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Korchnoi, Viktor

Viktor Korchnoi, born March 23, 1931, is a Grandmaster (1956) and four times Soviet champion (1960, 1962, 1964, 1970).  He was the Dutch champion in 1977 and the Swiss champion in 1982, 1984, and 1985.  He played on six of the USSR's Olympic teams.  In the 1970 Chess Olympiad in Skopje, Yugoslavia, Victor overslept and missed his round against Spain lost be default.  The round started at 3 pm.  He defected to the West in July 1976, after a tie for 1st place (with Tony Miles) at a tournament in Amsterdam (IBM 1976).  Victor Korchnoi's son, Igor, was sent to a Siberian labor camp for 30 months for refusing military service.  In 1987 he won the Zabreb Interzonal Tournament (11/16).  In 1991 Korchnoi was granted Swiss citizenship after 14 years of residency.  He has  appeared in eight Candidates Matches.  During his world championship match with Karpov, he claimed that he was “hypnotized” by KGB agents to play badly.  In 1999, at the age of 68, he took first place at an international tournament in St. Petersburg.  After his defection in 1976, it wasn’t until 1984 that a Soviet player was allowed to play a games against Korchnoi.  The first Soviet player to play Korchnoi in a tournament was Alexander Beliavasky, at Wijk aan Zee in 1984.  In 2006, he won the World Senior's Chess Championship.

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