Korchnoi Invents The Korchnoi Gambit - Best Of The 60s - Korchnoi vs. Udovcic, 1967

Korchnoi Invents The Korchnoi Gambit - Best Of The 60s - Korchnoi vs. Udovcic, 1967

NM SamCopeland

The 1960s had SO MUCH GOOD CHESS. There were so many games by Fischer, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Larsen, and many more players that could go on this list. I really think the 1960s may be the richest decade in chess history.

For this list, I stuck to my unofficial rule that I only select one victory per player. That narrowed things down a bit, but even then there were so many brilliant games to choose from. First on the list is Korchnoi vs. Udovcic from 1967. This clean and aesthetic game demonstrated instructive, forceful, and tactical play AND shows Korchnoi utilizing a strong gambit against the French that bears his name. I've used this gambit for quite some time myself, and this game is quite an inspiration for those looking for an anti-French weapon.

Top 10 Games of the 1960s

Korchnoi's decision to gambit the pawn on d4 is a bit surprising, given his reputation for being on of the greediest pawn grabbers of all time, maybe THE greediest pawn grabber of all time (eat your heart out Yasser), but the gambit proves very strong. Udovcic never manages to unwind, and with 23.Qh4 and particularly 26.Nxe6!! Korchnoi uses an array of pins to win in style.

My annotations are below as well as brief comments from Korchnoi's collection of his best games (This affiliate link supports the channel for those interested. It's hard to find an affordable copy though!).

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