22.09.2004 V.Korchnoi in Moscow

Victor Korchnoi's correspondence duel with readers of “Moscowsky Komsomolets” has lasted for half a year (master Evgeniy Gik is a chess columnist in the newspaper). The grand master did not play an opening too aggressively (he had White), and it was rumored that he was almost persuaded to agree on a draw in almost equal position. But only “almost” – readers needed to say a few inexactnesses to make any peace talks with Victor Lvovich senseless. The well-known history with Che Guevara who was bad at Catalon opening, repeated 40 years later! (Korchnoi was asked to draw a game against one of the leaders of the Cuban revolution, however the latter had made too many mistakes on a chess board …). To tell the truth, though “MK” readers have lost, they didn’t go away ungifted: the editors organized for them a meeting with a glorified chess player who arrived for a few days from Switzerland especially for this purpose.

However, Victor Lvovich also had another reason to visit Moscow: in September a publishing house “Russian chess house” (director Murad Amannazarov) published the second volume of the two-volume book of Korchnoi’s selected games – “My 55 victories playing black”. The presentation of the book which took place in the largest bookshop of the capital "Biblio-globe" was quite a success. In the beginning the grand master answered questions of chess amateurs, he gave interviews to TV channels “NTV +” (correspondent Marina Makarycheva) and “Sports” (Elmira Mirzoeva), he autographed books (for the visitor from Ecuador Korchnoi autographed the book in Spanish), and he gave a simultaneous display on 10 boards. Other famous chess player David Ionovich Bronstein congratulated the author on the appearance of the book.

 V.Korchnoi's new book

 Autographes to it

M.Makarycheva interviews V.Korchnoi

 A simultaneous display for the elite


We call a small fragment of conversation of V.L.Korchnoi with chess amateurs to your attention.

- Why chess in Soviet Union were at such a high level?

- Was a question whether Nigel Short should go to Wijk-an-Zee or not discussed in English Parliament? Were there any debate in the Bundestag about grand master Unzicker’s participation in Daugavpils tournament?..

- What is Your attitude to a present situation around Fischer?

- Spassky has sent a letter to Bush in which he hinted that Fischer is not quite normal mentally. Yes, probably, he is not quite normal. One should a mental twist to beat the Soviet chess school alone. Well, there are different lunatics, some are violent, some are quiet, but the majority are dangerous for society. I think that Fischer is mad and he is dangerous. He could have committed a terrorist act but the only thing – he would have spared himself. Fischer considers, that he is an extremely valuable individual, that someone should necessarily inherit his skill of playing chess necessarily should devolve to someone. This is the only reason why he is not capable to commit a terrorist act. In the West there are people who say other things, that mentally deranged should not be kept under guard. But, you see, I was born in absolutely different country, and some of my views did not become neutral Swiss. Therefore I think that Fischer should be kept under guard. To call for his discharge only because he is an ingenious chess player?.. It seems that it is not enough for him to remain in the memory of humanity as ingenious chess player. He behaves in such a way that one might think that it would be very honourable and pleasant for him to become a theorist of terrorism. It is known that theorists of terrorism are no less terrible people, than those who commit these acts. Such people are being arrested in the United States. It seems to me,   that in history of mankind there will still be strong chess players, and Kasparov doesn’t yield to him any way, though Fischer is considered to be the strongest chess player of the XX century according to the survey that was held among grand masters (I voted for Kasparov). But having remembered that Fischer stands up for terrorist acts, probably, he wants to remain the last strongest chess player in history of mankind?!

Ilyumzhinov has supported Fischer who is delighted with terrorist acts in the United States of America and who refuses to pay the tax from 3,5 million dollars. And if Fischer was the citizen of Kalmykia would mister Ilyumzhinov not demand a million of three and a half that Fischer earned? It’s difficult to imagine. It is easy to speak about things that happen in the distance. But imagine that everything happens near you. The Fide president spoke on behalf of all chess players, but not all chess players support his point of view.

I’d like to add, that Korchnoi in co-operation with his namesake, a well known journalist Victor Lvovich Henkin, is working at autobiographical book which will be published in Russian in the spring of the next year.

Vladimir BARSKY

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