Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1981), Merano ITA, rd 18, Nov-18
Spanish Game: Open. Bernstein Variation (C80)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 23 times; par: 49 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 120 more Karpov/Korchnoi games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Some games have photographs. These are denoted in the game list with the icon.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-11-04  Lawrence: Korchnoi thought 54 minutes before playing 13...Be7. (If you think that's bad, in the 14th game he thought 78 minutes.) The Terrible Twins (Junior and Fritz) reckon he was just frittering away his time and should have played 13...Qd5. 18...Rfb8 was the wrong Rook to the wrong square, should have been 18...Rad8.

There's a 14-ply string of moves (21...Nc6 to 28.Ra7) where every single move is Junior's first choice. It's as if the engine is on auto-play.

41...e5 was Korchnoi's secret move but the next day he resigned the game and the match was over. Karpov won +6 -2 =10. Thus ended their rivalry for the world championship.

Jan-27-07  Fast Gun: A bit of useless trivia, this was the last game that Karpov played 1.e4 against his great rival, not sure why he refrained from doing this, not only against Korchnoi, but against all other GM's who he played: When you consider that during the 1980's AK was virtually unbeateable with e4 openings !!
Mar-30-08  Everett: <Fast Gun> Karpov has played e4 after this, and even in the 90's. Against Kasparov he played e4 up until 1985.
Apr-11-08  Knight13: <Lawrence: Korchnoi thought 54 minutes before playing 13...Be7.> That's because he got killed after playing that move in Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981.

<Fast Gun: Karpov played 1.e4 against his great rival, not sure why he refrained from doing this, not only against Korchnoi, but against all other GM's who he played: When you consider that during the 1980's AK was virtually unbeateable with e4 openings !!> Maybe he just wanted to keep it that way! :-D

Jun-10-08  Helios727: <Lawrence> If 18... Rad8, then 19. f5 and how does black save the knight?
Sep-26-08  Woody Wood Pusher: After move 31..gxf6 black has an extra pawn, but his position is completely hopeless, white controls the 7th rank, his knight is better and black has a pile of weaknesses.

Classic Karpov!

Oct-30-09  TheMacMan: im starting to agree with fischer that these silly games were all prearranged, maybe not every move, but definitely the results
Nov-24-09  M.D. Wilson: Pull the other one, TheMacMan!
Premium Chessgames Member
  oleander8: oleander8: who can help?
What about karpov-korchnoi ,if it would happen 12. cxd4 - Nexd4 and not Ncxd4 as in 1981?
May-29-13  LIFE Master AJ: See also: Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: This was the conclusion of The Massacre in Merano.
Aug-06-15  Howard: It was also one of the five best games of the second half of 1981, according to the Informant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Howard: It was also one of the five best games of the second half of 1981, according to the Informant.>

And it should have been GOTD long ago. I submitted it for consideration, with the title

<The Massacre in Merano>.

Aug-06-15  Howard: Personally, I still remember looking at the New York Times the day after the game was adjourned, and the late Robert Byrne (who covered the match for the NYT) stated that Korchnoi's position was so hopeless, it was predicted he probably wouldn't even bother to resume the game.

Sure enough, he resigned the next morning without bothering to show up for the resumption. Karpov thus was given another three years as champion.

Oct-15-15  Macbeth: after Fischer going out of the picture, no one could get even close to Karpov. Chess world was deprived a great duel among equal forces, like Capa-Alekhine or Karpov-Kasparov
Oct-18-17  Howard: Looked up this game last night in a couple of books of mine, and noticed a strange inconsistency.

Kasparov's MGP gives an exclamation point to 27.h3! and implies that Korchnoi was probably lost at that point...

...but then Karpov's Strategic Wins (Part 1) gives a question mark to that move, and states that 27.Bf4 would have been better.

What gives ?

Oct-18-17  SChesshevsky: Interesting that the Strategic Wins book panned the seemingly more strategic 27. h3 which looks like it stops any Ng4 complications cold.

Then Karpov can concentrate on the a file plus frustrate a passive Korchnoi.

27. Bf4 is probably better and more forcing but might not fit in with the a file plan. And seemingly not necessary from both Karpov's and Kasparov's view.

Is the Karpov strategic book by Tibor? I have his Karpov endgame book and it's OK but seems to use too much computer lines versus principles. What's your take on the strategic book(s)?

Oct-18-17  Howard: My take on the first volume of Karpov's Strategic Wins is that it's very well. As for the second one, I don't have that one, mainly because a lot of the games are from post-1990 when Karpov was clearly in decline.
Oct-18-17  RookFile: A Karpov in decline still has plenty to teach the rest of us.
Oct-19-17  paavoh: <A Karpov in decline still has plenty to teach the rest of us.> Hear, hear!
Oct-19-17  Howard: Yes, I'll concede that point. However, I've browsed through Volume 2 a few times at bookstores, and it didn't impress me much.

To be fair, the first volume included a number of games from the 1960's, including several from 1961-1965! In other words, the Karpov of (say) 1992 was undoubtedly much, much stronger than the Karpov of 1965 (when he turned 14!), so one can argue that Volume 1 probably shouldn't have bothered to include games from that early on !!

Dec-27-18  Howard: This Karpov classic has Petrosian's name all over it.
Oct-29-20  fisayo123: This could have been the most lopsided match of all time. Karpov despite an extremely dominating score let some wins slip to draws.

Karpov was a perfect chess player but stamina was always his problem. He let Korchnoi come back in 74 and 78. He let Kasparov come back in 84. He didn't let Kamsky come back in 94 but despite destroying him in the 1st half of that match, Kamsky was then able to fight on equal terms in the 2nd half.

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Game 312 of Chess Informant Best Games 301-400
from Rook Roundhouse Rolled Fredthebear by fredthebear
Chess Informant Best Games 2
by Nimzophile
How Karpov Wins 2nd Edition
by BntLarsen
41_R+N - TActical TAngos
by whiteshark
Game 113 in "Anatoly Karpov: My 300 Best Games" by AK
from Attacks a2/a7, b2/b7 and c2/c7 ECO C by FTB by fredthebear
Power Chess - Karpov
by Anatoly21
How Karpov Wins 2nd Edition
by SantGG
Karpov's Ruy Lopez
by TheFrench
Anatoly Karpov's Best Games
by KingG
Game 18, Karpov wins 6-2 (11-7)
from 1981 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
Anatoly Karpov's Best Games
by sdbehrendt
Game 86
from On My Great Predecessors 5 (Kasparov) by isfsam
Viktor Korchnoi ( 32 - 1 - 1 ) Merano
from 2. Anatoly Karpov [68-12-1] by IsmaelElzara
Anatoly Karpov's Best Games
by Jorome23
Game 27 (Merano Game 18)
from Karpov : Chess At The Top 1979-1984 by refutor
OV p.70
from Taulbut's How to Play the Ruy Lopez by Pawn N Hand
The Ruy Lopez in World Championship Matches
by frogmanjones
Anatoly Karpov
by blues66

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC