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Viktor Korchnoi vs Mikhail Tal
"King of Sorrow" (game of the day May-08-2011)
USSR Championship (1962), Yerevan URS , rd 14, Dec-11
Benoni Defense: Fianchetto Variation (A62)  ·  1-0



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Given 40 times; par: 78 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-17-12  notyetagm: Game Collection: OVERLOADED: FIRST DEFENDER: PRECEDENCE
May-27-12  LoveThatJoker: GG


Aug-16-12  rapidcitychess: Personally, I really love this game because to my weak eyes, it almost looks like Korchnoi got the advantage from nowhere. I truly love trying to find the place where "it all went downhill".


Jan-24-13  ajile: 54..Qxd7 55.Qf6+ Ke8 56.Qf8 mate.

54..Qe3+ is mate in 7 for White.

Feb-07-13  RookFile: Tal went down swinging. It's perfectly possible to lose a game with black against a super GM - the way he lost this is better than some miserable effort where you can't even point to a threat black made.
Dec-30-13  Balmo: I think 9...Na6 put Tal on the back foot here. I'd prefer a6 myself, he spent two or three moves trying to make the knight useful but Korchnoi had already gained too much space.
Dec-02-15  john barleycorn: Korchnoi was a difficult opponent for Tal

<Classical games: Viktor Korchnoi beat Mikhail Tal 13 to 4, with 27 draws.>

Jan-03-16  F Pinget: 12....b5 rather than Ne8 to follow the original plan... can't find the reason why this was not played! Somehow it seems to have caused all the development problems and lose of initiative. Fernando Pinget
Jun-11-16  The Kings Domain: Viktor the Terrible was quite the solid and steady player, wasn't he. Gotta love the length and intricacy of this memorable game.
Aug-04-16  clement41: Amazing Benoni by Viktor the terrible
Dec-17-16  Saniyat24: Korchnoi knew how to play the Benoni and the Semi-Benoni...! What was that cat and mouse move from move 39 to 42?
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Saniyat24>, that might have been two players repeating moves in a desperate struggle to reach the time control without forfeiting.

Playing White after 48...a4 would have put incredible stress upon myself. Never mind ice, Korchnoi must have had liquid hydrogen in his veins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Just out of curiosity, how does White win after 49...Qxf6+ and 50...a3, sacrificing the Bd7?
Mar-23-17  botvinnik64: Positional crush by Korchnoi. His outstanding record against Tal was due to his meta strategy in their encounters - Capture the center!!! (It really is quite effective. I like the knight maneuvers early in the game.)
Mar-23-17  Mudphudder: Love this game. To see Korchnoi play positionally against him was quite entertaining.

My knowledge of Korchnoi is that he is typically a brute force tactical player usually, almost akin to Tal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Viktor Korchnoi loves the jobs YOU hate.
May-27-17  Saniyat24: <An Englishman> I tried your suggestion in my board....I doubt that these two greats would have played what I tried, but still.. 49...Qc7+ 50.ef6 Kf7 51.Rd7+Ke6 52.Re7+ Kd6 53.Kf5 Ra8 54.Bc1 Ke5 55.Rh7 Kb4 56.Rb7+ Kc4 57.Ke6 Re8+ 58.Kf7 Rh8 59.Ke6 Re6+ 60.Kf5 Ra8 61.g5 a3 62.ba3 Kc3 63.g6 Ra5+ 64.Ke6 Ra6+ 65 Kf7 ...and now Black should resign as White has two passed pawns...well this is my version which seems a bit lengthy to if someone uses a software...
May-27-17  Nerwal: <Just out of curiosity, how does White win after 49...Qxf6+ and 50...a3, sacrificing the Bd7?>

49... ♕xf6+ 50. ♔xf6 a3 51. e6 axb2 52. exd7 Korchnoi

Jun-17-17  Johnnysaysthankyou: 27...c4 might give better chances!
If Korchnoi takes on b4, Tal shall play Qc6! If Korchnoi is not silly enough to take, well, c3 is a nasty nasty threat.
Oct-20-18  cunctatorg: What a masterpiece of a game of chess!!
Jun-04-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: It's interesting that 38 g4 Be6

39 gxf Bxf5

40 e6

fails to 40 ... Qxd6+

and white doesn't get to play e6 until 11 moves later!

Sep-18-19  Ulhumbrus: <notyetagm: Position after 19 e4-e5!:

click for larger view

Korchnoi's 19 e4-e5! is a tremendous tactical blow.

Black appears to have four units covering the e5-square (Black d6-pawn, d7-knight, e7-queen, f6-bishop) while the White e5-pawn is supported only by the White f4-pawn.

But because of the support of the White f4-pawn, the three Black pieces <DEFEND> the e5-square -only- -after- the Black d6-pawn. This is the tactical idea of <PRECEDENCE>: Black has four units covering the e5-square but the Black d6-pawn must go first because White controls this square with his White f4-pawn.

But the Black d6-pawn needs to be on the lookout for the <PAWN FORK> d5-d6, <FORKING> the Black c7-knight and e7-queen. <<<<So if the Black d6-pawn needs to <BLOCKADE> the White d5-pawn, and the three Black pieces <DEFEND> the e5-square -only- -after- the Black d6-pawn does, Black does not really <DEFEND> the e5-square, hence 19 e4-e5!.>>>>> After 19 e5 dxe5 the move 20 Nde4 threatens the fork 21 d5-d6 and so gives Black no time to move his king's bishop away. 20...Qd8 displaces one of the attackers of e5 and on 21 Nxf6+ Nxf6 displaces a second attacker of e5 and now on 22 fxe5 Black can no longer recapture on e5.

Jun-03-20  seneca16: 28...Qa4 looks like the beginning of the end. Maybe protecting the c-pawn with R(a)c8 would have been better. Of course black's kingside looks terribly vulnerable.
Dec-29-21  tbontb: Korchnoi as White outplayed Tal in an unusual Benoni and broke through thematically in the centre with e5 and d6. After adjournment he demonstrated excellent technique to deny Tal any counterplay and press home the advantage with a mating attack. The only alternative was a lost ending via 49....Qxf6+ 50.Kxf6 a3 51.e6 axb2 52.exd7 Rf8+ 53.Bxf8 b1=Q 54.d8=Q
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: This game is too wild, I feel dizzy.
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