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Examples of Soviet cheating in FIDE competition: Petrosian-Korchnoi match, 1971

  • #341

    SaintGermain, I am guessing you're referring to the game from the third cycle of the match-play tournament where Keres had White in a rook ending and lost. 

    This is what Dennis Monokroussos had to say:

    <The game I'm referring to is the game Keres-Botvinnik, from the third cycle of the 1948 World Championship match-tournament. There's good reason to think that Keres was pressured not to out-do Botvinnik in the event (see http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skitt. for a good survey of the documentary evidence), and some (not me) think it went to the point that Keres actually threw his first four games against Botvinnik, only winning the last one when it no longer mattered. (In fact, some go on to say that Botvinnik threw the last one, to make sure Reshevsky wouldn't finish ahead of Keres!)

    As part of the case for the "Keres threw the games" conclusion, they point to particular positions where Keres' play seemed especially suspect, and the game in question offers a favorite example. Rather than make the whole case here, however, I refer you to my new video: http://www.chessvideos.tv/forum/vie.. You'll find all the elaboration you could want there, along with some amusing stories, plenty of analysis - and plenty of analytical errors, including some embarrassing ones by those who think the fix is in.

     

    So have a look - it's free, available on-demand for the next month, and requires no special software - and decide for yourself. My judgment: while I think it's likely that Keres felt some general pressure, I doubt that it came anywhere near the point where he was told or felt compelled to throw the games. I say that the fix is out.>

    (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1032191)

    Jamie calls me an apologist for the Soviets. I'm not. They did many horrible things. But her claims are not supported by the evidence she presents.

    Jamie sees any meeting as proof of collusion. There were meetings between the Fischer and Spassky contingents during the 1972 match. There were many meetings between the Karpov and Korchnoi contingents during their matches. There were meetings during the Kasparov-Karpov matches, and so on. That doesn't mean there was collusion to fix results. It means there were issues that needed to be discussed.

  • #342

    What was the purpose of the meeting with the Sports Committee, after 8 consecutive draws?  This was not a case of a simple dispute between the participants.  This was being called into offices in the Kremlin - serious stuff!

    Korchnoi has always denied he intentionally lost.  Nevertheless, he received in the next year, at least three tournaments outside of the Soviet Union ... his reward for allowing Petrosian to face Fischer.

  • #343

    Rest in peace, Victor Korchnoi - a REAL world champion!

  • #344

    Viktor, a true titan of chess, A grumpy maestro of the game! Even in his years of grey hairs and of withered strength, his passion for the 64 squares and 32 pieces never left him! He will be missed!

  • #345

    Bump to the top

  • #346

    I think that Karpov would not just lie about these things and fabricate some theory for no reason, what could he gain from it. He is not a propagandist in the sense that, for example, Kasparov took pride in being. As a young rising talent in the Soviet chess bureaucracy it is likely that he had access to details that the world does not know about, so I choose to believe that he is a trustworthy source of information. In a Cold War scenario with the political tension at a peak, the Soviets regarded chess as a symbol of the ideological superiority of communism over capitalism and so they probably went to great lengths to obstruct Fischer from the world crown. Perhaps Fischer became paranoid in his later years but in his heyday his mind was as crystal clear and sharply logical as his moves on the chess board.

    Of course Petrosian was a brilliant player but he was also seemingly overconfident at times, and his perspective of Fischer may been too heavily influenced by his early encounters with him. Certainly the Fischer of 1958 was far removed from the edition that he presented in 1970. Compared to what happened to Taimanov and Larsen, Petrosian offered a good fight. He was capable to beat Fischer in one game after somewhat an opening fiasco, and several draws, but unfortunately not enough. Now I think that if such a meeting actually took place where the outcome of the Candidates quarterfinal was decided by a panel who assessed which of the two, Petrosian or Korchnoi, had a better chance of beating Fischer in the semifinal - then Korchnoi was simply being realistic while Petrosian overly optimistic. Petrosian had greater "star power" as a former champion and being quite successful over his career, relatively, and so his opinion was possibly held to higher degree. Interestingly, Korchnoi always had a style of pragmatic nature similar to Geller, who caused Fischer many problems in their games. So it is difficult to say or forecast what could have happened in such scenario. Also not that it matters really, but I feel that Spassky by 1972 was a bit disillusioned (?) with the world champion title and didn't practically play to the standard that he previously demonstrated he was capable of in other tournaments, matches, etc. He was hungry to win the title from Petrosian in 1969 after failing on his first attempt in 1966 but the same level of desire was not there when the occasion was defending the title in Reykjavik. Therefore he was not giving much resistance to Fischer's demands either, to the dismay of his federation that saw these things as yielding the psychological edge. Maybe it was a prelude to his subsequent defection to France later in life.

  • #347

    ...they dont know the eastern languages..german language, indian language or russian language...

    I think that a knight move after mobilizing it, it is a bishop short move somewhere near the middle...etc..

    Im trying to discover the other symbols...

  • #348

    Bobby Fischer arrived 11 days late for the 1972 Match, because of severe psychological problems. The Soviets could have withdrawn from the Match, but agreed to the continual delays. Fischer arrived 30 mins late for the First Game, and did not arrive at all for the Second Game (Spassky notes that Bobby Fischer offered no apology). For the Third Game, Fischer insisted on playing in a small, private room instead of in front of the audience -- Spassky agreed to this. (Since then Spassky has said he should have made Fischer play in the Auditorium, as had been agreed -- the result may have been very different. Or should have left Iceland when Fischer refused to arrive on the due date, and no one knew when, or even if, Bobby would turn up for the Championship Match).

    Spassky on Korchnoi:"He could not play well against someone unless he hated them."

    Spassky on Fischer:"I felt sorry for him. Sitting opposite me was a child who was losing his mind."

    is it possible for Grand Masters to "fix a win", or will the resulting Game look highly suspicious?

    There is significant suspicion that Karpov and Kasparov pre-arranged the results of Games 23 and 24 of their 1987 World Champion Match. These Games have been analysed by GM Roman Dzindzichashvili:

    Most Mysterious World Championship: The Story - Chess Videos - Chess.com (background story)
    https://www.chess.com/video/player/most-mysterious-world-championship-match-1

     

    Most Mysterious World Championship Match 2 - Chess Videos - Chess.com (Games analysed)
    https://www.chess.com/video/player/most-mysterious-world-championship-match-2

    One cannot avoid the extremely strong suspicion that the results of both Games were pre-arranged. Roman says that even Grand Masters can blunder badly -- even leave a Queen unprotected! However, if a GM made such a blunder, the chances of his opponent missing the blunder are virtually nil. In Game 24, an extreme blunder (Kasparov is given Mate in about 5 moves) is "missed" by both of them. This happens not just once but TWICE!!
    To have won immediately after Karpov's blunder would have made it obvious to everyone.  After the 2 blunders Kasparov has an advantage, so that he wins 20 moves later. Doing so makes the blunders less obvious, unless a GM analyses the Games.
    These 2 Games show how difficult it must be to pre-arrange a win or a loss, without other GM's realising something "fishy" is going on.

    if there was widespread fixing of Games during "the Soviet era", then it should be verifiable by analyses of the Games themselves.

  • #349

    "There is significant suspicion that Karpov and Kasparov pre-arranged the results of Games 23 and 24 of their 1987 World Champion Match"

    I doubt that anyone seriously could suspect something as silly as that :-)

    "In Game 24, an extreme blunder (Kasparov is given Mate in about 5 moves) is "missed" by both of them. This happens not just once but TWICE!!"

    So where did both miss a mate in five moves in that game?

  • #350

    To begin with, what would Karpov have to gain by pre-arranging Kasparov's keeping the title? And, if the stuff about both missing a mate in five moves twice in game 24 had been anywhere close to have happened (which it of course didn't, just look at the game), how could such repeated blunders have been a strategy to avoid the idea that it had been pre-arranged? Wouldn't many missed mates in few moves have made it all seem more suspicious than if they hadn't missed all these mates? Why not just draw the last two games instead of missing lots of mates? Or why not just lose in less spectacular fashion, if Karpov had pre-arranged with Kasparov to lose the last game for some very unclear reason? 

  • #351

    The first 22 Games in 1987 were all Draws -- the most likely outcome was 12 - 12, and Kasparov would remain Champion. The pre-arrangement of win-loss for Karpov would not change this result. However, in London, someone made a surprising bet that Karpov would win Game 23 plus that Kasparov would win Game 24 -- they obtained very good odds. Therefore the very likely result of the Championship remains unchanged -- but there would be a financial difference!

    Roman Dzindzichashvili helped Karpov with his preparation and is a friend. Watching the videos, it becomes clear that these are not normal games (though it needs careful analysis by a GM). Look at Roman's analysis. Similar things happen in Game 23. (There were not 2 missed mates -- actually the Mate becomes possible because Karpov moves a Knight -- if the Knight is not moved, a Draw will result. Kasparov does not want to reveal "the Mate", but makes a "blunder" because the move he makes would allow that Knight to move back into Draw Position. Karpov "misses" this Draw-forcing move even though Kasparov's position has now improved). Then again, perhaps both of them really did not see the possibilities.

    Importantly, the ability of Roman to point out these amazing anomalies appears to indicate how very difficult it must be to pre-arrange a "win" or a "loss". Accusations have been made of "arrangeing results" of games during the Soviet era, but where is the proof? It is all hearsay evidence. I noticed that there is talk of a Game between Botvinnik and Keres which is supposed to be "pre-arranged", but those analysing the game regard it as being hard-fought. Analysis given by Roman makes it look as though it should be possible to discover if Games have been "pre-arranged" -- as far as I know, no such evidence exists for Games during the Soviet Era. It should be possible to obtain such evidence by analysis of the Games themselves, but no one produces such evidence.

    i take this to mean that claims of cheating by Soviet Chess players to be essentially not true.

  • #352
    Kookaroo wrote:

    The first 22 Games in 1987 were all Draws -- the most likely outcome was 12 - 12, and Kasparov would remain Champion. ...

    I stopped reading here. If you can't even correctly report the result of the first 22 games of a World Championship match...

  • #353

    Yes, after 22 Games each player had won 3 Games, with 16 Draws, giving them 11 points each. It does not change the facts concerning Games 23 and 24.

    In Game 24 --

    -- at Move 31 Karpov (Black) plays Nc5 X a4.  (a horrendous blunder). Then, after White (Kasparov) takes Black's (Karpov) Rook, white wins with Qb1 - b5. How could Karpov miss this? But Kasparov misses it also, and blunders -- he plays Qb1 - d1. Karpov can still save the Game by Na4 - c5

    However, Karpov blunders for the second time with Nc8 - e7. Now Kasparov proceeds to win the Game about 30 moves later. All other moves in the Game are reasonable ones.

    Similar strange events occur in Game 23.

    The importance is that there were rumours that these 2 Games had been pre-arranged: that is why they have been analysed by GM Roman  Dzindzichashvili. One can either accept this as "normal blunders", though they have gone mostly unnoticed. Or feel that they represent reasonable evidence of pre-arrangement.

    Most of this Forum is about supposedly pre-arranged Games. But those Games been not been analysed in a similar fashion. Seeing as these are serious claims, made on what various people may have said, for myself I take little notice of them until similar evidence is supplied.

    This is evidence that a Grand Master cannot "throw a Game" without serious inconsistencies in the resulting Game.

  • #354

    "How could Karpov miss this?"

    Maybe because he had 20 seconds to decide what to play. Not to mention the tension of the moment, and exhaustion at the end of this their 120th match game 1984-87... The win was also complicated enough for Kasparov to miss it as well. Kasparov later gave the winning line for white as 33 Qb5! Kh7 34 Nc6 Qa8 35 Qd3+ f5 36 Qd8 Nc5 37 Qe8! f4 38 Kg2 Qb7 39 Bh5 Ne7 40 Kg1! which isn't particularly obvious if you are tired and low on time.

  • #355

    It is clearly incorrect to suggest that difficulties were attributable to legitimate fears.  In 67, Fischer withdrew from the interzonal because he was convinced of the other's superior skills (no Bobby was winning the tournament), in 1970 he insisted on a large fee because he knew the competition had improved and winning would be problematic (won by 3 1/2), he delayed the Spassky world champ because with Boris's prior winning record winning would be questionable (after a strange default and game, Fischer completely dominated the first half and coasted for the remainder.   The most logical explanation for 1972 was that Fischer had legitimate fears about winning- he had no support system, no close family, and mental illness was already beginning to show in 1975

  • #356

    It is clearly incorrect to suggest that difficulties were attributable to legitimate fears.  In 67, Fischer withdrew from the interzonal because he was convinced of the other's superior skills (no Bobby was winning the tournament), in 1970 he insisted on a large fee because he knew the competition had improved and winning would be problematic (won by 3 1/2), he delayed the Spassky world champ because with Boris's prior winning record winning would be questionable (after a strange default and game, Fischer completely dominated the first half and coasted for the remainder.   The most logical explanation for 1972 was that Fischer had legitimate fears about winning- he had no support system, no close family, and mental illness was already beginning to show in 1975

  • #357

    I rather can spot mental illness when someone posts repeatedly the same text.

  • #358

    Can we trust NETFLIX and chess movies?

     

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