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Tony Miles vs Viktor Korchnoi
Hoogovens (1978), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 11, Feb-02
Queen's Indian Defense: Classical. Traditional Variation Main Line (E19)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-26-05  TennesseeStud: this ending is beautiful, i congratulate korchnoi on his effective use of an odd line of the queens indian
Jan-01-06  Rama: I'm a Korchnoi-fan, too. But I don't much like his 22. ... Kh8. Why not 22. ... Rh6 right away? It prevents The Nh4 maneuver, which the uncovering of that long diagonal is a theme in the Q's Indian, and avoids an upcoming Q-check. What am I missing?

I'll never forget losing a game as black in which my pawn d5 got pinned against my fianchettoed white-squared Bishop, by a timely uncovering of that long diagonal on the part of my opponent. From then on, I played it more like Nimzovich, with d6 and e5 instead. No more pinning!

Jul-17-06  Ulhumbrus: With 13...Nd8 Korchnoi unpins the N and uncovers the bishops with his Rs still not yet connected by ...Rae8. Thus suggests that 13... Rae8 or 13...d6 loses an important tempo - or gives White an important tempo- for something.
Jul-17-06  Ulhumbrus: 16 dxe6 moves the d pawn a third time to exchange itself for an e6 pawn moved but once, making a loss of two tempi for development.
Jul-17-06  Ulhumbrus: Korchnoi gives a question mark to 17 b4. As Black is playing for a KIng side attack, this suggests that White is advised to try exchanging pieces. 17 Nd4 attacks the point c6 and offers an exchange of Knights.
Jul-17-06  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 23 Nh4, 23 Nd4 offers an exchange of Knights.
Jul-17-06  Ulhumbrus: It seems to me that if a player gains practice and experience in seeing and playing as Black the combinations which Miles was trying to avoid falling into ( although he could not avoid all of them and so lost), the player will then gain the ability to play well the Black side of this.
Oct-18-08  DWINS: <Ulhumbrus>, I don't think your suggestion of 23.Nd4 works because 23...Bxg2 24.Kxg2 Nxd4 25.Qxd4 fxg3 26.hxg3 Qxe2 27.Kg1 Rxf2 28.Rxf2 Rxf2 29.Qxf2 Qxd1+ and Black is up two pawns.

Robert Byrne agrees with Korchnoi that 17.b4 is not the way to go. He suggests 17.e3 followed by 18.Nd4 and reduction of material.

Oct-18-08  Chessdreamer: Miles did not get mated. He resigned after 32...Qxg5.
Oct-04-09  Ulhumbrus: <DWINS> I agree. The White Queen is overworked after 23 Nd4. She can't defend both the N on d4 and the e2 pawn.
Oct-04-09  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 14 d5, 14 b4 may be better
Oct-23-10  Ulhumbrus: An alternative to 13 Qd2 is 13 Ne5 eg 13 Ne5 Nd8 14 Bxb7 Nxb7 15 Qf3
Dec-03-11  Nemesistic: A neat little finish from Korchnoi.
Sep-06-21  Gaito: This game was annotated by Viktor Korchnoi in his outstanding book "Korchnoi's 400 Best Games 1946-1978" by Korchnoi. It is game number 394 of that book, which is one of the finest and most instructive chess books ever published.
Sep-06-21  Gaito:

click for larger view


In this position Tony Miles played 12.Rad1. Korchnoi wrote that 12.Ne5 wasn't a good move on account of the reply 12...Nxd4! with equality. In fact, after the almost forced variation 12.Ne5 Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 d6 15.Qe3 Bxe5 16.Bxe5 dxe5 17.Qxe5 Qd6 the ending is roughly equal (se diagram below). The evaluation of the computer engine (SF14) is +0.32.

click for larger view

Sep-06-21  Gaito: Instead of 14.d5, a present-day grandmaster (such as Magnus Carlsen, Nepo, Wesley So or Nakamura) would very likely have played 14.h4! Present-day grandmasters have been strongly influenced by AlphaZero's approach to chess and thus have been making much use of the rook pawns as attacking units during the opening and early middle-game, something that grandmasters of the previous century did not do too often, except perhaps for Bent Larsen. In this particular game, Miles will play h4 on his 26th turn, but not with attacking purposes.
Sep-06-21  Gaito: Between moves 17 and 22 Miles made a few inaccurate moves (17.b4?!, 19.Qc3? 22.Rdd1?) from the point of view of the engine, the result of which was that his position gradually worsened. (Or as Karpov used to say: "little mistakes"). The following diagram shows the position after 22.Rdd1:

click for larger view

According to Stockfish 14, Black was ready to pursue the attack on the kingside with 22...g5! (computer evaluation: -1.44). Korchnoi, however, played a mysterious waiting move: 22....Kh8 thereby wasting a valuable tempo, but he kept the edge anyway.

Sep-06-21  Gaito:

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This was the critical position where White's game went down in flames. 28.gxh4?? was played and that move loses outright. The correct defense, however, is 28.g4!, a typical engine's defensive move that would be very hard to find for an ordinary human being. The engines (Lc0 and SF14) find that defense in a nanosecond, but a normal human player would probably not find that move even in a game played by correspondence (without the aid of engines). A possible continuation would have been 28.g4! Qxg4+ 29.Kh2 (threatening 30.Rg1) Rg6 30.Rg1 Qf5 31.Rd5! Qe4 32.Qd3, and White survives, though Black would still have a slight advantage (see diagam below):

click for larger view

Sep-07-21  Gaito: There seems to be a discrepancy concerning the final moves of the game. Some sources state that White resigned after 33...Rf2+, one move before checkmate; other sources assure that the game ended in mate (like this source chessgames dot com, for example); but my personal belief is that White resigned after 32...Qxg5. In the book "Korchnoi's 400 Best Games" (by Korchnoi) the game was supposed to have ended after 32....Qxg5 33.Resigns. Since both Miles and Korchnoi passed away long ago, it is impossible to find out the truth, but that is not too important anyway, except for historical accuracy of the facts.

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