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Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov
"This Old Man Plays d4" (game of the day Sep-24-2010)
Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), Moscow URS, rd 21, Nov-11
Queen's Indian Defense: Anti-Queen's Indian System (E17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-24-10  Everett: The mistake for black was not playing 3..b5, which seems to give black immediate equality. Without it, white gets what he wants, a type of super-charged Catalan and straight-forward attacking play.
Sep-24-10  fab4: <sfm> I'm just astonished at Karpov's lack of sense of danger. Looking at the postion after 12.Bd5 and all those white pieces bearing down on the black king ( bishop and queen on the c1/h6 diaganol is so obvious), and he moves his queen's rook one square sideways! It's almost funny in it's nonchalance!Over confidence?

Surely after such an ugly move as 10..g6 and the alarm bells should've been ringing..

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's 16th move was a sad necessity since if the queen retreats,white mates after 17 ♗f6!.
Sep-24-10  Everett: ... And the other idea that Korchnoi didn't know the rule is utter garbage.

<Russian's aren't taught the basic ruled of chess> <LMAJ> Care to offer a source, like some seminal Russian text that discusses this rule?

Sep-24-10  Everett: What is white's best after 12..Na5 ?
Sep-24-10  fab4: Suppose just 13.Bb7. After 13...Nb7 14.Qd5 and white's game plays itself... Bf4/0-0-0/ ect..
Sep-24-10  njchess: This is a heavily analyzed game since it depicts, among other things, a rarity of sorts, namely Anatoli Karpov floundering in the opening and resigning in 19 moves. Obviously, all the credit for this win should be given to Korchnoi and his team.

A great deal has been made in chat about Karpov's various move mistakes, but I think what has gone unrecognized is how superbly Korchnoi used his experience to turn Karpov's playing style against him. This game, perhaps more than any other, truly showcases strategic versus tactical play.

Most analysis of this game begins with 7. Qc2, but really, it should start with the seemingly routine 6. ... 0-0. 6. ... 0-0 is a safe, principled move; exactly the type of move Karpov makes. Korchnoi had to have known that this would be played.

However, this move also completely ignores the strategic implications of the position which are 1) White has open diagonals to attack Black's kingside (e.g. b1-h7 and c1-h6), 2) Black's kingside is essentially closed (i.e. g5 is not being contested). The subtle nuance of the position is that Black can ill afford to leave the h1-a8 diagonal blocked without first controlling g5.

7. Qc2 is precisely why today 6. ... Ne4 is played over 0-0. 7. Qc2 seizes control of e4 for White. Black's response of c5 is nearly automatic. And for Karpov, it is since it represents a sound, principled move that tactically makes sense. But, it also leads to a subtle trap.

9. ... Nc6? was chosen by Karpov over h6 since Karpov intended to play g6, Nxd5, Rb8 as his way of attacking d5. Karpov just seemingly gives back a pawn and yields control of the center, albeit temporarily, to White. But, as Korchnoi expertly shows, that not only is this too slow, it completely ignores the strategic implications of the position.

11. Qd2! is one of the most cunning moves that I have ever seen played. On the surface, it seems to be all about protecting Korchnoi's various pieces, which is consistent with his style. Since Karpov spent eight minutes thinking of his reply, he had to have known that something was up. Still, he proceeds on course with 11. ... Nxd5 oblivious to the gathering storm.

After 12. Bxd5, the game is essentially over. White controls the center and has pieces primed for an attack on Black's king side. Moreover, Black has little or no counterplay. Na5 might be faster than Rb8, but it matters little.

13. Nxh7! is quite literally the point of Qc2 and Qd2. I'm sure Viktor took a great deal of pleasure in trouncing Karpov in this fashion. I give Karpov a lot of credit for coming back and winning the match, especially after getting so easily crushed in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <njchess:I give Karpov a lot of credit for coming back and winning the match, especially after getting so easily crushed in this game.>

Limped to victory is the way Id phrase it.
Karpov didn't have to "come back".

After this game Karpov had 3 wins to Korchnoi's 2 wins. The remaining 3 games were drawn giving Karpov the match, even though neither player won the required amount
to end the match.

One interesting side note to this game,
after 17...Bxd5, Korchnoi had forgotten if you could
castle with your rook attacked.
He asked the Match Arbiter if 18.0-0 was legal!
When he was told he could, that's what he played.

One can only imagine since black attacks the rook
and threatens Nf3+ winning the queen, that Korchnoi
must have planned on 18.0-0-0 in his calculations.
(if 0-0 was illegal)

Fortunately, even after 18.0-0-0 white seems to win
quickly by pushing the H pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mahmoudkubba: I don't understand. Is that Karpov playings? Also I still don't know if esteemed do put for each days games for each icon of the day games that have relations bet. each others.. One other thing for now: How to be clever and knows that this day the games on the icons for that day r all related to each other, and for the such and such other day only two of the icons of the day r related to each other. As someone suggested: No body really knows every thing abt a special ch. game. So what abt a whole tournament? or three or four games which had relation(s) bet. each other and been shown on a special day together???

I think even the mother of the two brothers ages ago when told abt the death of one of them by inviting her to a ch. game at that date saying to her Shah Mate and then she knew that one of her sons died and it was little easier for her pain... I think even that woman knew little abt that special game.

Sep-24-10  Everett: <diceman> The "minimum wins" rule is gladly gone from WC and qualifying play. Thankfully it was never repeated after 84-5. I didn't realize that it was indeed in effect here. Are you sure?

<fab4> After 12..Na5 13.Bxb7 Nxb7 14.Qd5 Nd6 I don't see an immediate knock-out blow. In fact, if black gets to play ..Nf5 white's g5 N is starting to look a little loose. I know there must be a refutation, but it seems that 12..Na5 is a viable try.

Sep-24-10  rapidcitychess: <Yes, it is; but Karpov, a very slight man physically, tended to wear down and lose his accuracy late in long, tough matches.>

Karpov was known for his incredible tenacity

Very nice game by Mr.Korchnoi, it's a shame he never was WC.

Sep-24-10  fab4: <Everett> after 13..Nb7 14.Qd5 Nd6 15.Bf4 Nf5 16.h4 with 0-0-0/g4/h5/Ne4 come, white is looking very nice. But know what you mean re the immediate knockout blow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <micartouse> There was another incident involving a top Soviet player (believe it was Yuri Averbakh) in the 1950s, whose opponent castled with the rook under attack. Averbakh called the arbiter over, was informed that castling was indeed legal and said, 'only the king? not the rook?'
Nov-03-10  Petrosianic: I heard that story about Korchnoi.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Karpov has to eat a correct piece sac on move 13...Is this the same fellow that people think Fischer was afraid to play?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I have the book of this match by Keene and Hartston, plus various magazine reports from the time. Korchnoi had come up with the Qc2-Qd2 idea with his seconds during preparation, but Nxh7! and what followed was found at the board.

And the castling story seems to be true. Korchnoi, the pragmatist, shrugged it off by saying the situation had never arisen before.

Karpov isn't exactly 'slight' anymore.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <perfidious> This is presumably the game you have in mind: Averbakh vs Purdy, 1960.
Apr-09-11  LIFE Master AJ: My annotations of this game. (redone)

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: <pastpawn: If I remember right, this is the game where Korchnoi had to ask the arbiter if 18. 0-0 would be legal with the king's rook under attack.> yes..

from Catastrophe in the Opening by James Plaskett..

<Korchnoi went up to arbiter Alberic O'Kelly and asked if it was legal for him to castle when his rook was attacked. The GM assured him that it was. Korchnoi wrote that in the thousands of games that he had played up until then, there had simply never yet arisen a situation like that, and he was not sure that he understood the rules of the game correctly.>

Jun-26-11  M.D. Wilson: <HeMateMe: Karpov has to eat a correct piece sac on move 13...Is this the same fellow that people think Fischer was afraid to play?>

Yeah, Fischer never played a single bad game, right? Not sure if Fischer would be concerned about Karpov's worst; but anyone in their right mind would be concerned about Karpov's best. Even (especially) Fischer.

Jul-01-11  M.D. Wilson: Some have claimed that Fischerīs best move was to quit chess and not let Karpov beat him and destroy the myth. Discuss.
Jul-01-11  bartonlaos: <MD destroy the myth??>

What about all his other no-shows. Do you think, for example, that he was also afraid of Reshevsky?

Jul-17-11  Uhohspaghettio: "What about all his other no-shows. Do you think, for example, that he was also afraid of Reshevsky?"

Well, he claimed at one point that Reshevsky was the best player in the world at calculation, better than himself at it even.

First of all, he never refused to play Karpov. He simply offered what he considered terms for a fair rematch. He was reasonable about them, I sincerely hope people here don't believe all those embellishments made by the media about him. Carlsen opted out of the next world championship, Kasparov refused to play also. Not playing for the final was not the be all and end all of it, he could have kept playing and considered himself unofficial world champion without playing Karpov at all. The issue here is why did he quit chess.

I think that Fischer quit for all sorts of reasons, I don't think he ever even liked tournament play to begin with. Fear of being beaten by Karpov and a new guy like Kasparov certainly played a part. Fischer was nothing if not fiercely objective, and he knew that either he would have to climb mountains again in trying to prepare to beat Karpov and others with this rapidly, endlessly expanding theory (which he often moaned about later, saying it was like trying to bang your head of a brick wall), or he could just continue on with his life.

Why should he do something he didn't want to do anymore and use up the rest of his golden years doing it, under the pressure of the world once again? He took the easy way out.

Jul-17-11  Uhohspaghettio: And I don't know where you're getting this "all his other no-shows"... Fischer only withdrew from a very small handful of matches in his career, less than half a dozen as he said himself. Many chess players withdraw from matches giving all sorts of reasons, it's not unusual at all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Old Mister Grumpy rules!
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