World Chess Championship 1978

World Chess Championship 1978

The 1978 World Chess Championship was played between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi in Baguio City, Philippines from July 18 to October 18, 1978. Karpov won.

The match of 1978 deserves its reputation as the most bizarre World Championship match ever played. Karpov's team included a Dr. Zukhar (a well known hypnotist), while Korchnoi adopted two local renegades currently on bail for attempted murder. There was more controversy off the board, with histrionics ranging from X-raying of chairs, protests about the flags used on the board, the inevitable hypnotism complaints and the mirror glasses used by Korchnoi. When Karpov's team sent him a blueberry yogurt during a game without any request for one by Karpov, the Korchnoi team protested, claiming it could be some kind of code. They later said this was intended as a parody of earlier protests, but it was taken seriously at the time.

In quality of play, the match itself never measured up to the press headlines that it generated, although as a sporting contest it had its share of excitement. The match would go to the first player to win six games, draws not counting. After 17 games, Karpov had an imposing 4–1 lead. Korchnoi won game 21, but Karpov won game 27, putting him on the brink of victory with a 5–2 lead. Korchnoi bravely fought back, scoring three wins and one draw in the next four games, to equalise the match at 5–5 after 31 games. However, Karpov won the very next game, and the match, by 6–5 with 21 draws.

Read more about World Chess Championship 1978:  1976 Interzonal Tournaments, 1977 Candidates Tournament, 1978 Championship Match, Games

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