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Viktor Korchnoi vs Leonid Stein
USSR Championship (1965), Tallinn URS, rd 9, Dec-06
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch. Closed Variation (E87)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-05-02  ughaibu: This is a really beautiful attack by Stein. A very interesting game.
Sep-21-03  sleepkid: ...but with such abysmal ratings, it's a wonder Stein and Korchnoi even got this game onto the site. ;-)

L Stein (1685) defeats V Korchnoi (1765) with the black pieces. Well, it's always nice to see the underdog come out on top.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Stein starts the complexities with 13...b5 and they reach their height with 23...e4. Korchnoi backs off with 24. ♕c3 perhaps to prevent ...♘g4, but the ♘ later comes to that square anyway with greater force. Stein had a wonderful championship scoring 14 pts + clear 1st Place in this old fashioned Soviet slugfest comprised of 19 (!) rounds. Complete games at:
Aug-10-05  sitzkrieg: I can only try to imagine how much Stein must have disrespected Korchnoi when playing ..b5.. I even looked up the tournament and this game was played in the 9th round; there was not even an obvious reason to play this crazy. Nice style..
Sep-07-05  chenturini: I ever think Stein play with incredible valiancy this game, one pawn, two pawns, three pawn, only word CRAZY!! ok, but VALIANT, I ever use this game for mi pupils, is fantastic!!, is a creation lesson, and courage.
Aug-27-07  talisman: korchnoi was not happy after this one. 13.b5 "one of the most illustrious moves in stein's experience.the first impression: how could he possibly give away a pawn for 'nothing',without even preparing this sacrifice with the common a7-a6, and obtaining no compensation in the form of tactical or strategical possibilities? if one thoroughly scrutinized his idea, it would become clear that black has created problems not only for himself, but also for his goes w/o saying that the sac was quite risky.moreover in this game,korchnoi, who in those years was a virtuoso of defense when he had a material edge, was especially effective if someone gave him something for a vague initiative:he would rebuff all the threats and assume such a counterattack that his burnt rival would 'dread the fire' for a long time. it meant that this game acquired not only a purely chessic interest, but also a psychological one:which diamond was cutting better?...eduard gufeld GM and good friend of stein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: Pretty terrible chess actually. These sacrifices are ridiculous- 23.Qxe5 Re7 24.Qa5 is just winning for White.
Dec-24-10  Everett: <ToTheDeath> Really... <23.Qxe5 Re7 24.Qa5 Rxe1 25.Bxd1 Ng4 26.fxg4 Nf6>, when white's best is probably <27.Nf3 Bxf3 28.Rf1 Qe2>, would create some interesting play for black. Yes, black is down three pawns, but will soon be the exchange up and has the much better development.

<Talisman> Interesting quote... of course ..b5 created an open file leading to white's king and a diagonal for a bishop. I think the "no compensation" is BS. Maybe "not enough" but that's a different story.

Sep-21-12  Capacorn: I'm surprised no one's pointed out Korchnoi's stubbornness in playing this game out. Perhaps if people knew this encounter didn't end at the forty-fourth move, as reported here, they would have a different impression. Keene reports: "The tournament bulletin gives no more moves, merely reporting that black won (of course) and that white carried on playing up to the sixty-second move!!"
Jan-17-15  Conrad93: What's wrong with 12. Bxf4 exf4 and then 13. h4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Super interesting game, I did not know it before.

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