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Korchnoi in Amsterdam, 1972; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Viktor Korchnoi
Number of games in database: 4,460
Years covered: 1945 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2499
Highest rating achieved in database: 2695
Overall record: +1717 -683 =1759 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      301 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (276) 
    E81 E60 E99 E94 E62
 English (229) 
    A15 A13 A17 A14 A16
 Nimzo Indian (190) 
    E32 E21 E42 E54 E46
 English, 1 c4 c5 (145) 
    A30 A33 A34 A31 A35
 English, 1 c4 e5 (134) 
    A28 A29 A22 A25 A20
 Orthodox Defense (112) 
    D55 D50 D58 D51 D54
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (404) 
    C11 C07 C02 C19 C09
 Sicilian (279) 
    B44 B83 B32 B89 B45
 Queen's Indian (173) 
    E12 E15 E16 E17 E19
 Nimzo Indian (162) 
    E32 E46 E34 E21 E44
 Ruy Lopez (162) 
    C80 C83 C77 C82 C81
 French (144) 
    C11 C00 C10 C12 C13
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
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978 1-0
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 1-0
   Averbakh vs Korchnoi, 1965 0-1
   Fischer vs Korchnoi, 1962 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1977 1-0
   Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1977 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Match (1978)
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981)

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

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Korchnoi! (i) The Early Years (1956-1984) by amadeus
   Victor Korchnoi in Olympiads by capybara
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Challenger Korchnoy by Gottschalk
   French Korchnoi II by AuDo
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1980-1989 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Run for the Championship - Viktor Korchnoi by Fischer of Men
   French Korchnoi III by AuDo
   OMGP V by keypusher
   Exchange sacs - 3 by obrit
   OMGP 5 - Korchnoi - Karpov by grellas
   Match Petrosian! by amadeus
   Victor Korchnoi : My best games : With White by Malacha
   Inspirational Games of Viktor Korchnoi by MadBishop

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Viktor Korchnoi
Search Google for Viktor Korchnoi
FIDE player card for Viktor Korchnoi

(born Mar-23-1931) Russia (citizen of Switzerland)
[what is this?]
Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi was born in Leningrad, USSR. His father taught him chess when he was seven years old. In the mid 1950s, Korchnoi began an international career that would eventually result in four Soviet Championship victories in 1960*, 1962*, 1964* and 1970* and eight appearances in the Candidates. He reached the Candidates final in 1968 before being defeated by Boris Spassky, thereby being seeded into the next candidates cycle, in which he defeated Efim Geller by the score of 5.5-2.5 (+4 -1 =3) before losing in the semifinal to Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian by (-1 =9). He earned the right to qualify towards the Karpov - Korchnoi Candidates Match (1974) final, but lost.

Korchnoi defected from the USSR in 1976, and two years later he finally managed to win the Candidates and qualify to play Karpov for the title. Trailing late in his first World Championship match 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 for another shot against Karpov in 1981, but was beaten again, 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 has defeated 11 players who at some time held the official title: three reigning champions (Petrosian, Spassky, and Karpov), six former or future champions (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Fischer, Kasparov, Carlsen) and two future FIDE champions (Topalov and Ponomariov).

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.

In December 2012 Korchnoi suffered a stroke, and it is uncertain if he will be able to return to competitive chess.

* [rusbase-1]; [rusbase-2]; [rusbase-3] and [rusbase-4]

Wikipedia article: Korchnoi

 page 1 of 179; games 1-25 of 4,460  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. D Rovner vs Korchnoi 1-020 1945 LeningradC47 Four Knights
2. Korchnoi vs Razov 1-027 1946 LeningradC50 Giuoco Piano
3. Zikov vs Korchnoi 0-120 1946 LeningradB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
4. Petrosian vs Korchnoi 1-023 1946 LeningradA90 Dutch
5. Y Vasilchuk vs Korchnoi 0-160 1947 LeningradB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
6. V Shiyanovsky vs Korchnoi  0-135 1947 LeningradD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. L Aronson vs Korchnoi 0-143 1947 LeningradD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Korchnoi vs S Giterman 1-036 1948 TallinnC07 French, Tarrasch
9. Korchnoi vs Spassky 1-012 1948 LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
10. L Omelchenko vs Korchnoi 0-132 1949 LeningradC77 Ruy Lopez
11. Korchnoi vs Shapkin 1-018 1949 MoscowD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
12. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-151 1949 LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
13. V Golenishchev vs Korchnoi 0-142 1949 MoscowA90 Dutch
14. Korchnoi vs Y Sakharov  1-030 1949 Lvov Ch URSD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. Korchnoi vs N Levin 1-031 1949 LvovE03 Catalan, Open
16. M Aizenshtad vs Korchnoi  0-134 1950 LeningradD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. Korchnoi vs Kasparian 0-138 1950 TulaB10 Caro-Kann
18. Korchnoi vs S Zhukhovitsky  1-055 1950 LeningradB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
19. Korchnoi vs I Pogrebissky  ½-½43 1950 TulaB55 Sicilian, Prins Variation, Venice Attack
20. Averbakh vs Korchnoi 1-043 1950 TulaB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
21. A Khavsky vs Korchnoi 0-131 1950 LeningradB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
22. Korchnoi vs O Moiseev 0-141 1950 TulaB57 Sicilian
23. Korchnoi vs Cherepkov 1-068 1950 Leningrad ch-cityC58 Two Knights
24. N Bakulin vs Korchnoi 0-139 1950 LeningradB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
25. Korchnoi vs G Borisenko 0-138 1950 TulaC34 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 179; games 1-25 of 4,460  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Korchnoi wins | Korchnoi loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 80 OF 80 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-09-14  Strelets: <RedShield> Party membership was a lifetime deal unless "the most organized force of our times" decided to strip you of it. Khrushchev did this to Viacheslav Molotov in 1961 but he was eventually rehabilitated and even permitted by Konstantin Chernenko to rejoin the Party in 1984.

As far as Smyslov goes, he was devoutly Russian Orthodox and never joined. This did not, however, preclude his developing connections with influential members of the nomenklatura-look at how he was picked to play on the USSR team at the Lugano Olympiad in 1968 instead of Misha Tal, reigning champion of the country(!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Has plus scores against 3 former World Champions, Tal, Petrosian and Spassky, and even scores against 2 more, Fischer and Botvinnik. What a shame he couldn't become World Champion.
May-23-14  Petrosianic: He was never the best. He did well against Petrosian and Spassky when they were past their prime, but did poorly against them while they were in it. He broke even with Fischer largely when Fischer was before his prime. His record against Botvinnik is based on 4 games. None of that spells Should be World Champion.

Janosevic had a winning record against Fischer. That's nice, but not Sure Fire World Champion Material either.

May-23-14  EdZelli: His poor bed-side manners failed him every time where it counted the most. There was always controversy when he played, such as matches with Karpov, Petrosian, Spassky, etc. Read Robert Byrne's comments about the Karpov match in particular.
May-23-14  Petrosianic: You only need to look at the 1977 Candidates Final to see why he never became world champion. He had his opponent beaten like a rug, went to pieces over a minor issue, and nearly blew the match.

He was one of those players who needed to dislike his opponent to play at full strength. That may be one reason why he had trouble with Huebner. He didn't hate him. (There was controversy in that match, but for once it wasn't Korchnoi's fault).

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: It is unfortunate that anyone has ever needed to detest one's opponent in such fashion in order to play their best. The thought is anathema to me.
May-23-14  Petrosianic: I guess it's the flipside of having a hard time playing people you're especially friendly with.
May-23-14  Howard: Regarding the Korchnoi--Huebner 1980 Candidates match, Huebner resigned it after eight completed games, along with two adjourned ones not yet completed. As far as the first eight games, Korchnoi had a one-point lead, plus he had an advantage in one of the two unfinished games.

The match was supposed to be best-of-16 games, but Huebner complained of inadequate match accomodations, and decided to just resign the match.

Korchnoi made an effort to talk Huebner into reconsidering his decision, but Huebner was adamant. So Korchnoi went on to play a third world championship match with Karpov.

(Well, it was the third match if you include their 1974 match......) Need one say more about THAT match?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Howard> Well Fischer says that 1974 match with Karpov as fixed as well. No way was Korchnoi going to be allowed to win. But a couple of Fischer/Korchnoi matches would have put chess on the front pages world wide !!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Well it's drama that creates interest world wide for chess and usually it's the ying/yang...good/villain...scenario in a Fischer/Korchnoi match you'd have villain against villain in a way!!!LOL
May-23-14  Petrosianic: Fischer said that ALL of the Karpov-Korchnoi matches were fixed, move for move. 1978 and 1981 included, after Korchnoi had defected. But it's more plausible that Fischer simply couldn't stand the thought of the world title going on without him and invented a story that it really wasn't that it is that he a) had evidence to believe it was true, and b) kindly withheld that evidence to spare Karpov and Korchnoi's feelings.

On the other hand, maybe it's a test of your faith. Maybe he deliberately made no case whatsoever for the idea just to see if your faith in him was strong enough to believe it without any. Maybe he had a secret file containing conclusive proof that he planned to make public once the test of faith was over, and it will still turn up one day.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <Petrosianic: Fischer said that ALL of the Karpov-Korchnoi matches were fixed, move for move. 1978 and 1981 included, after Korchnoi had defected. But it's more plausible>

Actually, anything is more plausible than Fischer's "accusation" - that he provided no proof, evidence, motive etc. - well, it is just too bad that people keep bringing it up.

The first two Karpov-Korchnoi matches were competitive and of high quality and deserve to be better remembered than by the rants a of a deranged genius.

May-23-14  Petrosianic: <The first two Karpov-Korchnoi matches were competitive and of high quality and deserve to be better remembered than by the rants a of a deranged genius.>

Yes, but Joshka doesn't consider Fischer to be a deranged genius. He takes Bobby's every word as gospel, including a few words that Fischer didn't even say (see "My 61 Memorable Games Hoax").

You're right about the Karpov-Korchnoi matches, though. The 1974 match is one of the better matches ever played. Most people don't look at games, only at results. So with this match, they look at those 19 draws and look no further. But if you actually play over the games, you'll see a knock-down dragout match with two people trying to beat each other's heads in game after game after game, and being completely evenly matched.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <plang> this is what Fischer claimed the "powers at be" were looking for when they raided his belongings during the Bekins heist. He said he was planning on writing a book on the subject and the notes were stolen from the storage locker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I blame the KGB. They were always out to get Fischer.
May-23-14  Rookiepawn: This stuff about "hating your opponent" reminds me of some box fighter who said "To me, the guy in front is just a bastard who wants to steal my kid's food".

I think this is the downside of professional sport. When you depend on results to survive, then you don't think about the beauty of sport but money. That's also the reason for quick boring draws in chess, or refusal to play against someone you fear, as happened many times in chess history.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <TheFocus> Well KGB and the USSR were smarting after Bobby took THEIR title!!;-)......think of it this way, this is not a perfect analogy but I find it similar.

Imagine a baseball team in Russia challenging the World Series winner to a 7 game match and winning say in 5 or 6 games!! I hope I live for the day when Cuban baseball teams play in the Major's. When a certain country dominates an activity year after year, then loses it, it creates havoc within that country!! Personally I'd LOVE to see another country compete and win the World Series. Just to show us how silly we have been calling it the World Series for all these years. When they do, THEN it can properly be titled such.

May-25-14  Mr 1100: At the risk of repeating observations that have already been made, I must note that Korchnoi is the only player I've been able to find on to have played competitively against Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Khalifman, Ruslan Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, and Veselin Topalov. Remarkably, he has a plus score against Tal, Petrosian and Spassky.

This must be an achievement in itself, surely?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Rookiepawn> For the same streak of ferocity at the board, with a milder demeanour on a personal basis, I should like to call your attention to two players I have known: John A Curdo and Harry Lyman.
May-29-14  Strelets: <Mr 1100> Much less equal scores in games with Botvinnik and Fischer. He also beat Geller +11 -6 =16, Leonid Stein +3 -2 =12, Polugaevskii by the considerable margin of +21 -9 =33, Taimanov +9 -5 =22, Larsen +6 -4 =4, Unzicker +6 -1 =4, Najdorf +3 -0 =3, Ljubojević +7 -5 =22, Hübner +15 -13 =25, Lajos Portisch +13 -12 =18, Gligorić +8 -2 =14, Timman +19 -14 =43, Henrique Mecking +5 -2 =12, Uhlmann +5 -3 =7, Sammy Reshevsky +3 -0 =8 [classical games only, source: this site]...
Jun-04-14  Mr 1100: <Strelets> Many thanks for the statistics.
Jun-08-14  NeoIndian: Take a look at this :)

Btw, who is the person standing at the start of the video?

Jun-08-14  NeoIndian: Ah. Got it- GM Ljubomir Ljubojević.
Premium Chessgames Member
  M61MG Wrestler: <petrosianic: a few words that Fischer didn't even say (see "My 61 Memorable Games Hoax"). >


Jun-25-14  vkk: Fischer was afraid of Karpov and tried to make him seem weaker than himself

I'd be afraid too after looking at karpovs style

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