SirChrislov: Four years ago, on a day like today
(06, Jun,2016) Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, dies at 85.
I found this nice article from the NY times:
<At 79, ‘Viktor the Terrible’ Outsmarts an 18-Year-Old> By DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN
Published: January 29, 2011
The game’s mental and physical toll eventually forces most top players to stop competing. And those who continue to play tend to avoid the elite tournaments where the pressure is greatest.
Then there is Viktor Korchnoi.
He was a top player for more than 30 years and competed for the world title three times. The last of those battles was in 1981, when he was 50. Four years ago, when he was 75, he was still ranked No. 85 in the world.
Korchnoi will be 80 in March, and his ranking has slipped to No. 460. But he can still be a formidable opponent, and he has lost little of his zest for competition. (He earned the nickname Viktor the Terrible partly because of the way he reacted when he lost.)
He is currently entered in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival. The tournament, in Gibraltar, has become a magnet for top players, and Korchnoi was seeded 38th.
After winning his first game, he faced Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the second round. The contrast between the two could not be more pronounced. Caruana, 18, is No. 25 in the world and is expected to breach the top 10 soon. As for Korchnoi, well, he probably has socks that are older than Caruana. <(LOL!)>
Though circumstances clearly favored Caruana, the old lion won in the end.
Korchnoi chose the Ruy Lopez opening, which is named after a 16th-century Spanish bishop who wrote a treatise about the system.
Caruana, rather than entering one of the systems that Korchnoi has played for decades, chose 5 d3, a quiet and relatively meek variation.
Korchnoi is known for his defense. But he also can attack, and once Caruana traded off his dark-squared bishop, Korchnoi threw his pawns forward with 13 ... g5, trusting in the power of his bishops.
Caruana’s 14 h3 was a mistake because it gave Korchnoi a target for his pawns; 14 Nc4, which would have created a retreat for his king knight, would have been better. Still, chances were about equal after 22 ... Rg8.
Caruana erred by playing 23 Qg3. He was afraid that after 23 ... g3, Korchnoi could have attacked down the h file. Caruana should have played 23 Rd1. For example, after 23 ... g3 24 Nf1 Qh4 25 d4, White’s development would have given him the advantage. After 23 ... gf3, Korchnoi had the edge, and he knew how to use it.
Korchnoi missed some chances to shorten the game (for example, 34 ... Rh5), but the result was no longer in doubt.
This is the game vs the young Caruana Caruana vs Korchnoi, 2011 , Rest peaceful Mr. Korchnoi.
Garry Kasparov, the world champion who defeated Mr. Korchnoi in a 1983 match, wrote in the preface of Mr. Korchnoi’s autobiography, “Chess is My Life”, “In all of history you cannot find another player with his long-lived discipline, vigour and ferocity.”