Soviet chess champion Anatoly Karpov went on the attack yesterday in the eighth game of his world title defense and crushed Victor Korchnoi, taking the first win in the match in the Philippines.
Karpov took advantage of a Korchnoi mistake in the opening to sacrifice a pawn and catch his king in the center. Further tactical inroads forced Korchnoi to resign on the 28th move, giving Karpov the first of six victories he would need to retain his title.
The players' off-board struggles also took a new turn when Karpov refused to shake hands prior to the game. He issued a statement that Korchnoi had "intensified tensions" to cause the break.
Korchnoi had issued almost daily complaints about the presence of an ESP expert with the Karpov entourage.
The two moved quickly into an Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez. Karpov, as white, transposed moves 9 and 10 to avoid a plan Korchnoi had used in previous games.
This allowed Korchnoi to equalize immediately withe 10 . . ., P.Q5. Instead, he chose the unfortunate kingside fianchetto, losing critical moves in an effort to undermine white's king-pawn.
Karpov reacted accurately. The loss of the gambit pawn became meaningless as Karpov's knight and bishops found work against the black king.
White's 18. B-R61 crashes in. If 18 . . ., BxB 19. NxB, R-N2, Karpov could have played 20. NxBP. RxN 21. QxB ch-capturing a pawn for a decisive advantage.
After the bishop retreat, Karpov regained his pawn and piled up on the king-bishop file. His 26. R-Q7! is a nice touch. If 26 . . ., BxR 27. QxBP ch starts checkmate in two moves. 26 . . ., R-K2 would have lost to 27. RxR, KxR 28. Q-B6 ch, K-B1 29. Q-Q3 checkmate.
Korchnoi resigned at moved 23. as any king move allowed Karpov to play 29. Q-B3 checkmate. Other options leave black down at least a piece, with the attack unbroken.