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Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi
IBM Open (1986), Vienna AUT, Jan-??
Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation (D02)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-28-12  Howard: Some writer stated in a Massachusetts-based chess publication in 1987, that this endgame was "one of the hardest-fought endgames in recent times."

Wonder if Karpov missed a win here. He certainly appeared to have the advantage at one point.

Aug-31-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Plaskett: Neither of the players (and they had by then competed in what in effect were the succeeding THREE matches for the World Championship) knew whether the resultant Q VS R + Bishop´s Pawn on the fifth rank position which could have followed 54...Rxg5 55 c8=Q was winning. In fact, following 55...Ke5, it is drawn.

Six years earlier I saw a critical variation arise in the post mortem of Korchnoi Vs Nunn in London with Korchnoi having two Knights Vs a Pawn. Neither GM knew the correct result.

A spectating Quinteros commented, "Larsen maybe know."

Sep-01-15  jvv: 41.h4
Sep-01-15  offramp: <Plaskett: ...A spectating Quinteros commented, "Larsen maybe know.">

That's a really good anecdote. IT ALSO SHOWS what Miles and Larsen understood: to beat the eastern bloc players you had to know three crucial things: endgames, endgames and endgames.

Sep-13-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Howard: Some writer stated in a Massachusetts-based chess publication in 1987, that this endgame was "one of the hardest-fought endgames in recent times.">

'Some writer'?

Probably wasn't me, though I was games editor for Chess Horizons at the time.

Oct-24-15  Howard: I don't have the article anymore. But if it'll help you any, the piece was a strongly-worded column criticizing Chess Life magazine under its editor at the time, who was the late Larry Parr.

The first sentence, as I recall, went "For years I defended Chess Life as a magazine trying to do a difficult job under a limited budget--not any more." He then went on to say that the magazine's quality had gone steadily downhill under Parr's leadership.

In my opinion back then, he was right !

Oct-24-15  Granny O Doul: I don't know if CL actually got worse under Parr, because it had already sunk dramatically from its 70's heyday under the first couple of post-Hochberg editors. He did, though, have a very intrusive editorial hand, which didn't go well with his own extremely pretentious writing style.
May-11-16  Howard: Just read on a different website that Parr heavily edited some writers' articles to the point where some of the articles in CL appeared to have all been written by the same person--even though they had different bylines.
Jun-16-19  ughaibu: Had he taken the pawn, on move 48, could Karpov've won?
Jun-16-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ughaibu>
On 48. Kxb5 Black has 48...Rg1 with checks from behind coming, and I don't see any win. The b-pawn can shelter from those checks, which is why White didn't take it.
Jun-16-19  ughaibu: Beatgiant: Yes, you appear to be correct.
May-06-21  iron john: was 58 rf5 winning ?
May-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Looking back at <Howard>'s post from 2015, that may well have been the late Aivars Trusis or failing that, Tim Hanke, who edited CH after Trusis. Neither of these gentlemen could be described as shrinking violets, Trusis in particular displaying great candour.
May-06-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <iron john>
Even if White gets two moves in a row and plays 58. Rf5 followed by 59. Rxf4, it's still a book draw. Here's a tablebase resource for you https://syzygy-tables.info/
May-12-21  Retireborn: One of the games that Korchnoi analyzes in intense detail in his 1999 rook endgame book.

He writes that 46.Kxb5 was the simplest way to win, but misses the reply 46...e4! a modern engine discovery, which holds the draw.

He then claims that 50.Kb7 throws away the win, giving 50.Rh7 Ke8 51.Kxb5 Rg1 52.Rh8+ Ke7 53.c7 as winning, but here again he has missed 51...Kd8 (tablebase), the only move to draw.

It seems that after 41...e5 there's no win to be had. So did Karpov actually miss a win?

Well, Houdini thinks that instead of 41.Rxf6, 41.h4! (not mentioned by Karpov in Informator) would have won; 41...e5 42.h5 or 41...Rg8 42.Rxf6 Rxg2 43.Rxf4 Rh2 44.Rf7+ & 45.Rh7.

Korchnoi mentions that the time control was 50 moves in 2.5 hours and they both only had a few minutes left. "Let us be lenient on the grandmasters" is his plea.

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