Anatoly Karpov has taken a 14-person entourage including a masseuse, and Victor Korchoi has taken a secret ray detector to the Phillippines, where they will begin a match for the world chess championship next week.
Korchnoi, a Russian expatriate, claimed that the KGB was beaming microwaves at him to scramble his thinking during his last match, with Boris Spassky, and in an interview in Baguio City, the Phillippines, where the match will be held, he charged that there are KGB operatives now in Karpov's entourage.
He also charged that the Soviet Union is holding his wife and son as "hostages", considering this "the best way to affect my play."
The effect of the Russians' maneuvers will be "double-edged," he predicted: "I feel worried that my son will be drafted and if he decides not to go, that he will be imprisoned. On the other hand, I have supplemental strength . . . I get more angry. I cannot forgive them."
Since defeating from the Soviet Union two years ago, after winning a tournament in the Netherlands, Korchnoi had humbled three of the Soviet Union's top players in successive matches to get a crack at Karpov and the championship. In their last match, four years ago, Karpov won by a single point, later becoming world champion when Bobby Fischer refused to defend his title.
In the present match, which will begin Tuesday, the championship and a $350,000 prize will go the first player to win six games. Second prize is $200,000. The match is expected to last for months; in their last encounter, Karpov and Korchnoi played 24 games, of which 19 were draws.
Victor Baturinsky, head of the Soviet delegation with Karpov, said he hopes the match will not be turned "into some kind of political thing."