Merano, Italy — Moscow's world chess champion Anatoly Karpov entered the $370,000 chess showdown with Soviet defector Viktor Korchnoi behind a Soviet propaganda barrage Thursday.
Karpov, the winner in their clamorous 1978 encounter in the Philippines, dismissed the effect on his opponent of the Soviet attacks and Moscow's refusal to let his family leave Russia.
Korchnoi entered the evening game with a slight advantage because of a draw in which the challenger won the right to play white in the opening game. The two rivals did not shake hands. The advantage alternates in the succeeding games until one player wins six games.