< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·
|Nov-19-06|| ||acirce: <I would almost call it-"Martyrdom in Mereno"-based on the actual truth of the story.> Well, Korchnoi wanted the "free world" to view him as a martyr indeed. In fact I'm not sure what makes his behaviour towards Karpov (of course not just here) better than Topalov's towards Kramnik.|
|Nov-19-06|| ||Akavall: <In fact I'm not sure what makes his behaviour towards Karpov (of course not just here) better than Topalov's towards Kramnik.>|
Maybe this is where Danailov miscalculated. He didn't expect such a PR disaster.
|Nov-19-06|| ||acirce: Right. Danailov seems still to have this kind of Cold War mentality. All this talk about "the Russians" this, "the Russians" that, the Russian government intervening etc. It worked in those days, and perhaps he expected a larger part of the Western chess world to fall for this even today.|
|Nov-19-06|| ||diagonal: Victor Korchnoi was boycotted by the Soviet-Union (chess) authorities from all strong tournaments - except official FIDE matches (M. Euwe and his successor F. Olafsson guaranteed Korchnoi to play as "stateless" player, including the Olympiads) - during more than half a decade (from 1976 until 1984 Wijk aan Zee).|
Korchnoi was expelled of dozens of strong tournaments, where he wanted to play but was not allowed. Korchnoi had as consequence of the boycott no invitations to any tournament with soviet participants (practically all the frequent strong tournaments). I repeat: No possibility for Korchnoi to play in big tournaments for more than half a decade! Just as an illustration: not a single encounter between Korchnoi and Tal in this period of boycott; in fact, the only chance for Korchnoi to play against the best chess players of this period, Karpov, Spassky, Petrosian, etc. was the Candidates Cycle and the World Champion title matches respectively!
Damned good "tournament years" lost for Korchnoi, maybe the best ones in his life (you know, Korchnoi was already in the sixties a terrible contender who proved that he can win such competitions). According to chessmetrics, Korchnoi reached his individual peak aged 47y8m, in the boycott years... This chicanery not to allow Korchnoi to take part in the major tournaments, was one of the worst boycott in modern sport history.
Korchnoi did not wanted to be a martyr, after his defection he wanted to play free (and win, as always), Cold War was not a construct by Korchnoi (today there are lots of players no longer playing for their natural born country, in no particular order: Shirov, Gelfand, Yusupov - or Gulko!) - to compare him / his mentality at least implicitly with Danailov is definitely not correct: Korchnoi - as Karpov, btw. - supported in the 2006-Crisis Kramnik: VK (Korchnoi) signed an Open letter of support to VK (Kramnik) with other grandmaster on Monday 2nd of October 2006 and made it clear in a corresponding interview, that Danailov could not act without approval by Topalov.
I' m disappointed, that now there is an attempt (by a user whom I fully respect) to mix up Korchnoi's fate (and the destiny of his family, especially his son) with this "Danailov-Toilgate" (the general discussion about the 2006 title match is not a subject of this page). Obviously, Korchnoi was / is not an angel, surely not in his behaviour towards Karpov - and vice versa (eg. refusing handshake by Karpov at the beginning of the 8th game in the 78-match). Korchnoi is a fighter, not a PR-Man, who shows his feelings more or less openly, even aggressively (and of course, Karpov was clearly better in 1981, although the terminus massacre is not appropriate as shown already). But not to mention the sad tournament boycott of Korchnoi in this context / discussions, is near to a rewriting of (chess) history.
|Nov-20-06|| ||acirce: I'm not sure what your point is really. The boycott was unfortunate from his perspective but doesn't justify his behaviour the slightest. It's everybody's choice where to participate and not. What Korchnoi's son and his disrespect for Soviet law has to do with anything I don't get either.|
|Nov-20-06|| ||Ingolf: I think one point is that if you see a chance of freeing your family from the clutches of a totalitarian dictatorship, you can't be expected to care about a chess match being delayed. That alone makes his and Topalov's situations and actions totally incomparable.|
|Nov-20-06|| ||Operation Mindcrime: <acirce> Disrespect for Soviet law?|
Sorry, that one must've slipped by me. Are you referring to his dodging the draft, or is there anything more sinister that Korchnoi's son did?
|Nov-20-06|| ||euripides: 'Disrespect for Soviet law' looks to me like an application of a liberal concept to a non-liberal system. Respect for the law was a rather important baby thrown out with the bathwater of capitalism. That has a lot to do with the death toll under Stalin. |
If Korchnoi believed that Karpov was using the Soviet legal system to pressurise him through his family then his attitude to Karpov becomes wholly comprehensible. Whether Karpov had any responsibility for the treatment of Korchnoi's family I don't know (it's not just a factual question but an ethical one - did he have some chance and/or obligation to help ?).
There is little doubt that Karpov did at least co-operate with the Soviet sporting bureaucracy in trying to deny Korchnoi top-flight chess - which looks to me like a provocation much worse than anything Topalov has faced from Kramnik.
|Nov-20-06|| ||Operation Mindcrime: <euripides> I agree with you.|
Whether Korchnoi's defecting, or his son's dodging the draft, constitutes "disrespect for Soviet law" is a debatable point.
Certainly, if one takes a legalistic view of things, both of them were in the wrong. However, they both may have had valid reasons for their actions (are all anti-war protesters or conscientious objectors just people disrespecting the law?), and labelling them law-breakers without knowing the full facts of the case is, to put it mildly, a bit unfair.
And as for Korchnoi's reaction to what he perceived as victimization, I fully concur that he was provoked.
|Nov-20-06|| ||acirce: <euripides> Your post is interesting as usual but a bit puzzling. Respect for the law (particularly rule by law) is not a specifically liberal concept - most definitely not a <capitalist> concept, but we don't have to make the discussion more political than necessary - and you probably know that. Still, some laws under some circumstances certainly deserve to be disrespected, especially in undemocratic systems. I don't know how it is debatable whether Korchnoi's son disrespected Soviet law. That is not passing judgement.|
Paranoia is not an excuse. If Danailov seriously believed that Kramnik was cheating, then some of his actions make sense, but don't make them more excusable. Fischer, Kasparov, Dolmatov, they all acted despicably. Korchnoi calling Karpov "the jailer of my wife and son" is pretty damn outrageous without evidence to back it up with.
Finally, I wonder how <Ingolf> figures that insulting Karpov and the Soviets left and right helped Korchnoi to get his family out.
By the way, Karpov was also suffering from family-related problems during the 1978 match. His father was seriously ill, but was following the match closely, and Karpov says that his three losses (when 5-2 became 5-5) hastened his death.
|Nov-20-06|| ||Operation Mindcrime: <acirce> Right on, that's exactly why I said that we don't really know all the facts - perhaps we never will.|
Maybe calling Karpov the jailer of his family sounds outrageous, but by the standards of usual interaction between these two players (like their previous match), it was hardly unexpected. As Hartston put it, the 1978 championship was "the high point of chess as theatre" to that day...
And perhaps Korchnoi had reasons to believe that this was true. His subsequent behaviour (after he dropped out of title contention) doesn't come across as patently paranoid as, say, Fischer's does.
|Nov-20-06|| ||Ingolf: Whether his actions were suited for achieving their purpose wasn't the point, only that the situation of his family is an argument against making a moral equivalence between him and Topalov.|
|Nov-20-06|| ||Operation Mindcrime: <Ingolf> Quite right. Maybe Korchnoi's behaviour here wasn't of the highest standard - both their matches were full of this kind of thing - but my guess is that Korchnoi can at least claim extenuating circumstances, while I doubt Topalov can.|
Just my opinion, of course..
|Nov-20-06|| ||diagonal: Some brief annotations:
Victor Korchnoi was expelled from all major chess tournaments during the years 1976-84. After emigration, Korchnoi had little choice and suffered by this boycott. I see not the slightest comparison with Danailov's (Topalov's) situation / claims.
Of course, you can argue that such a collective boycott (and therefore less practice on top level) as Korchnoi faced and the fact that his son had to serve in a labour camp should have no impact on your chess performance...
"Disrespect for Soviet law" (btw. are there no higher human rights?): Such a pure legalistic view would be a rather cynical approach (with this logic you have to blame Kramnik for not playing game no. 5 by not respecting the rules / decisions of the arbiter). Indeed, some laws under some circumstances deserve to be disrespected (eg. towards totalitarian regimes or adapted: biased Appeals Committee).
It all depends on the circumstances - and these circumstances are always widely disputed (in chess, in politics, religion, law, etc., even in private life!).
To look closer to the circumstances, especially to the in this chessgames.com introduction (in the lead of this thrilling History of the World Chess Championship) NOT at all mentioned boycott of Korchnoi by the Soviet-Union: That's the point, I tried to make in my statement above. I also pointed out and do it once again: Korchnoi himself was certainly not an angel, he is a fighter.
|Nov-20-06|| ||Akavall: Both Korchnoi and Topalov made absurd statements/accusations in order to disturb their opponents. IMO, there is no excuse for this.|
|Nov-22-06|| ||Brown: I think this particular match, and the Korchnoi/Karpov relationship in general, is the most conflicted, confusing and ugly display of human nature in the history of chess, though I may be forgetting something.|
It's hard to keep one's head when dealing with issues of one's family.
If we were all Buddha, we'd all overcome and behave nicely. Korchnoi couldn't, and it's not excusable, but of all the ugliness seen by other chess players, his seems to be the most warranted/understandable.
To me, I think Karpov WAS the company man (albeit, a puppet with the highest level of chess skill on the planet), and as the face/representer of the Soviet Union, Korchnoi lashed out at him. Perhaps it was safest for Viktor to choose Anatoly instead of someone higher up...
Just some thoughts...
|Feb-04-07|| ||slomarko: why is this called "rematch"?|
|Feb-04-07|| ||plang: "why is this called "rematch"?"
Because they had played 2 previous matches; the candidates final in 74 and a wc match in 78.
|Feb-04-07|| ||Joshka: <slomarko> Because in 1978 they played a match in which Karpov was lucky enough to hold on to win. This match was more convincing, although not surprising, Karpov maturing, getting stronger, Korchnoi just the opposite.|
|Feb-04-07|| ||slomarko: i don't get this. a rematch was Botwinik's third match against Smyslow or the second with Tal. here Korchnoi had to qualify regularly so this isn't a "rematch".|
|Feb-04-07|| ||IMDONE4: how much is 800 thousand francs in terms of dollars?|
|Feb-25-07|| ||Open Defence: <2 Cold War in the Wolrd of Chess, Harold Schonberg, New York Times Sept. 27, 1981.> foot note 2 should read World instead of Wolrd .. thanks in advance <chessgames.com>|
|Apr-11-07|| ||keypusher: Incidentally, it appears that Korchnoi's son was locked up in 1979, not 1981. At the time the match began the sentence had six months to run. This is taken from the Schoenberg piece that appears to be the major source for the description of the match:|
<That would involve release from jail of Korchnoi's son, who was put away in 1979 as a ''draft dodger.'' The sentence still has six months to run.>
See page 1 of the article linked to at fn 2 above.
Sort of a side issue, but it would be nice to see the NY Times devote this much space to a chess match today!
|Apr-11-07|| ||RookFile: Ah yes. Only 6 months to go. It would have been completely impossible to find some other excuse to lock him up further.|
|Apr-12-07|| ||talisman: margin of victory +4. fischer-spassky +4...tal-botvinnik +5(61) even botvinnik smyslov #2...+3.|
why was this a massacre?
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