Reports | December 20, 2009 1:09

Korchnoi-Spassky match in Elista

Kortchnoi-Spassky match in ElistaTwo of the most legendary chess players still alive are currently playing an 8-game match in Elista, Kalmykia: 78-year-old Viktor Korchnoi and 72-year-old Boris Spassky. Korchnoi won the first game; the second ended in a draw today.

Photo © Official site

The match between the two chess legends, 10th World Champion Boris Spassky from Russia and former World Championship contender Viktor Korchnoi from Switzerland, is the final event in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the union between Kalmykia and Russia. The two will play a total of eight games in Elista from December 17th until 27th, for a prize fund of US$ 20,000. The time control seems to be 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move.

According to the Mega2009 database, Korchnoi and Spassky played a total of 69 games (including rapid) against each other in exactly half a century: between 1955 and 2005. Korchnoi has the best score: 22 wins, 14 losses and 33 draws. The most important games were of course played in their two Candidates final matches. In 1968, in Kiev, Spassky won 6.5-3.5 while nine years later in Belgrade it was Korchnoi who won with 10.5-7.5.

After two games of a much more friendly character, Korchnoi leads this new match against Spassky 1.5-0.5. According to the official website, Spassky had arrived in Elista in advance. However, Korchnoi, who travelled from London where he had played two simul exhibitions at the Chess Classic, had got stuck in Moscow due to a snow storm. He eventually arrived late in the evening on Thursday the 17th, and Spassky proposed to play just six games and add a second rest day. "However, Victor L. did not go against the regulations, bravely agreed to start the game, as planned." And won, outplaying his opponent in an ending with rook and knight for both sides. Today Spassky got an advantage but Korchnoi held the draw instructively.

Match score

World Cup 2009 | Results round 7

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


John's picture

You say Spassky is Russian; better would be to say that he is a Russian emigre to France. Note the French flag by his name in the photo.

Meppie's picture

Good to see some annotations in the non-paying area.

Rini Luyks's picture

May I suggest uniformity in regard to the spelling of Viktor's name?
In this article I see: Kortchnoi, Korchnoi and Kortschnoi.
I believe the habitual transliteration into English of the cyrillic sibilant in his name is "-ch", like in the famous song "Ochi chornye" ("Dark eyes"), so: Korchnoi.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thx, corrected.

chess's picture

Spassky is/was a strong chess player, be has beaten Tal in candidates match once and later Petrossian in Wch.

saavedra29's picture

hello! do you know what time is the third game of kortznoi and spasky?

Castro's picture


People not knowing that (and much more) here must have been reduced to zero, now that you know it. :-)

dude's picture

what are there current ratings?

Muadhib's picture

And who is that Korchnoi guy? :)

Wale's picture

When and how magnus carlson will compete for the world championship match

Muadhib's picture

Just like anyone else, he has to qualify for it first.

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