In 1981, the grand Kursaal Hall inside the Kurhaus of Meran was where two Russian men fought a quiet duel, each one apparently lost in his own thoughts.
The great Art Nouveau hall had been designed about seventy years earlier by the Ukraine architect Friedrich Ohmann, when he had been entrusted with expanding the original 1874 Neoclassic spa. That evening, Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi were competing for the World Chess Championship, implementing elaborate strategies and moving each piece with exhausting, pensive slowness.
Karpov was in great shape and defeated Korchnoi – twenty years his senior – in what would go down in chess history as “Massacre in Merano”.
It was a memorable challenge… made unforgettable by the venue’s beauty.