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S Khodzhibekov vs Viktor Korchnoi
Frunze (1956)
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Old Line (B78)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-02-06  drnooo: the puzzle here is this really a puzzle. all the lines are so cut down and forced, lanes of attack simplified, there ain't much to work with. if the pin at the knight forces resignation as quickly as ripping the head off the horse, big deal. Korchnoi after it very probably just shrugged and took it as another relatively easy game for him ended.
Mar-02-06  drnooo: As for the argument about Korchnois place in the bad luck stakes of chess champ history, that probably still belongs to either Keres or Bronstein. They both beat him in their long series of encounters, and all three were victims of KGB fear. As for Keres or Bronstein, Bronstein beat Keres over the long haul, but Keres made it up the ladder more than David. And Korchnois loss to Karpov with Victors family as hostage behind the Iron Curtain, well he might have backed off from winning that close match. The truth is all three of these guys were world champs and all stronger than anyone at the top today. They just had the bad luck to be Russian and had to kowtow to the KGB.
Mar-02-06  dakgootje: <I looked at this long and hard and came up with 34...Rxb4. The rook cannot be captured (mate in 1 if by the queen, 2 if by the rook), but the move also doesn't seem to threaten all that much.

I was so delighted when I spotted this rook "sac", that I stopped looking at other moves. I was truly surprised when the key move turned out to be the pedestrian queen check!> Exactly what i would have posted when i had seen this puzzle before you ;-)

First i looked both at that ****queen check and Re4, but they both didnt seem to treaten enough, and the queen check seemed just too easy! So after 2 minutes of desperate calculating i finally...started media player in search of some work-music ;-). So when i had that i looked again at puzzle, thinking hard at things i didnt see yet, and within seconds saw Rxb4, was very happy, clicked on the puzzle...and saw it wasnt the text move... Not suspecting anything i played through the game, and expected a note that strangely Korchnoi hadnt seen the beautiful move Rxb4...and was pretty disappointed, when i was at that point, to see it wasnt the solution -.-

Lucky that <patzer2>, or well his fritz8, saved my with calculating Rxb4 was decisive too =)

Mar-02-06  McCool: I thought it would be
34. ..♖xb4
35. ♖xb4 ♕a3+
36. ♔b1 ♕a1+
Winning the queen
Mar-02-06  RandomVisitor: In the game after 26.Rxd5

click for larger view

Blacked played 26...Rxd5, but has 26...Rxc3! This leads to a win:

27.Qe5+ f6
28.Qe7+ Kh6
29.Rc5 (everything else leads to mate in 9 or less)

30.Qe3+ Kg7

Mar-02-06  pwrstick: Huh! I totally saw this combination, but was convinced white would 35. Kc1.

I couldn't find any good Black response to 35. Kc1 (I didn't see 35 ... Qxb3 36. cxb3 Ra1+ for the queen skewer.)

I was pretty enamored with 34 ... Rxb4 myself, for the already mentioned reasons. I'm quite happy I saw that one too :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: I had an other winning line :
34...Rxe4 35.fxe4 Qa2+ 36.Kc1 Qxb3! 37.cxb3 Ra1+ 38.Kd2 Rxe1 39.Kxe1 b5!! and black wins the ending
Mar-02-06  Knight13: What... I thought it was White to move and I couldn't find the winning move after pulling my hair!! :">
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobsterman3000: Not bad considering that Korchnoi was only 55 years old at the time...


Mar-02-06  TTLump: I also picked Rxb4, and then kicked myself when I saw the solution ... I looked at Qa2+ of course, and followed it all the way to Nc5 and then stopped, thinking, gee if the pawn on b4 wasn't there, Nc5 doesn't work and then I noticed that neither could he take Black's Rook with either the Rook or the Queen and that just about any move he made would allow Qa3+ which would lead to a merry King hunt across the board so this MUST be the move, right? ... Ha! ... sucked in by the evil Chess demons again!

How simple the solution in hindsight!

How unatainable the elusive mastery of this game ...

Mar-02-06  franksp: After 37 Pxc5 Q-a5+ 38 K-b2 Qxe1, White can try making things difficult with P-c6 and Black must deal with the passed Pawn while avoiding mate on the rank.
Mar-02-06  Sami Jr: That pawn on e5 sure is key. Otherwise, 37 b4xe5 Qe5+ 38 Kxd4 ... Two rooks would be traded in capture of whites Queen and white still has a rook after the exchange. Having said that, not knowing the board position, if # pawns/pieces is equal after the exchange of two rooks for a queen, which do you think is better in general: to have 2 rooks and no Q, or a Q and no rooks? Perhaps this can not be answered with out knowing board position, but I am just wondering in general...
Mar-02-06  YouRang: This would be a nice Monday puzzle if the pawn on f3 weren't there. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <RandomVisitor: In the game after 26.Rxd5 ... Blacked played 26...Rxd5, but has 26...Rxc3! This leads to a win> You might be right but it look a little murky. Can't White can come out of it with an extra pawn by declining the gift?

26...Rxc3 27.Qxe5+ Kg8 28.Rd8+! Rxd8 29.Qxc3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: < I also picked Rxb4, and then kicked myself when I saw the solution >Don't kick yourself, Rxb4 works also!! Frankly Rxb4 looks pretty tricky to me, I'm surprised that so many people thought of it. It's easy to see why the rook can't be taken but there are so many ways to respond to it, lots of variations to calculate. The game solution is hard to see but very forcing.
Mar-02-06  EmperorAtahualpa: Yay, it doesn't happen many times, but today I solved the puzzle completely! :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I got this. At first, Kc3 looks like an error, but 35.Kc1? QxR/b3!; followed by 36...Ra1+; (winning back the Queen, as the King cannot cross the d-file); is even worse.

Once I figured this part out, the rest was easy - the moves are fairly forced.

One of my rules of thumb is anytime I go 2-3 moves ahead, (in these problems); and reach a position with no easy move at hand ... look for a sacrifice!

White resigns in the final position, (after 36...Rcx5+!); as taking is the only legal move that I can see. Then the simple X-RAY or skewer of 37...Qa5+ wins at least a Queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I missed this combination completely -I was looking for someway to deflect the Q and mate on a1 and I saw the continuation but didn't see the Q skewer was I was looking at 34. ... Rxb4 lol - for ages!! I think it wins but less elegantly...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Korchnoi - had he not left Russia and come under all the pressure - is one of the very great players - his statement once that Tal's attacks were stereotypical was bit unfair but Korchnoi is (he's still playing) a profound player - Tal's problem was health. Korchnoi maybe timing of when he was at his peak.
Mar-02-06  RandomVisitor: <Sneaky>The key to my sequence is 27...f6, not Kg8 as in your line. White now has no good moves, and the threat to c2 is too big to ignore.
Mar-02-06  TTLump: <sneaky: ... Rxb4 works also!!>, yes, but not nearly as quickly or as decisively as Qa2+. I certainly didn't calculate it to a clear advantage. I went on the general assumption that I would be chasing the King around with a Queen and two Rooks and therefore, there must be a mate in there somewhere. In addition, I think the number of ways that White could have fallen into a mating trap after Rxb4 seduced me into it, which breaks one of the cardinal rules of chess, alway assume your opponent is going to find the best response to you moves.

Mar-02-06  TTLump: <franksp: After 37 Pxc5 Q-a5+ 38 K-b2 Qxe1, White can try making things difficult with P-c6 ...>

after 39.c6, black has a forced mate in seven:

39.c6 Ra4
40.Ra3 Qb4+
41.Rb3 Qd4+
42.Rc3 Rb4+
43.Kc1 Qg1+
44.Kd2 Qf2+
45.Kc1 Qe1#

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: after the line 34...Rxe4 35.fxe4 Qa2+ 36.Kc1 Qxb3! 37.cxb3 Ra1+ 38.Kd2 Rxe1 39.Kxe1 b5!! black seems to be in zugzwang
Mar-09-06  RandomVisitor: Black missed yet another win here - 32...Qf1! 33.gxf6+ Kh8 34.Qc1 Ra2+ wins.
Jun-01-08  Octal: In "Play the Sicilian Dragon" by Edward Dearing, he when presented with the 12. Bh6 line, he recommends, 12. ... Bxh6 13. Qxh6 Rxc3 bxc3. But that line was surely playable.

In the words of Khodzhibekov, "pry open the a-file, sac-sac-mate!"

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