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Victor Golenishchev vs Viktor Korchnoi
Moscow (1949)
Dutch Defense: Nimzo-Dutch. Alekhine Variation (A90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-08-08  ajile: Why not 24.Qxe4?
Jun-08-08  Tomlinsky: <Why not 24.Qxe4?>

The response 24...Qh5 with the knight hanging and mate threatened puts paid to that I imagine. Capturing the knight sets up all kinds of discovered nasties. White looks toast in the long run whatever he plays.

Jan-04-10  Bolgoljubov: Comments from Victor Korchnoi about this game:

Junior Team Championship of the Soviet Union. Korchnoi on the Leningrad Team with Spassky and Lutikov. Korchnoi’s personal score in the competition was 5 ½ out of 6. Victor Golenishchev was the leader of the Russian Federation Team.

Korchnoi said he always played the Dutch Stonewall at first, but did not like the pawn weaknesses arising from it. He then changed to the Leningrad System but abandoned that because it was too complicated.

This game was extensively analyzed by David Bronstein and Ilia Abramovich Kan. Korchnoi states that this is “his first game that drew the attention of the Grandmasters of the Soviet Union”.


4… Bb4+ was played to prevent the white bishop from developing on the b2 – g7 diagonal.

8 Nf4 played with the intention of going to d3 in case of a Stonewall Formation or pressuring e6 in the Leningrad System. Korchnoi played d6 instead.

9… c6 was not accurate. Better was Bd8 followed by e5.

Korchnoi felt that 10. e4 allowed black to equalize. A better game could be had with 10. Nd3 Bd8 11. Bf4 Bc7 12. c5 or if 10… Nbd7 11. d5 cxd5 12. cxd5 e5 13. Nb5 Qd8 14. Qc2 Ne8 Rfc1 with strong queenside pressure from white.

18… Bxe5? “Greediness will be punished” says Korchnoi. After, 19 Bb4! Nxb4 the Knight on b4 stands awkwardly and unprotected.

20… Bxe4 is less accurate. 20… Ng4 wins a piece according to David Bronstein. 21. Bxf5 (forced) Qxf5 22. Qf3 Rxe1+ 23. Rxe1 Qc5+ 24. Kg2 Qxb4 threatening the rook. If 22. Qd2 Rd8 23. Qe2 (if 23. Qc3 a5 24. Nc2 Rd3 25. Nd4 Qh5!) 23… Rfe8 24. Qf3 Qc5+ etc.

After 25. Rxe2 black’s objective is to organize active play on both flanks utilizing the mobility of the queen. First, black must secure both of his own flanks against counter-play.

Instead, Korchnoi attacks with 25… Qg4 26 Rae1 h5? giving black an opportunity to create a fortress with 27 h4! , protecting the pawn on g3 and eventually posting the Knight to g5, equalizing.

32. a4 exposes the b3 pawn to attack.

39. Rxb7 … “the greediness of my partner finally played its decisive role”, says Korchnoi, “allowing black to be exposed to the final mating attack”. Instead 39. Ne4 would have rendered strong resistance.

Source: “My Life for Chess” by Victor Korchnoi, Chessbase DVD Series, 2005

Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: <9… c6 was not accurate. Better was Bd8 followed by e5.>

I disagree with this assessment. 9..c6 is a multipurpose move that restrains White's pawn and piece ambitions on/for the d5 square, while offering c7 as a house for a friendly N or B. It also prepares ..e5 without needlessly giving up influence on the f8-a3 diagonal just yet.

I have never been impressed by the Nh3-Nf4-Nd3 circuit, especially with the other N on c3. Black's ..c6 preparing ..e5 is puts the question to this wayward N.

And personally, I do not like the positions after <9..Bd8 10.d5> which in my mind is exactly what White wants; pressure on e6 and likely a half- open c-file on the backward c7 pawn.

Jan-04-22  jerseybob: <Everett: <9… c6 was not accurate. Better was Bd8 followed by e5.>I disagree with this assessment.> And I agree with your disagreement! Korchnoi liked making tortuous moves, and they often worked for him, but he was sui generis. By move 9 the bishop has already moved 2 times and 10..Bd8 seems too subtle to me. Korchnoi's 9..c6 reminds me of Ivkov-Spassky at Santa Monica 1966, a Queen's Indian where Spassky made that same move and Ivkov gradually lost the thread of the game. In both games c6 has the virtue of contesting the d5 square and keeping black's options open.

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