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Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), Moscow URS, rd 20, Nov-08
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Schliemann Defense Deferred (C70)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  waddayaplay: 11. ..b5 is a novelty and probably playable.

12. ..Bb7 is more questionable. "Karpov immediately missed the chance to open up the center against Black's king." ( I can't find that 18.d4 would lead to anything: 18.d4 ♘xd4 19.♘xd4 ♗xd4 20.♘f3 (Δ ♘e5) ♗xf3 21.♕xf3 ♖f8

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where black is ok

But if he leaves out 13.axb5 and plays Re6 instead: 13.♖e6 ♕d7 14.♕e2 d3 15.cxd3 ♔d8 16.d4 ♘xd4 17.♘xd4 ♗xd4 18.♘f3

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Now Bxf3 is questionable because after Qxf3 because the a8-h1 diagonal will get weak and white will prepare for Rd1 with a strong attack. He could also attack the pawn on a6.

After 18 ..♗f6 19.♘e5 ♗xe5 20.♖xe5 white will soon get his other rook into play.

Dec-18-11  Everett: I believe this is the 20th game of their '74 match. Korchnoi worked with Bronstein from games 19-24, and the latter was responsible for this risky opening choice. He had secretly hoped for Karpov going astray, but this did not happen.

In fact, Bronstein had analyzed all the way from his "improvement" 12..Bb7 through 17..Kd8, asking if Korchnoi "was concerned about this position, but Viktor Lvovich confidently replied 'I'll make a draw.'" -pg 154 Secret Notes.

Dec-18-11  King Death: Down 3-1 with 5 games left, Korchnoi needed to put pressure on Karpov somehow or other, and he wasn't going to win a game with his French in that line he played for most of the match.
Dec-19-11  Everett: <King Death> Exactly. Bronstein at the beginning of the match said something along the lines of Karpov not knowing how to play for a win against the IQP from the French Tarrasch, and suggested this line to Korchnoi. Kasparov also mentioned that Karpov early in his career did not handle IQP positions as well as he would in the future. He cites Karpov's loss to Smyslov as one example at least...

Different circumstances demand different strategies...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 15.Nb1 with intention 16.Na3 looks like a possibility of improvement.
Jun-30-21  VerySeriousExpert: I recommend Yury V. Bukayev's article ( ) where he says that 3...a6 4.Ba4 f5 5.Bxc6! dxc6 6.exf5! e4 7.Qe2! Qe7 8.Nd4! Qe5 9.Qc4! leads to White's advantage. Thus, A.Karpov could play it instead of 5.d4! in this Karpov-Korchnoi game.
Jun-30-21  VerySeriousExpert: And it should be added that the other article by Yury V. Bukayev ( ) considers the same idea after 3...f5 4.Bxc6! dxc6 5.exf5! with the same conclusion: White has an advantage. This his article on Yanish (Jaenisch, Schliemann) gambit was used and linked by ("Espanjalainen peli") in 2008.
Jan-14-23  tjipa: I wonder if white, exchanging queens on move 33 could have gotten a better version of this ending. Multiple pawn knight endings with a spare one are considered to be promising, as far as I remember from days gone by, some 40 years ago, when I studied those things.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <tjipa: I wonder if white, exchanging queens on move 33 could have gotten a better version of this ending.>

After 33.Qxe7 Nxe7, the knight defends the c6 and controls the square f5, from where white can attack the g7-h6 pawn structure. On the other hand, black also wants to activate the knight and send it up to kill pawns.

In any event, it doesn't look there is much life left in the position, especially because there is no passed pawn or a clear path to creating one. Korchnoi proved he can even lose a pawn and still draw straightforwardly.

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