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Viktor Korchnoi vs Jon Arnason
Be'er Sheva (1987), Be'er Sheva ISR
English Opening: King's English. Four Knights Variation Fianchetto Lines (A29)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-25-06  bitko: Humorous game. Vicky dominated.
Apr-21-06  notyetagm: An unbelievable ending: Korchnoi traps the Black d4-rook on an open board! This Black rook has 11(!) legal moves but it is not safe on any of them (40 ... ♖d8 41 ♗e7+ and 42 ♗x♖).
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <notyetagm> For the sake of accuracy, I count twelve legal moves for the rook.
Apr-21-06  notyetagm: <suenteus po 147> Oppps, you are correct. 7+5 does not equal 11.
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <notyetagm> I figured you wouldn't mind since it makes Korchnoi's trap all the more impressive :)
Apr-21-06  notyetagm: <suenteus po 147> Yes, very impressive. A speculative rook sacrifice, threats to the exposed enemy king, and trapping a rook in the endgame on an open board make a tremendous impression.

This game, in fact, finished second in the Chess Informant Best Game Prize voting. It earned 5 out of 9 first place votes but finished a close second to the famous Tal vs Hjartarson, 1987.

Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: <This game, in fact, finished second in the Chess Informant Best Game Prize voting.> I know because I followed your link from Korchnoi's page. :)
Apr-21-06  notyetagm: <suenteus po 147> Following me, eh?


Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Careful, gentlemen--someone's following both of you.

Astounding game. I was just plain befuddled from moves 16-31.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Incomplete game? Hard to believe that GM Arnason resigned (or flagged) here.
Aug-06-11  madhatter5: maybe he forfeited or had to leave?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: The score card is incorrect. The right one is:

[Event "Beersheba"]
[Site "Beersheba"]
[Date "1987.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kortschnoj, Viktor"]
[Black "Arnason, Jon L"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2625"]
[BlackElo "2540"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. b3 O-O 9. Bb2 Re8 10. Rc1 Bg4 11. d3 Bf8 12. Nd2 Qd7 13. Re1 Rab8 14. Nce4 Nd4 15. Nc5 Qc8 16. Nf3 Nd7 17. Nxd4 Bxc5 18. Nf3 Bb6 19. Rc4 Be6 20. Rh4 f6 21. d4 g5 22. Rh6 Kg7 23. dxe5 Kxh6 24. exf6 Rg8 25. Qd2 Kh5 26. h3 Nc5 27. g4+ Bxg4 28. hxg4+ Qxg4 29. Ne5 Qh4 30. Qc2 Ne4 31. Qxe4 Bxf2+ 32. Kf1 Qxe4 33. Bxe4 Bxe1 34. Kxe1 Rbd8 35. f7 Rgf8 36. Ba3 Rxf7 37. Nxf7 Rd4 38. Bxb7 g4 39. Ne5 Kh4 40. e3 1-0

Aug-07-11  madhatter5: no, Sastre, that is another game that is also on this site.

Korchnoi vs J L Arnason, 1987

Jan-09-12  Nerwal: A truly amazing game. The position after 24. exf6 is well worth studying. The complications are mind-boggling : white is a full rook down but all the tactics seem to work in his favour, although it's easy to get confused. Black has many defences available, but none of them seems to save him. Korchnoi wrote in his 2000 book that 24... ♗g4 was the best defence, but actually white seems to win there too after 25. ♕d5 ♗xf3 26. ♕f7 ♖g8 27. exf3 ♘c5 28. f4 - more tactical miracles by the white pieces. Maybe Arnason's 24... ♖g8 was not so bad after all and the best try lies therein, hidden somewhere.
Sep-01-13  savagerules: Korchnoi performs magic in this game. From a very quiet position to a rook sac for a couple pawns 3 moves later. I wonder if any of the super duper comps can find a defense for Black, not that it matters in a real game. I imagine Arnason was shell shocked after this game.
Oct-25-13  DWINS: This really is an amazing game especially considering that Korchnoi was 56 years old at the time.

His maneuver, 19.Rc4 Be6 20.Rh4 was a remarkable inspiration, his idea being to break open the center after 20...f6 21.d4, but this committed him to abandon a rook after 21...g5 22.Rh6 Kg7.

After 23.dxe5! Kxh6 24.exf6, Korchnoi, seeing so many Black pieces over on the queenside, aimed for a quick kill.

I've given this game a cursory check with Stockfish 4 and it appears totally sound. For the most part, Arnason played the best defense but Korchnoi's attack was too much. Korchnoi even missed a very strong move (31. e3!), but his move (31.Qxe4) was still sufficient to win.

Mar-27-14  notyetagm: Korchnoi vs J L Arnason, 1987


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