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Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
"Korchnoi Écorché" (game of the day Dec-07-2009)
Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), Moscow URS, rd 2, Sep-18
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack (B77)  ·  1-0

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-05-14  tranquilsimplicity: <john barleycorn> It was well known by many Dragooneer GMs that Karpov was a Dragon-Slayer. Why Korchnoi decided to play the Dragon against a Dragon-Slayer can be boiled down to surprise. I suppose Korchnoi believed he would surprise Karpov; it didn't work. As a Dragoneer, I believe the Dragon is very good for White. Black only has excellent chances if White delays attacking or makes mistakes; then Black can capitalize in rapid, attacking and dazzling fashion.#
Oct-05-14  john barleycorn: <tranquilsimplicity>

Karpov's fame as dragon slayer with the majority of games after 1974:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Korchnoi won their first contest in the dragon. I think it was a training game which Karpov never accounted for in his own statistic against the dragon.

Then there is a story that Korchnoi abroad bought a book about the dragon and tried to hide it from his colleagues before the 74 game. (story by Geller? I am not sure and I cannot find the source for it). Dragon as a surprise for Karpov? definitely not.

Oct-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <ozmikey: I wonder if there's any verification of the "analysed out to mate" claim that's often made vis-a-vis this game. The only even roughly contemporary statement of that kind I remember reading was from Leonid Shamkovich, who commented that it was hypocritical of Karpov to include this game in his own collection of best games, given that the ENTIRE game had been home analysis by Furman. But that's just a claim by one person; has it been stated elsewhere?>

Till now, had never read or heard of such a claim being made by Shamkovich or in any way pertaining to Geller's preparation. Who knows, really? Such a statement would be the ancestor of all the panning of Anand in these pages, which has taken place since his well-known win vs Aronian.

As to <tranquilsimplicity: <john barleycorn> It was well known by many Dragooneer GMs that Karpov was a Dragon-Slayer.>: Karpov had only faced the Dragon five times entering this game, winning four, the first of which was played before he was even a titled player, thus hardly the stuff of which Fischer's early reputation was founded in that regard following his smashing victory against Larsen at Portoroz.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Oct-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: The earlier game Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1971 may have given Korchnoi the impression Karpov was not up on current theory.

He hardly would discuss the game afterwards, saying it was not a real game, but a result of preparation.

Oct-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Korchnoi had also essayed the Dragon in the second and fourth games of his 1971 match with Geller, the latter being his only loss of the match.
Oct-05-14  tranquilsimplicity: <Perfidious> In all honesty I borrowed that 'Dragon-Slayer' term attributed to Karpov from GM Eduard Gufeld. It was Gufeld's opinion.

<john barleycorn> As for the Dragon being surprise for Karpov, I was merely inciting responses which I have received. The Dragon is too well known to be a surprise for any GM or even a strong player.

The bottom line however, Karpov played brilliantly! Very unlike his serpentine slow build up and strangling style. I suppose playing the Yugoslav really gives White all sorts of tactics to throw against Black, open up the King's cover and do some mating!#

Oct-27-15  Helios727: What would happen if black played 24... dxe5 ?
Oct-27-15  King Radio: If 24... dxe5, 25 Nxf6 looks pretty convincing.,
Oct-28-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < Valmy: Well, "écorché" actualy means to have the skin removed. I can't find the english world for it.>

Flayed?

Oct-30-15  Helios727: Skinned works too. <King Radio> After 24... dxe5 25. Nxf6+ exf6 26. Qxh7+ Kf8, how does white proceed?
Oct-30-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Helios727> 24...dxe5 25. Nxf6+ exf6 <26. Nh5> gxh5 27. Rg1+ etc.
Oct-30-15  Howard: Regarding the October, 2014 comments, Shamkovich DID make that "analyzed to mate" claim in the March, 1986 (approx) issue of "Chess Life". More specifically, the magazine ran a (rather ridiculous, on my opinion) collection of statements called "The Karpov Symposium", and it included that comment by the late Leonid Shamkovich. Still remember that.

For the record, a lot of the published comments in that "symposium" were very anti-Karpov, and clearly biased. The article was an embarrassment to the magazine, in my view.

Sep-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: 24. e5!! is really precise. Impressive.
Sep-17-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Video analysis of this game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld-....
Oct-19-17  Damenlaeuferbauer: In my opinion the best game of the decade 1970 - 1979!
Oct-19-17  Petrosianic: Based on... No reasoning process, and without comparing it to any candidates? That's a pretty weak opinion.
Oct-19-17  Howard: I notice that Damaenlaeuferbauer also gives "best game of the decade" opinions for 3-4 other decades (click on his name!).

As for this 1974 game, c'mon! I can think of at least a dozen games from 1970-79 that would run circles around this one! We can start with Ljubojevic-Andersson 1976, for starters !

Then, of course, there was the 6th game of Fischer-Spassky 1972. After that, there's.....never mind! I'll quit while I'm ahead.

Nov-07-17  John Abraham: very tactically sharp game from Karpov!
Dec-14-17  Howard: If I remember correctly, Tarjan advocated 16...Re8, rather than Korchnoi's 16...Qa5. In fact, Tarjan played that move against Planinc at an earlier game in 1974, and he won beautifully.
Aug-24-18  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 24 e5 is a beautiful move, but black was clearly already lost, as

24 Nxf6 + exf6
25 Nh5 would ultimately leave white with a queen for rook and bishop.

Aug-24-18  Olavi: <Najdorf> Black would play 25...Qg5+.
Apr-09-19  Autoreparaturwerkbau: Korchnoi played 19...♖4c5. Stockfish gives it a "?" and suggests the right move is 19...♗a4.

I just connot see how 19...♗a4 accomplishes anything and i would give it a "?" myself, too.

In my view best shots for black are 1) 19...♗e6 and 2) 19...♕d8.

First prevents Rd3-Rd5 with Nh5 defense if g5 and the latter adds queen to kingside defense. Yet those two best defenses still leave white better ( ± ).

Apr-03-20  Mazymetric: <Autoreparaturwerkbau: Korchnoi played 19...♖4c5. Stockfish gives it a "?" and suggests the right move is 19...♗a4.> Actually, Stockfish gives 19...Ba4 a "?" too. Evaluation goes from +0.9 to +2.53 if Ba4 is played. You're right that Be6 would've been the correct continuation.
Apr-03-20  Carrots and Pizza: I have a book, it might be Karpov's Best Games or something like that, and it had this game in it, analyzed thoroughly. What an incredible game. Karpov played the attack flawlessly, seeing all the tactics everywhere. Amazing chess.

24.e5 is a great move.

Apr-04-20  SChesshevsky: <...Karpov played the attack flawlessly...> Yeah, he was able to hit all the targets vs. the dragon. Sac and open the h-file and hit the weak e7 pawn. It was worse for Korchnoi here losing time with moves like 19...R4c5. It often feels black is already so behind in the dragon anyway and here he doesn't even get a white often obligatory Kb1.
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