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Joel Benjamin vs Viktor Korchnoi
Jerusalem (1986), rd 15
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian Variation. Kasparov Attack (E12)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Annotations by Joel Benjamin.

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-04  matein8: <chessgames.com> The ending to this game according to logic and this website: http://www.chessexchange.com/forum/... is that Black wins the game. The website does a very good job of illustrating the basic endgame concept of triangulation, in which one side has three squares to move his K while the other side has only two squares to move his K, which can force the other side into zugzwang. In the above game, the position in question begins at move 57 for Black. According to the website, Joel Benjamin was puzzled by this endgame position while Korchnoi knew the principle of triangulation and was able to play quickly. According to the website, lack of training in some basic positions and principles is one of the reasons that US players after the time of Fischer have not been able to reach the top echelons of professional chess.
Jan-27-04  sleepkid: ...which begs the question, why is this listed as a win for white?
Mar-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: In his book "American Grandmaster", page 132, Joel Benjamin says: "As I sealed 57.Kd1, Korchnoi stood up and said: 'I know something about triangles.' With a feeling of dread, I looked to Gurevich to enlighten me with his Soviet endgame education. After his explanation, I sheepishly resigned. 'It is the ABCs of chess,' he correctly stated. The finish would have been 57...Kd5! (not 57...Kd3?? 58.Ke1 e2 59.g5 fxg5 60.g4 with a draw) 58.Ke1 Ke5! 59.Kd1 Kd4 (zugzwang) 60.Ke1 Kd3 61.Kd1 e2+ 62.Ke1 Ke3 63.g5 fxg5 64.g4 Kf3 and Black wins."

I took the liberty to fix the move numbers. In Benjamin's book, 60.Ke1 is wrongly numbered as 57.Ke1, and all the subsequent moves are misnumbered as well.

In the comment in parenthesis the double question mark should go to 58...e2, not 57...Kd3, as Black can still back up and try again.

As of today, the game score shows the line given by Benjamin as actually played. I will submit the correction to CG.com.

Mar-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If white plays 50. K-d2, doesnt' he maintain the opposition and draw?
Mar-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <HeMateMe: If white plays 50. K-d2, doesnt' he maintain the opposition and draw?>

No, Black's king still gets in after 50...Kb3 51.Kd3 Kb4 etc.

Mar-17-10  FHBradley: <HeMateMe:> No he doesn't.
Mar-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <SwitchingQuylthulg> is right. Eventually, the e4 pawn falls.
Mar-17-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Viktor Korchnoi knows more about Triangles than I do.
Jun-08-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Coincidentally Kortschnoi is a trained concert triangle-player.

He once performed in The Ring at Bayreuth.

Taimanov said that if it had not been for his commitment to chess Kortschnoi could have been one of the greatest-ever triangle players.

Jun-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <offramp: Coincidentally Kortschnoi is a trained concert triangle-player. He once performed in The Ring at Bayreuth.
Taimanov said that if it had not been for his commitment to chess Kortschnoi could have been one of the greatest-ever triangle players.>

You notice they don’t have a lot of concerts in Bermuda?

Bobby Fischer: “Triangles are for squares.”

Feb-12-15  Howard: Benjamin just came out with a book on pawn endgames, and he includes this game in the book.

Still remember Benjamin's analyzing this endgame in Chess Life. To be honest, I was surprised back then that a GM (Benjamin had just earned the title, in fact, when this game took place.) didn't know about the principle of triangles in king-and-pawn endgames. But, to be fair, there's a hell of a lot more to chess than most people realize.

Aug-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: "It is the ABCs of chess."

- Viktor Korchnoi (after the game to GM Benjamin on triangulation)

Source: Liquidation on the Chess Board by Joel Benjamin

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