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1981 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 1981 World Chess Championship was between 30 year old defending champion Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union and 50 year old challenger Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland.

★★★ QUALIFICATION ★★★

Karpov successfully defended his title by a narrow score of 6-5 last time (see Game Collection: 1978 World Chess Championship for games and more info), so it was time for a new challenger. Two interzonals were held, with the top 3 in each tournament advancing to the Candidates.

The first one took place in Riga (see Riga Interzonal (1979) for games and more info). Mikhail Tal won impressively with a score of 14/17, 2 1/2 points ahead of the second place winner, Lev Polugaevsky who scored 11.5/17. In third was Andras Adorjan of Hungary, scoring 11/17. Zoltan Ribli also scored 11/17, and so competed in a 6 game match to decide who advances (see Game Collection: Budapest Interzonal Playoff 1979 or Budapest Interzonal Playoff (1979) for games and more info). It was tied 3-3, but Adorjan advanced on tiebreak.

The second one took place in Rio de Janeiro (see Rio de Janeiro Interzonal (1979) for games and more info). The top 3 tied for 11.5/17, and all qualified for the Candidates. They were Robert Huebner, Tigran V Petrosian and Lajos Portisch.

In the Candidates, the two finalists from last time, Korchnoi and Boris Spassky received direct seeding. In the quarter-finals, it was a best of 10 (first to 5 1/2). Korchnoi beat Petrosian 5 1/2-3 1/2 (see Korchnoi - Petrosian Candidates Quarterfinal (1980) for games and more info), Polugaevsky beat Tal 5 1/2-2 1/2 (see Polugaevsky - Tal Candidates Quarterfinal (1980) for games and more info), and Adorján beat Hübner 5 1/2-4 1/2 (see Hübner - Adorjan Candidates Quarterfinal (1980) for games and more info). Portisch and Spassky also met, but it was tied 5-5 after 10 (see Game Collection: Portisch - Spassky Candidates Quarterfinal 1980 or Portisch - Spassky Candidates Quarterfinal (1980) for games and more info). Two more games were played, but the match was still tied. Two last games were played, but the match remained tied 7-7. Portisch advanced due to more black games won (1-0).

In the semi-finals, Polugaevsky was eliminated by Korchnoi 7 1/2-6 1/2 in the best of 12 format, after two tiebreak games (see Korchnoi - Polugaevsky Candidates Semifinal (1980) for games and more info). Hübner knocked out Portisch 6 1/2-4 1/2 in the other semi final matchup (see Hübner - Portisch Candidates Semifinal (1980) for games and more info).

In the final, Korchnoi was leading 4 1/2-3 1/2 in a first to 6 1/2, however Hübner forfeit the match, allowing Korchnoi to face Karpov in a WCC match for a second time in a row (see Korchnoi - Hübner Candidates Final (1980/81) for games and more info).

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The match took place in Meran, Italy. The format was the same as last time: First to win 6 games, draws not counting. Note: This match is measured in wins. Total score is in brackets. The first game was played on October 1st, 1981.

★★★ FINAL ★★★

The last round (18) was played on November 19th, 1981. Entering the round, Karpov had the white pieces and a commanding 5-2 lead. One win, and game set match. He did so. Karpov had successfully defended his title against Korchnoi, again.

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Karpov 1 1 1/2 1 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 1 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 (6 wins, 10 draws, 2 losses) <61.1% score>

Korchnoi 0 0 1/2 0 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 1 0 1/2 1/2 1/2 0 (2 wins, 10 draws, 6 losses) <38.9% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1981)

Head to Head Match up Prior to 1981: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (13 wins, 44 draws and 12 losses in favour of Karpov)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1978 World Chess Championship

Next World Championship:
Game Collection: 1984 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Karpov leads 1-0 (1-0)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 43 moves, 0-1

Game 2, Karpov leads 2-0 (2-0)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 57 moves, 1-0

Game 3, Karpov leads 2-0 (2 1/2-1/2)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 4, Karpov leads 3-0 (3 1/2-1/2)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 53 moves, 1-0

Game 5, Karpov leads 3-0 (4-1)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 68 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6, Karpov leads 3-1 (4-2)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 41 moves, 0-1

Game 7, Karpov leads 3-1 (4 1/2-2 1/2)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 8, Karpov leads 3-1 (5-3)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 84 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 9, Karpov leads 4-1 (6-3)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 0-1

Game 10, Karpov leads 4-1 (6 1/2-3 1/2)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 11, Karpov leads 4-1 (7-4)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 12, Karpov leads 4-1 (7 1/2-4 1/2)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(A16) English, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13, Karpov leads 4-2 (7 1/2-5 1/2)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 1-0

Game 14, Karpov leads 5-2 (8 1/2-5 1/2)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 46 moves, 1-0

Game 15, Karpov leads 5-2 (9-6)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 16, Karpov leads 5-2 (9 1/2-6 1/2)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 17, Karpov leads 5-2 (10-7)
Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1981 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 18, Karpov wins 6-2 (11-7)
Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 41 moves, 1-0

18 games

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