Closing Gambit: 1978 Korchnoi versus Karpov and the Kremlin

After Fischer beat Spassky in the 1972 World Chess Championship, the Soviets plotted to regain this coveted title by supporting Anatoly Karpov – a loyal member of the Communist Party and epitome of the young Soviet ‘New Man’. When Fischer refused to defend his title, Karpov was crowned King, but his first title defence was against Viktor Korchnoi – a critic of the Soviet regime and high-profile defector since 1976. Both men are bitter personal rivals. Karpov is favoured by the Party with his Moscow apartment and country dacha; whereas Korchnoi is the traitor: airbrushed from Soviet chess history. As the rivals fight on the chess board, their teams are locked in a war of espionage, parapsychologists, coded yoghurts, KGB agents, death threats, and a mystic sect wanted for murder. What happened during that summer of 1978 is the most incredible sporting story that has never been told…until now.

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Closing Gambit: 1978 Korchnoi versus Karpov and the Kremlin was originally published on Divine Aim