Geller, Petrosian, and Keres.>

But why was Petrosian so upset when someone pointed out that he could've won Keres vs Petrosian, 1962?

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: The term is relative. In a Candidates Tournament, nobody is a true weakie. Facing 99% of the people in the world, Miroslav Filip was an enormously strong player. But at Curacao he was a weakie.

One of the things Americans have a hard time graspign about the Soviets is that they did not take Fischer seriously until it was far too late. They didn't even make a big effort to keep him out of the 1970 interzonal, they just figured he'd drop out or get beaten.

If you read Vik Vasiliev's book on Petrosian, here's how he described Petrosian's game plan.

As everyone knows by now, Petrosian's plan was to stay in the race, avoid reverses, and pace himself so has to have energy left at the end. The only way this strategy could possibly succeed is if nobody went on a point-scoring spree like Keres and Tal did in 1959.

Now, who, theoretically might be able to do this? According to Vasiliev, Petrosian thought anybody except Benko or Filip might possibly do it. So the whole strategy was a gamble. These are the reasons he bet that an individual would NOT do it:

Tal: Health problems, recently had a major operation

Keres: Now in his mid-40's and probably wouldn't be able to take the equatorial heat.

Fischer: Youth and inexperience will eventually be telling.

Korchnoi: Doesn't pace himself, puts too much energy into every game, and will burn out before the end. His all-or-nothing attitude will betray him. (this was Korchnoi's first Candidates, he wasn't used to such a long event).

Geller: Nerves sometimes give way at the critical moment.

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As matters went, Korchnoi sprinted ahead with 5/7, then came unstuck in the middle.

Filip was a strong, solid GM, but an amateur amongst professionals--given his profession, he could never devote anything like the time needed to be a solid threat to the crown.

May-04-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <As matters went, Korchnoi sprinted ahead with 5/7, then came unstuck in the middle.>

He didn't pace himself. He was busting a gut to win every game. He started off well, but came unglued in the middle, starting with when he lost a won game to Fischer. He beat Filip the next round (he went 4-0 against Filip), but then lost four straight, to Petrosian, Keres, Geller and Tal.

Fischer declared that all those games were thrown (except the one to Tal, who he liked). That one was magically Okay. Fischer also neglected to mention that it was he himself who had set Korchnoi's spiral in motion.

In fact, Fischer's whole article was a model of duplicity. He said a lot more about how he'd done at Bled than about how he did at Curacao, and led the reader to believe that he'd been in the thick of the hunt for First Place.

Sep-20-16  ewan14: drawing pact confirmed by
Averbakh
and
Suetin
Oct-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: But nobody has confirmed that Korchnoi threw games to cover the draws, which was the point of Fischer's charges, and according to Korchnoi, Fischer himself realized how ridiculous it was.
Oct-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <Howard> <But, on the other hand, the circumstantial evidence has always suggested that there was some kind of pact between Geller, Petrosian, and Keres.>

Maybe there was. But that wasn't Fischer's claim. Fischer wasn't afraid of draws. Petrosian and Tal drew four quick games in 1959. Was there a pact? Nobody's ever said said so, but suppose there was. Fischer didn't care and never claimed it would keep him from winning. Thrown games were the issue. Now that nobody believes that about Korchnoi any more, they've simply retconned the claim to where the draws were the issue.

Now one case where draws really did make the difference was in the Needleman case a few years back. Remember that? 7 players and six qualification spots. All the GM's drew easily with each other and focused on the weakest player, Needleman. Was there a pact? Maybe but there hardly needs to have been one. It's an obvious strategy which has plagued GM chess for the last century. Most of the Curacao talk is part of an endless effort to prove that Fischer's +1 score should have won the tournament.

Oct-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: The description of this game from Vasiliev's book:

<Geller's position was worsened in that Petrosian won against Korchnoi on the same day [that Geller lost to Fischer], and with an elegant bishop sacrifice. Korchnoi had played the opening rather riskily, and then went into a line which gave Petrosian the opportunity of sacrificing a bishop for a dangerous attack. Korchnoi had relied on Petrosian playing 'safety first', and did not seriously consider the latter would undertake any so risky an operation at this stage of the tournament. But Tigran's tactical abilities were capable of allowing him to calculate all the consequences of the sacrifice, and he calmly delivered the knock-out blow. Six moves later Korchnoi resigned.>

Oct-27-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Petrosianic: <Howard> <But, on the other hand, the circumstantial evidence has always suggested that there was some kind of pact between Geller, Petrosian, and Keres.> Maybe there was. But that wasn't Fischer's claim. Fischer wasn't afraid of draws. Petrosian and Tal drew four quick games in 1959. Was there a pact? Nobody's ever said said so, but suppose there was.>

Actually, Tal said so.

<In "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal", Tal wrote: "I am now prepared to admit that in the third and fourth cycles Petrosian and I did not really play. This was a negative reaction to the practically unanimous comments in the press after our game from the second cycle [Tal vs Petrosian, 1959 ]. We had played seriously but then read the following opinion which was not exactly complimentary to us: 'Of course, Tal and Petrosian are friends; there is nothing one can do about it, all their games finish in a draw'. This angered us, and we decided: 'Right, we'll show them how to really draw without a fight!' Over the next game, we spent a total of five minutes, not more.">

Petrosian vs Tal, 1959

Thanks to <Resignation Trap> for the quote.

Oct-27-16  ewan14: Bet you Paul Keres was pleased about that
Oct-28-16  ughaibu: <Now one case where draws really did make the difference was in the Needleman case a few years back. Remember that? 7 players and six qualification spots. All the GM's drew easily with each other and focused on the weakest player, Needleman.>

This is not true. Had all the games been drawn, Needleman would have been eliminated. So, the only player with any motivation to win was Needleman. Nobody "focused" no him because nobody needed to beat him, unless he won a game.

Oct-28-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ewan14: Bet you Paul Keres was pleased about that>

Well, here is what Keres was doing against Petrosian in the third and fourth cycles.

Keres vs Petrosian, 1959

Petrosian vs Keres, 1959

Oct-28-16  ewan14: ''hangovers'' from the earlier defeat to Petrosian perhaps, but still unimpressive
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