Chess

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This was the position that Valery Salov had to save against Viktor Korchnoi to win the Wijk aan Zee tournament. White's game is a disaster: he is a pawn down, his e-pawn is attacked, and Black also threatens ...a5, chasing the knight away from its defence of a2.

White could almost resign with a clear conscience. Instead, Salov fought on with 1.Rc1, planning to meet 1...Rxe2 with 2.Rc8+ Kh7 3.Qf5+ g6 4.Qxf6. Korchnoi put an end to any such nonsense with 1...Qd7 2.Qxd7 Nxd7, renewing the threats of Rxe2 and a5. Since 3.Nxa6 Rxe2 is quite hopeless, Salov continued 3.Kf1 a5 4.Rd1 (the only hope) Nf6 5.Rd6 Bc7 6.Rc6 Bxg3 7.hxg3 axb4 8.Rc5 Rxa2 9.Rxb5 Rb2.

Now 10.Rxb4 loses quickly after 10...Nh5! so White played 10.Nd4 g6 11.g4 Kg7 12.Kg2 Rd2 13.Rxb4 Nd5 14.Rc4 Nf4+ 15.Kh2.

Now 15...Nxe2 16.Nxe2 Rxe2+ 17.Kg3 is difficult for Black to win despite his two extra pawns, so Korchnoi paused with 15...Kh7. There followed 16.Nf5 gxf5? (16...Rxe2+ 17.Kg3 Ne6 must win easily) 17.Rxf4 Rxe2+ 18.Kg3 Re1? (fxg4 must be right) 19.Rxf5 Rg1+ 20.Kh2 e2 21.Kxg1 e1=Q+ 22.Kg2 and Black has no way to penetrate the White fortress. A draw was agreed 33 moves later.

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