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Viktor Korchnoi vs Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian
Odessa (1974)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon. Maroczy Bind Breyer Variation (B39)  ·  1-0
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Given 3 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-18-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: At the end, the rook makes the king do a merry dance to get him on g6 where he is pinned.
Nov-29-05  vampiero: i dont see it, can you please give a more concrete variation to show me
Jan-02-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: the sequence from 39.f6+ onwards
Oct-11-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: There is some readable background information about the circumstances of this game: Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1974
Nov-15-11  Helios727: In a book by Robert Byrne about the 1974 candidate matches, he made the following comments before covering the Korchnoi-Petrosian games:

"With the quarterfinals over, I thought this would be the easiest contest to pick--it had to go to Petrosian because of his calm, steady temperament, so beautifully adapted to match play. Korchnoi, on the other hand, could only damage himself by his risk-taking style, so much better suited to tournament play."

"But in making my prediction, I could not guess that Petrosian's opening play would be so inferior to Korchnoi's. Korchnoi did not experience his usual difficulty with the white pieces, but pressed a strong initiative in games 1, 3, and 5. Only once did Korchnoi let his guard drop (with Black) and his punishment did not affect the outcome of the match."

"Korchnoi's three wins were one less than the four required to win a semifinals match; he gained the victory when Petrosian pleaded illness after the fifth game. However, whether Petrosian suffered a genuine physical malady is open to question."

"What is certain is that the match was steeped in animosity from the beginning. In the first game Korchnoi roughly complained to his opponent about his habitual nervous foot tapping that sent vibrations to the surface of the chessboard. Petrosian lodged a written counter complaint to the referee about Korchnoi's disturbing him during the game (presumably Petrosian meant Korchnoi's speaking directly to him while the game was in progress--that's against the rules, except to offer a draw)."

"Matters came to a head in the fifth game, when Korchnoi, making reference to opponents who could find no fair way to win, again angrily complained about the foot tapping. It was probably the vigor of this repeated accusation, not to mention Petrosian's minus score, that led to his resigning the match. Will Petrosian turn up next time in carpet slippers with sponge-rubber soles?"

Nov-15-11  Helios727: I realize that Byrne's account somewhat contradicts what others have posted in other games from this match, but we might as well let everyone say what they thought they knew.
Nov-15-11  Helios727: Byrne gives the final move of this game as 43. Re5+. Then he adds the note - "After 43... Kg6, 44. h3 is the simplest."
Nov-15-11  Petrosianic: Here's the way Jude Acers tells the same story, at:

http://www.chessdryad.com/articles/...

<I wish to print the true facts of the tremendous Petrosian-Korchnoi match earlier this year, a match that shot Korchnoi into the top three players in the world. Though the real story has been suppressed by all U.S.S.R. media sources, there were so many Yugoslavian and German witnesses that we now know that a verbal war rather than chess ended the contest!

Korchnoi played beautifully to achieve three wins, one loss, and one draw in the first five games against Tigran Petrosian in Odessa, April 12-24, 1974. Just after the fourth game Tigran Petrosian went to the match committee and requested in writing that Victor Korchnoi be asked not to move his leg up and down beneath the table so much! It was just a Korchnoi nervous habit and did not seem to disturb anything really. No noise or offence intended probably. But Petrosian mentioned that Korchnoi had actually kicked him beneath the table while reaching out to make a move. Surely it was an accident....

Korchnoi knew absolutely nothing of Petrosian's complaint throughout the night, and it was only upon arriving for the fifth game that he was shocked by the formal request to quit moving his leg in a kicking motion beneath the table! Korchnoi was furious but did not say anything to his opponent, beginning to make moves against Petrosian in the fifth game.

You're not going to believe what happened next and at the worst possible moment. Petrosian, while shifting in the chair to adjust his hearing aid, kicked Victor Korchnoi accidentally! As match officials looked on with complete horror and silence. Everybody knew the match could explode any second.

Korchnoi, now thoroughly in flames, sat there for a second and found what has to be one of the truly great one-liner punch outs of all times... "Mister Petrosian, please look for your match chances above the chess table rather than below it." That's the real story, how a great match really ended -- never reported by the wire services.>

Mar-13-14  enoordff: The game ended live after 43 Re5+. Petrosian sealed 43 .. Kg6. That is all. The move 44 h3 is analysis. Owing to Korchnoi's own report.
Mar-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: "Just after the fourth game Tigran Petrosian went to the match committee and requested in writing that Victor Korchnoi be asked not to move his leg up and down beneath the table so much! It was just a Korchnoi nervous habit and did not seem to disturb anything really. No noise or offence intended probably."

I'm sure there was no offence intended, but intention is not the measure of right or wrong here. Where did Acers get the idea that someone constantly engaging in that leg-shaking motion under the table will not "disturb anything"? It normally makes the floor tremble, and maybe the chess table too. I find it extremely annoying. You cannot have a way to release your tension that will transfer that tension to your opponent. It's unfair.

Mar-13-14  Petrosianic: From the way Acers tells it, it sounds as though what made Korchnoi angry was not hearing anything at all about the complaint until minutes before the game was to start. Asking him to stop doing it is one thing, but they probably should have gone to him the night before and dealt with it more privately.
Mar-13-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <Korchnoi, now thoroughly in flames, sat there for a second and found what has to be one of the truly great one-liner punch outs of all times... "Mister Petrosian, please look for your match chances above the chess table rather than below it.">

Ha! Korchnoi could have kicked him back, but it's true what they say: when you see a good move, look for a better one.

Mar-13-14  Petrosianic: I wonder if Korchnoi's comment was punchier in Russian, because it sounds a bit stilted translated into English.
Mar-13-14  Granny O Doul: I think Korchnoi actually said "I get my kicks above the waistline".
Sep-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Helios727: Byrne gives the final move of this game as 43. Re5+> And so does Botvinnik's book "Candidates' Matches 1974". I sent a correction slip.
Sep-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: When it comes to good sportsmanship, a historical view will show that both of these players will decidedly not be wearing the white cowboy hat.

That they tick each other off is sort of like watching two hated bullies beating on eachother to the joy of the cheering rabble.

Sep-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <enoordff: The game ended live after 43 Re5+. Petrosian sealed 43 .. Kg6> Botvinnik's book says Petrosian resigned "as soon as he saw the sealed move". The sealed move must have been 43.Re5+
Sep-06-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: El Mundo Deportivo 25 April has this:

Moscu, 24. (Alfil)... Korchnoi and Petrosian also adjourned their 5th game of today, on move 43.

Oct-05-14  Howard: Keep in mind that Petrosian and Korchnoi were already bitter enemies at the time this match was played---that, no doubt, contributed to Petrosian's resigning the match.
Oct-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli: I'm sure there was no offence intended, but intention is not the measure of right or wrong here. Where did Acers get the idea that someone constantly engaging in that leg-shaking motion under the table will not "disturb anything"? It normally makes the floor tremble, and maybe the chess table too. I find it extremely annoying. You cannot have a way to release your tension that will transfer that tension to your opponent. It's unfair.>

Agreed--it was most likely a subconscious nervous habit, but as noted by <Petrosianic>, to have dealt with this privately would have been a better way of going about things.

<Howard: Keep in mind that Petrosian and Korchnoi were already bitter enemies at the time this match was played....>

Any idea when the breach came? I do not recall reading evidence of any negativity in their relationship prior to this match.

My recollection from <Korchnoi's 400 Best Games> is of a mention that the organisers could have handled affairs better between these great opponents and that this failing contributed to the enmity.

Oct-06-14  Howard: To be honest, I don't know when their mutual animosity started or how it occurred. But their relationship was certainly on shaky ground at the time of this match---no doubt about it.

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