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Viktor Korchnoi vs Helgi Ass Gretarsson
Reykjavik Hrokurinn (2003), Reykjavik ISL, rd 2, Feb-19
Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Schallopp Defense (D12)  ·  1-0



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Given 10 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-26-05  Whitehat1963: Gotta love 21. Rxc4! Korchnoi kicks Ass!
Mar-16-08  zev22407: 20)Nxd5!! sets fire on the board.
Mar-26-21  Gaito: Helgi A. Gretarsson is an Icelandic grandmaster. His peak rating so far was 2563. A few weeks ago he became famous for overlooking an elementary mate in two, with a lot of time on his clock. See diagram below:

click for larger view


White threatens mate in two with 17.Qxe6+! fxe6 2.Bg6 mate. The sort of elementary mate for beginners that you can find in books like Fred Reinfeld's "1001 Ways to Checkmate".

Black was another Icelandic grandmaster, Hannes Stefansson (rating 2536). Both grandmasters had plenty of time on their clocks, since this was a classical game.

Black didn't see that his king was threatend by mate in two, and played 16...g4??, attacking White's knight.

And the miracle happened: Gretarsson did not see the mate in two either, and moved his attacked knight: 17.Nd2??

This was a funny story. If you want to see the game, here is the link:

Mar-26-21  Gaito: But the funniest part of the story is that White lost the game.
Mar-26-21  Gaito: In the game Korchnoi vs. Gretarsson, the Icelandic grandmaster overlooked the combination made by Korchnoi after 19...cxd5?? 20.Nxd5! Qxd5 21.Rxc4+!!

Korchnoi was 72 years old and still played chess with youthful energy. It is curious, because they say he smoked a lot and also was fond of vodka and alcoholic beverages. Obviously he was a very strong man, physically and mentally. I am 71 years old, I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I wish I had 10% of the mental and physical energy that Korchnoi showed at the age of 72.

But even after 19...Nxd5 White would have had a better position.

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