26 Oct 2016

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

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?
Miss Viktor. Personally I will miss his characteristic laughter & his love for chess. Korchnoi
Nigel Short:
Farewell Victor Lvovich - a cantankerous, old git, but a true great nevertheless. Thanks for the many battles we had over 40 years.
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 gm.smirnov2014@gmail.com

For any other questions, please, use the support e-mail: support@chess-teacher.com

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


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