Viktor is still the Terrible!

8/19/2012 – The trend of matches between aging champions and another set of players is an attractive one, and has been tried in many forms. The Geneva Chess Club proposed its own spin by pitting its aspiring masters against a group of legendary players. The veterans won, led by Viktor Korchnoi, 81 years-old, bound to a wheelchair. Report, video, plus photos by Frits Agterdenbos.

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Viktor is still the Terrible!

Geneva Chess Club vs. Legends 2012

Lake Geneva

The trend of matches between aging champions and another set of players is an attractive one, and has been tried in many forms. The Geneva Chess Club proposed its own spin by creating a double round Schveningen between its aspiring masters and a group of legendary players, defined as having once been a World Championship Candidate.

Quai du Mont Blanc, view over Lake Geneva

On the Swiss side, were IM Richard Gerber (2408), IM Alexandre Domont (2361), FM Bastien Dubessay (2350), IM Alexandre Vuillemumier (2332) and Lars Rindlisbacher (2304), while the legends consisted of Kevin Spraggett (2595), Ulf Andersson (2569), Zoltan Ribli (2561) and Vlastimil Hort (2475), and Viktor Korchnoi (2519) who continues to be an example to us all.

Playing venue Swissotel Metropole Geneva

Entrance and Lounge of Swissotel Metropole Geneva

The tournament was played at a very quick pace, with no fewer than three days with double-rounds. In theory one would presume this would favor the younger, trimmer Swiss players, but no such luck as the veterans showed that 'once was' did not mean 'has been' and won by a convincing 33-17.

Longtime ChessBase contributor Zoltan Ribli

Canadian GM Kevin Spraggett

GM Ulf Andersson

In fact, the top-scoring player by tiebreak was none other than octogenarian Viktor the Terrible, a ripe 81 years old, forced to play from a wheelchair, who scored 7.0/10, tied with Kevin Spraggett and Zoltan Ribli. That said, the event was still a success for the Swiss players as FM Lars Rindlisbacher scored an IM norm.

16-year-old Lars Rindlisbacher scored an IM norm

Viktor was as uncompromising as ever and scored only two draws in ten games.
What a big wheelchair you have... All the better to run you over with my dear.

The organizers were very thorough and provided not only ample photos, but numerous video reports (in French) as well. A special commendation must be extended to the lovely IA Anémone Kulczak who was also in charge of the media.

Vlastimil Hort and arbiter Anémone Kulczak

The final round ten report with ample footage of Korchnoi

The final standings

The excellent photographer Frits Agterdenbos also visited the venue and has shared his pictures.

Photos by

© Frits Agterdenbos of ChessVista


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