Viktor Korchnoi: 'Kasparov Doesn't Want to Come Back to Russia? Right He Is!'

Время публикации: 17.02.2015 00:58 | Последнее обновление: 18.02.2015 16:23

E.SUROV: This isn't a typical interview you are used to read on our website. It has nothing in common with the dialog that Viktor Korchnoi and I have had here in Zurich 3 years ago. Back then, one could easily speak to Viktor Lvovich face to face, while this interview would have been impossible without assistance: the renowned Grandmaster has difficulty with his speech. It's thanks to Genna Sosonko that Korchnoi's thoughts could have been conveyed - sometimes literally, sometimes just close to the original.

This conversation took place shortly after Viktor Korchnoi had finished his match vs Wolfgang Uhlmann and was about to go back home to Wohlen (1 hour by car from Zurich). 'Knight c2 to a1...' were the words Viktor Lvovich began our talk with. He was still absorbed by the games.

E.SUROV: What do you think of the match in terms of chess?

V.KORCHNOI: It was very weak. He was playing the first game just for a draw, just exchanging everything. The second game was horrible even though I won: he chose the King's Indian having no idea of it. I'm satisfied with the third game, although it seems he had some chances for a draw at the end. Earlier, he had compensation for a pawn.

E.SUROV: How did you prepare for the match?


G.SOSONKO: Why badly? You won the second game thanks to the opening, didn't you?

V.KORCHNOI: Because he doesn't understand openings!

Wolfgang Uhlmann

G.SOSONKO: What about your move 6...Nd5-e7 in the third game? An overwhelming majority of people go 6...Nb6 in that position.

V.KORCHNOI: Once, an American player went 6...Ne7 against me...

G.SOSONKO: Which American? Wasn't his name Robert..?

V.KORCHNOI: An American. I liked that idea, so I played it now.

E.SUROV: Who among modern players has the best understanding of chess?
V.KORCHNOI: Hard to say. I think everyone understands chess.

E.SUROV: What about the World Champion, then? Is his understanding better compared to others as his rating superiority suggests?

V.KORCHNOI: My opinion about the World Champion is not that high.
E.SUROV: Well, then let's talk about Kasparov and Karpov. Who do you appreciate more as a chess player?
V.KORCHNOI: Kasparov's chess is much better than Karpov's.

G.SOSONKO: Even than Fischer's?

V.KORCHNOI: (smiling, with a characteristic smooth hand gesture) Fischer... Fischer is in a class by himself.

E.SUROV: Recently, Spassky said that he often talked to Fischer in his dreams. Does that happen to you as well? Or maybe you talk to Spassky in your dreams?

V.KORCHNOI: It happens.

E.SUROV: What do they say?

V.KORCHNOI: I'm still curious how Spassky is able to read one's thoughts.

G.SOSONKO: Your match vs Spassky in 1977 comes to mind at once. You were feeling something strange while playing, weren't you?

V.KORCHNOI: Yes, I was feeling something. He won four games in a row.

E.SUROV: Something supernatural?


A little dinner after the finish of the match. Uhlmann and Korchnoi are being accompanied by their wives. Genna Sosonko is sitting near the Master.

E.SUROV: What do you think of Kasparov's political views and of current political situation in the world?

V.KORCHNOI: Kasparov and Karpov have something in common. They both want to become deputies of the Russian State Duma...
E.SUROV: Karpov already is!

V.KORCHNOI: Exactly.

E.SUROV: Does Kasparov also have such ambitions?

V.KORCHNOI: It turns out he does.

G.SOSONKO: But he has left Russia two years ago and won't come back because he is afraid of being detained!

V.KORCHNOI: Right he is!


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    E.SUROV: Victor Lvovich, how did it happen that you settled in Switzerland? Initially, you asked for political asylum in Holland.

  • Chess-News finds out there's a friendly match scheduled from March 27 in Leipzig between Viktor Korchnoi and Boris Spassky. It will consist of four classical game.

  • The match with Korchnoi's participation started in Leipzig Germany. Korchnoi's opponent is not Spassky, as it was announced earlier, but Wolfgang Uhlmann. German GM turns 79 tomorrow, while Korchnoi will turn 83 on March 23.

    Match consists of four games, those are most likely not broadcasted online. Korchnoi beat his German colleague in the first match game. 

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  • We reported about the scheduled friendly match between Viktor Korchnoi and Boris Spassky over two weeks ago. It was planned to be held from March 27 in Leipzig, Germany. Let us emphesize, we got the mentioned information from Korchnoi himself.

    Now it turned out Spassky haven't heard of the event. He wrote an open letter to RCF president Andrey Filatov stating it: 

  • The Russian-language R-Sport website quotes Anatoly Karpov:

    "We should give respect where respect is due. Korchnoi was a chess phenomenon. His style was inimitable. He had an absolutely unique approach to chess. He was a workaholic and a special talent, a very top level chess player. It is very sad for chess that one of the last players from that era has left us.

  • Viktor Korchnoi is among the participants of the strong open tournament which will take place in Zurich from December 26 to 30. It is a 7-round Swiss competition, the rating favourites are Radoslaw Woijtaszek 2711, Evgeny Alekseev 2698, Andrei Istratescu 2670, Boris Grachev 2669 and others. 

  • Viktor Korchnoi will not be able to participate in the Olympiad which will start in ten days and will not reinforce his team of Switzerland. The chess legend had to give up his trip to Turkey because of his poor health. So the leader of the team Yannik Pelletier will thus be accompanied by Joseph J. Gallagher, Oliver Kurmann, Richard Forster and Werner Hug.

  • This morning Victor Korchnoi, who lives in Switzerland and represents that country in competitions, has arrived to the Kramnik - Aronian match in Zurich for the remaining two days. As always, he is not alone but with his wife Petra Leeuwerik. The legendary grandmaster has just played two rapid games with the sponsor of the match Oleg Skvortsov and then hasn't declined to play blitz, although that wasn't planned. All the games ended in favour of the veteran player.

  • A half of the rapid match (2 games out of total 4) between Viktor Korchnoi and Wolfgang Uhlmann has been played today in Zurich, as a part of Zurich Chess Challenge. Both games were won by White. The German veteran outplayed Korchnoi in the first encounter, but found himself in a hopeless position already at the beginning of the second game. The realization by Korchnoi was quite convincing.