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Anatoly S Lutikov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Chigorin Memorial (1951), Leningrad URS
King's Gambit: Accepted. Cunningham Defense McCormick Defense (C35)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-18-12  sevenseaman: Perceived candidate action

Its difficult to imagine how the Black K has arrived here so early.

1. One way is to support the e5 N with d4. The Black K is then left with only one move, kf5. Qg4, a serious threat then looms. But Black has h5 counter.

2. The other way is to play Qg4 at once and pull the Black K further up into a precariously lonesome zone.

It looks very vague today but I'll try and go some of the way;

9. Qg4+ Kxe5 10. d4+ Ke5 (Kxe4 leads to mate on the move 11. Qxf4#) 12. Bxf4+ Ke4 13. Qf3+ Kf5▢ 14. Bxc7+ and the Black Q is bagged.

Tough going, things are becoming hazier. Assuming this is correct I do not think I have even the leg of the solution today. 'Very Difficult' seems right.

Aug-18-12  abuzic: 9.Qg4+ Kxe5 10.d4+ Kxd4 11.c3+ Ke5 12.Bxf4+ Kxe4 13.Qh5

<13.Qf3+ Kf5 14.Bxc7+ Kg6 15.Bxd8 Bxd8>

13...g5 14.0-0-0 Kf5 15.Rde1 Kf6 16.Bxg5+ Kg7 17.Bh6+ Kg8 18.Rhf1 Be6 19.Rxe6 Bg5+ 20.Kb1 Bf4 21.Re8+ Qxe8 22.Qxe8#.

Aug-18-12  Al2009: Korchnoi sometimes is pathetic, in his stubborness till the end. Here he could have resigned after 15 moves, why one should go on with such a helpless position, and a "chased" helpless king?

But it is not the first time for Korchnoi.
See here, exactly 50 years after the game above.
Kasparov vs Korchnoi, 2001

It's the game against Kasparov, at the "Korchnoi's birthday" in 2001.

After 21. Rf3+ any players would have resigned, do you think that Kasparov can miss a mating, do you believe he can fail to calculate 7 moves?

But Korchnoi took the Knight, and went on with his poor chased King for several moves, resigning just one move before mating (26.g3+).

How difficult is to understand Korchnoi's mind!

Aug-18-12  Abdel Irada: <Welcome to the Hotel Catastrophe> Part 1 of 2

In the sort of position dear to the heart of every Traxler player, Black's king is his most active piece, so White invites it in for a tainted meal that it's apparently too famished to refuse:

9. ♕g4, ♔xe5 ▢;
10. d4, and Black has two options for his next course:

(1) 10. ...♔xe4?;
11. ♕xf4# or

(2) 10. ...♔xd4;
11. c3, and now Black has four choices:

(2.1) 11. ...♔d3?;
12. ♕e2#

(2.2) 11. ...♔c4?;
12. ♕e2#

(2.3) 11. ...♔xe4?;
12. ♕xf4, ♔d3 ▢;
13. ♕d4, ♔c2 ▢;
14. ♕d1#

(2.4) 11. ...♔e5. Now White is at a crossroads: He can regain material equality and retain some attacking chances against Black's exposed king:

(2.4.1) 12. ♗xf4, ♔xe4 ▢;
13. ♕f3, ♔f5 ▢;
14. ♗xc7, ♔g6;
15. ♗xd8, ♖xd8 . Or he can play more speculatively for a continuing assault on the black monarch:

(Continued in part 2)

Aug-18-12  Abdel Irada: <Welcome to the Hotel Catastrophe> Part 2 of 2

(2.4.2) 12. ♕xf4, ♔e6 ▢;
13. o-o. Here Black must be careful:

( 13. ...dxe4?;
14. ♕f7, ♔d7;
15. ♖d1, ♔c6;
16. ♕c4, ♗c5;
17. ♗e3! and the game might finish
17. ...♘a6;
18. b4, b6;
19. ♕xe4, ♔b5;
20. a4#

( 13. ...♖f8?;
14. ♕g4, ♔e5 ▢;
15. ♗f4 and one of

( 15. ...♖xf4;
16. ♕xf4, ♔e6 ▢;
17. ♕f5# or

( 15. ...♔xe4;
16. ♖ae1, ♔d3;
17. ♕e2#.

However, Black seems able to wreck the entire plan with

( 13. ...♔d7! .

Unless an improvement appears, it therefore looks as though White will have to settle for the rather unsatisfying variation 2.4.1.

Aug-18-12  Abdel Irada: Hmm. Apparently Lutikov found a lot more satisfaction in that variation than I did. :-D
Aug-18-12  ChessMystery: Very, very bad game by Korchnoi
Aug-18-12  abuzic: <Abdel Irada: <Welcome to the Hotel Catastrophe..... Unless an improvement appears, it therefore looks as though White will have to settle for the rather unsatisfying variation 2.4.1.>>

9.Qg4+ Kxe5 10.d4+ Kxd4 11.c3+ Ke5 12.Bxf4+ Kxe4 13.Qh5 leads to forced mate:

13...g5 14.0-0-0 Kf5 15.Rde1 Kf6 16.Bxg5+ Kg7 17.Bh6+ Kg8 18.Rhf1 Be6 19.Rxe6 Bg5+ 20.Kb1 Bf4 21.Re8+ Qxe8 22.Qxe8#

13...Bg5 14.0-0 Re8 <14...Kd3 15.Qe2+ Kxe2 16.Rad1 Bxf4 17.Rfe1#> 15.Rae1+ Kd3 16.Qd1+ Kc4 17.Qa4+ Kc5 18.b4+ Kc4 19.b5+ Kc5 20.Qd4+ Kxb5 21.Rb1+ Kc6 22.Qa4+ Kc5 23.Qb5#.

13...Bd6 14.0-0 Bc5+ 15.Kh1 Be3 16.Rad1 d4 17.Bxe3 g5 18.Qf3+ Ke5 19.Bf4+ Kf5 20.Be5+ Kg6 21.Qf7+ Kh6 22.Bg7#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Made it through to <15.Bxd8> but didn't see it all the way through to <24.Qxf6#>

Do I get half-credit for guessing the opening was a Kings Gambit? :)

Aug-18-12  Zatrikion: What a King hunting! Mate in all cases!

9.Qg4+ Kxe5 (forced)


Four possible moves now for King:

12.Qxf4+ Kd3
13.Qd4+ Kc2
12.Bxf4+ Kxe4
13.Bg3+ Kd3
14.Qd4+ Kc2

Aug-18-12  abuzic: <Zatrikion: What a King hunting! Mate in all cases!

9.Qg4+ Kxe5 (forced)
10.d4+ Kxd4
12.Bxf4+ Kxe4
13...Bxg4 and white loses.

But you were right it's mate in all cases:
9.Qg4+ Kxe5
10.d4+ Kxd4
11.c3+ Ke5
12.Bxf4+ Kxe4
So from move 9 it's mate in no more than 15 moves!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Readers of a nervous disposition should be warned. The following story is all bull...

<Once> upon a time there were two bulls who lived in a farmer's field. One bull was old and wise, the other was young and eager. You can imagine that Bull #1 was on his last legs and that Bull #2 was his padawan apprentice, if you are into that sort of thing.

One day, the farmer opened the gate to the field to allow the bulls into the field with the laydee cowz. All at <once> the young bull starts running for the gate, anxious to ... ahem ... get with the laydeez.

The old bull snorts in derision: "Why the rush, my young apprentice?"

"But, but, my leathery master! The gate is open. The way is clear. If we are quick we might attend to half the herd."

The old bull chews the cud contentedly. "Yes, but if we walk we might have the energy to service all of them."

And so it is with king hunts. The temptation is to rush, to sacrifice more and more of our pieces and our energy. But we need to conserve just enough to finish the job off. Chasing our quarry all round the field is all very well, but we need to be able to ... ahem ... carry out the mating attack when we've cornered them.

This is the key position after 13. Kf5:

click for larger view

White has a decision to make. Does he carry on chasing with an aggressive castling move (on either side) or another check? Or does he bail out into a material plus with Bxc7+/Bxd8?

It would be dreadfully shameful to win the chase but not to have the energy to finish the job off. White has invested two minor pieces in this attack. He does not want to see the black king run to safety on g8.

White decides (rightly) to grab the black queen and only the to continue the chase. So we get 14. Bxc7+ Kg6 15. Bxd8

click for larger view

You might be tempted to stop there, but this is a surprisingly interesting position. White has sacrificed three minor pieces to win the black queen. In theory, this is material parity. All black needs to do is to hide his king somewhere and a tense middlegame/ endgame will start.

And if that happens, we might have the funny sight of a young bull having expended all his energy getting to the herd that he has no va-va-voom left to ... earn his living.

What should black play next? Funnily enough, our first instincts may well be wrong. 15...Rxd8 seems to be the natural move. It develops a piece, gives the illusion of Rd6-f6 and suggests that black may yet "castle by hand".

But Fritzie is adamant that 15...Bxd8 is the better move. The problem with 15...Rxd8 is that the rook on d8 is a new target for white. In some lines, this rook can be won with the tactic Qg3+/ Qc7. For example, after 15...Rxd8 16. 0-0 black would love to play 16...Bf6 dreaming of Kf7-Kg8. But white can cross this with 17. Qg3+ Kf7? 18. Qc7+

By contrast, Bxd8 does allow for the Bf6 defence. Black is still going to lose but there is no quick mate in sight.

So to dispel some myths: (1) This king hunt doesn't lead to a forced mate against best play. (2) Winning black's queen does not mean that you've won the game. Three minors can hold a queen back. (3) Korchnoi had a good reason to play on as the outcome was by no means certain. (4) 15...Bxd8 seems better than 15...Rxd8

Oh, and (5) Don't rush into a night (or afternoon) of passion if the act of rushing might leave you with insufficient energy for the execution of said passion.

Aug-18-12  David2009: Lutikov vs Korchnoi, 1951 White 9?

White has burned his boats and may as well continue the attack: 9.Qg4 Kxe5 10.d4+ Kxd4 11.c3+ Ke5 and this is as far as I can confidently visualise from the puzzle position. Before checking I exceptionally decided to set the puzzle position

click for larger view

up on Crafty End Game Trainer and by trial and error found 12.Bxd4+ Kxe5 13.Qf3+ Kf5 14.Bxc7+ Kg6 15.Bxd8 Rxd8 and now I would like to castle but the robot doesn't allow this move. So it now is indeed time to check:
I have indeed found the game continuation and White continued 0-0. To continue using Crafty EGT, I need to set this position up with the King on f2, White to play and complete castling KR with the move Kg1. Further link:

The ingenious robot prefers 16...Kh6 to leave

click for larger view

and I leave it to my fellow kibitzers to bottom out the win, if it exists, with or without silicon help. Other priorities call and I must leave this puzzle for now. I look forward to digesting the kibitzes later: apologies for having to post without reading them.

Aug-18-12  KingV93: Happy to have seen the first four or five moves of this one sided shootout.

<Once> excellent as always. Great twist on Robert Duvalls life lesson to a young Sean Penn in the movie 'Colors'. A great movie about Cops and Gangs in LA, worth seeing.

Aug-18-12  ClassZPlaya: <Yogi Darwin: Is the King's Gambit used today in high level tournaments? I read the weekly chess column in the LA Times and do not recall a single instance of it being featured. TIA.>

It still makes an appearance from time to time. Take a look at this game for example:

Robson vs Bacrot, 2011

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Visualized through 11 c3ch, but got well beyond my range of chess vision after that.
Aug-18-12  James D Flynn: Black is a P up and threatens both White Ns but his K is exposed. Candidates 9.Qg4+, Qe2, d4. 9.Qg4+ Kxe5 10.d4+ Kxd4 11.Qxf4 dxe4 12.Be3+ Kc4 13.Qf1+ (not 13.Qxe4+ Kb5 14.a4+ Ka5 15.c3 c5 16.b4+ cxb4 17.cxb4+ Bxb4+ 18.Ke2 Re8 19.Qc4 a6 20.Rab1 Qe7 21.Rxb4 Qxe3+ and Black wins ) Kb4 14.c3+ Ka5 14.a4 a6 15.b4+ Bxb4 16.Qc4 c5 17.cxb4+ cxb4 18 Rb1 Qe7 19.Bc5 Qxc5 20.Qxc5+ b5 21.axb5 Nd7 22.Ra1#
Aug-18-12  chess defense: I hate to admit but i have to say...lutikov was the choreographer and korchnoi was the dancer here....
Aug-18-12  Patriot: What a position! Both knights are hanging but black's king is in the middle of the board in the opening phase.

The most forcing is <9.Qg4+ Kxe5 10.d4+!>.

10...Kxe4 11.Qxf4#! This wasn't immediately obvious to me at first.

10...Kxd4 (forced) 11.c3+ Ke5 12.Bxf4+ Ke4 Black is dead here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I had the first few moves...but does this puzzle REALLY scan 15 moves!?
Aug-18-12  nirvanapirate: Qg4+! and the rest is history 1/1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessdreamer: According to "Korchnoi's Chess Games", edited by David Levy and Kevin O'Connell, this game ended with 23.R1f6+ 1-0.
Aug-18-12  Moszkowski012273: So many mistakes in this game. 5.Nc3 instead of d3 is actually a blunder giving black the chance to play (correctly) Nxe4,,,,,6.Bxf7 is inferior to 0-0 or Nxe4,,,,,but then black went ahead and gave up all chances with the horrible 7...Ke6 instead of Kg8, Kf8,or even Kf6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair and a pawn.

Black threatens 9... Kxe5 and 9... dxe4.

The first move that comes to mind is 9.Qg4+, forcing the extraction of the king, 9... Kxe5 10.d4+ Kxd4 (10... Kxe4 11.Qxf4#) 11.c3+

A) 11... Kxe4 12.Qxf4+ Kd3 13.Qd4+ Kc2 14.Qd1#.

B) 11... Kd3(c4) 12.Qe2#.

C) 11... Ke5 12.Bxf4+ Kxe4 13.Qf3+ Kf5 14.Bxc7+ followed by 15.Bxd8, 0-0, Rad(e)1 keeping the attack against the king and taking advantage of Black's lack of development.

Aug-18-12  Patriot: <agb2002> In your comment <White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair and a pawn>, I'm curious why you don't say "Black has the bishop pair and a pawn." Because usually having the "bishop pair" means that player has both bishops while the other player has a knight and bishop, just like being up the exchange means that player has a rook for a knight or bishop. It's possible that one side can have the bishop pair while the other side has a rook, for example, but in that case I would phrase it "bishop pair for a rook". You can say it any way you want, but I thought I would just ask.
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