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Viktor Korchnoi
Korchnoi 
Korchnoi in Amsterdam, 1972; photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  
Number of games in database: 4,415
Years covered: 1945 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2499
Highest rating achieved in database: 2695

Overall record: +1687 -672 =1731 (62.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 325 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 King's Indian (266) 
    E99 E60 E81 E80 E94
 English (229) 
    A15 A13 A17 A14 A16
 Nimzo Indian (190) 
    E32 E42 E21 E41 E50
 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 (389) 
    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 (141) 
    D85 D94 D91 D97 D90
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 (1978)
   Karpov - Korchnoi World Championship Rematch (1981)
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2001)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Bucharest (1954)
   USSR Championship (1960)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   USSR Championship 1964/65 (1964)
   Buenos Aires (1960)
   Hastings 1971/72 (1971)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   USSR Championship (1970)
   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
   Korchnoi by fredthebear
   French Korchnoi III by AuDo
   OMGP V by keypusher
   On My Great Predecessors 5 (Kasparov) by Qindarka
   Move by Move - Korchnoi (Lakdawala) by Qindarka
   Exchange sacs - 3 by obrit
   OMGP 5 - Korchnoi - Karpov by grellas
   Korchnoi - White by stevehrop

RECENT GAMES:
   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


VIKTOR KORCHNOI
(born Mar-23-1931, died Jun-06-2016, 85 years old) Russia (federation/nationality Switzerland)
PRONUNCIATION:
[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 4,415  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. D Rovner vs Korchnoi 1-0201945LeningradC47 Four Knights
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. L Aronson vs Korchnoi 0-1431947LeningradD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Y Vasilchuk vs Korchnoi 0-1601947LeningradB74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
7. V Shiyanovsky vs Korchnoi 0-1351947LeningradD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Korchnoi vs S Giterman 1-0361948TallinnC07 French, Tarrasch
9. Korchnoi vs Spassky 1-0121948LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
10. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-1511949LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
11. Korchnoi vs Shapkin 1-0181949MoscowD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
12. V Golenishchev vs Korchnoi 0-1421949MoscowA90 Dutch
13. Korchnoi vs Y Sakharov  1-0301949Lvov Ch URSD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Korchnoi vs N Levin 1-0311949LvovE03 Catalan, Open
15. L Omelchenko vs Korchnoi 0-1321949LeningradC77 Ruy Lopez
16. M Aizenshtadt vs Korchnoi 0-1341950LeningradD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
17. Taimanov vs Korchnoi 0-1351950LeningradA97 Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky
18. Korchnoi vs G Goldberg 1-0411950TulaA02 Bird's Opening
19. Sikov vs Korchnoi 0-1441950LeningradA85 Dutch, with c4 & Nc3
20. Korchnoi vs E Polyak 1-0331950TulaC73 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
21. I Vistaneckis vs Korchnoi  0-1481950TulaA80 Dutch
22. Korchnoi vs S Zhukhovitsky 1-0551950LeningradB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
23. Korchnoi vs Kasparian 0-1381950TulaB10 Caro-Kann
24. Korchnoi vs Suetin  ½-½601950TulaB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
25. A Khavsky vs Korchnoi 0-1311950LeningradB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
 page 1 of 177; games 1-25 of 4,415  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 94 OF 95 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Caissanist: From the NYT obit:

<In 1978, after defeating many rivals, Mr. Korchnoi emerged as Mr. Karpovís first official challenger for the world championship.

[...]

His wife, Bella, and their son, Igor, were still in the Soviet Union and had not been allowed to leave. Just months before the match against Mr. Karpov, Igor was conscripted into the Soviet Army, though he refused to serve and became a fugitive. He was eventually caught and imprisoned for more than two years. >

Didn't this happen prior to the 1981 match, rather than 1978? I don't remember Korchnoi saying anything about the treatment of his wife and son during the 1978 match, but vigorously protested during the 1981 match, and attributed his loss partly to the stress of trying to play while they were still trapped in the USSR.

Nov-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <keypusher: <offramp: Question: Korchnoi has 4,416 games in this database. In what year did he play game 2,208? That is, when was he halfway through his career in terms of games played?> I don't know, but the answer should be on page 23 of his games, right?>

For me VK has 177 pages of games. So 'twould be roughly page 88, I think.

I am not prepared to fast forward to that page myself...

Nov-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I have long display (100 games per page), if you click on >> for last page, then change the URL's page=23 number.

You will reach game number 2208, VK v LP Lucerne 1985

Korchnoi vs Portisch, 1985

Nov-30-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Thank you, <Wannabe>!
Nov-30-16  Muttley101: <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.>

Perhaps you forgot that America exported it's wars to other countries in the latter half of the twentieth century onwards?

Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Really? I thought we were defending teenage girls from getting their noses cut off by the Taliban. Those cowards got a little taste of it themselves, right?

I thought we were preventing the slaughter of Kosovo Albanians.

I thought we were preventing a Russian backed takeover of the entire Korean peninsula.

I thought we were [trying] to prevent a Russian takeover of all of Vietnam.

I thought we were removing Sadam Hussein from power, so he couldn't kill few more hundred thousand people.

What is it that <you> think about?

Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < WannaBe: I have long display (100 games per page), if you click on >> for last page, then change the URL's page=23 number. You will reach game number 2208, VK v LP Lucerne 1985

Korchnoi vs Portisch, 1985.>

Hmm, I used that clever method, except I changed the url to 89, but I seem to have a different game 2208:

<2208. Korchnoi vs M Van der Linde 0-1 36 1985 NED E12 Queen's Indian>

in other words,

Korchnoi vs M Van der Linde, 1985

The reason I was interested is that after Korchnoi had finished his many challenges for the World Championship, he was not yet at the halfway point of his career.

Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <offramp> I changed my preference to 25 games, and followed your steps. I reached the same 'midway' point.

Same VK vs der Linde game as 2208.

Games from 1985 are not well dated, the PGNs have the year, but not the specific month/day.

Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < WannaBe: <offramp> I changed my preference to 25 games, and followed your steps. I reached the same 'midway' point. Same VK vs der Linde game as 2208.

Games from 1985 are not well dated, the PGNs have the year, but not the specific month/day.>

That this database has the midpoint of Korchnoi's games played coming in 1985, after he'd been a top master for 30 years, makes me think there are a lot of missing games.

Dec-01-16  BUNA: Kochnoi, Taimanow and Tal appeared in the soviet movie "The Grandmaster" (1972). > https://vimeo.com/140157590
Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <keypusher> agreed... And from about 1980 computers were used to record games, so not very many are missing, top class ones I mean. And scores are less garbled.

But there is hope! When I bought Wade's book on Fischer it had about 450 games. But here at chessgames.com RJF has about a thousand. People keep finding them.

Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <keypusher> <That this database has the midpoint of Korchnoi's games played coming in 1985, after he'd been a top master for 30 years, makes me think there are a lot of missing games.>

Also, 1985 to 2015 is thirty years as well, so it's not so odd.

BUT if one had approached Korchnoi in 1985, as he lost to Van Der Linde, and said, Did you know that your career is exactly half over...? What would be have said?

Dec-01-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < offramp: <keypusher> <That this database has the midpoint of Korchnoi's games played coming in 1985, after he'd been a top master for 30 years, makes me think there are a lot of missing games.> Also, 1985 to 2015 is thirty years as well, so it's not so odd.

BUT if one had approached Korchnoi in 1985, as he lost to Van Der Linde, and said, Did you know that your career is exactly half over...? What would be have said?>

Presumably he would have been thrilled, since he was about 55 and would likely have thought his career was much more than half over.

But I like to think he would have decked the questioner anyway.

<BUNA> thanks for that wonderful link. How about the movie, any good? Is the blond guy the Grandmaster of the title? Seems to give off a little bit of a Karpov vibe.

Dec-02-16  BUNA: <keypusher> I'm glad you liked it. I've yet to watch the whole movie - fortunately it's freely available online like so many soviet movies. I've only come across it yesterday and peeped in here and there. > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upy...

The "blond guy" is the famous actor Andrey Myagkov who plays the fictional young grandmaster Sergey Khlebnikov. Myagkov maybe known in the west to some people as the actor who played Alyosha in the famous screen adaptation of "The Brothers Karamazov" (1969) that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. But yes, Myagkov bears at least some visual resemblances of Karpov.

And you wouldn't bevieve it but the grumpy Korchnoi, the "archenemy and victim of the soviet system", played the trainer/second of Khlebnikov, so he appears quite a couple of times on the screen, can be seen in longer verbal exchanges.

One question that comes up in the movie verbatim: "Is it possible to beat Fischer?" ;-)

Dec-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I believe Korchnoi had aspirations to be an actor but he had a speech impediment.
Dec-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <BUNA> <The "blond guy" is the famous actor Andrey Myagkov who plays the fictional young grandmaster Sergey Khlebnikov. Myagkov maybe known in the west to some people as the actor who played Alyosha in the famous screen adaptation of "The Brothers Karamazov" (1969) that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.>

Forgive my ignorance. :-) I know almost nothing about Soviet movies. I saw <Moscow Marathon> in college, very good.

<One question that comes up in the movie verbatim: "Is it possible to beat Fischer?" ;-)>

I noticed that when the GM wins at the beginning of the clip one man congratulates him in English.

Jan-10-17  cunctatorg: Victor Korchnoi had written about this movie at the 1976 (Batsford) edition of his autobiography "Chess is my life" and he believed that the movie suffered from a weak scenario:

"... In 1972 I happened to do some acting, in a professional studio, for a film. This was a film about chess, and was called "Grossmeister" (Grandmaster). It told of a boy who became a grandmaster, and I played the role of his trainer. The very fact that a film about chess was made was a good thing. But the film itself turned out to be rather poor. It was not by accident that I was praised as being the best actor in the film. After all, I was playing in a professional company, among some really talented actors. It can happen that way; if the script is primitive, then even the actors have no means of expressing themselves. Nevertheless, the film was a success among chess players in the USSR and in Eastern Europe.

My last tournament in this tense year was again in Majorca, in November-December. There was something wrong with me, and I played extremely badly..." (page 84)

Rhetorical: why Victor Korchnoi had characterized 1972 as a tense year? And why a USSR movie about chess during that very year? Well, ...

Jan-10-17  cunctatorg: <@ BUNA>

Thank you very much!!

I must add that the director of this (perhaps poor) movie had a brilliant idea; in fact he had made the excellent choice to pick up Mikhail Tal, Victor Korchnoi and even the previously "purged" Mark Taimanov as most popular and attractive (or interesting) representatives of the USSR chess professionals!...

It was a joy for me to see these very chessplayers!!... Thank you again!

Jan-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <BUNA> Was that TAL sitting in front of Korchnoi during the plane scene when they were eating???
Jan-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <cunctatorg> That was also Taimanov as well??...thanks in advance
Jan-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Joshka>

Taimanov is the first person to congratulate the grandmaster in the opening scene. I don't recognize the person playing his opponent -- perhaps an actor? I suppose BUNA will know.

In the airplane scene, Korchnoi is seated next to the grandmaster, and it is indeed Tal in the row ahead.

Jan-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: As for approaching him in 1985 and saying something about his future chess longevity, my words would be - "over 15 years later you'll still win a big tournament" (Biel 2001. By the way, is this the only case of someone winning a tournament of this caliber when aged 70+?)
Feb-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: you have to sit down when you're playing this guy, even when he's only 11!:

<https://images.chesscomfiles.com/up...>

Mar-23-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Oh for what might have been.

Korchnoi was a great player.

Mar-23-17  Troller: <offramp: I believe Korchnoi had aspirations to be an actor but he had a speech impediment.>

Yes, according to Larsen (citing another Russian if I recall correctly), he had trouble pronouncing the word "draw".

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