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Closing Gambit - 1978 Korchnoi versus Karpov and the Kremlin


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The riveting, true story of an event so extraordinary - it could have been culled from the pages of a John Le Carré bestseller... Summer 1978 saw World Chess Champion, Anatoly Karpov - a loyal follower of the Soviet Communist Party - take on the recently defected dissident, Victor Korchnoi, for the World Chess Championship in Baguio City in the Philippines. On the surface, it was just a game of chess, but as the world’s press flocked to what became known as The Battle of Baguio, it became clear that the Soviet regime were fighting for victory on every front. Before the two chess gladiators even battled over the chess board, the KGB fought a dirty tricks campaign to ensure their man gained every advantage. As the sporting championship became a war of attrition where every win was precious, the two rival teams became embroiled in the shady world of gamesmanship and double bluff. Parapsychologists, thought waves, flag wars, mirrored sunglasses, coded yoghurts, KGB agents and two Eastern mystics wanted for attempted murder, were just some of the everyday events in this dramatic story of chess, politics and sporting endeavour,
Alan M. Byron


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