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Bent Larsen vs Viktor Korchnoi
Palma de Mallorca (1968), Palma ESP, rd 14, Dec-10
Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Tarrasch Defense. Main Line (D42)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 30.Qg5 was a blunder in a bad position. 30.Qh4 would have been better although black with a Pawn up should have won the game too. Good game of Korchnoi.
Feb-19-09  mcgee: Worthy of a brilliancy prize in this tournament or any other QED but a rather atypical Korchnoi achievement. The defence and attack seem to owe more to logical warfare than psychological warfare
May-28-14  Strelets: Maybe Korchnoi's play in this game does reflect psychological factors. Why not switch it up and play positionally against a player as creative and willing to take risks as Larsen? 35...Be4! is a combinative idea that I'm going to shamelessly steal and look for in my own games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In his annotations to Larsen vs Korchnoi, 1973 in the tournament book, Korchnoi discusses how he might have played instead of the move he chose at one juncture, depending upon his opponent.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Nice smooth win by Korchnoi.

It seems like Larsen's whole plan (12.Be4, push the a-pawn, then push the h-pawn) is a misfire. Korchnoi takes the initiative very quickly. Probably Larsen should have played something like 12.Nd2 and tried to expand with his central pawns. I like 16....Ra7, a quiet, counter-intuitive-looking move, that frees the knight from its pin and continues to protect the bishop: if 16....Rab8 17.Qa4.

26.Qg4 is a mistake allowing black's combination.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: Korchnoi points to lots of mistakes in this game.

He thinks 9.Re1 is better than 9.a3.

9....Nxc3 is an overanxious attempt to punish white for 9.a3.

Korchnoi says that 11.Rb1 is superficial, and Larsen was best off playing in the center with, say, 11.Bb2, 12.Bc2, and 13.e4.

More proof that I'm not a grandmaster: I thought 16....Ra7 was a nice subtlety. Korchnoi says that it was a weak move, which he recognized as weak, and played "only to give Larsen the uncomfortable feeling that he'd made a mistake." 16....Rab8 was better.

Larsen thought that 17.h4 was 'the initial cause of his defeat.'

21....Nb7 was better, to transfer the knight to d6.

Korchnoi says 24.Bd2 was the critical mistake. White had to play 24.Bd3.

26.e4 was white's best chance.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: This game did win the brilliancy prize at Palma de Mallorca.

Larsen thought 17.h4 was perhaps his losing move, but it seems OK after 17...Na5 18.h5 Rd8 19.h6, then 20.Ra1.

Korchnoi says 24.Bd2 with the critical mistake, but it looks like it was 30.Qg5? allowing 30...Bxf2+! Perhaps best is 30.Qh4 Bg7 (not 30...Bxc3?? 31.Bxc3 Qxc3 32.Qxd8+) 31.Bf4 Bxc3 32.Re5 and perhaps White can hold.

Dec-24-18  eyalbd: Korchnoi annotations here:

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