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Tigran V Petrosian vs Viktor Korchnoi
URS-ch U18 (1946), Leningrad, Jul-??
Dutch Defense: Stonewall. Modern Variation (A94)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <lentil: seems Black resigned too early. 23. .. Qxg5 24. Qxf7 Bxf1 25. Ne6 Qg6 26. Nxd8 Bxg2 =, perhaps Am I missing something?>

23.Nf4 Qxg5 24.Qxf7 Bxf1 25.Ne6 Qg6 26.Nxd8 Bxg2 27.Qf8+ Qg8 28.Nf7#

Nov-17-05  Koster: 23..Qxg5 24. Qxf7 Bxf1 25 Rxf1 with slight material and huge positional edge. Ne6 is threatened and the d pawn is pinned (lost)and stopping white's e pawn will cost black more material. Korchnoi was right to resign and probably decided right there to switch to the Leningrad Dutch.
Nov-17-05  Koster: <offramp> 25. Ne6 no doubt wins too, but why give black 25...Qe3ch?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Koster: <offramp> 25. Ne6 no doubt wins too, but why give black 25...Qe3ch?>

I have no idea; 25.Ne6 was not my concept.

Nov-18-05  PARACONT1: By logic of elimination: Black's rook protects the d5 pawn. Exploit the weakness. But the Kt protects the rook. So exploit the Kt! Wait! The Q protects the Kt. And nothing defends the Q. Exploit the Q! It is the weakest link and once it moves everything crumbles! Brilliant stuff from Petrosian.
Dec-17-05  DeepBlade: Pure logical move, attack the defending piece, also called undermining. It is the prepatarion (the heavy comlicated exchange of pawns and pieces in the center) that is the hardest thing in chess.
Jul-18-07  Davolni: I think this is Petrosian's first game agains't Korchnoi out of total of 71 games (at least in the database) when he was only 18 where Korchnoi was 16.
Aug-26-07  euripides: A seamless-looking win for the young Petrosian.

Black probably goes wrong as early as 7...0-0, after which his results in this database are absolutely terrible. 7...Qe7 prevents Ba3 for the moment and gives an interesting game.

Aug-28-07  wolfmaster: Great win by the teen Petrosian, even though he had not yet developed his "Iron Tigran" style.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: I agree with "Euripides". As a long-time Dutch Stonewall player I'd say the teenage Korchnoi made a novice's mistake by castling on move 8. Black's P structure really needs that black-bound Bishop. By playing 8...Qe7 he can prevent White from swapping it off.

As for the circumstances of the game, recall that Leningrad had suffered a terrible siege at Hitler's hands just a few years earlier, so Petrosian and Korchnoi were lucky even to be playing chess. Not too much later on, they got the best coaching available at the time, but in 1946, I doubt it.

Jun-26-08  Ulhumbrus: The game suggests two ways in which a pawn attack in the centre can hinder an opposing King side attack. The move 20...Rd8 suggests that the opposing centre becomes a target, and draws pieces away from the King side attack. The move 21 Qc7 suggests that a file opened by a pawn exchange can be used to invade the opposing position.
Jul-14-08  apexin: wow, what a game
Jul-14-08  brankat: <apexin> At the time Petrosian was 17, and Korchnoi 15!
Jul-15-08  apexin: <brankat> that shows how talented they were.I think this game was included in chernev's 62 Most Instructive games of chess ever. 16.e4! is very strong
Jul-23-09  JIRKA KADLEC: [Event "Leningrad"]
[Site "Leningrad"]
[Date "1946.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Petrosian"]
[Black "Viktor Korchnoi"]
[ECO "A90"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "45"]

1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 c6 7. b3 O-O ( 7...Qe7 ) 8. Ba3 Bxa3 9. Nxa3 Qe8 ( 9...Qe7 ) 10. Nc2 Qh5?! ( 10...Nbd7 ) 11. Qc1!? ( 11.Ne1 ) 11... Ne4 ( 11...Nbd7 ) 12. Nce1 g5?! 13. Nd3 Nd7 14. Nfe5 Kh8?! ( 14...Nxe5; 14...f4!? ) 15. f3 Nd6?! ( 15...Nf6 ) 16. e4! Nf7? ( 16...dxc4 ) 17. cxd5?! ( 17.Nxf7! / ) 17... Ndxe5 18. dxe5 cxd5 19. exd5 exd5 20. f4 Rd8?! ( 20...Be6 ) 21. Qc7! b6 22. fxg5 Ba6 23. Nf4 1-0

Oct-28-09  Garech: A very nice example from Petrosian of countering in the centre when faced with a flank attack - great game!
Aug-09-12  backrank: After 23 Nf4! Qxg5 I think it is simplest to play 24 Rfe1!, saving the rook and supporting the passed pawn on e5 at the same time.

click for larger view

White has then at least 4 powerful threats: Qxf7, Ne6 (now - thanks to the R on e1 - undisturbed by Qe3+), Bxd5 and e5-e6.

That's too much for Black.

Aug-09-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Petrosian vs Korchnoi, 1946.
Your score: 41 (par = 39)


Aug-13-12  marljivi: After 16.e4! blacks position is more or less strategically lost.Probably the most stubborn answer was not 16...Sf7?,nor 16...dc4?,nor 16...fe4?,but the developing 16...Nf6,covering at least square d5 and therefore preventing white to open up the c-file.In case of 16...fe4? 17.fe4de4 it is obviously unnecessery to find/proove the exact win for white,since black has paid too high price for the pawn(his pawns are like Swiss cheese-actually,Korchnoi now lives in Switzerland-,he is playing without rook on a8 and bishop on c8,the f-file is open,and his dark squares are weak.So that after 16...fe4? 17.fe4de4 (17...Rf1 18.Qf1de4 18.Nc5Qe8 19.Ned7Bd7 20.Qf6Kg8 21.Qg5Kh8 22.Qf6Kg8 23.Ne4 ,or 23.Be4 ,or worse,but probably still sufficient 18.Nd7?Bd7 19.Qf6Kg8 20.Nc5 with clear edge for white,and after 20...Rf8?? 21.Nd7 .) already 18.Rf8(?)Nf8 19.Qa3ed3 20.Qd6Bd7! 21.Nd3 gives white decesive positional advantage.(But not 21.Nd7??Nd7 22.Qd7d2,etc.) However,I managed to find a forced win for white.He plays 18.Qa3! (instead of 18.Rf8) and now:

a)18...c5(?) 19.Rf8Nf8 20.Qc5ed3 21.Qd6Bd7 22.Nd3 (Again not 22.Nd7??Nd7 23.Qd7d2,etc.)

b)18...Nf5 19.Nd7!...(Another winning line for white is 19.g4!Qe8 20.gf5ed3 21.fe6Rf1(21...Nf6? 22.e7 )22.Rf1Qe6 23.Bh3!! ,transposing to the variation "c".) 19...Bd7 20.Ne5Qe8 21.g4Nd4 22.Rf8Qf8 23.Qf8Rf8 24.Nd7Rd8 25.Ne5 .

c)18...Rf1 19.Rf1Nf5 (19...c5(?)20.Nc5Ne5 21.de5Nf7 22.Ne4Ne5 23.Qf8#;19...Ne5?? 20.Ne5 ;19...ed3 20.Qd6d2(20...Qe8 21.Rf7!d2 22.Bf3!Kg8 23.Re7Qf8 24.Qe6 ,or 22...Ne5?? 23.Qe5 )21.Rf8Kg7 22.Qe7Kh6 23.Rf6!Nf6 24.Qf8#) 20.g4!...(Everything else is less clear-20.Nd7?Bd7 21.Ne5Qe8 22.g4Nh6!(Not 22...Nd4? 23.Rf7!e3 24.Rd7e2 25.Qc1c5 26.Nf7Kg7 27.Qg5 ,but not 23.Nd7??Qd7 24.Rf8Kg7!! 25.Ra8Ne2 26.Kf2Qd4 27.Ke2Qd3 28.Ke1Qe3 29.Kd1Qd3 30.Kc1Qc3 31.Kb1Qd3 with perpetual check.Also 22...Ne7?? loses after 23.Qd6 ,while less clear is 23.Rf7?Ng6 24.Ng6...(Certanly not 24.Rd7??Ne5 25.Re7Qd8 26.de5Qd4,etc.)24...hg6 25.Re7Qf8 26.Qd6Rd8 27.Qe5Kg8 28.Qg5Be8,etc.)However,22...Nh6!,defending the f7-square,seems to hold the position,for example 23.Qd6Rd8 24.Nd7Rd7!(24...Qd7?? 25.Rf8 )25.Rf8Kg7 26.Re8Rd6 27.Re7Nf7 28.Rb7Rd4 29.Ra7Kf6 with strong counter-play for black.So,20.Nd7 isn't winning for white.Nor is 20.Rf5??ef5 21.Qe7ed3! 22.Nf7Kg7,etc.) So 20.g4!

Aug-14-12  marljivi: The continuation of my previous comment:
So 20.g4!Qe8 21.gf5ed3 22.fe6...(Not completely convincing is 22.f6?!Ne5 23.de5...(23.Qe7??Qe7 24.fe7Bd7 25.Rf8??Kg7 26.Ra8??d2 )23...Bd7!(23...Qf7? 24.Qe7!Kg8 25.Qd8Qf8 26.f7Kg7 27.Qf6#),etc.,where white is,of course,still clearly better.)22...Qe6 23.Bh3!!...(Probably the only winning move.23.Rf8?Kg7! 24.Rf7Kg8 25.Re7d2 26.Bf3Qf6 with unclear play,or 23.Nd7?Bd7 24.Rf8Kg7 25.Ra8Qe3 26.Kf1Qe2=.) 23...Qe8(23...Qh3 24.Rf8Kg7 25.Qe7Kh6 26.Nf7Kg7 27.Ng5 ;23...g4!? 24.Bg4Qg8 25.Nf7Kg7 26.Qc1Nf6 27.Qh6Kf7 28.Qf6Ke8 29.Re1 )24.Qd6!Ne5 25.Rf8Kg7 26.Re8Nf3 27.Kf2Bh3 28.Ra8!?d2 29.Qf8Kg6 30.Qf3 .

d)18...ed3 19.Qd6Qe8(19...Rf1 20.Rf1 transposes to the variation "c",which went 20...Qe8 21.Rf7!d2 22.Bf3!Kg8 23.Re7Qf8 24.Qe6 ,or 22...Ne5 23.Qe5 ,or 20...d2 21.Rf8Kg7 22.Qe7Kh6 23.Rf6!Nf6 24.Qf8#.)20.Nd7Rf1 (20...Bd7? 21.Rf8Qf8 22.Qd7 )21.Rf1Bd7 22.Qe5Kg8 23.Qg5Qg6(23...Kh8? 24.Qf6Kg8 25.Rf4 ,or 25.Be4d2 26.Qg5 )24.Qg6hg6 25.Be4Kg7 (25...d2 26.Bg6 looks complicated,but is actually completely lost for black:26...e5 27.de5Bg4 28.Bc2Rd8 29.Bd1Bd1(Or 29...Bh3 30.Rf6 ,followed by Rd6Rf8,Be2,or even by the "maximalistic" Kf2,Ke3,Td6,etc.)30.Rd1Kf7 31.Kf1Ke6 32.Ke2Rh8 33.h4Rg8 34.Kd2Rg3 35.Rh1Rg2(Or.35...Ke5 36.h5Kf6 37.h6 .)36.Kc3Ra2 37.h5Rg2 38.h6Rg8 39.h7Rh8 40.Kd4 .And 25...e5 actually transposes to 25...d2: 26.de5Bf5 27.Bf5gf5 28.Rf5d2 29.Rf1Rd8 30.Rd1 .) 26.Bd3a5(Trying to get some counterplay on the a-file,after a5-a4,and subsequent exchange of the a-pawns.)27.a3!g5(White was threatening positionally with h2-h4,Rf4,and then Kf2-Ke3-Ke4-Ke5-Kd6,etc.Pawn on g6 was a weakness,but now whites h2-pawn could turn out to be a weakness,so...)28.h4!gh4 29.gh4Rh8(Or 29...Rg8 30.Rf4 )30.Rf4 .(The winning plan for white is again Kf2-Ke3-Ke4-Ke5-Kd6.Black has no counterplay:his king is cut off along the f-file,and white has no weaknesses.Exept the b3-pawn,but black has no time for manouver Rg8-Kh6-Rg2-Rb2,since if black king goes away from g-file,then white has decesive reply Rf7.)

Korchnoi was well-known in Soviet union as a "pawn-grabber",so if he didn't accept the sacrifice 16.e4!(and if Petrosian offered it!),then the sacrifice simply has to be sound.

Apr-09-15  Karne: A young Petrosian demolishes an even younger Korchnoi in a fantastically positional game.
Apr-15-15  Howard: Yes, it was a good game by Petrosian. In fact, Chess Life & Review analyzed it back around 1990 or 1991.

But I NEVER could understand why Chernev's book Most Instructive Games Ever Played, he referred to Korchnoi as being an "eminent player" in this game.

Korchnoi was only 15 !!! And Petrosian was 17. A very misleading comment, in my view. But then Chernev had a propensity to over-embellish back in the day.

Sep-14-18  NeverAgain: Dutch Stonewall, Botvinnik V (A94)
Jun-21-19  Antonin1957: A very pretty game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: One of my favourite Petrosian crushes
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