Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Boris Spassky vs Viktor Korchnoi
Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates Final (1977/78), Belgrade YUG, rd 18, Jan-11
French Defense: Advance. Euwe Variation (C02)  ·  0-1



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 30 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 80 more Spassky/Korchnoi games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You can make these tips go away by registering a free account then visiting your preferences page. Simply check the option "Don't show random tips on game pages." and click the Update Profile button at the bottom.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-04-07  beginner64: Not sure if white resigned on time? (Though it is the 41st, not 39th move). Black is definitely threatening (Be4, Be3), but am not sure if is decidedly winning.

White also has an active attack after d5 (threatening e6+).

Aug-04-07  nescio: <beginner64> 41.Qc3 will have been the sealed move. Spassky and his second(s) must have come to the conclusion that it was hopeless after 41...Bd2 42.Qa3 Be4 and indeed it doesn't look like an enviable situation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: The 18th and final game of the match. According to a contemporary press report in the Times newspaper:

"Spassky resigned the adjourned game after the first move today. With an angry wave of his hand, he strode out of the hall as soon as the referee disclosed the move, which he had sealed in an envelope when the game was adjourned yesterday.

He did not shake hands with Korchnoi or say one word to him. The defeat was doubly bitter for Spassky for he had spurned the offer of a draw from Korchnoi on the thirty-third move."

Jul-07-10  Petrosianic: Spassky claimed that the position wasn't lost, but that he had resigned in protest over Korchnoi's behavior (which isn't worth recapping here). Keene claimed, on the tape he released about this match, that in fact Spassky was lost, but he declined to prejudice the listener by giving any variations. (No, I'm not kidding!).
May-29-11  Ulhumbrus: On 24 ...Na2 White does not to draw after repeating moves by 25 Rc2 Nb4 25 Rc1 Na2 and so relinquishes the c file

An alternative to 27 Kf2 is 27 g3 clearing the square g2 for the manoeuvre Nf3-h4-g2-f4-h5-f6

May-31-11  Ulhumbrus: On 24 ...Na2 White does not want to draw after repeating moves by 25 Rc2 Nb4 25 Rc1 Na2 and so relinquishes the c file

An alternative to 27 Kf2 is 27 g3 clearing the square g2 for the manoeuvre Nf3-h4-g2-f4-h5-f6

Oct-27-14  Ulhumbrus: As 29 hxg6 allows Black's QB to enter the game this suggests keeping White's h5 pawn by eg 29 Kg2 and now how is Black going to get his QB into the game?

It is possible that 28...g5 upset Spassky by appearing to taking over the attack on the king side but perhaps this was only so if Spassky allowed Black's QB to enter the game by 29 hxg6

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A possible continuation: 41.Qc3 Bd2 42.Qa3 Qh4+ 43.Rg3 Be1+ 44.Kxe1 Qxg3+ 45.Kd2 Kg7 ... and Black is certainly winning, though White should probably play on...
Feb-06-17  Howard: In CL&R, Stean stated that the final position should have been fed to Chess 4.7, which was a leading chess computer at the time, adding that he would like to have seen its "objective verdict" on Spassky's claim that he final position was not lost for him.

So...was the final position lost for Spassky ?

Feb-06-17  Retireborn: After 41.Qc3 (the sealed move) Bd2! White is certainly lost, or close to it; ...Be4 and then ...Qh4+ are coming, and the white king gets hammered.

If Spassky had sealed 41.Ke1 (only good move according to Houdini) then his king avoids the danger and Black's bishops are adequate compensation for the pawn. This may or may not be what Boris meant when he said it wasn't lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Howard: So...was the final position lost for Spassky ? >

After 41. Qc3 [the sealed move]..

click for larger view

..Bd2 42. Qa3 [attacks Rf8, guards Nf3, prevents ..Qe3+] 42. ..Be4 [pressures the pinned Nf3, and stronger than the immediate 42. ..Qh4+] we have the following KEY POSITION:

click for larger view

there are two main lines..

[a] 43. Rh1 Qf4 44. Qb3 Rg8 45. Rh3 Be3+ 46. Qxe3 Rg2+ 47. Kxg2 Qxe3

click for larger view

..and black has the Q for a R+B

OR, back to the KEY POSITION:

click for larger view

[b] 43. e6 Qh4+ 44. Rg3 Be1+ 45. Kxe1 Qxg3+

click for larger view

And black has won the exchange.

Both of these positions are strongly in black's favor. Stockfish 15 evals both as about equally losing for white.

60/93 13:29:50 40,866,480k 841k -7.38 43.e6 [etc]

So yes, the chess engines say with correct play on both sides white is clearly lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: but the lines are a little complicated. For example..

[a] 43. Rh1 [a cheapo.. if Qxh1?? Qxf8#] Qf4 44. Qb3 [if you are wondering why Qb3? consider what if the rook moves back to Rg1? there follows ..Bb4 Qb3 Qxd4+ Kf1 Qxe5 and black is picking white apart little by little] 44. ..Rg8 [threatening Qg3+ Kf1 Qg2#] 45. Rh3 Be3+ [and now if Kf1 Rg1# or 46. Ke1 Rg1+ 47. Nxg1 Qf2+ 48. Kd1 Qxg1+ 49. Bf1 Qxf1#] 46. Qxe3 Rg2+ 47. Kxg2 Qxe3

Sep-16-22  tjipa: To my eyes, just insane complications there. On my weak cm level I would be utterly hopeless there. Though, the white could have simplified quite comfortably, at couple of points, so it seems to me. But Spassky needed the win and was not of the drawish guys either.
May-26-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: My proposal is: 36. Ng5 Bf5 37. Bg4 Qc3+ 38. Ke2 Qxh3 39. Bxh3... which leads to a tied game... Maybe, Spassky despair lead him for two consecutive lost.
Jul-27-23  N.O.F. NAJDORF: 41...Bd2 42. Qb3 Qh4+ 43. Kg2 Be4 44. b6 Bxf3+ 45. Bxf3 Rg8+ 46. Qxg8+ Kxg8 47. Bd5+ Kg7 48. Kf3+ Kh6 49. Be4 Qd8 50. Rh1+ Kg5 wins

41...Bd2 42. Qc4 Qe3+ 43. Kg2 Be4 44. Rf1 Rg8+ 45. Kh3 Qh6+ 46. Nh4 Bg2+ 47. Kh2 Qxh4+ 48. Kg1 Be3+ 49. Rf2 Qxf2+ 50. Kh2 Bf4#

41...Bd2 42. Qa3 Be4 43. b6 Qh4+ 44. Rg3 Be1+ 45. Kxe1 Qxg3+ 46. Kd1 Rxf3 wins

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
French - Advance/Tarrasch/Exchange/etc
by gmann
Euwe Variation game 2
from French Defense: Advance Variation by ratso
Candidates finals Game #18
from Run for the Championship - Viktor Korchnoi by Fischer of Men
Game 18
from WCC Index [Korchnoi-Spassky 1977] by nescio
French Defense
by builttospill
French Korchnoi II
by AuDo
Match Spassky!
by amadeus
Match Korchnoi! (i) The Early Years (1956-1984)
by amadeus
French Defense
by JoseTigranTalFischer
French Defense: Advance. Euwe Variation
from FRENCH DEFENCE (Advance, Exchange, Schlechter,.. by JoseTigranTalFischer
French advance
by Xmas elf
Chess Informant Best Games 2
by koinonia
Korchnoi vs Spassky - Candidates Final 1977
by Open Defence
from French - Advance by zr1100
Korchnoi vs World Champions Decisive Games Spassky
from Korchnoi vs World Champions Decisive Games by visayanbraindoctor
Korchnoi's 400 best games by Wade & Blackstock
by Gottschalk
Game 238
from # Chess Informant Best Games 201-300 by Qindarka
French Advance Variation (Black)
by bmcniece
French Advance 6.Be2 Euwe (C02) 0-1 Spassky spurned draw offer
from FR ADV Fredthebear by fredthebear

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC