Viktor Korchnoi

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Chris Rice
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Chris Rice » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:38 pm

He'll now be playing Maroczy for real.... http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... es-ii.html

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:33 pm

Chris Rice wrote:Agreed, finding it very hard to believe that Korchnoi would have agreed to match fixing.
Oh I don’t know. That sort of thing went on all the time in the Soviet Union. Viktor himself mentions winning the 1947 USSR Junior Championship after one other player was forced to lose against him (page 19, the Olms edition of Chess is My Life). He also mentions - page 192 - the Soviet GM way of playing out a pre-arranged draw in such a manner as to ensure nobody knew a draw had been agreed before the game had begun.

I don’t consider the idea of Korchnoi arranging a lost match with Petrosian to be a slur btw. It’s just how things were in the Soviet Union. I don’t think you can compare it to - say - a bunch of young English players trading losses to maximise prize money between them on the tournament circuit. The context - and freedom to choose ones personal morality - are completely different.

Which is not to say that the Petrosian match was fixed, or necessarily that Korchnoi fixed any game. Nevertheless the surprise would be that he hadn’t chucked a game at some point in his life, rather than that he had.


Incidentally, talking about players getting stopped on their way to a match with a World Champion, I’ve always wondered why the Soviet chess machine didn’t make more of an effort to prevent Korchnoi getting to Karpov in 1978. Specifically the Candidates final with Spassky in 1977/78. They didn’t seem to send much of a support team for Spassky and when you look at the games it’s clear that Korchnoi’s adjournment analysis advantage (mostly thanks to Michael Stean according to RDK) was a very strong factor in his overall victory.

Of course Spassky was already living in France by then so hardly would have been a Soviet favourite. And yet surely preferable to a guy they couldn’t even permit themselves to name in their newspapers.
Last edited by Jonathan Bryant on Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:33 pm

All that said, my favourite Korchnoi game >>

(partly because the BBC TV "Master Game’ style series on this tournament was probably my first introduction to Viktor Korchnoi - I started getting into chess during the World Championship match earlier in the year - also partly for Korchnoi’s comment about one of Gazza’s pawn sacrifices. If memory serves it was something like, "I am not afraid ... I take it")


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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:39 am

Wow, that is an incredible game. Thanks for posting that, Jonathan. I'd never played through that one before. So many sacrifices and interesting lines.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:32 pm

Korchnoi blew a completely won position, of course :)

He only ever beat Gazza once - that was also with the Black pieces.
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Mick Norris
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:26 pm

Quite a few links in the Chess Mind piece
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IanCalvert
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by IanCalvert » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:07 pm

" I don't study; I create" - Victor Korchnoi quoted in Lakdawala's 2014, Move By Move book on VK.

Often great Russian (Leningrad) creations ...RIP.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:06 pm

If we're talking slurs on memory then I'm not sure there's much that tops referencing a Lakdawala book.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:01 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:Korchnoi blew a completely won position, of course :)
Indeed so. Although extreme time trouble and the fact that he was playing Kasparov obviously had something to do with that.


My favourite Korchnoi White game: game 7 of his 1977/78 Candidates’ final with Spassky. I waited three years to play this line myself. Got it twice in a row - the Saturday evening and Sunday morning games at a tournament in Twyford in 2012 - and then haven’t had the chance to repeat it since.


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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:06 am

A fantastic game - apparently Spassky joined in the applause after he resigned.

(even though the two were, of course, barely on speaking terms then)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:06 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:A fantastic game - apparently Spassky joined in the applause after he resigned.

(even though the two were, of course, barely on speaking terms then)

"After the game Spassky complimented Korchnoi on his play, the only compliment that he paid to his opponent through the entire contest"
- RDK, Korchnoi vs Spassky: Chess Crisis, which was by far the best of his instant match books.


I think that around game 7 relations between Korchnoi and Spassky were still relatively cordial. Boris had agreed to a delay to the start of the match and to let Viktor use both hands to move pieces/press the clock when in time trouble (because Korchnoi had been injured in a car accident on the way to Belgrade) for instance.

Things really kicked-off in game 10 when Spassky refused to come to the board other than to make his move. Things then got really sour and for game 14 (I think) Korchoi did the same. So for the entire game the players only appeared at the board to make their moves and run away again.

It was truly the match that had everything - including an awful lot of mainstream press coverage. It’s a great shame it’s more or less forgotten now because of Baguio a few months later.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:50 pm


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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:12 am

Some nice memories of Korchnoi from various leading chess players around the world:

http://en.chessbase.com/post/paying-homage-to-viktor

I wonder if there will be plans for a memorial event named in his honour? Some chess players are remembered that way, some are remembered in other ways, some are just always remembered (in Korchnoi's case for his games and fighting spirit).

Ian Thompson
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by Ian Thompson » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:04 pm

Remembered on Last Word.

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John Saunders
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Re: Viktor Korchnoi

Post by John Saunders » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:15 am

Ian Thompson wrote:Remembered on Last Word.
Yes, but the direct link on that page to the episode on the BBC website currently links to something entirely different. However, the 'Download MP3' link further down the page works correctly. The Korchnoi segment begins at around 14:50, with contributions from Nigel Short and me.
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