Korchnoi Botches it! Korchnoi-Aseev St Petersburg 1997


This game occurred in the St.Petersburg Championship in 1997, Round 5. The event was won by Alexander Khalifman.

Against Konstantin Aseev, Viktor Korchnoi played the line in the Four Knights English that now bears his name.  I'm interested in this game because it's one of the few times that Black played the rather contentious 4...d5 against him, and I wanted to see how he handled it.

The resulting struggle was rather complex and both players had numerous options. It's fair to say that Black equalized without difficulty, but there were good chances for both sides.  Both players must have been in severe time pressure around move 30.  Aseev committed blunders on move 30 and 32 that should have been game-ending, but Korchnoi missed an easy pin on a3 twice!

Korchnoi emerged from the time control in a pawn-up ending that offered little in practical chances and the game ended in a draw.  I'd love to hear Korchnoi's account of this game.  I've never seen him botch it like he did here.