World Chess Champion, finally! November 15, 2006Posted by dorigo in chess, games, news.
Viktor Kortchnoi, the old wizard of the chessboard, an eternal challenger of the world chess title, and one of the very finest chess players who did not become a world champion, has finally achieved his dream. He is World Chess Champion, at the mature age of 75 years. I just read the news on New in Chess, and it made me very happy.
Yes, it is a Senior world chess championship the one he won last September in Arvier, val d’Aosta, with 9 points in 11 games and no losses against strong competition (second came Vlastimil Jansa, 8.5/11). But nonetheless, he is the best of the old guard, still going strong at 2600 points of rating. Few other players remained so active and strong at his age. Kortchnoi travels the world continuously to play tournaments. One example ? He recently traveled from Spain to Zurich in the middle of a tournament (which he won) to play a blitz event with Kasparov, Karpov, and Polgar.
Kortchnoi is famous for his bad character, but you cannot avoid sympathising with the guy today. He started to play chess quite late in his life, and was a man in his maturity when he challenged twice for the world championship none less than Anatoly Karpov at the height of its stellar powers, in 1978 (Baguio City, Philippines) and 1982 (Meran, Italy). Sure, Karpov won both of these matches, but Korchnoi showed the world that he was just inches less strong then.
Cheers to the terrible Viktor!