[Event "London Classic Simul"] [Site "?"] [Date "2011.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Korchnoi, Viktor"] [Black "Burriss, Nick"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E81"] [Annotator "Nick Burriss"] [PlyCount "83"] [SourceVersionDate "2020.04.12"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 {This move order prevents the Grunfeld Defence –which I was going to play. Viktor had obviously done his homework, which is more than I had!} d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. f3 O-O 6. Nge2 e5 7. Bg5 {This threw me. I was reasonably familiar with lines after 7. dxe5, 7. d5, and 7. Be3. After the game I flicked through a couple of books on the Kings Indian, but couldn’t find any references to 7. Bg5. So is it wrong? No, not at all – it just seems to have been out of fashion. I found a few games in a Fischer collection (Pachman v Fischer: Portoroz 1958; Mendes v Fischer: Mar Del Plata 1959; and Romo v Fischer: Santiago 1959) and in each case Black replied with 7…………c6 – keeping the Knight out of d5 and preparing to expand on the Q-side later. Needlessly worried by the pin I played…….} h6 8. Be3 c6 9. Qd2 {And this is why h6 was sub-optimal. White makes a perfectly natural developing move with a gain of tempo.} Kh7 10. O-O-O {Just in case I was in any doubt about White’s plan of campaign. Not only giving notice of an intended K-side barrage, but also threatening 11. dxe5.} Qa5 11. Kb1 Nbd7 { 11...b5 crossed my mind, but I thought White would have much the better of it after 12. cxb5 cxb5; 13. Nc1 b4; Nb5 whereafter the d-pawn is attacked, the b-pawn is pinned and weak and the Queen looks a bit beleaguered.} 12. d5 { Decision time – push, take or leave?} c5 {The wrong choice. I could have “left” for one more move with 12………Nb6 attacking White’s c-pawn, but the most accurate move was to “take” with 12………cxd5 opening a file against White’s King. I can draw a crumb of comfort from the fact that in the USSR Championship 1957 in a similar position Tolush played c5 against (of all people) Tal and, in his book on the Kings Indian, Grandmaster Drazen Marovic comments, “A very instructive mistake. When White is ready to start a pawn attack on the K-side, the proper reaction should be to open the c-file, not to block it”. So I was in decent company!} 13. g4 Ne8 14. Ng3 a6 15. h4 Rb8 16. h5 g5 17. Nf5 {I was more worried about 17. Bxg5 with Qxg5 to follow. I had no idea whether it was a sound sacrifice, but I was fairly certain that I’d be in for a very difficult time trying to defend against the ensuing attack and that my Q-side ambitions would be put on hold for some time. But now I thought I had locked up the K-side and just needed to stick to my cunning plan on the Q-side. I was less worried about the exchange of my rather feeble black squared Bishop than I was about his as yet undeveloped and asphyxiated white squared counterpart. So I resolved to prevent White playing Ne7, whilst also bolstering my g-pawn.} Bf6 18. Qd3 {I would hesitate to presume to criticise any Grandmaster – especially one who was the World No. 2 for almost a decade – but I thought this was a waste of time.} b5 19. Qc2 b4 {I think this is okay. The alternative, 19……..bxc4: 20. Bxc4 Nb6; 21. Be2 Bxf5; 22. gxf5 Nc7; also seems okay.} 20. Ne2 Nb6 21. Nc1 Qa4 22. b3 { Viktor banged this pawn down with a fairly loud “Nyet”. I took this to mean that he wasn’t interested in the Q exchange and, more worryingly, was pretty certain that he was better. On reflection, I think he had spotted the opportunity to sacrifice on d6.} Qd7 23. Nd3 Qc7 {I simply didn’t see his next move. But I had seen possible sacrifices on c5 and that was why I played this move.} 24. Nxd6 {After the game Viktor told me that he thought this amounted to “nothing” and that he should have lost.I was in no position to argue at the time, but Fritz roundly disagrees with his assessment.} Nxd6 25. Bxc5 Nd7 26. Bxd6 Qxd6 {Why not 26. Bxb4 first? I suspect Viktor was in no mood to hang about. By now many of the games had finished and the move chosen is fine. The central pawn roller cometh!} 27. c5 Qc7 28. Be2 {28 c6 is much better. The Bishop move is simply not to the point and at a stroke Viktor has dissipated the advantage that he thought he never had.} a5 29. c6 Nb6 30. f4 exf4 {Everyone graded above “idiot” knows that you should capture towards the centre. I was dreaming of freeing up my black squared Bishop and creating threats against White’s King. Nice ideas, but there’s the small matter of discovered checks in the offing for White and those, coupled with the passed pawns, are too much to bear.} 31. e5 Bg7 {Regrettably 31……..Nxd5 doesn’t work.} 32. d6 Qa7 33. c7 Rb7 {Black is quite lost here, but Viktor now played a series of inaccurate moves which should have cost him the game.} 34. Nc5+ { Better was 34. Nxb4+ followed by Nc6.} Kg8 35. Qe4 {After he had played this move Viktor said to me, “Now perhaps I get three more Queens”. At the time I feared he might be right, but if only I had seen it there was a great reply available to me that would have turned the game on its head.} Re8 {Sadly this is not it.} ({The sucker-punch was 35…………Rxc7!! And after 36. dxc7 Qxc7; 37. Rc1 Qxe5; 38. Qxe5 Bxe5 Black is better and the “three more Queens” notion is well and truly buried.} 35... Rxc7 36. dxc7 Qxc7 37. Rc1 Qxe5 38. Qxe5 Bxe5) 36. Bd3 {Wrong! Black could now still rescue the game with 36…….Rxc7!!. 36. e6 would have been curtains for Black. For example, 36……….Rxc7; 37. exf7+ Kxf7; 38. Qg6+ Kf8; 39. dxc7 Qxc7; 40. Bb5 and exeunt!} Nd7 {At the risk of repeating myself, 36………….Rxc7!! does the trick.} 37. Qh7+ Kf8 38. Nxd7+ Bxd7 39. Bf5 Bxf5+ {You can add as many ?’s to this move as you want. It’s an absolute howler of a blunder which loses at once when, yet again, there was a winning option. Yes, our old friend Rxc7. If 39………..Rxc7; 40. dxc7 Qxc7; 41. Rxd7 (or 41. Bxd7) Qxe5 winning. I think I must hold some kind of record for rook-sacrifice blindness. In truth I had to move instantly because mine was the only game still in play – watched by a large crowd of enthralled spectators, several of whom shook their heads at my blunder. But at least I had ‘checked’ the great man.} 40. Qxf5 Rxc7 { The irony is obvious. The very moment when this move is hopeless, I chose to play it. It was Viktor’s turn to shake his head.} 41. dxc7 Qxc7 42. Rd7 { We shook hands; he said he was tired but thanked me for “the fight”; as he stood up supported by walking sticks provided by his wife who had sat patiently in a corner while he played, he said, “Kings Indian? Against me?” then he smiled and walked away.} 1-0