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Korchnoi-Spassky Candidates 1977: Spassky Begins a Streak

  • NM GreenLaser
  • | Jul 13, 2011
  • | 5042 views
  • | 10 comments

The great rivalry between Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi had turned in Korchnoi’s favor. Halfway through their Candidates match to determine which one would face Anatoly Karpov for his title, Korchnoi was five points ahead. After ten games, Korchnoi had scored five wins and five draws. I have previously shown game seven of this match in which Korchnoi used a Queen’s Gambit. In that game, Spassky used the Tartakower Variation, a favorite of his trainer, Bondarevsky. Despite losing, Spassky returned to that line in this game. Not only did Spassky bounce back to win game eleven, he also won the next three games. Korchnoi was still ahead one, but only one, point. Korchnoi held on to that lead with draws in the next two games. Then with wins in the following two games, Korchnoi ended the match. Since he had a lead of three points, the final two game were not played.

The politics of the match showed a public face in the matter of the use of national flags. Korchnoi had left the Soviet Union for a tournament and did not return in 1976. He stayed in the Netherlands and moved to Switzerland in 1978. He was not permitted to have a small flag on the table. Spassky had been given permission by the Soviets to live in France and was able to have a Soviet flag on the table. Ironically, Spassky used the flag of a nation he no longer lived in, while Korchnoi could not use the flag of the nation he did live in. The psychology of the match showed a public face in game 10 when Spassky stayed in his relaxation area or box, except to make his moves at the board. Spassky followed the game on a demonstration board in his private space. Korchnoi won the game, but protested Spassky’s behavior. It is presumed that Korchnoi’s complaint disturbed Korchnoi himself and he lost the next four games (starting with the one shown). I believe that complaints players feel they need to make tend to have that effect and that players should weigh that cost against the need to complain. Korchnoi copied Spassky’s behavior in game 14 and lost his fourth consecutive game. Later, Korchnoi apologized for doing what he had already complained about. During game 14, Spassky had escalated his psychological gambit by wearing a silver visor. Later, in game 17, Spassky wore the visor, sunglasses, and diving goggles. However, Korchnoi won games 17 and 18.

Shown now is Spassky’s first win of the match, game 11.


Comments


  • 3 years ago

    matthewyu170298

    nice

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    NimzoRoy, it makes sense that Spassky would regret the possibility of being remembered for wearing goggles rather than his best games in this match. Since then, Spassky and Korchnoi have played matches voluntarily and appear to be on friendly enough terms.

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    sheardp, I remember a flag suggested by Korchnoi was the Jolly Roger.

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    Mischa, in my previous article on the match I showed game seven and did not dwell on the "dirty tactics." I added these here. Still, I left out that the Soviets held Korchnoi's family and abused his son. I do prefer to stick to the games, but other things affect the play.

  • 3 years ago

    NimzoRoy

    I always thought that Spassky had simply started to lose his mind during this match, but that he eventually regained his sanity and probably regretted his behavior vs Korchnoi.

  • 3 years ago

    Mischa

    I remember this ' match from hell '.  Sadly this artical only touches upon the dirty tactics.  It was though, an improvment on the Petrosian - Korchnoi kicking under the table match.  When you hear an old person complain that " things arn't what they used to be ", you can see they are right, just maybe not in they way they remember it.

  • 3 years ago

    paripooranan

    this game is not interesting as i thought

  • 3 years ago

    NM GreenLaser

    cookie3, yes, I just can't fathom it!

  • 3 years ago

    cookie3

    Hard to imagine someone wearing diving goggles to a chess match!  Guess he was prepared for some deep thinking!LaughingTongue out

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