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Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov
Unzicker's 80th Birthday (2005), Mainz GER, rd 1, Aug-09
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Nimzowitsch Attack (E15)  ·  0-1



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Given 7 times; par: 104 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-05  ajile: Wow! Karpov weaves a masterpiece. Look how he builds up his advantage step by step on the Q-Side. Then converts the advantage to a win.
Aug-11-05  azaris: Korchnoi fell to pieces (Karpov's pieces to be precise) in the end, but his earlier plan with 16. b5 was quite dubious. For a while Karpov just sits there, slowly crawling to invade more space and then launches a maelstrom of tactics in mutual zeitnot.
Aug-11-05  dac1990: Karpov and Korchnoi, still going at it after thirty years. Are they friends now, or still bitter rivals?
Aug-11-05  csmath: They are hardly any friends, and they have never been. You could say they have a mutual hatred. ;-)) This must have been a great satisfaction for AK short only of the one beating GK. ;-))
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: You wouldn't believe this... Went to a friend's 80th birthday party and these 2 old guys started throwing chess pieces at each other and shouting in a language that I can't understand!!
Aug-12-05  Mitch Mitchell: Why did Vic give away the a pawn?

a positional sacrifice?

a deep tactical combination?

His glasses needed cleaning?

Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: 14 Nd2 is worth comparing with 14 Nc3. One point of interest is that we are about to see how Karpov will play against the Maroczy bind in this particular position
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: 15 b4 begins an attack before developing the QR first.
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: 16 b5 looks dubious if not actually mistaken. 16 Qb3 frees the a2 pawn for a4.
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: After 17 Qxb5 Black has one weakness on the queen side while white has two. Possibly Korchnoi has calculated some variation or variations beginning with b5 and overlooked something.
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: After 24...Rca8 Black defends his b6 pawn without much trouble, while Korchnoi's a4 pawn seems untenable
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: After 26...a4 Karpov has a strong extra passed a pawn while Korchnoi's c4 pawn remains isolated and blockaded
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: It seems that Korchnoi failed to foresee at least one consequence of b5. One question is what he did not foresee in time.
Aug-12-05  csmath: This is hardly a masterpiece but it is a typical Karpov. Korchnoi selfdestructed, first picking up a toothless opening and then playing it overly ambitious. Karpov simply penalized that. What is interesting is how Korchnoi played to the bitter end even though he was lost completely. Hard to admit supremacy to Karpov after all these years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's a look with <>'s Opening Explorer and Fritz 8:

<1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qa4> The more popular reply here is 5. b3 as in Karpov vs Istratescu, 2005, Anand vs Adams, 2005 or Van Wely vs Beliavsky, 2005. <5...Bb7 6. Bg2 c5 7. O-O> A safer alternative for White might have been 7. dxc5 as in Leko vs Kramnik, 2005. <7...cxd4 8. Nxd4> According to the Opening Explorer, after this move Black won 26.4% to only 13.2% for White in its database of 53 games, suggesting 7.0-0 didn't do much for White. <8...Qc8> More popular and also good for Black is 8...Bxg2 as in Korchnoi vs Z Almasi, 2005. <9. Rd1> Korchnoi was now following the only other game in the data base with this move, hoping perhaps to duplicate White's win in Ilincic vs A Kovacevic, 2001. <9...Bxg2 10. Kxg2 a6 11. f3 Be7 12. e4> Perhaps safer and more prudent here was 12. Nc3, transposing to the Ilincic vs. Kovacevic game. However, against Karpov, Korchnoi was apparently in a more aggressive mood. <12...O-O 13. Be3 d6 14. Nd2> OK for Black, but perhaps also relatively better than the game for White, would have been 14. Nc3 Qb7 15. Rac1 Rc8 16. Qb3 Nbd7 17. Nde2 Rab8 <14... Qb7 15. b4> This seems a bit weakening for an already exposed White position. Perhaps safer for White was 15. Qb3 Nfd7 16. a4 Nc5 17. Qc2 Rc8 18. b4 Ncd7 19. Qd3 Ne5 20. Qe2 Bf6 21. f4 Nec6 22. N2f3 Nxb4 23. Rab1 Bxd4 24. Rxd4 a5 25. Rxd6 Qxe4 26. Rb2 =. <15... Rc8 16. b5> Although this move was consistent with Korchnoi's aggressive intentions, more prudent might have been 16. Qb3 Nc6 17. Rac1 Ne5 18. a3 b5 19. Kg1 Rc7 20. cxb5 Rxc1 21. Rxc1 axb5 22. Qc3 =. <16... axb5 17. Qxb5 Nbd7> Now Karpov has his pieces well posted and begins to target Korchnoi's isolated pawn(s).

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <18. a4 Qc7 19. Qb2 Nc5 20. Nb5 Qc6 21. Qc2 Nfd7 22. Bd4 Bf8 23. Nf1 Ra6 24. Bc3 Rca8 25. a5> The pawn was going to fall anyway, but Korchnoi might have had more counterplay and better drawing chances after 25. Ne3!? Nxa4 26. Bb4 Nac5 27. Rxa6 Rxa6 28. Ng4 Ra4 29. Ba3 Ra8 30. Bb2 f6 31. Nd4 . <25... bxa5 26. Ne3 a4 27. Ra3 Rc8 28. Nd4 Qa8 29. Bb4 Qb7 30. Nb5 h6 31. Rb1 Qc6 32. Nd4 Qa8 33. Nb5 Ne5 34. Rd1> White has a clear and near winning advantage. Not much of an improvement for Black is 34. Bxc5 Rxc5 35. Rb4 d5 36. Rbxa4 Rxa4 37. Rxa4 Qb7 38. exd5 exd5 39. Nd4 (39. Nxd5?? Qxd5! ) 39... dxc4 40. Qe4 Qb2+ 41. Ndc2 Qc3 42. Qd4 Qd3 43. Ra8 Rb5 44. Kf2 Rb1 45. Kg2 Rg1+ 46. Kf2 Rh1 47. Rxf8+ Kxf8 48. Qc5+ Kg8 49. Kg2 Rc1 50. Qxe5 Rxc2+ 51. Nxc2 Qxc2+ 52. Kf1 c3 53. Qb8+ Kh7 54. Qf4 Qd3+ 55. Ke1 f5 56. h4 h5 57. Qg5 Qxf3 . <34... Qc6> Stronger perhaps is the Fritz 8 recommendation 34... Qb7! 35. Ra2 Ncd3 36. Rxd3 Nxc4 37. Nxc4 Qxb5 38. Qd2 Rxc4 39. Bxd6 Bxd6 40. Rxd6 Rxd6 41. Qxd6 Rb4 . <35. Nd4 Qa8 36. Rda1 > Putting up more resistance, but apparently still losing is 36. Bxc5 Rxc5 37. Rda1 Rca5 38. Nb5 d5 39. Nc7 Qa7 40. Nxa6 Bxa6 41. Rxa3 d4 42. Nb4 Qc5 . Even worse for White is 36. Nb5 Qb7 37. Ra2 Ncd3 38. Rxd3 Nxc4 39. Nxc4 Qxb5 40. Qd2 Rxc4 41. Ba3 Rac6 42. h3 Qb3 43. Rxb3 axb3 44. Rb2 Rc2 45. Rxc2 Rxc2 46. Qxc2 bxc2 47. Bc1 d5 48. exd5 exd5 49. Kf1 Bd6 50. g4 f5 51. gxf5 Kf8 52. Ke2 Ke7 53. Kd3 Kf6 54. Kxc2 Kxf5 55. Be3 Bf4 56. Bc5 Kg5 57. Be7+ Kh5 58. Kd3 Be5 59. Ke3 Bf6 60. Bd6 Kh4 61. f4 Kxh3 . <36... Ned7 37. Rd1 h5 38. Ra2 Nb3 39. Nb5 Ndc5 40. h4 Qc6 41. Kh2 Qb7 42. Qe2 Rb6 43. Ng2 g6> Fritz 8 suggests a stronger continuation is 43... d5! 44. Bxc5 Nxc5 45. exd5 exd5 46. Na3 Nb3 47. Nf4 dxc4 . <44. Ba3 Na5 45. Nc3> Perhaps Korchnoi would have had some practical drawing chances after 45. Ne3 Nxc4 46. Nxc4 Rxb5 47. Nxd6 Bxd6 48. Rxd6 Rb1 49. Kg2 Nd7 50. Rb2 Rxb2 51. Bxb2 Rc7 52. e5 Rc5 53. Bd4 Rd5 54. Qc4 a3 55. Qa4 Rxd6 56. exd6 Qd5 57. Qxd7 Qxd4 58. Qe8+ Kg7 59. d7 Qd2+ 60. Kh3 a2 61. Qa8 Qxd7 62. Qxa2 e5+ 63. Kg2 . <45... Rb3 46. Rc1 Nc6 47. Bxc5 dxc5 48. Rxa4 Nd4 49. Qf1 Bh6 50. f4 Rb2> Fritz 8 suggests the stronger continuation 50... Rd8! 51. Raa1 Bg7 52. Rab1 Qc6 53. e5 Rxb1 54. Nxb1 f6 55. exf6 Nf3+ 56. Kh1 Bxf6 57. Qe2 Nd4 58. Qf1 Nf5 59. Kh2 Nh6 60. Ne3 Bd4 61. Qg2 Qd7 62. Nd1 e5 63. Kh1 Qg4 . <51. Nb5?> This drops a decisive pawn. It appears Korchnoi might have had drawing chnaces after} 51. Rca1 Bg7 52. e5 Rd8 (52... Rb3 53. Nb5 Nxb5 54. cxb5 Qxb5 55. Qxb5 Rxb5 ) 53. Kh3 Nb3 54. R1a2 Nd2 55. Qd1 Rd4 56. Ra7 Qb4 57. Rxb2 Qxb2 58. Qa4 Qc1 59. Nd1 Rd8 60. Nge3 Nxc4 61. Qxc4 Rxd1 62. Qxc1 Rxc1 63. Kg2 c4 64. Rc7 c3 65. Kf3 Bf8 66. g4 hxg4+ 67. Nxg4 Kg7 68. Nf6 c2 69. Ke2 Be7 70. Ne8+ Kf8 71. Rc8 Bd8 72. Nf6 =. <51... Qxe4!> Now White is busted. <52. Nd6 Qc6!> This simple defensive tactic counters the Knight Fork and gives Black a clear win. <53. Nxc8 Qxa4 54. Ra1 Qd7 55. Na7 Bg7 56. Ra5 Nf5 57. Ra3 Qd2 58. Qf3 Nd4 59. Qf1 Kh7 60. Nb5 Qc2 61. Nxd4 Bxd4 62. Rf3 Rb1 63. Qd3 Qc1 0-1>
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Karpov's 51...Qxe4! wins a pawn with decisive advantage as the resource 52...Qc6! defends against White's Knight Fork with a simple defensive counter attack (i.e. If you take mine, then I'll take yours).
Aug-13-05  ajile: I thought the way Karpov tacked and maneuvered on the Q-Side was beautiful and fluid. The gradual gaining of a small advantage in space and mobilty translated logically into a superior won endgame. People can say they don't like him but it doesn't change the fact that he's a brilliant positional chessplayer that really shows the art of the game.
Sep-06-05  Caissanist: Karpov was asked before this tournament how he gets along with Korchnoi now. He responded that "It depends on whether he has slept well. If he had bad dreams, he speaks a lot of rubbish."
May-05-06  DP12: Karpov has really beaten up on the old gipper in the 90's and now 2000's

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