Unknown stories about ‘Viktor the Terrible!’ (Part-2)

Comments: 34

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 and Korchnoi

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 KorchnoiViktor 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.


Suggestion: you might not want to miss “The greatest chess game everyone MUST know”. 🙂


His character

Viktor Korchnoi and Garry Kasparov

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

Viktor KorchnoiAt 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!

Viktor KorchnoiHe 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

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

White to play


Korchnoi – Hernandez

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

White to play


Nijboer – Korchnoi

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

Black to play



Korchnoi – Ye

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

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?

Nigel Short:


igor smirnov chess


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]




For any other questions, please, use the support e-mail: [email protected]ess-teacher.com





P.S. Brace yourselves, something cool and amazing is on the way – stay tuned! 🙂




Get your guide to thinking and calculating during each stage of a chess game. Learn to stop making blunders and to calculate variations quickly and precisely. Get “Grandmaster’s Secrets” now!

Comments: 34

Comments 9

  1. Pity that Bavaria is so far away from my place, but still, thanks for letting us know when you are going somewhere 🙂 I’m from Croatia, have you ever visited that country or are you planning to do so anytime soon in the future? 😀

    1. It’s unfortunate it is far for you. We will definitely let you know via our blog if GM Igor visits Croatia.

      Prasaadh | Support Officer

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

      I’ll be visiting Germany as a tourist. Since the time I was an active player I love travelling. Nowadays it helps me meet personally some great people like you, that I’ve been communicating for years over the Internet 🙂

  2. Hello! I have interesting Question regarding the Grandmaster’s Positional Understanding course 🙂
    Again, the way you explain chess strategy in a systematized way using logic and giving us a system of understanding is beautiful, sooo much better than any chess book about strategy I have ever read in my life 😉
    Anyways, the question is, how come that you aren’t talking about of how important squares do you control, and not only about quantity of squares under your control? Isn’t that also an important factor? For example, a pawn on d2 and a pawn on d5 control same quantity of squares obviously, but pawn on d5 controls more important squares. Same for the knight, on both c3 and d5 he will control the same quantity of squares.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. It seems that quality of squares is described in the course. You should move your pieces as forward as possible, also there is a principle of the centre. Thats why in general pawn on d5 is better than on d2 and a knight on d5 is better than on c3 .

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