Victor Korchnoi who was an immense figure in the chess world when
I was learning my trade passed away a few days ago. (June 6th 2016).
About the time of his 1978 match with Anatoly Karpov I had started
to get an inkling what the game was all about and understood it better.
I’d rush out to get the Times, Telegraph or Guardian to get the
latest moves and me and a few pals would look at the games in
the Edinburgh Chess Club till very late at night (or early morning.)
No instant news, live games or souped up computers back in 1978.
It was graft by trial and error and I reckon it did me/us a lot of good.
The match made the front pages and the TV. when the yoghurt scandal broke.
(Karpov was sent a yoghurt without asking for one. Camp Korchnoi thought
they would lighten the tense atmosphere by claiming it was a signal from the
Russians to tell Karpov he was winning/losing. As if Karpov would not know?)
This picture is from the 1981 match, you can tell because there are flags.
In 1978 The Russians refused to allow Korchnoi to play under a Swiss flag.
They wanted him with a white flag with the words ‘Stateless’ written on it.
Korchnoi asked if he play under a Skull and Crossbones. Raymond Keene
says Korchnoi even suggested playing under a Soviet flag with the words.
“I’ve Escaped” written on it. In the end it decided no flags was the way to go.
Picture from the back of the above book. (a very good book by the way.)
Keene possibly telling Korchnoi he cannot play under a Skull & Crossbones.
It was a Korchnoi game that nearly turned me away from chess
but in truth it actually drove me forward to get better. Much better.
It was 1974 and although I could see and understand more than the basics
in the 1972 Fischer- Spassky match I was far from being anywhere near a
player who could get to grips with what was going on on the Chessboard.
This game scared me witless. It’s one of those moments in Chess that I
knew when I first saw it I was looking at something that made an impact.
V. Korchnoi - T. Petrosian, Odessa 1974
Another ‘Korchnoi Magic Moment’ was the game.
I. Csom, - V. Korchnoi, Asztalos memorial, Gyula 1965
Korchnoi won this event with played 15. Won 14 and drew one.
In 1965 he also won the Russian Championship by two clear points.
This game, more than other, showed me the dangers of making attractive
aggressive looking pawn moves in the opening and how the weak squares
they leave behind can suddenly be exploited by a few deft flicks of the wrist.
This one too crossed my board about the same time as the game above.
I will try to give in my notes how each move was hitting me at the time.
There is a lovely fantasy variation in the above game
The two great players side by side at the opening ceremony of Odessa 2007.
Thank you for 1978 Victor Korchnoi. I’ve been reading some of the other
dedications from other sites. Most declare you as the strongest player never
to win the world title. I’m sure you do not want to be remembered as that.
I’ll remember you as the player most apt to have the song ‘My Way’
dedicated to you and those magic moments that were alas all too few.
We cross the Grim Bridge that spans the River of Tears to pay a visit to....
antonioromao - Nelio Rodrigues RHP 2011
White can win a Queen but instead loses a Queen, all this in two moves.
For our pleasure next we see the same trick, this time it was missed.
vimalbuck - genygeny RHP 2013
Again like a broken record we follow the theme of the week.
Boriss - jorma123 RHP 2009
We look at the whole game simply because if I had too then so do you.
A misery shared is a misery halved as my old grandmother use to say.
Same opening, just look at the mess both players get themselves into in this game.
Vincentl - djking01 RHP 2011
Black misses a mate in two, White misses a mate in one. Neither player is checkmated.
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 169035