Near sixty years Top 100, more than thirty years Top 10

Year-by-Year survey of Viktor Korchnoi's World Ranking

Covered are the Top Hundred years, from 1951 (April) to 2007 (Jan-March):
no. in bold
indicates Korchnoi's best world ranking
in corresponding year list
(the no. in brackets indicates Korchnoi's least monthly ranking position that year)

1951 (April): Korchnoi first time in Top Hundred Bronstein unlucky: tied match against Botvinnik
1954: no.10 (no.22) first time Top Twenty and Top Ten Korchnoi International Master (IM)
1955: no.9 (no.21)  
1956: no.7 (no.13) Korchnoi International Grandmaster (GM)
1957: no.7 (no.9) Smyslov World Chess Champion 
1958: no.7 (no.8)  
1959: no.9 (no.11)  
1960: no.5 (no.9) Tal World Chess Champion
1961: no.2 (no.5) no.2 behind Petrosian
1962: no.2 (no.6) no.2 behind Petrosian
1963: no.2 (no.6) no.2 behind Petrosian  WCC Petrosian 1963-69
1964: no.5 (no.10)  
1965: no.1 (no.6), no.1 from September to December no. 1 after winning Gyula (Asztalos Mem), August 1965
1966: no.1/2 ex-aequo (no.6) ex-aequo no. 1 with Tal, ex-aequo no. 1 with Spassky
1967: no.2 (no.6) no.2 stretch behind Fischer from Aug 1967 to July 1970
1968: no.2 (all twelve months) no.2 stretch behind Fischer from Aug 1967 to July 1970
1969: no.2 (all twelve months) no.2 stretch behind Fischer from Aug 1967 to July 1970
1970: no.2 (no.4)                          // FIDE no.2= no.2 stretch behind Fischer from Aug 1967 to July 1970
1971: no.3 (no.5)                          // FIDE no.3, first official list
1972: no.3 (no.8)                          // FIDE no.5= Fischer WCC 1972-75, defeating Spassky
1973: no.3 (no.8)                          // FIDE no.5=  
1974: no.2 (no.3)                         // FIDE no.3 Fischer still listed no. 2 from 9 / 1974 to 12 / 1981 Sonas chessmetrics
1975: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE no.3 Fischer still listed no. 2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1976: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE no.2 no.2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1977: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE no.2= no.2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1978: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE no.2 no.2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1979: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE no.2 no.2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1980: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE no.3  no.2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1981: no.2 (all twelve months)  // FIDE Jan no.2= / July no.2 no.2 stretch seven years consecutively behind Karpov
1982: no.3 (no.6)                         // FIDE no.3=  / no.3  
1983: no.10 (no.17)                    // FIDE no.12=/ no.10  
1984: no.5 (no.16)                      // FIDE no.3= / no.5 Kasparov Number One 20+ years until his retirement 2005
1985: no.6 (no.8)                         // FIDE no.7  /  no.5 Kasparov World Chess Champion, dethroning Karpov
1986: no.3 (no.12)                      // FIDE no.6  /  no.4  
1987: no.6 (no.8)                        // FIDE no.5  /  no.5=  
1988: no.7 (no.13)                     // FIDE no.5  / no.23=  
1989: no.8 (no.13)                     // FIDE no.12= / no.5  
1990: no.8 (no.14)                     // FIDE no.10= / no.11=  
1991-2000 Sonas no.12 at maximum; no.45 at minimum Kramnik wins Braingames Match versus Kasparov 2000
1999 (July-Dec): Korchnoi last time FIDE Top Twenty Khalifman (then ELO no.44) wins FIDE Championship 1999
2001 Training match Korchnoi versus Ponomariov 4:4 Ponomariov wins FIDE Championship 2001/2002
2007 (Jan-March): Korchnoi last time FIDE Top Hundred Anand winning World Championship, Mexico-City 2007

 

 

Summary of Viktor Korchnoi's Ranking in the World (ELO chess rating):

Viktor Korchnoi was Number One of the World in 1965,
achieving his first no. 2 ranking in 1961 (Historical ELO), his last no. 2 in 1981 (Historical ELO & FIDE)
Korchnoi aged 50, was still no. 2 in FIDE ELO only 5 points behind no. 1 and 55 points ahead of no. 3


First Top 5
Historical ELO (Sonas) 1960 September list

Last Top 5
ELO (FIDE) in July - December 1989, aged 58 yrs
First Top 10 Historical ELO (Sonas) 1954 December list Last Top 10 ELO (FIDE) in January - June 1990, aged 59 yrs
First Top 20 Historical ELO (Sonas) 1954 February list Last Top 20 ELO (FIDE) in July - December 1999, aged 68 yrs
First Top 100 Historical ELO (Sonas) 1951 April list Last Top 100 ELO (FIDE) in Jan-Mar 2007, exactly at 76 yrs!

Korchnoi appeared near sixty years in the Top Hundred of the World, frequently competitive playing each year
Korchnoi appeared more than thirty years in the Top Ten of the World, consecutively from 1960 - 1990
Korchnoi appeared more than twenty years in the Top Five of the World, consecutively from 1960 - 1982
Korchnoi appeared about fifteen years in the Top Two (mostly behind Petrosian, then Fischer, then Karpov)

 

Source: retrospective inflation free, so-called Historical ELO by Jeff Sonas: http://www.chessmetrics.com,
FIDE ELO rating since 1970: www.fide.com and www.olimpbase.org