<%-- Page Title--%> Time Out <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 156 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

May 28, 2004

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The rebel grandmaster


Defence is the most difficult part of the game, particularly at the under-master level. If you are a good defender, you will get many points without virtually doing anything. But that's not easy. You need a lot of patience and a strong will to keep yourself afloat in the face of lethal threats. If you succeed, your counter-attack will be too much for an exhausted enemy.

Victor Korchnoi, who is now 73, is a grandmaster known for his typical counter-punching style. Korchnoi, in his best days, was never afraid of facing a powerful attack and would almost always grab any proffered material. He would calculate everything down to the final position where his opponent's initiative would peter out and the extra material would clinch the issue.

He represents what may be termed the 'materialist school' in chess. They are aggressive and at times erratic, and, above all, fiercely competitive. Korchnoi almost never accepted a draw even in positions that looked equal.

He was a prominent Soviet master throughout the fifties and the sixties, but he became famous after leaving his country in 1976. He accused the Soviet chess authorities of siding with Anatoly Karpov (world champion-1975-86). Korchnoi lost to Karpov in the candidates' final match in 1974. Karpov won the world title because Fischer refused to defend his title. He became the challenger in 1978, but lost the match by a narrow margin. This match was almost marred by accusations and counter-accusations. Korchnoi complained that the Soviet delegation had one mysterious man whose duty was to exert some kind of influence on him from a distance! True or not, the match really became a fight between the entire Soviet chess administration and Korchnoi, the defector.

Korchnoi did not win the world title, but he is regarded as one of the most original chess players of modern times. Since counter attack is his strong point, it is not surprising that he scored many beautiful wins with the black pieces.

The following game is an example of brilliant attacking chess. Korchnoi finds himself in the unlikely role of an attacker, not ' counter attacker'.

White-Victor Korchnoi
Black -Anatoly Karpov [E17]
Candidates Final Moscow 1974

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.c4 Be7 6.Nc3 00 7.Qc2 c5 8.d5 exd5 9.Ng5 Nc6 10.Nxd5 g6 11.Qd2 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Rb8 13.Nxh7 Re8 14.Qh6 Ne5 15.Ng5 Bxg5 16.Bxg5 Qxg5 17.Qxg5 Bxd5 18.00 Bxc4 19.f4 1-0.




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