Full Name: Victor Lvovich Korchnoid
Born: 23rd March 1931
Place of birth: Leningrad, Soviet Union
2499 (June 2019)
Rapid: 2695 (January 1979)
Victor Korchnoi, a sports legend who died at the age of 85 from suffering internal bleeding in Wohlen, a hospital in Switzerland started being versed with chess at the age of 5. His father Lev taught his chess but later died at the siege of Leningrad in the 11 world war, at the time Victor was only 10 years.
He played at the local pioneer’s palace from 1943, he was an outstanding pupil in chess gaming. After 4 years of chess practice and gaming here and here, he managed to win the Junior Championship of the USSR. Victor played chess for over 30 years and he competed at the world level 5 times.
First, it’s when he was at 50 years and in the other 4 tournaments, he was at 75. He was rated position 85 in the world and this gave him the grandmaster title. He has served his chess career for over 70 years.
Korchnoi was born in the year 1931 in Leningrad in the Soviet Union. His father was his role model as he was the one who taught him chess at the age of 5.
He joined a local pioneer palace in 1943 and was the best and most talented chess player on the team. This gave him an upper hand to grow in the chess field. He played chess even in his old age.at the age of 75 in 2006 he won Banyoles Open that was held in Spain. In 2007 he was ranked by FIDE as the oldest player and he had a gunned position of 85 out of 100, hence winning the world title.
He became sick due to old age and was diagnosed with cancer which led to internal bleeding. That resulted in his death in Wohlen, Switzerland. Despite the fact that he was a giant chess player, he was also an author. Some of the books that were written by Victor include; Chess in My Life (1977), Practical Rook endings (2002) and Best Games (2001-2002).
In 1943, Victor joined a local pioneer palace, he showcased his skills in chess and was considered the most chess-talented student. After 4 years of local training, he made his first win at the junior championship of the USSR which was rated 11.5/15. In 1952 in the 20th edition in Miski, he played USSR at won at position 6, in the next championship he had a tie at position three.
He later joined the international tournament and made huge victories. He had a victory in Bucharest in 1954, Leningrad in 1955, and Hastings in 1955-1956. He was later awarded by FIDE the grandmaster title in 1956. Between the years 1954-and 1974, Victor had managed to collect 21 medals for the Soviet team. He also won gold in the Europa team championship held in Vienna in 1957. In the same year, he won individual gold in Buenos Aineo Olympia in the year 1978 in Switzerland.
Victor had 4 wins in the USSR championship which was rated as the strongest team in Chess at that time. He won Leningrad in 1960, Yerevan in 1962, Kiev 1964-1965 and Riga in 1970. He made several tough victories at international tournaments and this made him famous and recognized by FIDE as the best player in the world, in the year 1960. Even at his old age, he was still a champion, at age 75 in 2006 he won a Banyoles Open held in Spain, in 2007 he was ranked position 85 out of 100. He won the 16th world senior championship award in Arvier. He was still active at Gibraltar Chess in the year 2011and was rated 2544, world rating at #25 and fans rating at 2721.
Just like any other normal person, Victor encountered harassment and threats in Amsterdam and that’s when he made a decision of leaving the Soviet Union, left behind his son and wife and went to settle in Switzerland. Old age and sickness prevented him from continuing with chess games. He battled cancer, and later internal bleeding and he succumbed at Wohlen in Switzerland while on treatment. This legend will live on in the Chess community for the rest of time.
If you liked learning about Hikaru, you may also be interested in reading about other top players like Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura.
1. http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2013/04/what-jean-stean-had-seen.html Streatham and Brixton Chess Blog, 19 April 2013.
2. https://www.olimpbase.org/Elo/player/Korchnoi,%20Viktor.html OlimpBase. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Russian as Korchnoy, Kortchnoy, Kortschnoj
4. http://chess-news.ru/en/node/21597. Chess-News.ru.
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6. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=55014. Chesssgames.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
7. https://www.bielchessfestival.ch/History/Past-Winners.html. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
8. French Defense Korchnoi Gambit – Chess.com
9. https://www.chess.com/opening/eco/B23_Sicilian_Defense_Closed_Variation_Korchnoi_Defense . Chess.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
10. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=83239 . chessgames.com. Retrieved 6 June 2016.