Game Of the Week: Joel’s tribute to Viktor Korchnoi
Opening: E12: Queen's Indian: Petrosian system
Player(s): Benjamin, Korchnoi
Three-time U.S. Champion GM Joel Benjamin brings you a new show every Friday at 15:00 Server Time. Joel is regarded by many as one of the best commentators and analysts' we have in the game today -- so if you want to get ahead of the game, get ready to tune-in!
The chess community is mourning the passing of another of its legends, Grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi. Korchnoi is best known for his fruitless pursuit of Anatoly Karpov's world title. Match defeats in 1974, 1978, and 1981 relegated Korchnoi to the status of being, quite possibly, the best player to never become World Champion. Korchnoi put a personal stamp on chess with far more than his excellent play. He was a tremendous fighter with a singular devotion to playing chess. He would travel all over, often to North America where developing players like yours truly got an opportunity to play him. He rarely demanded large appearance fees like many of his colleagues. His absolute love of playing probably enabled him to play at a high level arguably longer than anyone; he was an elite player in his fifties and still over 2600 for a lot longer. For my tribute to "Viktor the Terrible" I would like to recount a game I played with him in 1986, when I had just been awarded the GM title. I felt like one before the game... but the course of it made me wonder. Korchnoi still knew a heck of a lot more about chess than I did. The endgame - and the story that goes with it - was truly delightful, though rather embarrassing for myself!