Thursday, October 6, 2016

Letter to "Chess Life"

Thank you for the excellent articles on Viktor Korchnoi, especially the great account from Yasser Seirawan about his days as a Korchnoi second.

While I commend your account as generally accurate, it still contains remnants of the Cold War. When Korchnoi defected, he abandoned his wife and son in favor of chess. He soon took up with Petra Leeuwerik, who the Western press, led by "Chess Life", insisted on calling his "dietician", even though she was obviously much more to him than a dietician. When Korchnoi's wife was allowed to leave the Soviet Union, he promptly divorced her and married Petra.

The quality of "Chess Life" is currently the highest it has been during my 50 years of reading it. However, I think your magazine still has some responsibility to correct the errors and excesses of the past, which were particularly outrageous during the period of 1984-1988, when you had an editor, Larry Parr, who was more interested in fighting the Cold War than in presenting factual information about the wonderful world of chess.

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