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Viktor Korchnoi vs Boris Spassky
"Chess Crisis" (game of the day Aug-22-2008)
Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates Final (1977/78), Belgrade YUG, rd 7, Dec-09
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. General (D58)  ·  1-0



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Given 10 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-06-16  Saniyat24: I think Spassky played well, Korchnoi was just better...!
Dec-06-16  Howard: The move 30.h3!! went down as one of the best moves of the year. To say that the game turned on that move, would be an understatement.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RadioBoy: What makes you think that Korchnoi was paranoid? After he defected every grandmaster of note in the Soviet Union signed a letter accusing him of being a traitor to the people. Except for botvinick and bronstein I believe. And the KGB slapped his son into a work camp during his match with Karpov. I think that he had every reason to believe that something would have happened to his son or him if he had won the match. Fast forward to Kasparov and Putin. the only reason that either one of them weren't murdered is it they were just too famous at home and abroad. On one hand I want to dislike Karpov because his victory was tainted. On the other hand, I don't think there was much he could have done about it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 31. Rxd2 Rxd2 was obvious. What else is there?

My continuation was 32. Qb8 Qd1+ (32...Qxc6 33. Qxc8+ Kf7/Kh7 34. Qf5+, with 36. c8=Q to follow) 33. Kh2 Rdd8 34. cxd8=Q+ Rxd8 35. Qxe5 Qd5 36. Qxd5+ Rxd5 37. Ra6.

I don't know if it's winning, but white certainly has an advantage.

Apr-09-20  Walter Glattke: Black threatens 31.-Qxd1. If 31.Qb8!? then 31.-Qxd1+ 32. Kh2 Qh1+ (1 plus tempo for black) 33.Kxh1 d1Q+ 34.Kh2 R7xc7 35.Qxc8+ Rxc8 36.Rxc8+ Kh7 black wins. Me as Kortschnoi or Spassky I had still 31.Rd6 Rxd6 32.Qxd6 Qxd1+ 33.Kh2 Qc2 but I am not so good, see the match with 31.Rxd2
Apr-09-20  Walter Glattke: Better recherche by CG possible, what about symmetry with 32.Qb7!? Qd1+ 33.Kh2 Rxc7, how white will win then!? Or with what? Me as "grandmaster" play then 34.Qxc7 a4 35.Qc8+ Kh7!? 36.Qf5+ Kg8 37.Rc8+ Rd8! 38.Qe6+ Kh8 39.Rxd8+ Qxd8 40.Qxe5 or 35.-Rd8 36.Qe6+ Kh8 37.Qxe5 a3 38.Rc7 Qd6 39.Qxd6 Rxd6 40.Ra7 Rd3
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black threatens Qxd1+.

The rook on c8 is defenseless. This suggests 31.Rxd2:

A) 31... Rxd2 32.Qb7

A.1) 32... Rxc7 33.Rxc7 Qa1+ 34.Kh2 e4 35.Qc8+ Kh7 36.Qf5+ and mate in two.

A.2) 32... Rc(d)d8 33.cxd8=Q+ Rxd8 34.Rc7 Qa1+ 35.Kh2 e4 36.Qxe4 wins a pawn with the better position.

A.3) 32... Rf8 33.c8=Q Rxc8 34.Qxc8+ Kh7 (34... Kf7 35.Qe6+ Kf8 36.Rc8+ and mate in two) 35.Qf5+ and mate in three.

A.4) 32... Qxc6 33.Qxc6 and Black is defenseless against Qb7. For example, 33... Rd1+ 34.Kh2 a4 35.Qb7 Rxc7 36.Qxc7 a3 37.Qc8+ and White wins either the rook or the a-pawn.

B) 31... Qa1+ 32.Kh2 Rxd2 33.Qb7 Rxc7 34.Rxc7 e4 35.Qc8+ Kh7 36.Qf5+ and mate in two.

C) 31... Qxc6 32.Qxc6 Rxd2 33.Qb7 as in A.4.

D) 31... Rcxc7 32.Rxc7 Rxd2 33.Qe6+ and mate soon (33... Kh8 34.Rc8+ Kh7 35.Qf5+ g6 36.Qf7#).

Apr-09-20  ewan14: Three grandmasters of note did not sign the letter saying Korchnoi was a traitor. Bronstein was one of them
Apr-09-20  Olavi: <ewan14> Others are Gulko, Spassky and Karpov. Korchnoi also wrote in Chess is my Life that he had eyewitness evidence that at least one of the signatories knew nothing of the letter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Was not Botvinnik another non-signatory of that denunciation?
Apr-09-20  malt: Have 31.R:d2 R:d2 32.Qb7 R:c7 33.R:c7 Qa1+ 34.Kh2 e4 35.Rc8+ Kh7 36.Q:e4+ g6 37.Rc7+
Apr-09-20  Sokrates: <<BobCrisp: Alekhine also had some pretty bad results during WWII...> <Lasker> and <Capa> didn't come out of it too well neither.>

You are absolutely right: Lasker didn't come out too well after 11 January 1941 when he ascended to higher grounds. And Capablanca's spirit left the earth on 8 March 1942 - after that he was much less successful at the chess board.

Apr-09-20  Olavi: <perfidious: Was not Botvinnik another non-signatory of that denunciation?>

That's right, he would not sign collective letters. He even refused to sign the Doctors' Plot letter, when Stalin was still alive.

Apr-09-20  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, the immortal Viktor "The Terrible" Korchnoi finally found 31.Rxd2!,Rxd2 32.Qb7,Rdd8 (32.-,Rxc7 33.Rxc7,Qa1+ 34.Kh2,e4 35.Qc8+,Kh7 36.Qf5+ +-) 33.cxd8D+,Rxd8 34.Rc7,Qa1+ 35.Kh2,e4 36.Qxe4 +-. White has an extra pawn, which is a free pawn, and the white rook controls the 7th rank. I wish every true chess player out there a happy and blessed Easter and stay healthy!
Apr-09-20  TheaN: I blindsided myself on this somewhat straightforward Korchnoi combination: by virtue of realizing White has nothing else, I thought Rxd2 was better for White but not this good:

After <31.Rxd2 Rxd2> Qa1+ now doesn't differ much <32.Qb7> Black's dealing with the en prise Rc8 and the looming threat of the seventh rank and the c-pawn, even a rook up. 32....Rxc7 33.Rxc7 now doesn't help, but neither does the game line <32....Rdd8!? 33.cxd8=Q+ Rxd8 34.Rc7> this I all saw and thought White was good, but the defense is as good as forced <34....Qa1+ 35.Kh2 e4 36.Qxe4 ± to +-> and White's winning. Black seems to have plenty of resources, but the threat on g7 limits it greatly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <al wazir>
But what did you see after the obvious 31. Rxd2 Rxd2 32. Qb8 <Rxb8> 33. cxb8(Q)+ Kh7? I'm not finding a convincing follow-up.
Apr-09-20  King.Arthur.Brazil: Hi, corona vĂ­rus chess... chat full!

<kevin86> even more easy with: <47...♕c7 48. ♕xc7 ♖xc7> 49. ♖xg7+ ♖xg7 50. fxg7 h4 51. g4 hxg3+ 52. ♔xg3 ♔xg7 53. ♔f4 end.

Also <islero/MSD> after <29...♕d3 30. ♕b7 ♕e2 31. ♕xc8+ ♔h7 32. h3!> ♕xd1+ 33. ♔h2 ♖xc7 34. ♕f5+ ♔g8 35. ♖xc7 and check-mate next. Or 33... ♖f7 34. ♕e6 ♖f6 35. c8=♕ ♖xe6 36. ♕xe6 ♕h5 37. ♖d6 d1=♕ 38. ♖xd1 ♕xd1 39. ♕f5+ ♔g8 40. ♕xe5 again with a better end-game.

<gulliver> The pressure of being the champ kill the chess of many, since, when you are in the top, you see that early or late, the crown will be out of your hands...lgs. Botvinnik lost twice (Smyslov, Tal) and recovered, because in deep, both thought "Botvinnik is over". Maybe if Petrosian faced a rematch against Botvinnik, the old would return again! If you run to the past, champ Capa avoid Alekhine, champ Alekhine avoid Capa again, as much as he could, champ Lasker avoid Capa, etc. In deep, the champ always try to find an way to keep the crown, because he has not the same energy of the one who still didn't get it. But, when some did, they felt the same weight. The press for win in chess is very uncomfortable.

Apr-09-20  Walter Glattke: I plead for A5) with 32.-Qd1+ 33.Kh2 Rxc7 as above, should be proved, maybe draw as shown above or 34.Qxc7 Rxf2 35.Qxa5?? Qg3 so Qd1+ instead of Qa1+, and then Rxc7 is the question.
Apr-09-20  W Westerlund: Radioboy: it's not because they are out to get you that you can't be paranoid. As for Kasparov, at the time he ran for president he got a full 0.6% of the vote. No one takes Kasparov serious in Russia. And in the West, some neocons, like the one who wrote a foreword to Kasparov's latest in which, inter linia, Kasparov proves that he understands absolutely nothing about economics (cf. his attack on Greece). These guys are celebrities like Bono or Madonna. They are not experts. They do not share insight. They lack competence. They just talk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I really liked 41 e4, below, leaving the f pawn unprotected to entice black to play 41...Rxf4???, after which white wins with 42 e5.

click for larger view

But black anticipates that strategy and plays 41...Qd4, so now if 42 e5? black answers with 42...Qxd4+.

Great game within a game tactics.

Apr-09-20  RandomVisitor: After 25.Rc1

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<53/42 05:42 0.00 25...Qe6 26.Qb3 Qd6 27.a4 Kh8> 28.Qc2 d4 29.Rc6 Qb4 30.Qd3 Qe7 31.exd4 exd4 32.h4 Rcxc7 33.Rxc7 Rxc7 34.Rxc7 Qxc7 35.Qxd4 Qc2 36.Kh2 Qf5 37.g4 Qf3 38.Kg1 Kh7 39.Qc4 g6 40.Kf1 Kg7 41.Qc7+ Kg8 42.Qd8+ Kf7 43.Qd7+ Kg8

Apr-09-20  Walter Glattke: I oversaw the mate threatening after Rc7, so Qa1+, not Qd1+ mustbe played.
Apr-09-20  Walter Glattke: But Rc7 is always mate then.
Apr-09-20  RandomVisitor: The best move after 1.c4 e6 is... (drumroll) ... 2.g3, of course.

click for larger view


<50/73 2:27:56 +0.36 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 d4 4.b4 e5 5.Qa4+> c6 6.d3 Nd7 7.Nf3 Ngf6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Nbd2 a5 10.b5 cxb5 11.Qxb5 a4 12.Qb1 Bc5 13.Re1 0-0 14.Nf1 Re8 15.e3 h6 16.exd4 exd4 17.Rxe8+ Nxe8 18.N1d2 Nd6 19.Ne4 Nxe4 20.dxe4 Nf8 21.Qd3 Ne6

Apr-09-20  Granny O Doul: Botvinnik was definitely a non-signer. Somebody explained that he was at an age where one feels closer to God than to the Party.

I remember Korchnoi's comment about the eyewitness evidence, but I never understood it. An eyewitness watched somebody not sign the letter?

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