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Towards Meran 1981.

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After Baguio 1978, Karpov could see life a different way. In 1975 he had become Chess World Champion when Fischer decided not to play, and Karpov felt obliged to show the world he was a worthy champion.In 1978 he defeated the challenger and former fellow-countryman V. Korchnoi in a dramatic match and then he devoted the time between matches to playing in tournaments and team competitions. Between 1979 and 1981, he took part in around 16 top-class events. The 1978 challenger Korchnoi had to wait till 1980 to start his path in the Candidates’ matches which will give the name of the 1981 challenger. Three matches were required to acquire the condition of “official challenger”.

(1980 was the beginning of an intense decade which had to witness the destruction of one of the world’s political blocks: the Soviet one. The world also saw the end of a divided Germany and how the infamous Berlin Wall was broken down forever.Many of you will remember that decade …for its music too :). For my part, I began it with a knee injury, an operation and nearly a whole year being unable to walk + two years more of intense exercise to fully recover my leg…)

Korchnoi’s first opponent was his arch-enemy Tigran Petrosian, the venue of the match Velden, Austria, and the outcome was in Korchnoi’s favour: +2  -0  =7. The second match was against another Soviet player: L. Polugaevsky. An excellent match from the creative point of view. Polugaevsky was a tough opponent and Korchnoi won by a narrow margin: +3  -2  =9. Some of the games were fought till  no more options were left on the board. The  match took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the players were given the opportunity of using the same chess pieces as in the Capablanca-Alekhine World Championship Match in 1927. (Remember that in those days the pieces, the chairs, the tables,the placement of the spectators and the players’ helpers were matters of heated debates… They used normal pieces from a local retailer though…)

The last step was the Candidates’ Final against Dr. Robert Hübner, from Germany. The place was the Italian historical city of Meran and the date Christmas of 1980.  As in the Petrosian-Hübner 1974  match, the German GM started the match simply to later walk out slamming the door, leaving it unfinished when he was  losing by +3  -2  =2 with two unfinished games … A pity, but not for Korchnoi , in his heyday perhaps the strongest chessplayer never to become Champion of the World, who managed not to knock on Karpov’s door, rather kick on it for the second time in a row. 

(In those days I was playing and studying Chess on a daily and nearly ” nightly” too – basis, though the only way to get the games was either a daily newspaper Chess column or waiting one or two months for a Chess magazine… I still remember how eagerly I read and re-read the newspaper clipping and played the moves one time after another alone in my room… Those were my happiest Chess days…)

The 1981 World Championship Match took place in Meran again and this time Karpov smashed his opponent. But this is another story and I will write about it in the future. Now, the games which belong to this period of time.

W.: Korchnoi (1)

B.: Petrosian (0)

Velden 1980. Candidates’ Match.

1. c4, e6 2. Nc3, d5 3. d4, Nf6  4. Nf3, Nbd7  5. cd5, ed5  6. Bf4, c6  7. e3, Be7  8. h3, 0-0  9. Bd3, Re8 10. Qc2, Nf8  11. 0-0-0, Bb4  12. Kb1, Qe7  13. Bg5, Qe6  14. Bf4, Qe7  15. Ne5, Ne4  16. Nxe4, de4  17. Bc4, Be6  18. Bxe6, Nxe6  19. Bh2, Nf8  20. Qb3, Ba5  21. Nc4, Bb6  22. d5, cd5  23. Rxd5, Bc5  24. Bd6, Bxd6  25. Nxd6, Red8  26. Rhd1, Qe6  27. Nxb7, Rdb8  28. Rb5, Qf6  29. Rd2, Qg6  30. g3, h6  31. Nd6, Rd8  32. Rbd5, Rab8  33. Qc3, Kh7  34.Qe5, Rd7  35. Nf5, Rdb7  36. h4, Ne6  37. Nd6, Rb4  38. h5, Qg4  39. a3, Ra4  40. Ka2, Nc7  41. Qf5, Qxf5  42. Rxf5, f6  43. b3, Ra6  44. Nxe4 /Petrosian resigned.

W.: Polugaevsky (1)

B.. Korchnoi (0)

Buenos Aires 1980. Candidates’ Match.

1. Nf3, Nf6 2. c4, b6 3. g3, Bb7 4. Bg2, e6  5. 0-0, Be7  6. d4, 0-0  7. d5, ed5  8. Nd4, Nc6  9. cd5, Nxd4  10. Qxd4, c5  11. Qd3, d6  12. a4, a6  13. Na3, b5  14. Bf4, b4  15. Nc4, a5  16. e4, Ba6  17. Qc2, Bxc4  18. Qxc4, Nd7  19. Rfd1,  Nb6  20. Qb5, Qc7  21. Bh3, Rfb8  22. Qc6, Qd8  23. e5, Nc4  24. ed6, Bxd6  25. Bxd6, Nxd6  26. Qxc5, b3  27. Rd4, Rb7  28. Rc1,h6  29. Qc3, Rab8  30. Qe3, Re7  31. Qf4, Re2  32. Rc6, Rb6  33. Qc1, Qf6  34. Qf4, Qd8  35. Rd2, g5  36. Qd4, Rb4  37.Qc3, Re1  38. Bf1, Rxa4  39. Re2 , Rxe2  40. Bxe2, Qe7  41. Bd3, Ra1  42. Kg2, Rd1  43. Ra6, Qd8  44. Qd4, f5  45. Ra7, Qf8  46. Qc3, a4  47. Qc7, Qf7  48. Ra8, Kg7  49. Qxd6, Rxd3 50. Qe5 / Korchnoi resigned.

W.: Polugaevski (0)

B.: Korchnoi (1)

Buenos Aires 1980′. Candidates’ Match.

1. Nf3, Nf6 2. c4, c5 3. Nc3, d5 4. cd5 Nxd5 5. e4, Nb4  6. Bc4, Nd3 7. Ke2, Nf4  8. Kf1, Ne6  9. b4, cb4  10. Nd5, g6  11. Bb2, Bg7  12. Bxg7, Nxg7  13. Nxb4, 0-0  14. d4, Bg4  15. Ke2, Qd6  16. Qd2, Ne6 17. Bxe6, Qxe6  18. Ke3, f5  19. Qd3, fe4  20. Qxe4, Qxe4   21. Kxe4, Nd7  22. Rhc1, Rf5  23. Rc7, Nf6  24. Kd3, a5  25. Nc2, Nd5  26. Rxb7, Nf4  27. Ke4, Nxg2  28. Ne5, Rf4  29. Kd5, Bf5  30. Rc7, Rd8  31. Kc5, Bxc2  32. Nc6, Re8  33. Nxe7, Kf8  34. Nc6, Rf5  35.Ne5, Nf4  36. Rxh7, Kg8  37. Rd7, Nd3  38. Kb6, Nxe5  39. de5, Rexe5  40. Rc1, Rf6  41. Ka7, Rxf2/ Polugaevsky resigned.

This is the adjourned position of the 9th game Hübner-Korchnoi, Meran 1981.

game  9  W.: Hübner.

And the 10th game was adjourned in the following position:

game 10 W.: Korchnoi

Korchnoi’s sealed move was  44. Rh3.

And Korchnoi became the official challenger for the second time in a row.



Written by QChess

December 13, 2012 at 8:26 am

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