Happy 80th Birthday Viktor Korchnoi

  • SonofPearl
  • on 3/23/11, 11:57 AM.

viktor_korchnoi2.jpgNot many chessplayers can be described as living legends, but Viktor Korchnoi undoubtedly qualifies for that honour.

Born on 23 March 1931 in Leningrad, Korchnoi survived the siege of that city to become one of the greatest chess players of the 20th Century.

Always a creative and awkward opponent, Korchnoi crossed swords with the best from the 1950s to the present day. 

At the venerable age of 80, Viktor "The Terrible" is by far the oldest GM still playing regularly on the chess circuit.

After his defection from the Soviet Union in 1976, Korchnoi famously clashed with the great world champion Anatoly Karpov in 1978 in Baguio in the Philippines, and again in 1981 in Merano, Italy.

The 1978 match was agonisingly close with Viktor losing 6-5 after 32 games.

Still passionate about chess after 80 years, and still giving painful lessons to his opponents after more than half a century!

Happy birthday Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi!












Picture from the Tradewise Gibraltar Festival website

8341 reads 24 comments
One Vote


  • 4 years ago


    I was at a few of the WC games in Merano, Italy. I saw Korchnoi actually kick Karpov under the table. He was definitely a bad ass. Great player though.

  • 5 years ago


    All these years I have ignored Korchnoi.  I didn't know he was that good.  Circumstances may have prevented him from being WC.  But he deserves the honor to be considered as one.

  • 6 years ago


    OK -I have been a fan of his since the 70s.  It took courage to defect and then to qualify for WC against Karpov against all the odds and the entire USSR regime - incredible.

    Have a good one- Victor.

  • 6 years ago


    ful repect to victor getting to 80. the man was so close to being the world champ but looking at hes chess makes him a champ.

  • 6 years ago


    There are some great videos of Korchnoi here.

  • 6 years ago


    So the guy is not Mr. Congeniality, in the same way we appreciate Alekhine and Fischer's games in spite of the men - likewise we should seperate Korchnoi's chess from his abrasiveness.

    And to agree with killaninja - the Svidler game was awsome - just buried in in a corner and unleashed those bishops. Wow.

  • 6 years ago



  • 6 years ago


    Korchnoi is obviously passionate about chess and extremely competitive.  That doesn't always make him a 'nice' person in some senses, but he commands a great deal of respect for his determination and longevity in the professional game.

  • 6 years ago


    That cake isn't theoretically correct, but at the same time, who cares, that cake is Awesome!!

  • 6 years ago


    As I've stated before I don't like him but I also don't want to leave negative comments about him. The article linked below really does sum up his personality. But for those interested in a real life example of his personality here is a video link... Once again I am only linking this because someone asked for more info on his personality. If this is considered too derogatory let me know and I'll remove it.


    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxeiGipoFSE

  • 6 years ago


    Chess 960 cake

  • 6 years ago


    please , i am interested in knowing more about his peronality. where can i find out...besides his chess life

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


    daaaamn did you see that game against svidler.. now that is what you call a game of chess... you dont call anything else a game of chess but you can call this a game of chess.. i just wanna study this game

  • 6 years ago


    Korchnoi was traumatized as a child which partly explains, but does not excuse, some of his unfortunate behaviors. But I greatly respect him for his fighting spirit, longevity, and incredible strength as a chess player. A superb tactician, and one of the greatest endgame players of all time.

  • 6 years ago


    i dont judge him but i love his creative thinking and nice games,

    happy birth day grandpa of chess!

  • 6 years ago


    Pretty lousy what the Russians did to him and his family.  More power to you, Korch.

  • 6 years ago


    I have to agree he might be a good player but I can't respect him one bit. Horrible personality. I'm sorry

  • 6 years ago


    He was one of the worst personalities that the chess scene has ever witnessed. I hope his kind never comes again. He has very much earned the nickname "the terrible."

  • 6 years ago


    I have followed Victor since the '60s and always love to play through his games.

    Have a good one VK!  I hope I am still playing chess in another 16 years.  M

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