You want a war? How about Karpov-Korchnoi 1978?

10/8/2006 – If you think the Kramnik-Topalov match is acrimonious, you should look at the 1978 match between Anatoly Karpov and Soviet defector Viktor Korchnoi. They battled over yogurt, visitors in the audience, but also viciously on the chessboard. In his Monday night Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos looks at game 17.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Think the Kramnik-Topalov match has been acrimonious? This match has nothing on the 1978 match between then-champion Anatoly Karpov and his challenger, Soviet defector Viktor Korchnoi. They battled over what flavors of yogurt Karpov could receive and when. They battled over who was permitted in the audience and where they could sit. And most of all, they battled over the chessboard, where Karpov emerged victorious by a 6 win to 5 margin after 32 grueling games and a fantastic Korchnoi comeback.

For this Monday's show, we'll review some of the more entertaining goings-on from that match, and then we'll dig into one the flawed but fascinating game 17; a game that came to mind while watching game 8 of the ongoing Kramnik-Topalov match. In the 1978 game, Korchnoi, with White, had the advantage almost all the way through - sometimes a winning advantage – but never cashed in on his chances. Ultimately, he found nothing better than an ending with two rooks and three pawns against a rook and two knights (thus the similarity to the aforementioned Kramnik-Topalov game – complete with passed a-pawn!), where the knights promised enough counterplay to draw, but Korchnoi could at least continue to press a little. Then tragedy struck.

To see this memorable, painful episode from world championship history, join me this Monday night at 9 p.m. ET: you'll be glad you did!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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