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Viktor Korchnoi vs Mikhail Tal
Hoogovens (1968), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-19
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Hübner Deferred (E50)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-06-07  M.D. Wilson: Always interesting between these two.
Feb-20-09  M.D. Wilson: No reason not to play 45 h5. The a pawn is lost. Korchnoi almost always had an edge in the endgame against Tal.
Jan-06-10  M.D. Wilson: With 24. Qd4, Korchnoi is saying "See, I'm not a materialist!" After the pin, he gets the pawn anyway.

Fischer did say take material if you don't see a reason not too; in this game, f6 pawn is that reason.

May-27-14  Strelets: <M.D. Wilson> We're agreed on the merits of 45.h5. The a-pawn can't really be defended long-term and pushing the h-pawn gains space, denies Black counterplay, and makes it that much harder for his king to escape its back-rank deep freeze (especially if it gets to h6). Moves like that should always be looked for in a technical rook endgame.
Mar-23-15  zydeco: Korchnoi writes that with 11.Bb2 (instead of the plausible 11.cxd5) he was striving for the maximum possible opening advantage.

Tal thought that 12.c5 b6 13.c4 gave white an advantage.

Korchnoi suggests 13.Rc1 as an improvement.

In general, white didn't get much from the opening - and then promptly has a strategically-won position after 19.....fxe6? (instead of 19....Qxe6). Tal missed 20.c4!

Korchnoi suggests 26....Qd5 accepting an inferior endgame.

Tal could have tried 34....a3 but with 35.Rxb7 Ra8 36.h5 Qh6 37.Qd6 white has lots of threats.

Korchnoi missed the logical win with 36.Rd4! Qg6 37.Rxa4 (or 36....Qc2 37.Qe7).

Tal should have played 42....Qa8+ and then 43....Qe8 pushing back white's king.

Feb-18-22  tbontb: Kortschnoj maintains a small but persistent plus as White when Tal chooses the dubious sideline 7....cxd4. After 30....a5 (better ....Rf7) White has a winning position. Tal eventually exchanges Qs to counter the mating threats but the 4v3 R ending is also lost due to the weak Black pawn structure, as Kortschnoj expertly demonstrates. Compare the very similar opening treatment in

<Korchnoi vs Parma, 1969>

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