Viktor Korchnoi


World Chess

Hall of Fame

Inducted 2017







Viktor Korchnoi was arguably the strongest player never to become world chess champion. He is best known for the three World Championship matches he played with Anatoly Karpov in 1974, 1978 and 1981—losing the first two by only a single game. The last two matches were played after he defected from the Soviet Union in 1976. A candidate for the World Chess Championship on ten occasions (1962, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1991), no player in the history of the game has played so well for as long as Korchnoi, who remained a world-class player into his late 70s.

Notable Games

Photographer unknown
Viktor Korchnoi and Vassily Ivancuhk Compete in the Quarterfinal of the 1994 PCA/Intel Grand Prix
Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of Raquel Browne
Harry Pot
Netherlands against Russia from left to right: Viktor Korchnoi, Tigran Petrosian, and Jan Hein Donner
July 3, 1962
Collection of the National Archive of the Netherlands