"This is the second of a 4-volume series on Korchnoi. Volume III is expected later this year and possibly volume IV as well"
The second volume of Elk and Ruby’s treatise on Viktor Korchnoi, penned by FM Hans Renette and IM Tibor Karolyi, covers the period 1969-1980. This encompasses Korchnoi’s famous world championship fight with Karpov at Baguio City in 1978, his candidates final matches against Karpov in 1974 and Hubner in 1980, as well as the related candidates cycles and major tournament performances. Much biographical colour is supplied on his life and character, with this period including his defection from the Soviet Union to the West in 1976. Like in Volume I, original material is provided from interviews with key protagonists and their relatives, while sources in Russian, German, Dutch and Hungarian as well as English are used to paint the most comprehensive portrait of Korchnoi available.
140 games and fragments are analysed in detail in this work. As well as Karpov and Hubner, opponents include Fischer, Spassky, Petrosian, Smyslov, Portisch, Geller, Najdorf, Timman, Larsen, Mecking, Sosonko, Andersson, Ljubojevic, Polugaevsky, Nunn, and Miles among others. Many new discoveries are made in the analysis. In particular, the authors identify that Korchnoi worked hard to improve his endgame ability significantly during the time that he was boycotted in tournaments by the Soviets, which is most surprising given that he was in his mid-forties by then, and was the best player of his time at endgame tactics. Further, the authors found that his reputation as a pawn grabber was highly exaggerated, and that he carried out a huge number of king attacks on the h-file. They also discovered that Korchnoi more than matched Karpov for openings in the 1978 title bout despite the unprecedented preparation of the Soviet chess machine, and that the key reason he lost that match was time trouble.
The book is supplemented with a generous supply of photos, many taken from the Korchnoi family archive and never before published.