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Viktor Korchnoi vs Vladimir Eduardovich Akopian
Enghien-les-Bains (2003), France, rd 5, Jun-18
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Berlin Variation (E38)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-29-03  euripides: If Korchonoi knew what was happening throughout, this is a masterpiece
Jun-29-03  KrokoKorchnoi: I do not know another player that at age over 70 was/is able to produce chef-d'oeuvres of unmatched complexity, force and elegance - and that against strong grandmasters
Jun-29-03  maa: Wow this game is very good . I like the way that Korchnoi master his pieces
Jun-30-03  drukenknight: I didnt even know he was still playing.

Just out of curiousity, how is white going to win this?

Jun-30-03  euripides: 77...Kf6 78 Qxf6+ Kxf6 79 Nxd4: then put the king on g3-g4-g5,take the g6 pawn, and push the h pawn through(avoiding stalemate traps when the pawn is on the 7th rank).
Jun-30-03  drukenknight: he's going to have to take the pawn with the N, yes? that leaves K/rook pawn vs K.

In fact the black K will head straight for the rook pawn and the K will be forced to cover that. I can't see how white can get both K and N to hit the pawn on g4 at the same time.

ANother job for chess lab computer!

Jun-30-03  euripides: You use zugzwang to get the King to the square in front of the g pawn. Then you move your knight to attack the pawn and take it. Black is not able to force the exchange of the last pawns e.g. 78Qxe6+ Kxe6 79Nxd4+ Ke5 80 Ne2 Kf5 81 Kg3 g5 82Nd4+ Ke5 and White can just play 83Kg4 leaving Black to choose between 83 ...Kxd4 84 Kxg5 and the h pawn queens and 83...Kf6 Nf3 and the g pawn falls the next move.
Jun-30-03  fred lennox: Nobody surpasses Korchnoi in handling queen with minor pieces all out attack. His games show unmatch virtuosity in this regard, and is still going strong.
Jun-30-03  drukenknight: Euri. Your line makes sense for awhle but what if black doesnt play g5? after all he is not forced to do this and the more I look at it the more I keep seeing the little triangle of space formed by g5/h5/h6.

The black K can certainly be driven from g5. Say he is driven by pawn push h4+. So he goes back to h5. Now how will he be driven? by the N. but then where is white's K? the K would have to be on h3 to protect the pawn from capture. But that means the K cannot hit blacks pawn w/ both King and Knight.

If white cannot hit the NP w/ K and N then it will be a problem.

See I think if black pushes g5 this makes it way to easy to drive the black K back. If blacks pawn stays on g6 the K can hover around that triangle of space. and protect the pawn and threaten the other pawn.

Jun-30-03  drukenknight: Euri do you want to try to force the win by correspondence play? I would start w/ your line and probably change the 81....g5 move.

I would not do this as a random excercise, but it is an important theoretical (and practical question) can you force a win w/ K/N/RP vs K?

Does anyone know if this is a forced win in theory?

It would be a pretty nice thing to know how to save this, since there are times when you may have to go down by a N. And knowing that you can get away with it would be useful.

Jun-30-03  euripides: The main alternative I see is 81...Kg5 when White wins either with 82h4+ and if 82...Kh5 83 Nf4+ or if 82...Kf5 83 Nd4+ followed in either case by Kg4,or by Ng1-f3 and again Black will have to allow Kg4. The kind of thing White must avoid is 82h4 Kf5 83 Nf4?? g5=. Once the White king is on g4 it'll be a matter of Zugzwangeither the Blackkingmust withdraw from h6 or Black must play g5, bringing the White king into contact with the pawn in either case.

I don't have time toplay this outbycorrespondence as I am going awaytomorrow but I am pretty sure the only minor piece+pawn vs. King endings that are drawn are (a) B+RP due to queen on the wrong clour of square, and (b)N+RP on the 7th rank. (When the pawn gets to h6 you keep the K out by playing your K to the 6th rank and theN to f7. A premature h7 will draw).

Jun-30-03  drukenknight: Okay yes, you are correct. I cannot prevent the penetration by the K and blacks K is forced back. Then the K/N will hit the pawn and stalemate is only possible through a horrible blunder.

So thanks for the end game knowledge, I knew about the B/RP thing, was not sure about N/RP.

Since you dont have much time, then we know that Akopian has lost by the time the Qs are exchanged.

So can we find his blunder by tomorrow?

Jun-30-03  drukenknight: it looks like one suspect may be allowing the exchanges to take place via: 69 gxf6+

it is an exchange of pawns that comes with a check. That is a very curious thing to allow both a check and an exchange when you are behind in material.

68...f5 looks better because in gets a pawn closer to giving check and it does not allow exchange of pawns. whites B may get hemmed in.

Jun-30-03  euripides: 41 Nb6 is critical and reminds me of an old game vs.Petrosian (1965 I think) where Korchonoi,as White, deliberately let Black's queen in and then won it. Here he picks up the b pawn and then wins a piece for the a pawn. Even then Black gets 3 pawns for it and it's not obvious White is winning, but Korchonoi is able to break up the pawns as they advance. But I'm not sure whether White can win after 68...f5 when Black gets e3 connected passed pawns.
Jun-30-03  euripides: Pe rhaps 68...f5 69Be1 aiming at Qc2. Or 69 Bg3 f4 70 Be1, cutting out any tricks with ...Bf4.
Jun-30-03  drukenknight: okay 68..f5 69 Be1

something just happend on blacks 68th move. He was behind in material (N vs 2 connected pawns) but he obviously created a passed pawn. A third one in fact.

DOes this mean I have gained material? Well I dunno, but gee if passers count for 1/2 then I should count all 3 as another 1 1/2 pts. So in fact maybe I am ahead. WHite has a N + 2 pawns = 5. I have 4 connected pawns worth 5 1/2.

Okay maybe that is true maybe not. But if I am ahead in material I look to exchange. By the same token white will look to attack.

Can I facilitate exchanges? Bd6

Can white get in the first check? I dont think so. Both queens are trying to get in the first check but they cant seem to.

Okay 69...Bd6

Jun-30-03  euripides: The chessbase website reports that 67...Kh7, breaking the pin, wins for Black.
Jun-30-03  drukenknight: How Bad Are Computers at Endgames?

Okay so instead of following up on 68...f5 and following the amusing computer lines I decide to take euri's advice and plug in 67...Kh7 breaking the pin.

The computer gives me some nonsense for me to play as white but my first thought is to play 68 Bg3 in order to facilitate exchanges, the computer forces the pawns through and maybe it doesnt work or maybe I just followed too many computer moves.

Anyhow a more sensible analysis would say that okay black has played a positional move in order to gain some positional advantage. Well what could that be I wonder? The passed pawns of course.

So I decide to sack the B for the pawns to stop this positional problem and then keep checking the K, but the computer insists I play the amazingly short sighted 69 Kxf2 duh

68. Bf2 exf2
69. Kxf2 d3
70. Qd2 Bf4
71. Qxd3 Qxb4
72. Kf3 Kh6
73. Qe4 Qxe4+
74. Kxe4 Kg5

Okay that's going bad, why not Qxf2?

So I reset w/ 69 Qxf2 same idea, to give up material in order to keep checking but the short sighted computer does not want to keep checking

68. Bf2 exf2
69. Qxf2 Qxb4
70. Qxf7+ Kh6
71. Qf2? (this computer move just allows the next check; you cannot be behind and allow yourself to be attacked) 71...Qb7+ 72. Kg1 Qb1+
73. Kg2 Qe4+
74. Kg1 Kg5
75. Qd2+ Bf4
76. Qa5+ Kf6
77 Kf2 (this will get busted)

So after the computer messes up my 68th move, my 69th move and my 71st. I am wondering about how to trap the K. I am still okay with this line it is material for attack this is a decent plan, I just want to improve the 71st move. I know I will get checked but what if:

71. h4! Qb2+
72. Qf2 d3
73. Qxb2 Bxb2
74. Kf2 Bc1
75. Ke1 Bf4
76. Kd1 Kg7
77. Ke1 Kf6
78. Kd1 Ke5
79. h5 gxh5
80. gxh5 d2

Now this reduced to a K + B + P vs K + P but the B is on the wrong square.

Now he wait a minute, I know we just had this ending in some game. Now what game was that???

It couldn't have been this game could it? That was a N ending. We already know the N ending is lost. errrh, ummmmn......

Nov-16-08  LIFE Master AJ: An incredible game!
Nov-16-08  LIFE Master AJ: (I was looking for another game that Korchnoi won, and stumbled across this one instead.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessdreamer: Submitted to the database;

[Event "Groningen"]
[Site "Groningen"]
[Date "1996.??.??"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Korchnoi, Viktor"]
[Black "Akopian, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2635"]
[BlackElo "2630"]
[ECO "D45"]
[PlyCount "127"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 d5 4. e3 e6 5. d4 Nbd7 6. b3 Bd6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O Ne4 9. Qc2 f5 10. a4 Rf6 11. Ba3 Bb8 12. Rad1 Rh6 13. g3 Qe8 14. Kg2 a5 15. Rc1 Ndf6 16. Ne5 g5 17. h3 Bc7 18. f3 Nxc3 19. Qxc3 Nd7 20. Rh1 Nxe5 21. dxe5 Bd7 22. Kf2 Bb6 23. Bd6 Qf7 24. Rcg1 Kh8 25. c5 Bd8 26. Qd4 Be7 27. Bd3 Re8 28. Ke2 Bd8 29. g4 Rh4 30. Bxf5 Qg7 31. Bd3 Qh6 32. Rg3 Rg8 33. b4 Be8 34. b5 Bg6 35. e4 Qg7 36. bxc6 bxc6 37. Rb1 Qh6 38. exd5 Bxd3 39. Qxd3 cxd5 40. c6 Rxh3 41. Rxh3 Qxh3 42. Rb8 Qh2 43. Kd1 Qf4 44. c7 Bxc7 45. Rxg8 Kxg8 46. Bxc7 Qxa4 47. Ke2 Qa2 48. Ke1 Qa1 49. Kf2 Qb2 50. Qe2 Qc3 51. Bd6 Kg7 52. Qb5 Qd2 53. Kg3 Qf4 54. Kg2 Qd2 55. Kh3 Qf4 56. Qb7 Qf7 57. Qxf7 Kxf7 58. Kg3 Kg6 59. Bc5 a4 60. Kf2 h6 61. Ke3 h5 62. Kd3 h4 63. Kc3 a3 64. Kb3 1-0.

Nov-17-08  LIFE Master AJ: <Chessdreamer> That (above) is the game! [I also submitted it to the CG folks for inclusion on this site.]
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