Person of day - 3 JULY 2023
He dreamed of becoming a footballer when he was young, but the football field was soon replaced by the chess board. Viktor Kupreichik became a chess player, a wonderful chess forward, who could attack and combine in style, undeterred by risk. His hero was Mikhail Tal, who once called Kupreichik “The D’Artagnan of chess”. He did remind everyone of the knight who was always ready to draw his sword.
Viktor was 19 when he was included in the USSR students’ team and he won three team world championships- in 1968, 1969 and 1974. In those years, Kupreichik was one of the most promising chess players in the country, winning the national championship of young masters twice- in 1970 and 1974. At the start of the 1970s, he began to work with Viktor Korchnoi as one of his assistants. His artistic partnership with one of the world’s leading grandmasters was of enormous benefit to Kupreichik, who harmonised his style without changing its foundation.
Kupreichik played in seven Soviet championships, demonstrating an attractive style that did not cower before greater names. His best result was 5th-7th place in 1979. He was also successful in international tournaments, winning in Reykjavik, Medina del Campo, Hastings, Winnipeg, Malmo, Zenica and other cities.
Kupreichik won several Belorussian championships and led that Republic’s national team in multiple tournaments. Grandmaster Alexey Suetin, who also played for Belarus, characterised Kupreichik’s style with the following words: “He is a chess player of an attacking, combinative style that is distinguished by a rich imagination, a lack of generic moves and a readiness to take risks.”
Viktor Kupreichik played successfully in seniors’ competitions. In 2005, he won bronze at the world championship and silver at the European championship among 65-year-olds and above.
The man himself said this about his chess life: “It was a good game!”
Viktor Kupreichik died on 22nd May in Minsk. In June 2018, the capital of Belarus hosted a large chess festival in his honour.