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Viktor Korchnoi vs Boris Spassky
Chigorin Memorial (1966), Sochi URS, rd 8, Jul-??
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Hübner Deferred (E50)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-13-04  drukenknight: (another Nimzo) Spassky really, really does mess this up at the end (its reminiscent of that game of his vs. Botvinnik). Go back in the game about 8 or 10 moves and see what you think. Then put it on a computer or have someone else go over it, did you completely overlook the main line or did it seem to go nowhere so you looked for other solutions? Think about it for a while.
Nov-15-04  drukenknight: Endgame study. Okay look at black's 66th move. He is down and a pawn and he is going to swap pawns? THat doesnt make sense does it? Isnt he supposed to put the N on d2 and...? A good problem for your endgame skills. What do YOU think?
Nov-15-04  azaris: 66...Nd2 67. Kxb5 Nxf3 (what else?) 68. Nxg5! Nxg5 69. a4 Ne4 70. a5 Nd6+ 71. Kc6 Ke6 72. a6 Nc8 73. Kb7 Kd7 74. a7 Nxa7 75. Kxa7 and White wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: I'm not sure why Black loses in the final position. With 71...♘xc3+ 72. ♔b4 ♘xa4 73. ♔xa4 ♔d2 , Black gets to the pawns first ( 74. ♔b4 ♔d3 75. ♔c5 ♔e4 with zugzwang).

So it appears White must play 71...♘xc3+ 72. ♔c5 ♘xa4+ 73. ♔xd5 ♘c3+ with a draw.

Am I missing something important, or did White win on time?

Nov-15-04  drukenknight: Yes hello azari and bg. Maybe we should start with bg's question first since it is maybe more basic. I thought I had worked out those lines late in the game, I guess I put those notes somewhere. Oh look chessical is taking my N! Well, gotta go, I think bg's line loses on some thing, keep looking at it, its a good problem really it is...
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: 71. ♔b4 instead of 71. a4 does look like a win.
Nov-15-04  azaris: <beatgiant> Yes, the score is wrong. It should be:

71.Kb4 Kc2 72.a4 1-0

I have submitted the correction to <>.

Nov-15-04  drukenknight: oh yes, okay. Thanks for that. I was using the chess lab data base and I guess they had the correct score so this part never came up. Okay are we all on the same page then? and can we go back to the other move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Okay are we all on the same page then? and can we go back to the other move?>

I agree with <azaris> about move 66.

<He is down and a pawn and he is going to swap pawns? THat doesnt make sense does it?>

Conventional wisdom says when down material, don't swap pieces (to maximize your own activity) but DO swap pawns (to reduce targets for your opponent's activity).

My suggested improvement for Black is 40...♘c6 avoiding loss of a pawn. After he loses a pawn, I suspect Black is lost.

Apr-14-14  Howard: The late Edmar Mednis analyzed this knight-and-pawn endgame in a 1978 issue of Chess Life and Review (as it was called back then), commenting that Korchnoi's play was of the "highest order".

Well put !

Jun-07-20  seneca16: Drunken Knight: Reuben Fine says somewhere that in the endgame the defender should exchange pawns and keep pieces on the board.
Feb-25-22  jerseybob: 42..a5 would avoid the immediate pawn loss, but white's position is still more agressive, and thanks to his bishop, more mobile. Korchnoi has played the game with great energy, and unluckily for Spassky this was one of those tourneys when Victor was determined to wipe out the field.
Feb-25-22  jerseybob: Reshevsky annotates this game nicely(and I don't always like his annotations) in Chess Life February 1968, p.67.

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