Game 8: Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1978 Baguio City, Phillipines.

Posted: 06/11/2013 by Ian in Club News

Karpov-KorchnoiGame 8 was drawn from the 1978 World Chess Championship was played between challenger Viktor Korchnoi and champion Anatoly Karpov in Baguio City, Phillipines. The conditions of the match were changed for the first time since 1951: the 24 game format was replaced with an unlimited game format, with the first player to win 6 games being declared champion. The rematch clause for the Champion, which had been discarded since 1963, was brought back into effect. This was not the first match betwen Korchnoi and Karpov. In the 1974 candidates matches, after defeating Lev Polugaevsky and Boris Spassky in preliminary matches, Karpov beat Korchnoi in the 1974 candidates final by the close score of +3 -2 =19. Korchnoi had been one of the USSR’s top grandmasters for over 20 years. He had won the Soviet Championship on four occasions and had had reached the Candidates final twice. When Korchnoi dramatically defected from the USSR in 1976, he set the stage for one of the most bitterly contested matches in WCC history, filled with high political drama, tension, and accusations. The political ramifications of a Soviet defector winning the chess crown hung heavy on the match atmosphere. Numerous accusations were traded by the two camps. Korchnoi continously complained that he was being stared at by a member of Karpov’s team during play, a parapsychologist supposedly with hypnotic powers. Karpov objected to Korchnoi’s wearing of sunglasses which he said deflected light on his eyes. At one point in the match the players stopped shaking hands and all further communication stopped. Draws offers were conveyed through the arbiter.

According to Grandmaster Robert Byrne:

“Korchnoi, the challenger, thrives on rancor, developing instant aversion for every opponent he plays. Their mutual dislike began with Korchnoi’s disparaging remarks about Karpov’s play during their final Candidates’ Match in Moscow in 1974. True enmity did not blossom, however, until their title match in Baguio City, the Philippines. After Korchnoi defected from the Soviet Union in 1976, his wife, Bella, and son, Igor, were prevented from joining him. Karpov was not amused when Korchnoi called him “the jailer of my wife and son”, implying that Karpov could have obtained their release from the Soviet Union so they could have joined Korchnoi. Karpov retaliated by terming Korchnoi “immoral” for leaving his family behind when he defected to the West. Korchnoi screamed, “Filthy!” and Karpov would no longer shake hands.”

Karpov’s FIDE Rating going into the match was 2725; Korchnoi’s was 2665. The match opened with seven draws. Karpov opened up a 5-2 lead and seemed sure to win when Korchnoi made an astonishing comeback winning three games to tie the match at 5-5. Karpov, however, won the very next game to win the match.

Game 17

Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov

Karpov-Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978) • Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bishop Attack (E47) • 0-1

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. d4 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. d5 b5 7. dxe6 fxe6 8. cxb5 a6 9. Ne2 d5 10. O-O e5 11. a3 axb5 12. Bxb5 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Ba6 14. Rb1 Qd6 15. c4 d4 16. Ng3 Nc6 17. a4 Na5 18. Qd3 Qe6 19. exd4 cxd4 20. c5 Rfc8 21. f4 Rxc5 22. Bxa6 Qxa6 23. Qxa6 Rxa6 24. Ba3 Rd5 25. Nf5 Kf7 26. fxe5 Rxe5 27. Rb5 Nc4 28. Rb7 Ke6 29. Nxd4 Kd5 30. Nf3 Nxa3 31. Nxe5 Kxe5 32. Re7 Kd4 33. Rxg7 Nc4 34. Rf4 Ne4 35. Rd7 Ke3 36. Rf3 Ke2 37. Rxh7 Ncd2 38. Ra3 Rc6 39. Ra1 Nf3

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