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Korchnoi in Amsterdam, 1972; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Viktor Korchnoi
Number of games in database: 4,422
Years covered: 1945 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2499
Highest rating achieved in database: 2695
Overall record: +1695 -677 =1734 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      316 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (267) 
    E99 E81 E60 E94 E80
 English (228) 
    A15 A13 A17 A14 A16
 Nimzo Indian (190) 
    E32 E21 E42 E46 E41
 English, 1 c4 c5 (144) 
    A30 A33 A34 A31 A35
 English, 1 c4 e5 (132) 
    A28 A29 A22 A25 A20
 Orthodox Defense (110) 
    D55 D50 D58 D51 D54
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (391) 
    C11 C07 C02 C19 C09
 Sicilian (279) 
    B44 B83 B32 B89 B45
 Queen's Indian (170) 
    E12 E16 E15 E17 E19
 Ruy Lopez (160) 
    C80 C83 C77 C82 C81
 Nimzo Indian (158) 
    E32 E46 E34 E21 E44
 Grunfeld (142) 
    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
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1978 1-0
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 1-0
   Fischer vs Korchnoi, 1962 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1977 1-0
   Averbakh vs Korchnoi, 1965 0-1
   Spassky vs Korchnoi, 1977 0-1

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

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship (1960)
   Bucharest (1954)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979)
   Palma de Mallorca (1972)
   Stockholm Interzonal (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
   Korchnoi's 400 best games by Wade & Blackstock by Gottschalk
   Challenger Korchnoy by Gottschalk
   French Korchnoi II by AuDo
   Run for the Championship - Viktor Korchnoi by Fischer of Men
   French Korchnoi III by AuDo
   Kasparov - Great Predecessors 5 by Qindarka
   OMGP V by keypusher
   Move by Move - Korchnoi (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
   Exchange sacs - 3 by obrit
   OMGP 5 - Korchnoi - Karpov by grellas
   K Players by fredthebear
   Match Petrosian! by amadeus

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

(born Mar-23-1931, 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.

Wikipedia article: Viktor Korchnoi

 page 1 of 177; games 1-25 of 4,422  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. Korchnoi vs N Levin 1-031 1949 LvovE03 Catalan, Open
11. L Omelchenko vs Korchnoi 0-132 1949 LeningradC77 Ruy Lopez
12. Korchnoi vs Shapkin 1-018 1949 MoscowD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
13. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-151 1949 LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
14. V Golenishchev vs Korchnoi 0-142 1949 MoscowA90 Dutch
15. Korchnoi vs Y Sakharov  1-030 1949 Lvov Ch URSD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Taimanov vs Korchnoi 0-135 1950 LeningradA97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
17. I Vistaneckis vs Korchnoi  0-148 1950 TulaA80 Dutch
18. M Aizenshtadt vs Korchnoi 0-134 1950 LeningradD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Korchnoi vs E Polyak 1-033 1950 TulaC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
20. Sikov vs Korchnoi 0-144 1950 LeningradA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
21. Korchnoi vs Suetin  ½-½60 1950 TulaB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
22. Korchnoi vs Kasparian 0-138 1950 TulaB10 Caro-Kann
23. Korchnoi vs S Zhukhovitsky 1-055 1950 LeningradB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
24. Korchnoi vs I Pogrebissky  ½-½43 1950 TulaB55 Sicilian, Prins Variation, Venice Attack
25. Averbakh vs Korchnoi 1-043 1950 TulaB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
 page 1 of 177; games 1-25 of 4,422  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 86 OF 86 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-23-16  rgr459: Did Korchnoi used to smoke cigarettes like so many of his colleagues?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Man gets old(er). People applaud. They'll be in hysterics when he dies. Give over!
Mar-23-16  ketchuplover: Game over too !!!
Mar-23-16  gars: Happy Birthday, Grandmaster Korchnoi! Congratulatios to an excellent player and a superb fighter!
Mar-23-16  cunctatorg: Happy birthday, On (His) Great Predecessors V!!

Let's hope than some of the successors will be as devoted to the game and such a fighter as "Victor the Terrible" is ... though this scenario is not so much likely to become true... The bottom line is that it's not only the skill and the achievements that create a legend, a proper personality is also necessary for the creation of a legend ... and more for the creation of a living legend!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: The guy smoked cigarettes and sat around playing chess for 60 years. He must have indestructible genes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Viktor the Terrible!!
Mar-23-16  et1: Happy Birthday Master !!!
Mar-23-16  erniecohen: It must be tough when you're 85 and your rating drops all the way down to 2500. He must miss the good old days when he was only 80 and beat Caruana.
Mar-23-16  erniecohen: 4425 games in the database. Who has the record?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <erniecohen> Korchnoi does. See Statistics Page.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Viktor Lvovich, a real man, Cheers for one of the all-time greatest die-hard 64-squares fighter!

<Lech Kulejewski: As far as the style of play is concerned, I think Korchnoi can be compared with Lasker, Larsen.... and Carlsen, perhaps??? What do You think?>

Interesting point, Lasker and Larsen are often named with Korchnoi, .... but Carlsen? Well, a reigning number one of the world certainly would disagree to be compared with an old man - and Magnus says, he has no style (not untypical for young players who seem robots).

There are similarities between VK and MC: dislike of draws (meaning also facing comparativley more defeats than other top players), randomness of the opening, unbalanced positions - putting your opponents under pressure in rather unconventional manner, driving them into errors in the phase of the middlegame or endgame, a sense of timing for when to change the nature of the position, generating a fight out of nothing and brutal counter-attacking!, playing long battles with little material, too - plus energy, energy, energy :)))

MC with a huge natural talent, combined with a non-emotional, pragmatic approach to outsmart the rest, VK fighting and struggling, looking for the drama, searching the ultimate truth.

Both players successfully competing during their peak time also in Open tournaments with swiss system (Korchnoi at Lone Pine 1981 a few months before his World Championship title match or at U.S. Open Chess Championship 1983 and many more, Carlsen at Qatar Masters 2015 as reigning World Champion).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: Korchnoi doing yoga in Baguio 1978:
May-01-16  zanzibar: <Shams> even better is the clip of Korchnoi and Keene jogging.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <zanzibar>, <Shams>: There we are, Korchnoi jogging with his assistants GM Stean (still a close friend of Viktor Lvovich) and GM Keene (one of the most busiest and controversial figures in chess universe, we know):, video taken from a recent twitter by Olimpiu G. Urcan
May-01-16  HeMateMe: Bill Clinton and Ray Keene are the fattest joggers ever?
May-02-16  zanzibar: The thing I like about Korchnoi, is that he understands fish:

<[their] mind is very exact, precise ... well, like a fish! ... doesn't have a tendency to underestimate or even to overestimate ... this is [their] best chess quality>


May-02-16  zanzibar: Kinda fishy...

May-09-16  thegoodanarchist: < <<<<<<Domdaniel>: Korchnoi, 85, is returning after a severe stroke. Taimanov, pushing 90, fathered twins at the age of 78. >>>>>

Both players, incidentally, survived the siege of Leningrad.>

Wow, that deserves our respect.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <I have been training hard with my trainers.

Vladimir Kramnik is on board with help in the openings and the endgame. Of course in the middle-game I am on my own LOL😏!

But my general plan is to win two or three big tournaments in 2016/7.

Hopefully those results will get me an invite to the Candidstes' tournament in 2018.

I am pretty sure I will win that and I am already preparing little sneaky opening to play against Carlsen in 2019!

Don't be surprised to see a couple of Latvians and a few old Indians in our World Championship match!

When I am World Champion I will defend my title once a year. I will accept all-comers! A whole new era is opening up for chess.">

May-17-16  dernier loup de T: Si l'homme Kortchnoï avait été à la hauteur de son talent échiquéen, je pense que ses résultats auraient pu être encore supérieurs, comme l'a fait remarquer Boris Spassky en 1977... Son livre "le jeu de la destruction" est si lamentable et bas qu'on ne peut qu'en tomber d'accord.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <dernier loup de T: ... Son livre "le jeu de la destruction" est si lamentable et bas qu'on ne peut qu'en tomber d'accord.>

Is this the book which was published in England as Anti-Chess, and in Germany as Anti-Schach?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: From the BCM of December, 1988. Page 555. Quotes & Queries number 4763.

<No. 4763 — Korchnoi has been playing Maroczy since 1984 and believes that, after 30 moves, he has a winning game. Korchnoi does have one big advantage in that Maroczy has been dead since 1951 (the moves being transmitted via medium Robert Roland), but it does raise the question of the extent of theoretical updating available to those who have gone the way of all flesh. Korchnoi says that he would like to have played Capablanca, but was unable to make contact.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <Korchnoi says that he would like to have played Capablanca, but was unable to make contact.>

Actually when the medium approached Korchnoi he asked him to name three players of the past he'd like to play. Korchnoi named Capablanca, Keres and Maroczy - and after some time the medium said - "I couldn't find Capablanca and Keres there, but Maroczy tells you it's your move!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: That post above is from the words of Korchnoi himself. Though of course I know Korchnoi had Black in that game (Maroczy / Rollans vs Korchnoi, 1985), so "it's your move" must have come together with 1.e4.
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