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Yasser Seirawan vs Viktor Korchnoi
Hoogovens (1980), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 2, Jan-16
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Flohr-Mikenas-Carls Variation (A18)  ·  1-0



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Given 6 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-24-09  zooter: What's the deal with 24...Bxc4?

According to Crafty, after 24...bxc4 Black has a -1.90 advantage

I was reading about this game in Seirawan's "Winning Chess Strategies" and I thought 24...bxc4 was a better move

Can somebody explain?

Jul-09-11  Everett: <zooter> I guess you mean 24..dxc4.

I don't know why Seirawan did not include analysis of that line in the book. Space and complexity of tactics may not have been a fit with the editor.

After <24..dxc4 25.Bc2> Seirawan would have nice attacking prospects, with Bxf6, Bg6 and Re1 all in the air. If Black cannot find a reasonable defense to <26.Bxf6 gxf6 27.Bg6 Nxg6 28.hxg6> then he is lost.

Black's K safety is the key to the position. Korchnoi's 24..Bxc4 is trying to exchange one of his offside pieces for Seirawan's active bishop on b3.

BTW Seirawan recommends <32.Qc2 Be5 33.Qc4+> as better continuation.

Jul-09-11  Everett: BTW I am not claiming that Seirawan has a win after <24..dxc4 25.Bc2> In fact, I imagine playing the position arising after the logical <25..Bc5> against a computer or friend would be very interesting practice. I can't make heads or tails of the positions, and both kings are not so safe at all.

Should white exchange rooks or play Re1? When does he have time for the h-file rook lift? When does Bxf6 work?

For Black, if he gets in Qxa2, he not only put pressure on f2 but after c3 he can cover the light squares on his porous K-side. Running interference with ..Rd3 also looks interesting.

An interesting position, beyond my calculating abilities.

Sep-23-11  Cemoblanca: "An Unexpected Offer" by Yasser Seirawan

Victor took me aside to speak with me in private. He explained he would soon be playing his Candidates' Match against an arch-rival, Tigran Petrosian. "Would I like to be his second?" I was dumbfounded and didn't know how to answer. I'm quitesure nothing came out of my mouth as I stood there in shock. I can honestly say that my tumultuous thoughts centered around one concept only: how much would it cost me and could I afford it?

Victor completely misunderstood my silence. "Oh!" Victor said, "Sorry. The conditions are: I pay your travel, hotel and meal expenses. While you are working with me, I pay you 500 Swiss francs a week..."

Now I was convinced I was dreaming. Did I understand that right? Victor was offering to pay me? To train him? What on earth could I teach Victor Korchnoi? I gratefully accepted and stuck out my hand in agreement. Shake.


Sep-23-11  sevenseaman: A complex game that seemed to propel on home preparation. I got quite a few urges but kept learning.

<cemoblanca> You confuse me. Was it Victor or Yasser?

Sep-24-11  Shams: <sevenseaman> Korchnoi offered the position to Yasser. Playing through the game it's not hard to see why, the youngster fed him his tuches on a plate here. What luck for Seirawan that this line arose that day.
Sep-24-11  Cemoblanca: <sevenseaman>
The offer came from Victor and the whole text from Jasser... äh sorry... Yasser! ;0)

Literature source: Chess Duels: My Games with the World Champions by Yasser Seirawan >>>

P.S. Written in an appealing and casual manner, this book is definitely recommended! Thank you for your efforts on this book Mr. Seirawan! :0)

Oct-26-11  wordfunph: <Cemoblanca: P.S. Written in an appealing and casual manner, this book is definitely recommended! Thank you for your efforts on this book Mr. Seirawan! :0)>

indeed a very good book, i seldom rate a perfect book but this one is an exception, 10/10 for Yasser's book Chess Duel - My Games with the World Champions. I am now on page 31 and 399 more juicy pages to read :)

Oct-26-11  TheFocus: <Chess Duels> should be in everybody's library! An excellent book with superb annotations and great anecdotes.

10 stars out of 10, to be sure.

Feb-19-13  hyperactivemodernist: Fascinating game. Viktor keeps probing the position searching for counterplay, but each time he makes an attempt, Yasser finds a way to thwart him. That must have been frustrating!
Jul-22-14  Xeroxx: charming game
Jul-22-14  whiteshark: An extremely charming presentation by Yaz.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: first game between Yaz and korchnoi. Seirwan says that this opening was part of his blitz prep for when he hustled players in Times Square and in coffee houses.

"korchnoi walked right into it."

Jun-23-16  Jim Bartle: From Sports Illustrated:

<"Luck, luck, luck," Seirawan now says of that match. "You can be lucky. I'm unknown to the guy. So he decides to play a second-rate defense to improve his offensive chances. Heh! This defense is the one and only thing I know like the back of my hand. He falls right into it. Like into all my preparation, all my traps! I knew it from a lot of blitz games. I spring an opening novelty; I sacrifice two pawns; I whip out a kingside attack and make a space." Voilà!

Korchnoi resigned on the 39th move. A bit stunned, he offered his hand. "Congratulations," he said. "Good game." No doubt the last thing Korchnoi wanted to do was sit and gab with this child from Seattle. Seirawan suspected that Korchnoi really wanted to go back to his room and chew up his sofa. But Seirawan offered him some popcorn anyway. "Gee, Viktor, you want to go over the game?" How could Korchnoi refuse? They repaired to an analysis room and went over it, move by move.

Korchnoi grew curious. "What would you have done if I'd taken your knight here?" he asked.

"You know, Viktor, I expected that," said Seirawan. They played variations, and each time Seirawan exposed the weakness in Korchnoi's idea. Seirawan was lucky. However Korchnoi figured it, Seirawan knew the moves. The grandmaster had fallen into Seirawan's pet line.>

Jul-11-16  ozmikey: <Korchnoi grew curious. "What would you have done if I'd taken your knight here?" he asked.

"You know, Viktor, I expected that," said Seirawan.> what point in the game was taking White's knight an option?!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <ozmikey: <Korchnoi grew curious. "What would you have done if I'd taken your knight here?" he asked. "You know, Viktor, I expected that," said Seirawan.> what point in the game was taking White's knight an option?!?>

39...Bxe7 :)

Jan-02-17  naysayer: Here's a video lecture from Seirawan himself about this game:
Oct-21-19  Everett: <According to Crafty, after 24...bxc4 Black has a -1.90 advantage>

I think this is the eval from the black side, meaning he’s down almost two pawns, likely lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Everett: <According to Crafty, after 24...bxc4 Black has a -1.90 advantage> I think this is the eval from the black side, meaning he’s down almost two pawns, likely lost.>

After 24....dxc4, which is what I assume zooter had in mind, 25.Bxf6 is winning, but SF's favorite is 25.Bc2, and if 25....c3 26.Bb3! Ke8 27.Bxc3!. If 27.....Qxc3 28.Be6 is winning. Or 25....Bb4 26.Qh8+ Ng8 (26....Kf7? 27.Bg6+! Nxg6 28.hxg6+ Kxg6 29.Rxh6+!) 27.Nd4 Bc8 28.Rh4 Bd7 29.Bh7 Qd5 30.Re4 threatening Ne6+ -- there doesn't seem to be a defense (SF).

I couldn't figure it out with an engine, though. Black has lots of possibilities, but nothing seems to work.

Oct-22-19  WorstPlayerEver: SF simply gives: 30. Nxe5+ fxe5 31. b4 Qb5 32. Rde4 and Black has no defense.

click for larger view

Oct-22-19  WorstPlayerEver: PS hard for humans to spot, because 32... Rh8 has to be calculated in advance, obviously. 32. Rde4 blocks the b1-h7 diagonal btw, which is quite awesome, I think, because at first sight it seems to trap their own Queen! However, oh chess is full of irony, the opposite is true.
Apr-02-23  whiteshark:

click for larger view

Amazing how Korchnoi arrived at <12... Bc5> almost purely by process of elimination. "I calculated all the other moves in the position, they all lose, Bc5 it is."

Best move? TRUE

Apr-02-23  whiteshark: <naysayer> I was just wondering if we will ever see a 2nd post from you?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: 'Nay!', he has apparently said.
Apr-02-23  whiteshark: <perf> So he'll be considered a one post wonder?
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