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Boris Spassky vs Viktor Korchnoi
"Viktor Viktorious" (game of the day May-11-2017)
Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates Final (1977/78), Belgrade YUG, rd 2, Nov-23
French Defense: Winawer. Poisoned Pawn Variation Main Line (C18)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <protonchess: @ Strelets: did Alekhine play the French as Black?? I don't think so. But go ahead and show me.>

Read 'em and weep:

May-11-17  Retireborn: <perfidious> LOL. Alekhine actually scored his very first win ever over Capa with the French! Most GMs have played it at least occasionally. The list of those who have never touched it must be quite short, the real Sicilian addicts Fischer, Polu, Browne, Nunn of course. Even Kasparov played it once or twice!
May-11-17  zanzibar: A real Alekhine never would play the French (as Black).
May-12-17  protonchess: Ok Ok, you're right
May-12-17  RookFile: The French is a good defense because you usually get an unbalanced pawn structure. That gives both sides chances.
May-12-17  morfishine: The comment that an "unbalanced pawn structure" gives "both sides chances" is a generalized inaccurate utterance, probably stated by the author to give the illusion of one's own chess proficiency

Its all based on the position, or positional play, and has nothing to do with giving "both sides chances"



May-13-17  paavoh: Doesn't a balanced pawn structure give "chances to both sides" too? :-)
May-13-17  morfishine: <paavoh> Yes sir, you are correct, and I thank you very much for your pointed and accurate response


May-13-17  Howard: This game is analyzed in Kasparov's MGP series, which I didn't have available when I made that comment the other day..

...but having looked it shortly later, it turns out that Kasparov states that..

...13.Qxc3! is apparently now White's preferred choice! So, Wilbur G was NOT "missing" anything, after all.

May-13-17  offramp: <Retireborn:...Most GMs have played it at least occasionally. The list of those who have never touched it must be quite short, the real Sicilian addicts Fischer, Polu, Browne, Nunn of course. Even Kasparov played it once or twice!>

I used to think that Karpov had only played one game as Black in the French, Geller vs Karpov, 1976, which he lost. In fact he has played 19 throughout his career - although most of them seem to be rapid/blitz/blindfold.

I think the French needs a lot of experience to play well. That is something both Korchnoi and Short have.

May-13-17  Retireborn: <offramp> Having been a practitioner of the French myself for many years, I can testify to that....I can't remember now which old timey Master called it the King's Pawn One Sneak :)
May-13-17  offramp: <R├ętireborn: <offramp> Having been a practitioner of the French myself for many years, I can testify to that....I can't remember now which old timey Master called it the King's Pawn One Sneak :)>

...Very unfair to the player of 1...e6, because it is <White> who dictates whether the future course of the game will be quiet or wild. He has the choice of the Qg4xg7xh7 lines or the d4-e5-f4-Nf3 lines.

Nov-15-17  marcguy: Spassky lost with his moves 35.Qg3 (instead of Rf1, coming to f2), and 36.g5 (instead of Re1)
Nov-16-17  Howard: The Korchnoi-Spassky match of 1977 was an absolute classic case where the final match score, of 10.5-7.5, didn't tell "the whole story".

Korchnoi rocketed to a five point lead in the first ten games, so it looked as if the match would be a slaughter. But, then Spassky won FOUR games in a row, and thus narrowed Korchnoi's lead to one point.

But, then Korchnoi somehow steadied himself and won two out of the last four games, with the other two being drawn, thus winning the match by three points.

Offhand, the only other match I can think of where the final score was rather misleading was Fischer-Petrosian 1971.

Jul-21-18  marcguy1: Spassky could have drawn with 19 Qa8
Jul-21-18  marcguy1: Houdini gives 24...Qc5 25.Re1 Rf2 26.Qf2 Qc4 as much better for Black
Jul-21-18  marcguy1: The losing move is 36.g5 Necessary was 36.Re1
Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: Perhaps not relevant here, but according to my faulty memory Spassky said of Korchnoi: "He taught me not to push my pawns." I try to keep that in mind when I go over their games. Also, it seems to me that Spassky preferred isolated queen pawn positions for their own sake. Shades of Tarrash.
Sep-12-19  Granny O Doul: Pretty sure it was Korchnoi who said something like "Spassky taught me not to expose my pawns too much" after their '68 match. The latter match was pretty bitter and I can't see either player characterizing it as part of his chess education.
Sep-13-19  ewan14: Did Korchnoi not say it after he lost to
Spassky in 1968 ?
Sep-13-19  ewan14: How does the French Defence survive the Kings Indian Attack ? Is the French '' busted '' ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <ewan14>
<How does the French Defence survive the Kings Indian Attack ? Is the French '' busted '' ?>

Was that intended as a joke? If you want a serious discussion, try the King's Indian Attack (A08) forum.

Dec-05-19  areknames: Quite simply, this is a wonderful game of chess.
Dec-05-19  lentil: I'm amused/astounded/astonished how W's QR made no effort to do anything but protect a pawn. B was essentially a R up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: I've seen it attributed to Blackburne.
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