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Stefano Tatai vs Viktor Korchnoi
"Tata, Tatai" (game of the day Nov-20-2007)
Be'er Sheva (1978), Be'er Sheva ISR, rd 6
French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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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?????
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: With Bf5??, Black loses the opportunity to play the only saving move, Nb3. Although I think Korchnoi would still have a superior position.
Jun-28-08  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?

Nov-08-09  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Wow, this is a "teachable moment" if ever I saw one in the French defense. Grand strategy lesson : if you want to to draw against a top GM, play to win. Play to draw, and you will be blown off the board. (generalization, caveat, I know.)

Specific French defense lessons:
1) symmetrical pawn structures don't necessarily make a position drawish. Knights and open lines make dynamic Swiss cheese of this one. 2) slow development for white is death.
3) if your pieces are blocking each other (Nbd2 might not be the first inaccuracy but I think it's the first true blunder even if the next move was the game loser) in the middle of an attack, your defense is dead.

And for black : "French defense" is a misnomer if white gives the opportunity by ignoring those three rules. Attack, attack, attack!

Mar-09-15  Shams: <Alex Schindler> A belated welcome to the site. Here's a great video on this game from IM Sielecki:

(Skip to the four-minute mark if you wish to start with 4...c5.)

Korchnoi was such a titan with these French IQP positions.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Thanks <shams>, just watched. It's funny, unnecessary h3 pushes are something I associate with amateurs on the Internet, not international masters. It's clear what he thought he was preventing, but at what cost to his kingside? I guess even pros have their off days.

I'd like to plug this game into an engine because I have a hunch that each move shaves like, a quarter to a half a point advantage until they snowball into a loss for white. That also makes it a good game for instruction.

Is there a way to get pgns off this site so I don't have to put moves in manually? It happens to be easy in this game, but it's something I'd like to do more of in general

Mar-18-15  Shams: <Alex> Below the game board there are links to view, download or print the PGN.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Hmm, must not be visible to mobile browsing. I'll try when I'm at a computer. Thanks
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