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Korchnoi in Amsterdam, 1972; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Viktor Korchnoi
Number of games in database: 4,418
Years covered: 1945 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2499
Highest rating achieved in database: 2695
Overall record: +1691 -677 =1732 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      318 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (266) 
    E99 E81 E60 E94 E80
 English (229) 
    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 (390) 
    C11 C07 C02 C09 C19
 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
   Fischer vs Korchnoi, 1962 0-1
   Korchnoi vs Karpov, 1974 1-0
   Korchnoi vs Spassky, 1977 1-0
   S Tatai vs Korchnoi, 1978 0-1
   Averbakh vs Korchnoi, 1965 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?]
   Bucharest (1954)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Leningrad Interzonal (1973)
   Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates Final (1977)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Sousse Interzonal (1967)
   Buenos Aires (Konex) (1979)
   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
   On My Great Predecessors 5 (Kasparov) 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
   number 6 by Frodo7

   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 4,418  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. D Rovner vs Korchnoi 1-020 1945 LeningradC47 Four Knights
2. Zikov vs Korchnoi 0-120 1946 LeningradB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
3. Petrosian vs Korchnoi 1-023 1946 LeningradA90 Dutch
4. Korchnoi vs Razov 1-027 1946 LeningradC50 Giuoco Piano
5. L Aronson vs Korchnoi 0-143 1947 LeningradD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Y Vasilchuk vs Korchnoi 0-160 1947 LeningradB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
7. V Shiyanovsky vs Korchnoi 0-135 1947 LeningradD47 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 Spassky 0-151 1949 LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
12. Korchnoi vs Shapkin 1-018 1949 MoscowD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
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. Korchnoi vs G Borisenko 0-138 1950 TulaC34 King's Gambit Accepted
17. Korchnoi vs O Moiseev 0-141 1950 TulaB57 Sicilian
18. M Aizenshtadt vs Korchnoi 0-134 1950 LeningradD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. Taimanov vs Korchnoi 0-135 1950 LeningradA97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
20. Korchnoi vs G Goldberg 1-041 1950 TulaA02 Bird's Opening
21. Sikov vs Korchnoi 0-144 1950 LeningradA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
22. Korchnoi vs E Polyak 1-033 1950 TulaC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
23. I Vistaneckis vs Korchnoi  0-148 1950 TulaA80 Dutch
24. Korchnoi vs S Zhukhovitsky 1-055 1950 LeningradB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
25. Korchnoi vs Kasparian 0-138 1950 TulaB10 Caro-Kann
 page 1 of 177; games 1-25 of 4,418  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
  brankat: It's only today I learned Victor Korchnoi had passed away. R.I.P.
Jun-27-16  Stalwart: Viktor Korchnoi has been captured by death. Now he waits with all others for resurrection to life and glory or shame and death again. Gotta update my book now not that I didn't have many reasons already.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: Yasser Seirawan's heartfelt tribute to Viktor Korchnoi: (video 5:15 minutes, starting with an intro of 15s by the Grand Chess Tour)

Premium Chessgames Member
  SetNoEscapeOn: <In the year 1967... the Soviet State celebrated, more or less, 50 years of its existence...

In order to commemorate this date, they organized two big international tournaments. Well, there were even rumors that Bobby Fischer was ready- was eager- to take part in these tournaments, even without any extra fee!

They thought it over, and decided not to invite him... What the hell would happen if an American won a tournament to commemorate 50 years of the Soviet State?>

Korchnoi, My Life For Chess

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: 1967 was 50 years of the Russian Revolution (and, thereby, the Soviet <power> in Russia - though one can debate how far that power went during the following Russian Civil War). The Soviet Union was founded five years after the revolution. In non-Russian parts of the future union it took much longer for the Soviets to get foot at (Ukraine f.x. was still not full under the Bolshevik control by the early 1921. That's why the first capital of the socialist Ukraine was not Kiev but Kharkov).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: That's our Viktor! How many Champions did the Soviet Union "borrow" from the Ukraine, Armenia and the Baltic States?

The Soviets even "borrowed" the part of Finland where Botvinnik was born!

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: In the last 20 years, or so, how many of the GMs residing in the USA have been "borrowed"? More than half?

Nothing wrong with that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: my college team had two Russians on the 'A' team. I asked newly emigrated Dimitri about adjusting to life in the USA and he said "Vee ARR amariKENs!" Good enough for me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Yes, many "locals" around the world think immigrants feel themselves alien in their new country. But from both my personal experience (born in Russia, grew up in Ukraine, living in Germany since the age of 15, identifying myself as German) and people I know, immigrants identify themselves with their new country ever oftener than with their old one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: attending Russian schools, as a youth, do they teach the hard existence of Russia in the 20th century, all of the civil war killing in the Red/White fight 1919-1923, Stalin's 1937-38 purges of the military officer cadre (with the resulting disasters v. Germany), and the low standard of living in the USSR during it's existence?

I've often wondered about that, because Russians on this site never identify themselves. I had a hunch you were Russian, because of your knowledge of Russia in WWII. Did you get that on your own (perhaps while living in Europe) or do they actually teach the good and the bad about Russia in public schools?

Certainly the USA isn't perfect here, either. It was a long time before our under age 18 textbooks talked about the raw deal the American Indians got (300 broken treaties, almost every land deal reneged on by the government), atrocities committed in Vietnam, and so forth. Slowly, these things are being talked about.

I think Germany has the same problem--they won't own up to what the Germans did in WWII, at least not to their own impressionable youth.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Well, you are wrong about both Russia and Germany.

I never studied in Russia, but in Ukraine - still, we were often using Russian or even Soviet textbooks, as Ukraine seems to be incapable of producing own textbooks :D. I went the entire way from elementary school to undergraduate in Ukraine and repeated the last three years of high school in Germany (because Germany does not recognize Ukrainian undergraduate certificates).

First, Ukraine. The Russian Civial war is covered very sparsely, only to the extend needed to understand the chaos in Ukraine itself during the years 1917-1921. Of course, we learned that there was such a war and that the Reds won, but no particular battles or anything big about how the war went. Red/White terror also goes down because of it.

As for Stalin's Great Terror of 1937-38 (it were not only army purges. 1% of the population was killed and almost in each bigger family someone arrested). It is covered quite extensively. But it doesn't prevent from many seeing Stalin positive. I actually had many opportunities to talk to those Stalinists - they either think the terror was necessary or say it were local governors who committed the crimes, while Stalin wanted to kill real enemies only (somehow they are not disturbed by the fact that many of those lists of people to be shot or arrested were signed by Stalin himself, and there is at least one instance known of Stalin almost doubling requested number of people to be shot).

As for Germany. WWII is covered broadly, including the crimes - most notably the Holocaust. But some teachers don't like talking about it. I remember, during an English lesson we read some English book (not about the war), and the words "concentration camp" were mentioned in the book. The teacher: "Do you know what it is?" Student: "Konzentrationslager" (German for concentration camp). Teacher: "Don't say the word!". The same English teacher also hated when people referred to the historical First and Second British empire, because the expression "Xth empire" reminded her of the Third empire - that is, Nazi Germany.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: that's very informative. Thank you. I had the feeling that things were more hushed up than you describe. Perhaps they were, back in the old USSR. It seems you grew up in the Yeltsyn/putin era.

I doubt the Japanese textbooks have much to say about the atrocities committed by their country in the 1930s and '40s. Ditto for China and Mao's horror show.

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Throughout history every country has had some skeletons in their closets.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: then the USSR has an Imelda Marcos sized closet full of skeletons.
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Pretty much the same with the USA. And I don't mean shoes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The terror, the killing AFTER the reds had defeated the whites in the Russian civil war was horrific. A few million dead. Stalin's legacy of gulag camps--another five million dead? His purges of 37-38, beheading Russia's officer corp, allowing Hitler two years of easy victories--ten million dead soldiers and civilians? after WWII, more purges and the gulag goes on--another five million murdered? Stalin sends Russian, Baltic and central Asians where were in german custody into the gulag because he felt they were untrustworthy--another two million dead soviet citizens?

You see anything like that going on in the USA, a slave race killing and spying on each other? People by the hundreds of thousands, sent to prison via show trials. A police state.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <The terror, the killing AFTER the reds had defeated the whites in the Russian civil war was horrific>

Hm, there was terror (from both Reds and Whites) during the civil war, with millions dead. In the immediate aftermath it actually became quite quiet, before a wave of arrests in the late 1920s/early 1930s (mostly arrests, no killings).

As for USSR generally, depending on the ruler it changed quite dramatically. Even under the same ruler it changed - Stalin had two waves of terror (the Great Terror of 1937-38 and a short spark in show trials in the year preceding his death), plus there was of course the Holodomor (an artificial famine of 1932-33, with the aim to break peasants' opposition to Stalin by extreminating the opposers) but was relatively mild in the times in-between .

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the previous poster was implying that state killings in the USA were somehow on the same scale as in the USSR, and it isn't even close. Stalin killed on a level matched only by Hitler. He was demonic, and he is/was the face of the USSR, for better or worse.

the USA misdeeds aren't in the same league as what occurred in the old USSR.

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: < HeMateMe: ...

the USA misdeeds aren't in the same league as what occurred in the old USSR.>

I need to double-check this with NZ's foremost authority on US terrorism, racism and food poisonings by halal cooked burgers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <alexmagnus: Yes, many "locals" around the world think immigrants feel themselves alien in their new country. But from both my personal experience (born in Russia, grew up in Ukraine, living in Germany since the age of 15, identifying myself as German) and people I know, immigrants identify themselves with their new country ever oftener than with their old one.>

Or feel identified equally with both. I was born in Argentina and have been living in the US for 21 years now. The US is my home, I care much more about what happens in the US than in Argentina, and I feel more comfortable in the US (not only materially). I became a US citizen and identify with the US. Yet, I feel Argentine too (especially when it's World Cup time!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Fusilli>, a futbol man to the core!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <perfidious: <Fusilli>, a <futbol> man to the core!>

There's the correct spelling!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: The October issue of <Chess Life> has a "tribute" to Korchnoi written by GM Seirawan. The "tribute" to Korchnoi does not say a thing about Korchnoi as a chess player, and features no full game whatsoever of Korchnoi. Instead, it's an ego trip for the author.

The article is about Seirawan's experience as Korchnoi's second. To be fair, those who appreciate anecdotes will enjoy the piece, but the only game discussed (and only the 5 moves after the adjournment) is Korchnoi vs Petrosian, 1980, from the Korchnoi-Petrosian 1980 candidates match, where Seirawan narrates in detail how hard he worked on it and how creative he was, and how Korchnoi won the game playing his suggestion. As a by product, the article only mentions one game between the author and Korchnoi (won by the author), leaving the wrong impression that he had a plus score against him.

What a "tribute"! Get to know nothing about Korchnoi as the strongest player ever not to be world champion, but learn a lot about how brilliant Yasser Seirawan is! I regret I let my <New in Chess> subscription expire. I'll subscribe again and look for a real tribute to Viktor the Terrible.

Oct-01-16  Howard: Perhaps I'm wrong, but Yasser has never seemed like someone with an oversized ego. Having also just received the October issue of CL, I found the account reasonably well-done. Keep in mind that Seirawan also gives credit to Michael Stean as far as the analysis to Game 5.

Incidentally, it seems likely that Petrosian should have won that game rather than Korchnoi.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Howard> That's what I thought about YS too, but it's not the impression I got from this article. If it had been an article about his experience being Korchnoi's second and in a different context (not a supposed tribute to the recently deceased VK), I'd be fine with it. We agree to disagree. :)

Oddly enough, Mr. biggest-ego-in-the-world wrote a quick obituary a day after VK's passing that I found much more interesting:

I am kibitzing a little comment on the game's page.

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