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Oscar Humberto Castro Rojas vs Tigran V Petrosian
Biel Interzonal (1976), Biel SUI, rd 9, Jul-22
French Defense: Horwitz Attack. Papa-Ticulat Gambit (C00)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-07-04  GoodKnight: Quite unusual. There are 41 games in this database in which it was played.
Jul-20-05  Caissanist: This upset led to a major sensation after the game, when Castro received a telegram with one hundred dollars and a note of congratulations. The sender was Viktor Korchnoi; everyone at the tournament was amazed that one Soviet grandmaster would publicly insult another in this way.

Three days later, the news broke that Korchnoi had defected.

Jul-21-05  Dirk Diggler: Could this be a myth? Korchnoi was to tight-fisted to give away a C-note.
Jul-21-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Korchnoi detested Petrosian so I wouldn't be suprised to find it true.
Jul-21-05  Caissanist: I'm quite sure that the incident happened, although I can't be positive about all the details (e.g. whether it was an actual telegram or just a message passed through Korchnoi's friend Gennady Sosonko). It was reported on at the time in Chess Life & Review and many other publications.
Nov-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Castro did very well because there were a couple of times when he could have taken the draw by repetition but he decided to press on. It's impressive to do that against the mighty Petrosian.
Jul-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: as written by GM Genna Sosonko in NIC Magazine 2012 01..

<When he was playing the Colombian Oscar Castro, one of the outsiders in the tournament. Having underestimated his opponent's tactical opportunities, Petrosian came under attack and got very agitated. Of course, before the game he was counting on the point, but when he fell into an unpleasant position without a second's hesitation he offered a draw three times in a row. This loss for Petrosian delighted Kortchnoi, who was playing in Amsterdam under the Soviet flag for the last time. Calling Biel, he asked me to give the Colombian master a gift of 100 dollars.>

Nov-20-12  Eduardo Bermudez: Imagine today in 2012 an international master of 2500 who defeats Kramnik, Topalov and Ivanchuk, in the same year is just what Castro did in 1976, when he won to Petrosian, Geller and Larsen !!!
Mar-05-14  Eduardo Bermudez: <When he was playing the Colombian Oscar Castro, one of the outsiders in the tournament. Having underestimated his opponent's tactical opportunities, Petrosian came under attack and got very agitated. Of course, before the game he was counting on the point, but when he fell into an unpleasant position without a second's hesitation he offered a draw three times in a row. This loss for Petrosian delighted Kortchnoi, who was playing in Amsterdam under the Soviet flag for the last time. Calling Biel, he asked me to give the Colombian master a gift of 100 dollars.>
Mar-05-14  crchandler: The story of the $100 from Korchnoi has credibility. It's well established that he later made the same gesture to anyone who beat Karpov.
Mar-05-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Money Korchnoi seldom had to pay in those days.
Jan-25-15  Howard: The $100 story was briefly mentioned in Chess Life and Review, at the time.
Mar-05-15  Howard: Petrosian apparently had a bit of confusion in this game with the three-time repetition rule, but I don't recall the details (CL & R briefly described it though.) For more on this see Fischer-Petrosian, Game 3, 1971's comments.
Apr-12-15  Eduardo Bermudez: 1953-2015
Apr-14-15  Eduardo Bermudez: The recently deceased Oscar Castro won the same year, 1976, Petrosian, Geller and Larsen, three top ten: 3,6 and 9 of the world at that time. The equivalent today to beat Kramnik, Grishuk and Topalov for a player 300 ELO points below them !!
Apr-15-15  Howard: Chess Life & Review said that Petrosian's 32...Rd8 was the beginning of Petrosian's problems here.

By the way, are you sure that Petrosian was ranked #3 at the time ?!

Apr-25-16  happyjuggler0: <are you sure that Petrosian was ranked #3 at the time ?!>

http://fidelists.blogspot.com/2008/...

Jan-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Sosonko repeated the $100 'reward' story in his superb Korchnoi memoir in New in Chess (2016 #5)

It seems all the more plausible in retrospect.

Although paying someone to beat your enemy is like a chess version of taking out a contract on them.

Jan-13-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Incidentally, 2.b3 against the French (The Papa-Ticulat or Reti Gambit) is a well-known line. There may not be many examples in the CG database, but it's a respectable and playable line.
Apr-08-17  Eduardo Bermudez: Oscar Castro was a Colombian chess player who enjoyed the recognition and admiration of his colleagues in particular and of fans in general, all thanks to his recognized sports qualities and a seductive personality cultivated in different fields of letters and the arts.
Oct-25-17  Toribio3: Oscar Castro played like Capablanca!
Jul-03-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zenchess: Petrosian could have claimed the draw by repetition here -- the position was the same on moves 36, 38, and 40.
Jul-04-20  Howard: CL&R said something about the threefold rule, regarding this particular game, but I don’t recall exactly what what.
Jul-17-20  Howard: The just-deceased Benko stated that after 31....Qxb3, everything seems “to be in order for Black”.

Stockfish disagrees—-see above-posted analysis.

Jan-19-21  Gaito: According to the engines (SF12, LcZero), Petrosian played the opening very well up to move 27 or 28. After 27.Ng5 (27.Qb2!? was worthy of consideration) 27...h6, the computer evaluation is -3.80. It is apparent that at about this moment Petrosian felt that he was winning easily and so relaxed his concentration (a typical psychological mistake). They say that the most difficult game to win is a won game, because attention and concentration tend to be relaxed when the player believes he has an easy win. After 28.Nf3, the following position was reached:


click for larger view

This was a critical position, and the moment when Petrosian began to lose the thread of the game, as it were. Black played 28...Qa3?! (the engines prefer either 28....h5! or 28...f5!) 29.Qd1!? Qxa2 30.Nfe5 Nc3?? (Here Petrosian began to lose the thread of the game. After 30...Rc7! the computer evaluation would already be -5.13). There followed 31.Qf3! Qxb3 32.Nd7 Rd8?? (awful!) (32...Nd5 was essential) 33.Ndf6+ (+-) (Computer evaluation has turned from -3.80 to +4.31 in only 5 moves!) 33...Kh8, reaching the following diagram:


click for larger view

White played 34.Ne5 (The engine prefers 34.Qc6! with evaluation of +4.35) 34...a5? (Rf8) 35.Qb7!! (evaluation:+6.50). It is likely that White was short of time, so he repeated moves, but there was no threefold repetition: 35...Rf8 36.Ned7 Rd8 37.Ne5?! (37.Qb6!) Rf8 38.Ned7 Rd8. They say that Petrosian offered a draw three times in a row here. (Similarly, Vassily Borgov, in film "Queen's Gambit" offered Beth harmon a draw in a lost position). Sure enough, Petrosian knew that his position was hopeless, so he can't be blamed for attempting to get a draw by agreement. Castro refused the draw offers and played 39.Qc7! (The engines think that 39.Qb6! was even stronger, with an evaluation of +9.42) 39...Ra8 40.Qb7 (Qc6!) Rd8 41.Re7!? (41.Qb6!) Bxf6 42.Nxf6 Kg7 43.Qc7! Ra8? and the following position was reached:


click for larger view

Having a former world champion against the ropes is sufficient to make anybody nervous, so we can surmise that Oscar Castro was a bit nervous here, id not pressed by the clock. The engine says that White has a forced mate in 8 moves here starting with 44.Ne8+. Naturally enough, Castro did not vave the chance to use SF12, so he cannot be blamed for playing second best moves provided he did not let his prey escape. There followed 44.Qe5?! Kf8 45.Qd6?! (45.Nd7+) Qb4 46.Re8++ Kg7 47.Rxa8? (47.Nh5+!! was crushing, according to the engine, for example: 47...gxh5 48.Qe5+ Kg6 49.Rxa8, mate in 6) 47...Qxd6 48.Ne8+ Kh7 49.Nxd6 a4 50.Ne4 (The engines suggest 50.Nxb5!! Nxb5 51.Rxa4 Kg7 52.Kg2, whereupon the black pawn at d4 will quickly be captured,and the rest would be elementary) 50...b4 51.Nc5 a3 52.Nb3, and Petrosian resigned.

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