This is the second part of the article about the four-time USSR chess champion, Viktor Korchnoi! If you missed the first part of this interesting feature, you can read it here.
Viktor vs King’s Indian Defense
Wohl Aleksandar and Viktor Korchnoi
In the Gibraltar Masters (2011, Round 9), Viktor played White against Wohl Aleksandar. Viktor won a beautiful game and said to his opponent: “No one in the world can play the King’s Indian Defense successfully against me.” Wohl’s reply was “Ok, thank you for the game.”
Subsequently, he came over to Wohl again, smiled and said, in English this time: “I thought that you spoke German. Do you speak German?” Wohl’s reply, also in English, was “Yes, I speak German.” Then Viktor continued his train of thought: “No one in the world can play the King’s Indian Defense successfully against me. I would just like to be sure that you understand me. 🙂”
Read to give a lesson
Viktor was very happy to ‘give a lesson’, especially to younger players. He was very happy if he managed to beat them on the board or teach them some manners off it.
For instance, one day a young opponent came for a game after a 10-minute delay. He sat down, offered Viktor his hand and played his first move. Viktor, in a very serious tone, told him: “You should apologize for your actions. It is not polite to be late for a game. Never do that again.”
Korchnoi and Kasparov
Korchnoi was a good person with a sense of humor, but sometimes he was caustic and made rude remarks. Yet, if we take a closer look at his life, we can understand that he endured difficult times. Similarly, we can recognize his great passion for the chess game. This passion sometimes creates strange behavior, especially when you lose a game.
If he lost a game
At the end of 2003, 18-year-old David Navara was facing Korchnoi for the first time. He sacrificed a pawn on h6 to get a strong attack and finally won the game. Of course, Korchnoi was upset and left the hall.
When David started to show variations to the fans, Viktor returned and suggested an improvement. David noticed that the position was unclear. In response, the famous Grandmaster replied: “Only to you!”
He died a few months ago, on 6 June 2016, and leaves behind a grieving chess community. This was Viktor the Terrible, a truly great chess player, a legend. Below, you can see some of his best combinations.
Korchnoi – Donner
White to play
Korchnoi – Hernandez
White to play
Nijboer – Korchnoi
Black to play
Korchnoi – Ye
White to play
After calculating all possible variations, you can check the complete games here.
What did people say about Viktor on social media?
Vishy Anand: The chess world loses its greatest fighter. R.I.P. Viktor Korchnoi. Every time I had a rook ending, I would look at Viktor following the game and think, “What would Viktor say?”
Miss Viktor. Personally I will miss his characteristic laughter & his love for chess.#Viktor Korchnoi
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) June 6, 2016
If you live in Germany, we may meet soon. 🙂 I plan to visit Bavaria, if you live nearby, feel free to send me an e-mail to [email protected]
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