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Viktor Korchnoi vs Mikhail Tal
"King of Sorrow" (game of the day May-08-11)
USSR Championship (1962)  ·  Benoni Defense: Fianchetto Variation (A62)  ·  1-0
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Given 33 times; par: 80 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-08-11  newzild: 19. e5 is thematic against the Benoni - an instructive instance in this case.

<Bolgoljubov> Thanks for posting Korchnoi's comments. They are interesting. I'm surprised to see that he considered 9...Na6 to be "not the best". This is a pet move of mine in Benoni / King's Indian structures, as it helps me get out of the books. Here's an example of it helping me beat a 2100 player (admittedly, he uses a Samisch-style setup):

[Event "Waitakere Open"]
[Site "Waitakere"]
[Date "2002.05.26"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Krstev, Antonio"]
[Black "MacLeod, Scott"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO ""]
[WhiteElo "2089"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 0-0 6. Be3 c5 7. d5 e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5 Na6 Out of the books. 10. Nge2 Rb8 11. g4 b5 12. Ng3 Bd7 13. h4 c4 14. Bxa7 Ra8 15. Be3 Nc5 16. Rb1 Qa5 17. a3 Rfb8 18. h5 b4 19. axb4 Rxb4 20. hxg6 hxg6 21. Bh6 Bh8 22. Bg5 Nh7 23. Be7 Rxb2 24. Rxb2 Bxc3 25. Bxc4 Bxd2+ 26. Rxd2 Qc3 27. Nf1 Qxf3 28. Rdh2 Ra1+ 29. Kd2 Nxe4+ 30. Kc2 Qc3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious: ... In the mid 1970s, I knew two players who had a copy of the monograph 'Modern Benoni: Son of Sorrow' by Zeuthen. Ever see it or hear of it? The cover was this wretched shade of mauve.>

I'm not sure if I ever saw it, but I definitely saw it for sale, in Chess Digest's catalog I believe. No doubt that was where I first heard the "Son of Sorrow" thing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: Great book!
May-09-11  Zan: <Mozart72: I read somewhere that Fischer said that the "King's Gambit is busted". And there is a variation that Fischer made on this opening.>

You could probably read that anywhere discussing the Fischer defense, including the wikipedia article on it. Fischer developed the defense <1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d6> after losing this game to Spassky Spassky vs Fischer, 1960. He spent months on analysis and published an article in which he declared it "busted" and ended the article stating that of course white could play differently, but would just lose differently.

He played the King's Gambit himself with success years later, although he played the Bishop's Gambit <2. ...exf4 3. Bc4> instead of the King's Knight's Gambit

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: King's Gambit, Fischer Defense:'s...
May-09-11  SufferingBruin: I read somewhere that these two did not care for each other. True?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious> <Eric Schiller> I was surprised to see on Amazon that a number of sellers are offering Zeuthen's book for $3-$4 used. On the strength of Eric's recommendation, I ordered one. Perfidious, I see what you mean about the mauve cover. Pretty garish.
May-09-11  newzild: <SufferingBruin> Korchnoi didn't care much for anyone. And Tal was scared of Korchnoi (had a bad record against him).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a finish! White's pawn were together,they dominated;blacks were doubled and stagnant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <FSR> I used to own the Zeuthen book (surprised?). As I recall, it's basically an extensive game collection (around 900 examples) that is, in the words of one reviewer, "Pathologically well organized."

There was also an extensive introduction covering the basic themes of the Modern Benoni for both sides.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: As much as it pains me to see my hero go down, according to Rybka 4.1 at d=25 Korchnoi has a mate in 26 or less after 49.Rc7 but unfortnately Rybka doesn't give the entire sequence: 49...a3 50.Rxd7 Qxd7 51.e6 52.Kh4 g5+ 53.Kh5 Qe8+ 54.Kxg5 Qg6+ 55.Qxg6+ hxg6 56.d7 axb2 57.e7 Rb5+ 58.Kh4 b1Q 59.e8Q+ Kh7 60.Qe7+ Kxh6 61.g5+ Rxg5 62.Qxg5+ Kh7 63.Qe7+ Kh6 64.Qe3+ g5+ 65.Qxg5+ Kh7 66.d8Q Qh1+

click for larger view

However, plugging this position into the Nalimov tablebases gives the remaining moves: 67.Kg4 Qg2+ 68.Kf5 Qf1+ 69.Qf4 Qh3+ 70.Kf6 Qc3+ 71.Qfd4 Qc6+ 72.Ke7 Qb7+ 73.Kf8 Qf3+ 74.Q4f6 Qg4 75.Qc7+ Qd7 76.Qxd7#

click for larger view

I'm sure it would have made Korchnoi's day (or anybody elses day) to be able to claim a mate in 26 against Tal!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <AylerKupp> Had Korchnoi announced mate in 26, Tal probably would have responded much as Blackburne did in a similar situation.

In a cable match between the U.S. and Great Britain, Frank Marshall sent an announcement of mate-in-5 in his game in Blackburne. The reply came back: "Saw it. Gone home."

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Phony Benoni> Great story, and it sounds like something Tal would have said. Or maybe he would have said "You mean you didn't see the mate in 28 a couple of moves ago?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni> Never heard that story-it's hilarious!
Sep-15-11  LIFE Master AJ: I know I have annotated this game, (personally). I thought I had built a web page on it ... but I could not find it.
Sep-18-11  Blunderdome: <Phony Benoni> I thought that story was about Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Blunderdome> Not quite; Von Bardeleben simply walked out of the tournament room without a word, leaving his clock running. And Steinitz announced mate-in-ten, not five.
Sep-19-11  Blunderdome: That's right -- I remembered the details about the von Bardeleben story, it was a protest against applauding the winners, but for some reason I added a note to that memory. Oh well.
Jan-02-12  LIFE Master AJ:

My annotations of this game, perhaps some readers would like to go over them.

Premium Chessgames Member
May-27-12  LoveThatJoker: GG


Aug-16-12  rapidcitychess: Personally, I really love this game because to my weak eyes, it almost looks like Korchnoi got the advantage from nowhere. I truly love trying to find the place where "it all went downhill".


Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: 54..Qxd7 55.Qf6+ Ke8 56.Qf8 mate.

54..Qe3+ is mate in 7 for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Tal went down swinging. It's perfectly possible to lose a game with black against a super GM - the way he lost this is better than some miserable effort where you can't even point to a threat black made.
Dec-30-13  Balmo: I think 9...Na6 put Tal on the back foot here. I'd prefer a6 myself, he spent two or three moves trying to make the knight useful but Korchnoi had already gained too much space.
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