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Swiss triumph at Grand Masters chess tournament

Viktor Kortchnoï works out his next move during the Grand Masters Tournament in Biel

(Keystone)

The Swiss chess player, Viktor Kortchnoï, has become the surprise winner of the Grand Masters tournament at the 34th International Chess Festival in the city of Biel.

The former double vice-champion of the world picked up the trophy on Friday and with it handed Switzerland its first victory on the international chess circuit in 22 years.

Kortchnoï, ranked 67th in the world, defeated the Russian player, Peter Svidler, in the final round of the tournament to take a decisive lead with a grand total of six points in ten matches.

Described by commentators as a veritable legend in the world of chess, the 70-year-old Kortchnoï was one of six Grand Masters to take part in the Biel tournament.

Kortchnoï, who settled in Switzerland in 1978 after fleeing the Soviet Union, has won dozens of tournaments during a long career, notably his first festival triumph in 1979.

Perhaps his most disappointing moment was when he lost to his greatest rival, the Russian Grand Master, Anatoli Karpov.

swissinfo with agencies

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