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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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Last move:

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Given 34 times; par: 81 [what's this?]

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sac: 50.Rxd7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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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+

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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#

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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.

Feb-17-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: OVERLOADED: FIRST DEFENDER: PRECEDENCE
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.
Dec-02-15  john barleycorn: Korchnoi was a difficult opponent for Tal

<Classical games: Viktor Korchnoi beat Mikhail Tal 13 to 4, with 27 draws.>

Jan-03-16  F Pinget: 12....b5 rather than Ne8 to follow the original plan... can't find the reason why this was not played! Somehow it seems to have caused all the development problems and lose of initiative. Fernando Pinget
Jun-11-16  The Kings Domain: Viktor the Terrible was quite the solid and steady player, wasn't he. Gotta love the length and intricacy of this memorable game.
Aug-04-16  clement41: Amazing Benoni by Viktor the terrible
Dec-17-16  Saniyat24: Korchnoi knew how to play the Benoni and the Semi-Benoni...! What was that cat and mouse move from move 39 to 42?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Saniyat24>, that might have been two players repeating moves in a desperate struggle to reach the time control without forfeiting.

Playing White after 48...a4 would have put incredible stress upon myself. Never mind ice, Korchnoi must have had liquid hydrogen in his veins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Just out of curiosity, how does White win after 49...Qxf6+ and 50...a3, sacrificing the Bd7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  botvinnik64: Positional crush by Korchnoi. His outstanding record against Tal was due to his meta strategy in their encounters - Capture the center!!! (It really is quite effective. I like the knight maneuvers early in the game.)
Mar-23-17  Mudphudder: Love this game. To see Korchnoi play positionally against him was quite entertaining.

My knowledge of Korchnoi is that he is typically a brute force tactical player usually, almost akin to Tal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Viktor Korchnoi loves the jobs YOU hate.
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