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Stefano Tatai vs Viktor Korchnoi
"Tata, Tatai" (game of the day Nov-20-07)
Beer Sheva (1978)  ·  French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  0-1
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Given 4 times; par: 21 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-20-07  dx9293: I love showing this game to students. Short and very instructive.
Nov-20-07  arnaud1959: The eye of the Tiger. After 8.h3 he immediately sees that g3 and h3 are weak. I wonder if at this stage instead of playing h3 white shouldn't try to capture the c5 pawn. Then he is behind in the developpement and the ♗g4 could give him some headache (even more with a ♘d4) but then he could try ♘bd2; ♕d1; c3 and if possible, put some pressure on the isolated pawn.
Nov-20-07  xrt999: < gambitfan: <whiteshark: Where went white wrong ?

Instead of 10 c3?! I would have played 10 Bf4!>

Its funny you say that, in this system white usually plays 5.c3.

To me whites problems started with 6.Qe2+?. White gives a useless check allowing black to develop a piece.

Nov-20-07  gorash: <xrt999> like 1.d4 or 1.Nf3? ;)
Nov-20-07  xrt999: D Barua vs Korchnoi, 1993

another game in which Korchnoi played 4...c5.

If you look at the database with white playing 5.Nf3, this is actually not a bad system as long as you castle right away and develop the dark squared bishop to either e3 or g5

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jack Kerouac: As they say in India,"Give that man a beer, Sheva."
Nov-20-07  Riverbeast: An Italian getting waxed by a Russian/Swiss in Israel with the French...

Chess is the international game.

Nov-20-07  AAAAron: ok, can someone tell me why white didn't capture the queen, after move 12?????
Nov-20-07  Jim Bartle: The pawn is pinned.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This win is virtually guarenteed: After 15 cxd4 ♗xd4-and the keystone pawn at f2 is pinned AND indefensable-white is surely lost (I know,don't call me Shirley)
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <AAAAron> fxg3 is an illegal move, that's why: it puts the King in check from the Bishop.

I don't think the French Defense gets enough respect in this venue. I've always found it a formidable obstacle to overcome.

Nov-20-07  arnaud1959: Let's take anything else than 13.♗f5. 13.♘b3 ♗xh3 13.♘h4 ♘g4 or 13.♘g5!? ♗xh3! 14.♘xh3 ♘g4. Any other suggestions for the 13th move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: With 12...Qg3!! Korchnoi sets a winning pin, which, with the mate threats associated with allowing 13...Bxh3, forces White to concede decisive material.

White's last best chances to equalize may have been with 6. dxc5 or 10. Nc3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: 6.0-0 c4 7.Be2 followed by 8.b3 scores 0.22/21
Nov-20-07  Manic: OK I am really confused. Is 13.Bf5 actually a mistake? Because there does not seem to be any other better moves after 12.Nbd2?? as noted by <Honza>, <cade> and <arnaud1959>.
Nov-21-07  arnaud1959: <Manic> First I must correct something: In the 1st line I gave, ♘h4 was the 14th move and not the 13th.

I don't know if we can call 13.♗f5 a mistake. Probably yes for a computer for it would prefer lines where white loses a pawn and has an inferior position in order to avoid a mating attack. But humanly this move gives to white a slight chance if black is not able to find the best continuation.

Jan-01-08  hedgeh0g: With Bf5??, Black loses the opportunity to play the only saving move, Nb3. Although I think Korchnoi would still have a superior position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Looked at individually, White's moves don't look too terrible. But the total effect is to waste more and more time, and weaken White's king-side with h3?, to boot.
Jan-09-09  banjoman: Please explain why 13.Nd4 would fail to force the queen off of g3, diffusing the attack. Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: 13 Nd4 Nxd4 14 fxg3 Nxc2+ and 15 ... Nxa1 leaves White a rook down with no prospects, while 14 cxd4 Bxd4 leaves White with exactly the same problems as before, and one fewer kingside defender to help with them. The game continuation at least gave Tatai hope for a bizarre mistake on the one hand, and a quick merciful death on the other.
Sep-25-09  joeleflores: Hi, this is my first post.

How about this line:
13. Nd4 Nxd4, 14. Qd1 ?

Where the white queen retreats therefore fortifying e2?

How will black respond then?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <joeleflores> In your line 13. Nd4 Nxd4 14. Qd1, Black could simply retreat his knight with 14...Nc6, leaving him a piece ahead.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: There is *some* logic to the Qd1 idea a move or two later, after Black has played ...Re2. Then, seemingly, a retreat like ...Nc6 would allow Qxe2, eg 13.Bf5 Re2 14.Nd4 Nxd4 15.Qd1 (15.Qd3 is similar).

Black still wins. One nice line is 15.Qd1 Nxf5 16.Nf3 (if 16.Qxe2 Nh4 mates) ...Bxf2+ 17.Kh1 Ng4 18.Qxe2 (18.hxg4 Nh4 mates) ...Qh2+! 19.Nxh2 Ng3#

click for larger view

Nov-30-13  Wyatt Gwyon: Nothing more satisfying than seeing white get blown off the board in a French exchange.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: White was to the veshers taken around.
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