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Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov
"This Old Man Plays d4" (game of the day Sep-24-2010)
Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), Moscow URS, rd 21, Nov-11
Queen's Indian Defense: Anti-Queen's Indian System (E17)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Joshka: <keypusher> Oh well here we go again..LOL...even KARPOV stated he would have lost to Fischer in 1975!!! Not much more authoritative than that!!!>

If you are going to opine, endlessly, about that era, isn't it time you learned about it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Fischer wins the '75 match. Kaprov the '78 match is the most popular specualtion.

I run with that one but I could make a good case for Karpov winning the '75 match.

For instance Karpov too beat Spassky in a match and anyone who says Spassky had a hangover from the '72 WC match best remember that in 1973 Spassky won the USSR Championship which is the strongest national tournament in the world. (cannot imagine even in my wildest dreams.....and my dreams are pretty wild, Fischer winning that event 11-0.)

In 1976 Karpov won the USSR Championship and was entering his prime.

So in '75 you have one player (Fischer) who has peaked and achieved his sole aim in life.

On the other hand you have one player (one hungry player) who was just entering his prime backed up with a team of very high class individuals (including that man Geller) and unlike Spassky, Karpov would have listened.

"Bobby would never play that." said Spassky when prior to the '72 match Petrosian and Geller suggested they look at some QP games.

Would have been a great match but alas....

USSR Championship (1976)

May-06-15  A.T PhoneHome: Had this game not been featured as GOTD, I would've suggested "Devour with d4".

Maybe for another good 1.d4 game then!

Oct-30-15  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson>: <Fischer wins the '75 match. Kaprov the '78 match is the most popular specualtion.>

Possibly, although Popularity doesn't equal Truth. Fischer didn't feel he was in good enough shape to even try, so I tend to go with his judgment on it.

The mistake people make is that when they speculate on this match, they invariably compare Karpov '75 to Fischer '72, rather than to Fischer '75. When you can see the error they're making, there's no imperative to salute the speculation.

Oct-31-15  Granny O Doul: Had Fischer ever had any intent to defend his title, he wouldn't have sat idle for three years. And that's a whole different universe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Karpov - Fischer World Championship Match (1975)
Nov-02-15  NeverAgain: A Chess Notes contributor recently pointed out that despite the statement "out of the two and a half thousand games that I had played, there had never been an instance where it had been necessary for me to castle when my rook was attacked ..." in his autobiography Chess Is My Life (1977) Korchnoi in fact had faced this situation OTB at least three times, one of the examples being Smyslov vs Korchnoi, 1960 : 20...Qxb7 (attacking the h1 Rook) 21.0-0

Either Korchnoi's memory let him down or the whole "get up and address the arbiter" incident was a theatrical ploy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <NeverAgain: ...Either Korchnoi's memory let him down or the whole "get up and address the arbiter" incident was a theatrical ploy.>

Exactly as I explained at Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 (kibitz #105).

Nov-03-15  Petrosianic: <Granny O Doul>: <Had Fischer ever had any intent to defend his title, he wouldn't have sat idle for three years. And that's a whole different universe.>

Believe it or not, that wasn't a given at the time. Botvinnik had done nearly the same thing (after winning the title in 1948, he didn't play again until 1951). And Fischer had had a history of disappearing and coming back again, so it seemed quite possible that the time that he might play. Even when he resigned the title, people thought he might be planning to play outside of FIDE like Kasparov did later.

The problem, most likely, is that it's very hard to get back into chess when you've gotten completely out of it. Fischer's biggest weakness is that his regimen was a Total Immersion Technique that left no room for anything else. Other players did a better job of balancing chess with real life, and someone like Botvinnik could keep a hand in the game even when he wasn't playing, without it consuming his whole life.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Petrosianic> - <The problem, most likely, is that it's very hard to get back into chess when you've gotten completely out of it.>

Or, as Bob Dylan put it: "You can always go back, but you can't come back all the way". (Mississippi)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < Bob Dylan put it: "You can always go back, but you can't come back all the way". (Mississippi)>

Don't I know it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <perf> Guess we all have a Mississippi that we stay in "just a day too long".

I was reminded of this game when I saw it in Cyrus Lakadwala's new book on Viktor K -- <Korchnoi: Move by Move>.

His note to move 13 is superb (he'd already given a '!!' to 11.Qd2):

Glass shatters, concrete crumbles and metal bends. White attackers flow from nowhere with unified intent. The knight nursed a grudge against h7 for quite some time now, the long-festering resentment bubbles over into violence, and the strain on the defence surpasses capacity."

Sure, the prose borders on the purple -- but for once the context demands it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> Been there, done that, come to Missisip.

Lovely stuff from Lakdawala.

My only recollection of L is travelling to a team match at Montreal in September/early October 1977 and seeing him on the opposing team--never heard of him again till he emigrated to the warmer climes of southern California, by which time he was quite a strong player.

Nov-25-16  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I once read on a forum opinions of the outcome of a Fischer v Karpov match in 1975.

I couldn't believe it when people said, '13-11 to Fischer' and so on, assuming the match duration would have been the same as in 1972. Certainly, most opinions I have come across over the years are that Fischer would have won.

I disagree.

Fischer maintained that a very long match, of unlimited duration, with the winner being the first to win ten games, would be a better way to determine which of the two players was better.

He was proved wrong in 1984, when the World Championship match was abandoned after forty-eight games, with Karpov leading Kasparov by 5-3.

What that match proved was that a very long match would become a test of endurance rather than ability.

In my opinion, the Fischer v Karpov match would also have been abandoned.

Apr-01-17  Jeweller: Chess friends. Chess engines analyze this game here:
Apr-02-17  Lambda: If Fischer 1972 plays Karpov 1975, I certainly don't think either player has reached 10 wins after 48 games, assuming nothing major goes wrong and discounting fatigue. You're looking at a match of roughly equivalent calibre to the Karpov-Kasparov ones, neither of those players is going to be losing a lot of games quickly.
Jun-06-17  Petrosianic: But this game wasn't played on June 6.
Jun-06-17  Howard: No, but D-Day took place 72 years ago today. Let's remember THAT instead.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Howard: No, but D-Day took place 72 years ago today. Let's remember THAT instead.>

73. Karpov hadn't been born yet, but Korchnoi had already survived the siege of Leningrad.

Jun-06-17  Howard: 72 or 73? What's one measly year between friends?

Interesting point about Korchnoi's having been in Leningrad during the siege!

If I remember correctly, by the point, both of Petrosian's parents perished during the siege.

And Botvinnik left Leningrad by train just two days before the Germans sabotaged the railroad track that his train left on.

Jul-21-17  Saniyat24: Forget Karpov vs Fischer for a second...Have there been a more hotly contested Candidates Final than the 1974 Karpov-Korchnoi? It was played under immense pressure and drama...and Korchnoi fought like hell(he also lost some from winning positions...) If only Korchnoi could have played without all that drama and pressure... After seeing the pun and playing through the game my reaction was..."Yes he played d4 and not an iota of space to his opponent...!"
Jul-21-17  Howard: Keep in mind that Karpov-Korchnoi 1974 was saturated with draws---probably the main reason this match seems to have been swept under the rug all these years.

Oddly enough, Chess Life & Review back then game full coverage to all the Candidates games during the quarterfinals and the semifinals, giving annotations to most of the games. But for this match, they gave just the bare game scores!

To be fair, Mednis analyzed a lot of the endings over a span of three issues in the magazine, though.

Incidentally, none of Korchnoi's three losses came from "winning positions", contrary to your comment...especially in Game 2! Granted, Korchnoi did botch at least a couple won positions and thus had to settle for draws.

Jul-21-17  Petrosianic: People are superficial, and look only at the draws without looking at the games. Actually, this was a very fighting match. The games averaged about 48 moves each, which is very high, and would have been higher, if a couple of the decisive games didn't drag the move count down.
Jul-30-17  clement41: I simply love that game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  mjmorri: 11. Qd2 is the kind of move a beginner would make because they do not realize that they should not block their Bishop and prevent it from developing.

It is the kind of move an intermediate player would avoid because it prevents the Bishop from developing smoothly.

Finally, it is the kind of move a strong player would make because they understand very well the strategic and tactical nuances of the current position.

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