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Viktor Korchnoi
Korchnoi in Amsterdam, 1972; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Number of games in database: 4,416
Years covered: 1945 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2499
Highest rating achieved in database: 2695

Overall record: +1688 -672 =1730 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 326 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (267) 
    E99 E60 E81 E94 E80
 English (231) 
    A15 A13 A17 A14 A16
 Nimzo Indian (189) 
    E32 E21 E42 E54 E46
 English, 1 c4 c5 (144) 
    A30 A33 A34 A31 A35
 English, 1 c4 e5 (132) 
    A28 A29 A22 A25 A20
 Queen's Gambit Declined (121) 
    D30 D37 D31 D35 D38
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (390) 
    C11 C07 C02 C09 C19
 Sicilian (265) 
    B45 B44 B83 B32 B56
 Queen's Indian (170) 
    E12 E16 E15 E17 E19
 Nimzo Indian (163) 
    E32 E46 E34 E54 E21
 Ruy Lopez (160) 
    C80 C83 C77 C82 C81
 Grunfeld (140) 
    D85 D94 D91 D97 D87
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Korchnoi vs Tal, 1962 1-0
   Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1994 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Udovcic, 1967 1-0
   Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1948 1-0
   Fischer vs Korchnoi, 1962 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978 1-0
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 1-0
   Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1977 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1977 1-0
   S Tatai vs Korchnoi, 1978 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship (1978)
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   Bucharest (1954)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979)
   Stockholm Interzonal (1962)
   Curacao Candidates (1962)
   USSR Championship (1952)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Korchnoi! (i) The Early Years (1956-1984) by amadeus
   Victor Korchnoi in Olympiads by capybara
   Victor Korchnoi in Olympiads by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Korchnoi's 400 best games by Wade & Blackstock by Gottschalk
   Korchnoi's 400 best games by Wade & Blackstock by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Challenger Korchnoy by Gottschalk
   Korch.noi by fredthebear
   My Best Games (Korchnoi) by Qindarka
   French Korchnoi II by AuDo
   Run for the Championship - Viktor Korchnoi by Fischer of Men
   JoseTigranTalFischer's favorite games by JoseTigranTalFischer
   French Korchnoi III by AuDo
   On My Great Predecessors 5 (Kasparov) by Gutierrev
   On My Great Predecessors 5 (Kasparov) by Qindarka

   🏆 Korchnoi-Uhlmann Rapid Match
   Uhlmann vs Korchnoi (Feb-16-15) 0-1, rapid
   Korchnoi vs Uhlmann (Feb-16-15) 0-1, rapid
   Uhlmann vs Korchnoi (Feb-15-15) 1-0, rapid
   Korchnoi vs Uhlmann (Feb-15-15) 1-0, rapid
   Uhlmann vs Korchnoi (2014) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Viktor Korchnoi
Search Google for Viktor Korchnoi

(born Mar-23-1931, died Jun-06-2016, 85 years old) Russia (federation/nationality Switzerland)
[what is this?]

Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi was born in Leningrad, USSR. His father taught him chess when he was seven years old. He won the Soviet Championship four times: USSR Championship (1960), USSR Championship (1962), USSR Championship (1964/65) and USSR Championship (1970). He made eight appearances in the world championship candidates cycle. He reached the Spassky - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1968), but failed to beat Spassky. In the next cycle he won his quarterfinal Korchnoi - Geller Candidates Quarterfinal (1971), but lost his semifinal match to Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian. He made it to the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Final (1974), but lost.

Korchnoi defected from the USSR in 1976, and two years later he finally managed to win the Candidates and qualify for the Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978). Trailing late with just two victories to Karpov's five, Korchnoi staged a comeback, winning three games to level the score at 5-5. However, Karpov then won the final game, thereby taking the match and retaining the crown. Korchnoi qualified again for the Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981), but was beaten 6-2. In the next Candidates cycle he was beaten by the rising young Soviet star Garry Kasparov. He continued to play at a very high level throughout the 1980s and 1990s, though he never contended for the world title again. He did, however, capture the 2006 World Seniors' Championship, scoring nine points out of eleven games. Though never World Champion himself, Korchnoi defeated nine players who at some time held the title: Petrosian, Spassky, Karpov, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Robert James Fischer, Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen.

After defecting, Korchnoi settled in Switzerland, which he represented at Olympiads and other international events. He was ranked in the top 100 on the FIDE world rating list as late as January 2007 (aged 75), the oldest player ever so ranked.

Korchnoi suffered a stroke in December 2012, but returned to competitive chess beginning in 2014. He died in Wohlen, Switzerland on June 6, 2016, aged 85.

Wikipedia article: Viktor Korchnoi

 page 1 of 177; games 1-25 of 4,416  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Rovner vs Korchnoi 1-0201945LeningradC45 Scotch Game
2. Zikov vs Korchnoi 0-1201946LeningradB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. Petrosian vs Korchnoi 1-0231946LeningradA90 Dutch
4. Korchnoi vs Razov 1-0271946LeningradC50 Giuoco Piano
5. V Shiyanovsky vs Korchnoi 0-1351947LeningradD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. L Aronson vs Korchnoi 0-1431947LeningradD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. Y Vasilchuk vs Korchnoi 0-1601947LeningradB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
8. Korchnoi vs S Giterman 1-0361948TallinnC07 French, Tarrasch
9. Korchnoi vs Spassky 1-0121948LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
10. Korchnoi vs N Levin 1-0311949URS-ch qfE03 Catalan, Open
11. L Omelchenko vs Korchnoi 0-1321949LeningradC77 Ruy Lopez
12. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-1511949LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
13. Korchnoi vs Shapkin 1-0181949MoscowD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
14. V Golenishchev vs Korchnoi 0-1421949MoscowA90 Dutch
15. Korchnoi vs Y Sakharov  1-0301949URS-ch qfD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Korchnoi vs I Pogrebissky  ½-½431950URS-ch sfB55 Sicilian, Prins Variation, Venice Attack
17. N Bakulin vs Korchnoi 0-1391950URS-ch qfB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
18. Korchnoi vs Cherepkov 1-0681950Leningrad ch-cityC58 Two Knights
19. Korchnoi vs G Borisenko 0-1381950URS-ch sfC34 King's Gambit Accepted
20. Korchnoi vs O Moiseev 0-1411950URS-ch sfB57 Sicilian
21. M Aizenshtadt vs Korchnoi 0-1341950URS-ch qfD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Taimanov vs Korchnoi 0-1351950LeningradA97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
23. Korchnoi vs G Goldberg 1-0411950URS-ch sfA02 Bird's Opening
24. Sikov vs Korchnoi 0-1441950LeningradA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
25. Korchnoi vs E Polyak 1-0331950URS-ch sfC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
 page 1 of 177; games 1-25 of 4,416  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Korchnoi wins | Korchnoi loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: He has also claimed that the KGB burned him with radiation. He has also said, about Karpov "He is losing 100 rating points a year. He would like to stay around [in grandmaster chess] but he cannot."

I would say...take the Big Vic's comments with a grain of salt.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: < He has also said, about Karpov "He is losing 100 rating points a year. He would like to stay around [in grandmaster chess] but he cannot.">

Well, Korchnoi at Karpov's current age was still a top player (though below the very elite. He was ranked 23rd in July 1991 - but his highest ranking at the age over 60 was 16th at 68 (!), with a rating of 2676). I cannot imagine Karpov being rated 2676, let alone ranked 16th, 8 years from now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: He could stay around at the top level, but only if he was willing to put in the work to do it, which he's not, and which is understandable for someone who has done as much as he has. Korchnoi is different, he has unfulfilled ambitions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Those were the days: Aleksander Nikitin (best known for his years as successful chief trainer / second of Kasparov), Igor Zaitsev (one of Karpov's main trainers / analysts and seconds in a number of World Championship matches against Korchnoi and Kasparov; well-known also for his contributions to opening theory, especially in the Ruy Lopez), Mark Taimanov (who has at least once beaten six world chess champions, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Karpov, but reminds most famous for his notorious match loss against Fischer forty years ago), and as notable non-ex-soviets: Wolfgang Uhlmann (one of the leading French Defense experts; with Botvinnik and Korchnoi as Giants of the French), Lajos Portisch and Borislav Ivkov, the first ever Chess World Junior Champion sixty years ago... - and the indomitable Viktor Korchnoi:

These legendary players from the Botvinnik era compete in a round robin rapid tournament with the time control of 25min + 10 sec/move. Chief arbiter is Yuri Averbakh, currently the world’s oldest living grandmaster. Averbakh turns ninety next year.

Unfortunately Boris Spassky, the world’s oldest living chess champion, who was also set to make an appearance, could not take part, eventually GM Oleg Chernikov took his place.

After six rounds of play Viktor Korchnoi took a convincing lead with five points, full point and a half ahead of the next follower group.

The Russian Chess Federation is organizing a number of events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the 6th World Champion Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik (17 August 1911 - 5 May 1995). The Patriarch celebrates <today> the 100th anniversary of his birth (cp. on his page).

Besides a super-strong SuperRapid event at the beginning of September with the World's top four players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian and Kramnik, and a strong open in Sankt Petersburg, the RCF is hosting a seniors' tournament from 15th to 19th August in Suzdal-Vladimir Oblast.

"Memorial Botvinnik": Seniors

Round 6 standings:

1. GM Viktor Korchnoi SUI 2553 - 5.0

2-4. GM Lajos Portisch HUN 2523, GM Evgeni Vasiukov RUS 2455 and IM Aleksander Nikitin RUS 2430 - 3.5

5-9. GM Oleg Chernikov RUS 2402, GM Wolfgang Uhlmann GER 2379, GM Borislav Ivkov SRB 2416, GM Igor Zaitsev RUS 2408 and IM Anatoly Bykhovsky RUS 2354 - 2.5

10. GM Mark Taimanov RUS 2386 - 2.0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Here is a neat quote from <Albertan>'s video:

Viktor Korchnoi: <People played [chess] with more energy and temperament before the computer. The computer made chess more cool than before, and the computer is guilty.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

<I suppose that Capablanca was an ingenious chessplayer. To put it more precisely, his talent became apparent in childhood. While, in my opinion, neither Botvinnik, nor Alekhine and Lasker were genii. They were simply talented people, who toiled their way to the world top players by willpower and working ability.>

-- Korchnoi

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Any "Korchnoi statistician" here? I already asked it on one game page, but I also ask it here...

Who was the latest born player Korchnoi played so far? Also the same question for "beat", "drew" and "lost to" instead of "played". My candidate for played, beat and drew is Hou Yifan, for lost - Caruana. Correct?

What about the same with the earliest born player?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Nice to see that of the 4 games where Korchnoi opened with the QP at the Botwinnik Memorial, two of his opponents replied with the King's Indian. They obviously hadn't heard that he assesses himself as one against whom people shouldn't play the KID. Or wouldn't it be fun if they were teasing him about it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <alexmagnus>
Earliest born player faced by Korchnoi? How about Levenfish (b. 1889), with one win and one loss in this database.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Earliest born player with a draw against Korchnoi? My guess is Pirc (b. 1907). Can anyone find an earlier one?
Aug-25-11  polarmis: I've transcribed/translated a video interview with Korchnoi - and it's actually one of the best interviews I remember seeing with him:

For example, he gives by far the most entertaining response to Kasimdzhanov's anti-draw proposal - a long rant ends:

<I’d take the “former World Champion” title away from that man. Even the “former”.>

Aug-25-11  Kolyas: <polarmis> Thank you for that wonderful interview.

Korchnoi's like will not be seen again. He is like my grouchy old grandpa.

Aug-27-11  Everett: <Which book had the greatest influence on you?

<Bronstein’s book on the International Tournament in Zurich. A beautiful and well-known book. It impressed me, as did my personal contacts with Bronstein, who taught me a lot about chess. First he wrote the book, then we studied a little together, and we also played chess. So he more or less taught me to play.>>

Oct-02-11  Psihadal:

At 0:25 when Korchnoi sweeps all of his pieces, does anyone know where and when was this game against Karpov played? I find that hilarious.

Oct-02-11  Shams: <Psihadal> But the title screen of your clip tells you: January '98, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Oct-02-11  Psihadal: <Shams> You mean at the start of the video? That relates to the Karpov-Anand 98 championship match, no?
Oct-02-11  Shams: Yes, you're right. Sorry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

< There are a number of top professionals (e.g. Morozevich & <Korchnoi>) who have expressed the view that White's supposed advantage in chess does not actually exist. >

-- Nigel Davies


Oct-21-11  The Rocket: <"Kortchnoi rarely declines any opportunity to gain material. - Anatoly Karpov">

This is so funny! korchnoi lives and breaths in chess for material gain.

very little in understanding of chess. Terrible strategical player at times but calculates like crazy!

you can see some of his Kid games and he plays dubious moves like blocking his own queens side play in the KID as white and you wonder does he understand anything about chess besides calculation?

Oct-21-11  M.D. Wilson: The Rocket, your summary of Korchnoi is absurd. Sure, he's a materialist at heart, but he's one of the best endgame players of all time, and often demonstrated fine strategical play. Spassky's assessment of him is more to the point. You don't get to his level, and have a record against the best in the world by being a "terrible strategical player", either.
Oct-22-11  The Rocket: Korchnoi vs Kasparov, 1989

9 a4? nobody with a clear strategical understanding plays such a move.. after a5 white will never win. the queenside is blocked from any serious play and black simply takes his time to create a kingside attack

Oct-22-11  AnalyzeThis: Well, if you just take what happenned in the game, it's not hard to visualize white emerging with at least one rook on a7 or b7, and pressure piling up on c7. Korchnoi must have figured that after his g4 move that the knight would have to retreat, but Kasparov had a very fine answer with .... e4. So, with hindsight, maybe 9. a4 is not the greatest move in the world, but it wasn't the worst, either.
Oct-22-11  The Rocket: In terms of squandering winninug chances for white- a4 is right up there.

White can realistically only hope for a draw against a strong Kid player and thats rather bad given that the opening is supposed to be quite rich in at least practical chances for both sides

Oct-22-11  The Rocket: By the way korchnois way to play the system was correct he is certainly not weak positionally
Oct-22-11  Blunderdome: Korchnoi is listed on team Switzerland's roster for the upcoming European Team Chess Championship.
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