Viktor Korchnoi: Legacy of a chess legend
On Monday 6 June the chess world lost one of its most iconic figures, Viktor Korchnoi.
His famous quote “chess is my life” is one many will connect to. Viktor, however, backed it up, dedicating all his days to the game we love.
Here we remember him by admiring the fruit of his work, his legacy: the chess he played. Take a look at these positions and see if you can find Viktor Korchnoi’s ideas.
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White to play
Black’s King was on f8 but he cunningly played …g5 tempting Nxg5 before moving his King.
Now White’s Knight is pinned against his Queen. Exchanging Bishops and playing Nf3 would escape, of course, but Korchnoi had seen something better. Can you?
2bqk2r/pp2bp2/1n2p2p/3pP1N1/1B5Q/3B4/PP3PPP/2R3K1 w – – 0 25
White to play
In 1974 Korchnoi played Karpov in the Candidates Final. Both had beaten former World Champions to get there (Petrosian and Spassky). Karpov won by the narrowest of margins but Korchnoi destroyed him in this game.
White to play.
1r1q1rk1/pb1pbp1p/1pn3p1/2pB2N1/2P5/6P1/PP1QPP1P/R1B1K2R w KQ – 0 13
Black to play
(Board shown from Black’s perspective)
White is endgame expert Yuri Averbakh who has an extra pawn and might be able to go 2 pawns up soon.
What did the great Viktor Korchnoi play?
8/5pk1/p3p3/3n4/2r3P1/3N2Pp/PR1KPP2/8 b – – 0 39