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Boris Spassky vs Viktor Korchnoi
Unzicker's 80th Birthday (2005), Mainz GER, rd 5, Aug-10
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Normal Variation (B45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-11-05  percyblakeney: Spassky's last win against Korchnoi before this one was in 1977 (in this database), so he must have felt good catching Korchnoi's queen...
Aug-11-05  DanRoss53: 23. ♗c5!! is one of those insanely deep quiet moves that I wouldn't have used in a hundred years (except maybe by accident). Good Sunday Puzzle material if you ask me...
Aug-11-05  ajile: The B2 pawn was badly poisoned. Korchnoi must have missed his afternoon nap before this game.
Aug-11-05  OneBadDog: "Mem’ries, like the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored memories of the way we were"
Aug-12-05  Pretzel Logic: I've changed my hair style

SO many times

Don't know what I look like

Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: 13...0-0 is more flexible than 13...e5
Aug-12-05  Ulhumbrus: 16...Bxb3? concedes the bishop pair. On 16..Bd7 White's Ns are placed poorly to take advantage of the weakness of d5.
Aug-12-05  euripides: Retreating the bishop on move 16 might cause Black some coordination difficulties against quick king-side action, because d7 is denied to the knight. For instance 16...Bd7 17 g4 h6 18 h4 0-0 19 g5 hg 20 hg Ne8 21 Qh5 looks quite dangerous. Or 16...Bc8 17 Bb6 Qd7 18 g4 with the same idea. If Black then tries 18 ...d5 White could try to keep the king in the centre with 19 Nc5 Bxc5 20 Bxc5.
Aug-12-05  refutor: <spassky's last win v. korchnoi was 1977> not true...they played a match a couple of years ago in 1999 and spassky won a game i'll upload them to the database
Aug-12-05  euripides: ... Another interesting and unclear line is 16...Bc8 17 Bb6 Qd7 18 g4 h6 19 h4 Nh7 20 Nc4.
Aug-12-05  RookFile: I think Spassky was helped by the knowledge that playing Korchnoi would be a tough battle, no quick draw involved. That got Spassky engaged from the get go, he was in "kill or be killed" mode right away, and played a nice game.
Aug-15-05  ChiefNX: 23.Bc5 really sums it up. A good, articulate and calculated game by Spassky.
Aug-16-05  SEMENELIN: I think Korchnoi had not properly calculated correctly his game on move 20. Red1 Ne7. Korchnoi really lost a good piece by taking the pawn at move 21. Rxd6 Qxc2. His queen was trapped!!
Aug-22-05  ChiefNX: I can't anything better than ...20.Ne7, Kornchoi did not want his queen trapped behind the d-pawn because he knew it would come under more pressure and he couldn't protect it. I think it was move 22 that was the big mistake
Aug-22-05  euripides: I think Korchnoi was in trouble after moves 11-12. The threat of Bb6 forces him to lose time and after Bxb3 White's bishops have good long-term prospects. If 22...Qxd1 23 Raxd1 White's pieces are more active and a6 seems to be falling; or 22...Qc8 23 Rc1 is misery.
Aug-24-05  ChiefNX: I would probably favour 22...Rc8
Aug-24-05  euripides: <chief> that does look better than the moves I suggested.. White still looks better, with two bishops and the Q-side weaknesses to hit, but it's not easy to find a knock-out. If 22...Rc8 23 Rd2 Qxd1 24 R1xd1 then 24...Rc4 can be met with 25 Nc5, but 24...Nc6 is possible. Perhaps White should smash-and-grab with 22...Rc8 23 Rxa6 Qxb2 24 Rxf6 gxf6 25 Bh6.
Aug-25-05  ChiefNX: Rc8 doesn't deflect white's power on the d-file but it does make it harder for white to clinch a win and with a few exchanges, white's position would look very ordinary. I like your idea of 24.Rxf6(!) gxf6 25.Bh6, the only route I can see out of it is to exchange queens and not capture b2, forfeiting the a6 pawn. This would almost certainly lead to a white win anyway with the passed pawn on a5 for white and a lot of backup. I wonder if Spassky though of the destructive rook sac...
Mar-08-07  Brown: <RookFile: I think Spassky was helped by the knowledge that playing Korchnoi would be a tough battle, no quick draw involved. That got Spassky engaged from the get go, he was in "kill or be killed" mode right away, and played a nice game.>

Didn't help him much in '72. Spassky didn't start playing well until after game 13.

Mar-08-07  RookFile: <Brown: Didn't help him much in '72. Spassky didn't start playing well until after game 13.>

He also wasn't playing Korchnoi then, either, but a Fischer in his prime.

Mar-08-07  Brown: Of course

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