NAME: Victor Korchnoi
BIRTHDATE: March 23, 1931
BIRTHPLACE: Leningrad (St. Petersburg)
CREDENTIALS: USSR Champion four times. Carried an impressive international tournament record and competed in the 1974 Candidate's Final, although he would eventually lose to friend Anatoly Karpov. Korchnoi criticized Karpov after the match and was banned from competition for six months by Soviet authorities. He challenged Karpov again in both the 1978 and 1981 World Championship matches, but he was never able to grasp the title. He is the oldest active grandmaster on the world tournament circuit.
MODUS OPERANDI: Excellent defensive strategy. Known for his aggressive counter-attacks and mastery of the endgame.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Although he won the USSR Championshop four times, Korchnoi is arguably most known for his defection from his homeland and his indictment of the Soviet Union as destructive to his creative career. Korchnoi became the first Russian grandmaster to defect from the USSR, and he even asked for advice on obtaining asylum from English speaking grandmasters at a 1976 tournament in Amsterdam. He continues to play today, living in Switzerland, which he represents in the World Chess Olympiad.