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Mikhail Tal vs Viktor Korchnoi
LAT-RSFSR (1955), Riga URS, Jul-??
Spanish Game: Open. Malkin Variation (C83)  ·  0-1



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Given 36 times; par: 49 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-21-05  who: Tal never seems to get anything going, and after winning the exchange it seems that the knight is just stronger than a rook anyway. This seems to be how Tal's awful record against Korchnoi started.
May-07-06  madlydeeply: Didn't Tal say something like, "there are three kinds of sacrifices, sound, unsound and mine". I guess a great defender like Korchnoi shows that Tal's sacrifices are not in the first category.

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: <who> In an interview to Tal shortly after he won the WCh in 1960, the Hungarian Dimitri Bjelica asked him about Korchnoi. Tal answered that Korchnoi was a very fine player and that their score was 5-5: 5 games won by Korchnoi, and the other 5...were drawn!!
Sep-04-09  The Rocket: tal said "There are two kinds of sacrifices: sound ones, and mine"
May-03-14  sls: D.B. was not Hungarian but Serbian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I just played through this game on Guess the Move.

Tal vs Korchnoi, 1955.
Your score: 62 (par = 49)

I'm proud I guessed some key defending and counter-attacking moves. I only played a bad move once (lost a point) and got no credit once. It's a good way to start my Saturday! I wished I played like Korchnoi. He's one of my heroes.

Sep-27-14  celtrusco: Sorry, but...
1)<madlydeeply> You can leave out the suffix. 2)< Fusilli> Korchnoi certainly is one of my favourite players too, but he never was a world champion, like Tal, ... playing like Tal, a Semi-god of chess and an artist as well . 3)< Fusilli> La próxima vez te escribo en español¿Tenés yerba mate? Espero que sí. Y felicitaciones por el score, yo no llegaría ni a la mitad.Un abrazo.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <celtrusco> Sure, but if you'll write in Spanish do it in my forum. I do have yerba mate, but I don't really use it! :)

Where do you live?

Jul-20-18  Inocencio: There are great masters who did not get the prestigious position of being a World Champion. One of them is Viktor the Great! Destiny is not in his DNA, perhaps?
Jul-10-19  popnstart: didn't realize Mr Korchnoi had such a win/loss record to the magician! Much respect to Mr. Korchnoi.
Feb-13-21  Gaito: After 17...Nxb2 the following position was reached:

click for larger view

According to the computer engine (Stockfish 12), the position is about equal (Evaluation: 0.00). The engine suggests the move 18.Ng5. Another very powerful engine (LcZero) also recommends the move 18.Ng5. The idea behind that move is presumably to preserve White's dark-squared Bishop, so as to take advantage of Black's dark-square weakness on the K-side. White however, decided to play instead 18.Bg5, whereupon the dark-squared bishops would soon end up being exchanged. The game went on: 18.Bg5 d4?! (the computer believes that 18...e4 might perhaps be a bit premature, and suggests instead Nc4 with an evaluation of -1.13) cd 20.Be4 Bd5 (⌓ 20...Rc8∓) 21.Bxd5 Qxd5 22.Bxe7 Rxe7 (see diagram below):

click for larger view

Stockfish 12 believes that Black is slightly better (he is a pawn to the good), and assigns a computer evaluation of -1.12, provided White should now play 23.Qh6. Likewise, LcZero recommends 23.Qh6. But White played 23.Qh4?!, a move that all engines seem to dislike on account of Korchnoi's reply 23...Rae8 (evaluation -2.34), whereby Black concentrates the fire of all his heavy pieces against White's vulnerable central pawn, and Black's knight would soon join the attack against that pawn with ...Nc4. The game went on: 24.Ng5 h5, and the following diagram was reached:

click for larger view

White has no compensation whatsoever for the pawn. In addition, Black's passed d4 pawn is very dangerous, and Black's king is reasonably safe. Here Tal had a good opportunity to seek complications with 25.e6! but instead played the feeble 25.Ne4 and lost quickly. A sample variation: 25.e6! f5 26.h3 Na4 27.Rac1 Nc3 28.Rfe1 Rc7 29.Kh2 Qd6+ 30.f4 Kg7 31.Re5, with an unclear position (see diagram below):

click for larger view

Feb-13-21  Gaito: After Korchnoi played 28...Qe5-f6, the following position was reached:

click for larger view

Tal probably felt that exchanging queens with 29.Qxf6+ would be pointless, as Black would then get a better ending (computer evaluation: -2.67). So White refused to exchange queens, and played 29.Qf2??, but that was a move that only shortened his agony after 29...d3, where Black's knight gets protection from his queen and the passed pawn advances as a decisive threat. (Computer evaluation: -5.90). There followed 30.Rfe1 Rd8! (evaluation: -7.22) 31.Qd2 Qd4+ (also good was 31...Nc4) 32.Kf1 Nc4 (evaluation: -8.17) 33.Qd1 d2 (evaluation: 12.74), and Tal resigned, on account of the variation: 34.Re2 Ne3+ 35.Rxe3 Qxe3 36.g3 Rc8 (Δ Rc1), etc. See diagram below:

click for larger view

Feb-14-21  ndg2: Korchnoi had this "show me" attitude, the tactical prowess and the nerves to prevail in such tense battles. No wonder he had positive score against the fearsome Tal.

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