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Korchnoi wins Chess Festival in Banyoles 

06.09.2006  On March 23 Viktor Korchnoi turned 75. At an age where most GM's spend their time in the comfort of their homes, pontificating on the state of the chess world, Viktor Lvovich is out there bashing it out on the international tournament circuit. At the end of August he won a strong GM Open with 131 players in Catalonia, Spain. Report and videos.  

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Click  HERE  to see an explanation of the symbols that I use when annotating a chess game.  
(Search for this game on a different website. Replay ALL of his games from this event.)  

  GM Victor Korchnoi (2600) - GM Sergey Tiviakov (2668)  
ICT, Ninth (#9) Masters (open)  
  Banyoles, ESP; (R8) / 17,08,2006.  

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  [A.J. Goldsby I]  

Seventy-five ... and still going. (strong) 

No other player amazes me quite like Mr. Victor Korchnoi. At an age when his chess-playing contemporaries, (are there many left?); are in retirement homes, "Vicktor, The Terrible" is still playing, and still conquering chess tournaments. Viva la Korchnoi! (May you live - and play - until well past the age of 100!) 


It starts off as a Reti opening.  


 1...Nf6;  2.c4,  
No ... wait. Maybe it will be an English Opening?  


I guess - now - it will most likely be some variant of the QID. 
(Q.I.D. = The Queen's Indian Defense) 


 3.g3 Bb7;  4.Bg2 e6;  5.0-0 Be7;  6.d4,  
Yup, its definitely a QID now. 
(White gains a solid pull out of the opening here. Notice, because of his clever move order, Korchnoi avoids the lines in the QID where Black gets to play an early ...Ba6.) 

     [ Interesting was:  6.b3!?, here. (Korchnoi played this vs. Tony Miles   
       at the Phillips & Drew Tournament {London, Eng}; in 1980.) ]  


Black plays for an early ...d5 pawn advance.  
(There is a similar idea in the main lines where Black plays 4...Ba6; see any good reference work for more details.) 

r-e_gm02__pos1.gif, 10 KB

  rn1qk2r/pb1pbppp/1pp1pn2/8/2PP4/5NP1/PP2PPBP/RNBQ1RK1 w  


I don't know what to think of Black's strategy here, Tiviakov may have been better off playing the more standard lines of this opening. However, he might have been trying to create an unbalanced position ... one where he had some winning chances.  

     [ For the main lines with:  (>/=)  6...0-07.Nc3, "+/="  see MCO-14, page # 566.  

       A recent example would be:  
       GM Alexander Riazantsev (2622) - GM Sergey Ionov (2517);  
       The 59th National Championship Tournament (59th ch-RUS, 1st League) 
       Tomsk, RUS; (R5) / 07,09,2006. 
       {White won a nice game, 1-0 in forty-two total moves.} ]   


Now Korchnoi's handling of this opening is highly similar to that of the main lines of the Petrosian 
System of the QID. 
 7.Nc3 d5;  8.cxd5! cxd5;  9.Qa4+!?,  (TN)  (Maybe - '!')  
Believe it or not, this move is brand-new to master level practice, the "book" move here is 9.Bf4. 

r-e_gm02__pos2.gif, 10 KB



Study this position carefully, try to spend at least 5-10 minutes here and absorb some of the ideas. 

     [ After the continuation of: 
       9.Bf4 0-010.Ne5 Nc611.Qa4 Nxe512.Bxe5 Qd7;    
        ... there are only a handful of games in the db - and all of them are draws.  
      (I found no examples of top-level, GM play.) ]  


 9...Nfd7;  10.Bf4 a6;  11.Rfc1 0-0;  12.Qd1, "+/="  12...b5;   
The opening phase of the game is over - White has a solid edge ... 
(a little more space), and also White's pieces are working together better than Tiviakov's are. 

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  rn1q1rk1/1b1nbppp/p3p3/1p1p4/3P1B2/2N2NP1/PP2PPBP/R1RQ2K1 w  


Take a look at this position now.  


Over the next few moves, Korchnoi continues to improve his position. Note how he challenges Black's Pawn structure, and then moves to dominate the open c-file.  
13.a4! b4; 14.Nb1 Nc6; 15.Nbd2 Qb6; 16.a5 Qa7; 17.Nb3 Rac8;
18.Rc2 Ncb8; 19.Rac1 Rxc2; 20.Rxc2 Bc6!?;  
This plan - which looks to be somewhat doubtful - is slow and cumbersome.  
(Black probably should have just played the simple >/= 20...Nc6 in this position.) 


Now Korchnoi comes up with a simple (but highly effective) plan for dominating the c-file and also 
the e5 point for his pieces. 
 21.Bxb8!?, (Maybe - '!')  21...Nxb8;  22.Qc1 Bb7;  23.Ne5 Bd6;  
Now Black's pieces are severely tangled up and it is hard to envision just how Tiviakov will unravel his game.  

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  1n3rk1/qb3ppp/p2bp3/P2pN3/1p1P4/1N4P1/1PR1PPBP/2Q3K1 w  


Take a look ... and see for yourself. 


I like this, Korchnoi plays this way so as to discourage his opponent from kicking the WN on e5 with ...f6. 

 24...Ba8;  25.e3 Qe7;  26.Nd3!,   
Now Korchnoi focuses in on c5.  

     [ Also good was: 26.Bf1!?,  here for White. ]   


This looks dubious to me, probably the natural ...Nd7 was better here.  


 27.Ndc5 Bxc5!?;  28.Nxc5 e5!?;  
This is a desperate bid for some counterplay ... in a position where Black was slowly suffocating. 
(Black winds up with an isolated Pawn, something that Korchnoi is quick to exploit.) 

r-e_gm02__pos5.gif, 09 KB

  bn2qrk1/5ppp/p7/P1Npp3/1p1P4/4P1PB/1PR2P1P/2Q3K1 w  


Take a look at this position, and see how Black's position has been slowly drifting downhill.  


 29.dxe5 Qxe5;  30.Bg2! Qf5;  31.Nb3! Qd7;  32.Nd4 Qd6;   
Black is almost in zugzwang here and has few constructive ideas.  

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  bn3rk1/5ppp/p2q4/P2p4/1p1N4/4P1P1/1PR2PBP/2Q3K1 w  


Please study this position for just a few minutes.  


Now Rc8 looks good for White, but Korchnoi chooses a slightly sneakier path.  
 33.Bh3 Nd7?;  (>/= 33...g6)   
A final error, however I want to make it clear that Black's position was probably beyond salvation at this point, anyway. (Korchnoi has completely outplayed his younger and higher-rated rival.)  

This threatens RxR+ to be followed by Qc8, (with or without check); winning.  


(Black's next move is a minor miscue, but it comes in a position where Black was dead lost, so I 
do not bother hanging any extraneous appellations on it.)  
 34...Bb7;  35.Rc7,  "+/-"   
Now Black loses a whole piece, so it was definitely time to quit.  

Korchnoi gave GM Sergei Tiviakov a grand lesson in the art of positional play ... the tactics were always in the background during this struggle. 


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2006. All rights reserved.  


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PAGE  with another game by GM Victor Korchnoi, plus some background material, (on this player); and many valuable links. (Check it out!!) 

The analysis for this page was prepared with the excellent programsChessBase 8.0  and  ChessBase 9.0.  

The HTML was polished with several different tools and programs, (mostly FP)  ...  the text was checked for spelling with MS Word.  

The diagrams were created with the program,  Chess Captor 2.25.  


This page was first posted on: Wednesday; September 20th, 2006.  Page last edited: Monday, April 14, 2014 11:21 AM .  

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