Unknown stories about ‘Viktor the Terrible!’

Comments: 28

Viktor Korchnoi: if he won a game, he was very polite with you and would analyze it happily. If he lost, then … he would pull back his chair with venom and leave the room very angrily!

Viktor KorchnoiHe was a four-time USSR chess champion, 10 times candidate for the World Championship and played in two World Championship matches. He was in the top 100 best players at the age of 75 and beat Fabiano Caruana at 79!

Viktor Korchnoi vs Fabiano Caruana

Suggestion: you may like to know how I defeated Fabiano Caruana in a blitz game here!


Even a stroke in 2012 did not prevent him from returning to competitive chess. The above achievements made him one of the strongest chess players in the world. Unfortunately, he never won the World title because he lost to Anatoly Karpov each time.


Korchnoi, born in 1931 in Leningrad, USSR, was nicknamed “Viktor the Terrible” for his legendary fighting spirit. There are hundreds of books and thousands of articles devoted to this extraordinary person, the legendary Grandmaster Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi, but let’s make a quick summary here.


Early life


He learned to play chess from his father at the age of five. He had the ability to defend with vigor and determination, even in the most difficult positions, and was always ready to unleash a deadly counter-attack.




He was a really smart guy. Everybody knows that if you touch a piece, then you are forced to move it. From time to time, this happens even to the best players, like Kasparov (in his game against Judit Polgar in 1994) and Nakamura in 2016. So this is what happened to Viktor.
Viktor Korchnoi's touch move ruleDuring a game, he grabbed his queen in order to place it somewhere. Suddenly, he realized that this move was a big mistake. What could he do? He already had the queen in his hand …


Instinctively, smart Viktor plunged it into his tea and started to stir it! He justified his action by claiming that he had mistaken the queen for his spoon, and so he was spared a fatal mistake. 🙂





Viktor Korchnoi vs Anatoly Karpov (defection)

In 1974, the USSR started a campaign to promote Karpov over Korchnoi. The central authorities prevented him from playing international tournaments or even playing in Estonia which was part of the Soviet Union at that time.


Suggestion: you may like to learn about “Karpov’s Prophylaxis” here.


Tigran Petrosian made a public statement in the press stating that his generation, including Korchnoi, which been defeated by Fischer could no longer hope to compete successfully against him. So he agreed with the Soviet Federation, wishing to develop younger players like Karpov.


In 1976, the USSR authorities allowed Korchnoi to play in a tough 16-player round-robin tournament, IBM Amsterdam, probably in order to prove that he was not so strong any longer.


Korchnoi scored 9.5/15 points and shared first place with Britain’s Tony Miles. At the end of the tournament, he asked Miles to spell ‘political asylum’ for him. But he would have to leave his wife and son behind in the USSR.


So, in 1976, he defected from the Soviet Union and took up residence in Switzerland, becoming a Swiss citizen, and continued to be active in chess. Immediately after his defection, he became a public villain in the USSR. The newspapers and TV accused him of a deadly sin – betrayal of the Motherland.


Best combinations


Now let’s take a look at some of the best combinations from Korchnoi! 🙂


Nataf – Korchnoi

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

Black to play


Korchnoi – Xie

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

White to play


Korchnoi – Kozul

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

White to play


Korchnoi – Shaked

Viktor Korchnoi chess games

White to play


After calculating all possible variations for each puzzle, you can find all the games here.
to be continued



Get the combined experience of former USSR chess schools along with the psychological knowledge about human brain functioning (and effective learning) now from “Self-taught Grand master”.


Quick Succes in chess

Comments: 28

Comments 18

  1. Awesome technic dear Igor sir cheating in justified manner .this happens to everyone and I saw grischuk surprised when playing with computer robot in 10 min game he loses

  2. Hello Igor! i have a suggestion regarding the new RCA courses or lessons. I have just watched your free video lesson “How to make incorrect moves and to win” i find the ideas presented in the video to be very instructive and i wish i could practice these skilles
    Thanks in advance!!!

      1. Thanks igor Smirnov sir what is the release date of bee course and why top players loses to latest chess robots ??? Please tell us

        1. Hi Ayush,
          GM Igor is busy let me help you.
          We will let you know via our blog about the any news about new courses.

          Chess engines have become really strong due to technology and are almost impossible to beat by humans. Since they rarely make any mistake.

          Prasaadh | Support Officer

          1. Okk sir thanks for informin Mei and information Sir but world top players are also strong they study chess at high level why nota draw? Dannii dubov loses 6 game to robot .??in Blitz

          2. It is very hard not to make a mistake in Chess due to its complexity especially in smaller time controls. Many of chess players agree that if no side makes a mistake the game should be a draw.

            Prasaadh | Support Officer

          3. okk sir thnkyou so much for your time and answering my question .you are doing great job.dear sir what do you think about im authur shen??damain lemos sells his dvds in his blog please tell mei thankyou.

          4. Hi Ayush,
            Thanks. I am unaware about Damian Lemos DVDs. I am sure you can find more information about him in the internet.

            Prasaadh | Support Officer

          5. okk sir no problem ichess.net his blog name i know.byee tc sir you didinot tell mei how kasprov defated 7 gms in super simul??

          6. HI Ayush,
            Gary Kasparov was world champion for many years and he is one of world’s best so it is possible for him. 🙂

            Prasaadh | Support Officer

          7. Sir I recently saw a 1 hour long interview of tal the legend he said that there are lot of gms that fide had to categories them in 1 and 2 grade what is meant by that ??

          8. I am not aware of the interview. But there are no FIDE titles according to rating after GM title. Tal might mentioned players above 2700 rating who are really strong and we usually call them super GMs but there is no official distinction.

            Prasaadh | Support Officer

          9. okk sir thanks dear sir i had seen many simul in you tube in which carlsen or tal crushed 30 players or more in limit time and this include fm and im too.infact gm kasprov in his youth travelled world and played 8 gms at same time and beated them in simul my question is how a world chmpion is able to beat strong gm in simul??

          10. Strong chess players calculate quickly as well as have a great understanding of chess. They can evaluate chess positions quickly and accurately without spending too much time.

            Prasaadh | Support Officer

    1. Hi Srinivas,

      I haven’t checked the exact statistics, but they played many times, and Korchnoi was a tough opponent for Tal (maybe Korchnoi even had a positive overall score). Anyhow, they both are great players 🙂

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