Korchnoi vs Spassky finish 4-4 in Elista

12/27/2009 – The "Battle of the Giants" between tenth World Champion Boris Spassky, 72, and multiple World Championship challenger Viktor Korchnoi, 78 began with the latter pressing. But in the second half of the match it was Spassky who called the shots. He won two games and blundered away a good position in a third. Not bad after almost seven years of "hibernation". Report and games.

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Battle of the Giants – Korchnoi vs Spassky

It has been a while – almost seven years now – since Boris Spassky had played a serious tournament game. The tenth World Champion appeared to be understandably rusty after this "hibernation" (as the official web site puts it) and slow to start his match against the older but infinitely more active player, Viktor Korchnoi, multiple world championship challenger. In the first four games it was Korchnoi who was pressing, and the first half ended with a 2.5-1.5 lead in his favour.


Boris Spassky vs Viktor Korchnoi in the Kalmykian capital of Elista

The second half of the match in Elista, Kalmykia, was a different picture, with Boris Spassky finding his pace and beginning to dominate. In game five he effortlessly outplayed Korchnoi's Four Knights English with the black pieces, forcing his resignation in just 26 moves. In the sixth game Spassky had a good position but blundered in time trouble.

Spassky,B (2548) - Korchnoi,V (2567) [C49]
Match Kalmykia RUS (6), 24.12.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 Bxc3 7.bxc3 d6 8.Bg5 Bd7 9.Nd2 h6 10.Bh4 g5 11.Bg3 Ne7 12.Bxd7 Qxd7 13.Nc4 Qe6 14.Ne3 Kh7 15.c4 Rg8 16.Rb1 b6 17.c3 Ng6 18.Rb2 c6 19.f3 d5 20.cxd5 cxd5 21.d4 dxe4 22.d5 Qc8 23.fxe4 Nf4 24.Qc2 Qa6 25.c4 Rac8 26.a4 Ne8 27.Rc1 Nd6 28.Be1 Rc7 29.g3 Nh3+ 30.Kh1 g4

The position looks winnable for White, but Spassky, under time pressure, throws it all away: 31.Bb4? Nxc4 32.Bd6?? Nxd6. Korchnoi could have even gone for mate with 32...Nxe3 and then ...Qd3. 33.Qxc7 Rc8 34.Qxc8 Nxc8 35.Nxg4 Nd6 0-1.

In the seventh game Spassky was for the third time in a row able to gain the upper hand and start pressing for victory. this time it was Korchnoi who got into trouble with the clock and in an essentially lost position overstepped his time. The match was level after seven games. The eighth was then drawn in just eleven moves, so that in the final reckoning the match was level.


4.0-4.0 was the final score of the match between Boris Spassky and Viktor Korchnoi

 Players
Rtng
 G1  G2
G3
G4
 G5  G6
G7
G8
 Total
 Viktor Korchnoi
2567
1
½
½
½
0
1
0
½
4.0
 Boris Spassky
2548
0
½
½
½
1
0
1
½
4.0


The way we like to see him: Viktor Korchnoi in good spirits


Spassky, too, was in an excellent mood in Elista


Explaining what had transpired in this nostalgic match


The two giants after their encounter in Elista


Links

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