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Viktor Korchnoi to Return to the Chess Board

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 12/21/13, 4:44 AM.

Viktor Korchnoi will soon return to competitive chess - at least for one tournament. The 82-year-old chess legend suffered a stroke in September 2012, and it was feared that he would never play chess again. However, "Viktor the Terrible" can be found in the participants list of the Zurich Christmas Open!

He seems indistructible. Viktor Kortchnoi, until recently the oldest active grandmaster and famous for playing at a very high level for his age, suffered a stroke last year and had to say goodbye to tournament chess — or so it seemed. Apparently the 82-year-old grandmaster, arguably the strongest player never to become world champion, has recovered enough to be able to try it again! This was reported by Franz Jittenmeier earlier this week on Schach-Ticker.

Jittenmeier received the news from Dr Christian Issler, the Chairman of the Zurich Chess Club and a close friend of Korchnoi. Issler wrote that although Korchnoi is moving in a wheel chair these days, he still likes to visit friends at his house, where he lives with his wife Petra, and still analyses chess positions.

On 6 September the Zurich Chess Club organized an excursion to the Swiss Chess Museum, where Werner Hug, Yannick Pelletier, Etienne Bacrot and Christian Bauer were also present. Naturally, the group also played chess and in the photo below Dr Issler is playing with Korchnoi.

Issler: “Ten days ago a group of Swiss senior players gathered in Wohlen and played a small tournament. Of course Viktor won convincingly!”

The Swiss Senior squad in the Güpf House in Wohlen (Viktor Kortchnoi,
Hans Karl, Dragomir Vucenovic und Peter Hohler)

Issler: “Everyone who got to know this chess legend, knows that chess means a lot to him and also that he is extremely tough. So it is not surprising that, despite his health problems at the age of almost 83 years, he's going to fight in one more tournament; he has entered for the Zurich Christmas Open.”

Indeed, a look at the participants list of the tournament website learns that Korchnoi can be found on the 22nd place with a FIDE rating of 2499. The top seeds in this pretty strong tournament are Radek Wojtaszek (2711), Evgeny Alekseev (2698) and Boris Grachev (2669). The tournament runs 26-30 December and takes place in Hotel Crowne Plaza Zurich.


Let's hope Korchnoi will indeed be able to make it to the chess board, and not just for this one. It can definitely be called the chess comeback of the year 2013! We'll certainly be following this event.

This article was largely translated with permission from Franz Jittenmeier's report in German. Further thanks to Dr Christian Issler, Raymund Stolze and Schach-Ticker.

14375 reads 75 comments
19 votes

Comments


  • 7 months ago

    Wappinschaw

    My Mum and my Stepdad still teach ballroom dancing,they are both over 80,it keeps them young!!

  • 7 months ago

    Nessumdorma

    What a spirit! I  want to be like you one day. Congratz Korchnoi

  • 7 months ago

    kbs1954

    Where could I find his games PGN? I couldn't find in chessbase12.

  • 7 months ago

    skumarav

    excellent GM and attacker all the time.

    Salute

  • 7 months ago

    paladin64

    What great news to wake up to this morning!  This is very life enhancing.

  • 7 months ago

    Lionheart-USA

    You dont stop playing because you get old.  You get old because you stop playing :)

  • 7 months ago

    shakespeare123

    my heroe since he beat Caruana 2011 in Gibraltar - now he is training for a match with Bobby Innocent

  • 7 months ago

    alec849

    He will never give up and keep fighting!

  • 7 months ago

    melvinbluestone

    'Old chessplayers never die......." Apparently, this one isn't even fading away! Keep going, Vik!

  • 7 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    now that's what you call ' Making the most of life '.....Keep playing man, keep playin..

  • 7 months ago

    Wappinschaw

    You can't compare him with God,sure he's a great guy,but he's no Viktor Korchnoi.

  • 7 months ago

    IM IM_Michal_Luch

    Best news I read recenty!:) Fantastic Christmas gift. 

  • 7 months ago

    gregdocot

    What keeps Victor going is  "chess". A chessplayer is always a chessplayer. My prayers for you, Victor Korchnoi.

  • 7 months ago

    Johannes-Die-Loper

    One of a kind!

  • 7 months ago

    Fsamidiak

    Wish I have this determination to catch up my dreams. It was really nice to read this article.

    Thank you

  • 7 months ago

    XretxeD

    Best wishes to Mr. Korchnoi! He may have never been World Chess Champion, but I believe his achievement of still playing high level chess at the age of 82, even after suffering a stroke, makes him certainly one of the greatest chess players ever and one hell of an example for everyone of us to follow. Keep on playing! 

  • 7 months ago

    PeterDoggers

    @FM Erik1971   Thanks, corrected.

  • 7 months ago

    _36darshan--

    Chess has no age bars!Cool

  • 7 months ago

    FM Erik1971

    Nice article Peter. You probably mean 26-30 December instead of September (just above the last picture).

  • 7 months ago

    Shadow-Jok3r

    that nigga will be bustin little niggas ass yo :p 

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