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Viktor Korchnoi vs Boris Spassky
Moscow (1971), Moscow URS, rd 12, Dec-09
English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined (A14)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-27-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: One of Spassky's giant contributions to chess theory was in recognizing unconvertible pawn advantages, e.g. Marshall Ruys, or here.
Mar-31-21  Gaito: The case of the wrong rook. "You always move the wrong rook!".


click for larger view

BLACK TO MOVE

Black has to decide which one of his two rooks he must move to c8. I remember that long ago a chess master gave useful advice regarding the problem of the wrong rook:

"Think carefully which one of your rooks you must place on the selected square, and then when you already made up your mind, do move the other rook!".

Spassky played 14...Rac8? but as usual, it proved to be a case of the wrong rook. 14.Rfc8 would have spared him of some trouble later on.

Mar-31-21  Gaito:


click for larger view

BLACK TO MOVE

Spassky played 17...Rxc4!? because he probably did not like the position that would have arisen after 17...Qd8 18.Nbd6 Rb8 19.Nxb7 Rxb7 20.d5 exd5 21.Rxd5 (see diagram below):


click for larger view

BLACK TO MOVE

Mar-31-21  Gaito: Notice that the whole tactical line would not have been feasible, had Spassky played the other rook to c8 on move 14. It is easy to say that in hindsight.
Mar-31-21  Gaito: 21.Bf4 instead of 21.Qa7 was also worthy of consideration. Either of those moves sufficed to win in short order.
Mar-31-21  Gaito: Aside from the 1968 Candidates match between Korchnoi and Spassky, usually Korchnoi proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he was stronger than Spassky. Their Candidates match of 1977 was easily won by Korchnoi, except that at some point Spassky began to analyze his moves away from the board and using the demonstration board. That attitude upset Korchnoi vey much and he lost three or four games in a row, I don't quiet recollect. But even in spite of those loses, Korchnoi won the match convincingly. And Korchnoi also beat Petrosian at least twice in Candidate matches (or maybe three times?). My point is that Korchnoi proved to be stronger than Spassky, Tal and Petrosian, but Korchnoi never became a world champion as the other three mentioned grandmasters did. Karpov was to blame for that.
Mar-31-21  thelegendisback: Korchnoi played against Petrossian 4 times in the candidates matches. He lost the first match and then he won the next 3.

Petrosian - Korchnoi Candidates Semifinal (1971)

Korchnoi - Petrosian Candidates Semifinal (1974)

Korchnoi - Petrosian Candidates Quarterfinal (1977)

Korchnoi - Petrosian Candidates Quarterfinal (1980)

Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: <My point is that Korchnoi proved to be stronger than Spassky, Tal and Petrosian, but Korchnoi never became a world champion as the other three mentioned grandmasters did.>

He proved to be stronger than those three in the 1970's, but not in the 1960's. You're not taking Time into account. Unlike those three, there was never a time when Korchnoi was better than everyone else.

<Karpov was to blame for that.>

In the 1970's he was. But Spassky, despite your attempt to write him off, is the reason Korchnoi didn't get a crack at the title in 1969. The fact that Korchnoi was stronger in 1977 doesn't change the fact that Spassky was stronger in 1968. Petrosian and 3 others are the reason Korchnoi didn't get a crack in 1963. Tal and many others are the reason Korchnoi didn't get a shot in 1960. Korchnoi was better than some players at some times, but there was never a time when he was better than everyone at once.

Apr-01-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Korchnoi was, at best, second in the world for several years.
Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: Oh yes, there were certainly times when he was second best.
Apr-01-21  thelegendisback: <In the 1970's he was. But Spassky, despite your attempt to write him off, is the reason Korchnoi didn't get a crack at the title in 1969. The fact that Korchnoi was stronger in 1977 doesn't change the fact that Spassky was stronger in 1968. Petrosian and 3 others are the reason Korchnoi didn't get a crack in 1963. Tal and many others are the reason Korchnoi didn't get a shot in 1960. Korchnoi was better than some players at some times, but there was never a time when he was better than everyone at once.>

It's not at all true Korchnoi was never better than everyone at once. Korchnoi was in fact number 1 on the chessmetrics rating list on 4 lists in 1965, (September 1965, October 1965, November 1965 and December 1965) ahead of all the greats like Tal, Spasski, Fischer and Petrosian etc.

Tal had nothing to do with Korchnoi not qualifying for the 1960 World Championship, the reason was simply Korchnoi was out of form in 1958 Soviet championship and only finished down in 9th when only the top 4 qualified for the Interzonal. He however still managed to toast Tal in their individual game like he always did. Tal vs Korchnoi, 1958

As for 1963 considering what happened at Curacao 1962.. well let's don't even talk about that.

Apr-01-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: How about taking the discussions of Korchnoi's career to his own page Viktor Korchnoi ?
Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: It wouldn't fit there. The whole point of the discussion is to try to dismiss the result of the 1968 Candidates Final. Gaito's original point was that Korchnoi was better than Spassky in 1968 because he was better in 1977.
Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: <Tal had nothing to do with Korchnoi not qualifying for the 1960 World Championship, the reason was simply Korchnoi was out of form in 1958 Soviet championship and only finished down in 9th when only the top 4 qualified for the Interzonal.>

Exactly. And those 8 other players, Tal included, performed better in the Zonal. Tal finished +7, Korchnoi +1.

<As for 1963 considering what happened at Curacao 1962.. well let's don't even talk about that.>

If you think Korchnoi's 50% score (not even +1 this time!) merited a title shot, I think we'd better talk about it. At the very least I think you'd admit that Fischer outscored Korchnoi.

Actually, Spassky still had a winning record against Korchnoi going into their 1977 match. Which one should we throw out?

Apr-01-21  thelegendisback: <Petrosianic: It wouldn't fit there. The whole point of the discussion is to try to dismiss the result of the 1968 Candidates Final. Gaito's original point was that Korchnoi was better than Spassky in 1968 because he was better in 1977.>

Stop making up stuff, Gaito said <Aside from the 1968 Candidates match between Korchnoi and Spassky> which means that he acknowledges that Spassky was better in 1968.

Apr-01-21  nok: <The fact that Korchnoi was stronger in 1977 doesn't change the fact that Spassky was stronger in 1968.>

Elo's 68 list has them equal 3rd.

http://www.olimpbase.org/Elo/Elo196...

Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: <Stop making up stuff, Gaito said <Aside from the 1968 Candidates match between Korchnoi and Spassky> which means that he acknowledges that Spassky was better in 1968.>

Read the whole sentence next time. After the part you quoted, he went on to say that, apart from that one match: <...Korchnoi proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he was stronger than Spassky.>

In fact, Spassky still had a winning record against Korchnoi going into that 1977 match. So, (going by that reasoning) Spassky actually proved he was better for the 1948-1976 period, and Korchnoi proved he was better for 1977-2009. So, that one match isn't the only time Korchnoi didn't prove it.

Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: <nok>: <Elo's 68 list has them equal 3rd.>

They played this very match in 1968 and Spassky won decisively. If the ratings matter more than the actual results, what's the point of even having a Candidates (or a World Championship, for that matter)? Why not just say that at any given moment in time, the #1 rated player is automatically World Champion?

Under Chessmetrics ratings, Korchnoi was actually still a couple of points higher than Spassky even <after> this match. So, does that mean that the guy who lost 6½-3½ should advance to the Finals? Or are the results more important than the predictions?

Apr-01-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: By 1958, Korchnoi was a formidable force, but only in 1960, his initial annus mirabilis, would he prove himself a contender, with his first Soviet title and other fine results.
Apr-01-21  nok: <If the ratings matter more than the actual results, what's the point of even having a Candidates (or a World Championship, for that matter)? Why not just say that at any given moment in time, the #1 rated player is automatically World Champion?>

#1: most consistent player
WC: a high stakes event

In the Soviet champs, also high stakes, VK's record is ofc among the all-time best.

Apr-01-21  Petrosianic: Yes, one of the best, certainly. Although he had bad years as well as good. The only two players played in numerous Soviet Championships and never had a losing score were Botvinnik and Polugaevsky. It was a tough tournament. Nobody crushed it all the time.
Jul-28-21  Gaito: < Petrosianic: "Korchnoi was better than some players at some times, but there was never a time when he was better than everyone at once."> You made a very good point indeed. So it was a case of bad luck: Korchnoi proved to be stronger than many world champions and elite players at different times, but he never was stronger than all of his colleagues at the same time. I agree.
Jul-28-21  Gaito: Becoming a world champion often requires luck. Just imagine that Bobby Fischer had decided to take part in the Amsterdam Interzonal, 1964. It is almost certain that Fischer would have won first prize, and so he would have taken part in the 1965 Candidates matches, and would surely have won the right to play Petrosian in 1966. That means that Spassky would probably never have been world champion. Something similar would have happened in the hypothetical case that Fischer would not have abandoned the 1967 Interzonal in Sousse, a tournament he was easily leading. Again, Spassky was the beneficiary of Fischer's whim, for I am certain that Bobby Fischer would have beaten Petrosian in 1969.
Jul-28-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Gaito>, by no means would it have been guaranteed that Fischer would have won at Amsterdam; certainly a win there would hardly have him cold for the seat opposite Petrosian in 1966. As of 1964, he had yet to prove his mettle at the very highest level; the results of Fischer's two Candidates Tournaments are, as nothing else, incontrovertible proof of this. There is also no clear-cut case that if Fischer qualifies from Sousse, he faces Iron Tigran in '69.
Jul-31-21  Omnipotent00001: the year of my birth!
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