Saturday, February 12, 2011

Boris Spassky

Authored by my student Ashrit RM

Boris Spassky is one of the all-time greats in chess. He was born on January 30 1937(he is now aged 74). He was born in Soviet-French chess player. He was born in Leningrad, Soviet Union.

Spassky won the Soviet Chess Championship twice outright (1961, 1973), and twice more lost in playoffs (1956, 1963), after tying for first during the event proper. He was a World Chess Championship candidate on seven occasions (1956, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1980, and 1985). He was a part of the Fischer-Spassky chess match in 1972, one of the most famous chess matches in history.

His early coach was Vladimir Zak, a respected master and trainer. Spassky learned to play chess at the age of five on a train evacuating from Leningrad during World War II, and first drew wide attention in 1947 at age ten, when he defeated Soviet champion Mikhail Botvinnik in a simultaneous exhibition.

During his youth, from the age of ten, Spassky often worked on chess for up to five hours a day with master-level coaches. He set records as the youngest Soviet player to achieve first category rank (age ten), candidate master rank (age eleven), and Soviet Master rank (age fifteen). In 1952, at fifteen, Spassky scored 50 percent in the Soviet Championship semi-final at Riga, and placed second in the Leningrad Championship that same year, being very praised by Botvinnik.

Spassky made his international debut in 1953, aged sixteen, at a tournament in Bucharest, Romania, finishing tied 4th-5th with 12/19, an event won by his trainer, Alexander Tolush, and where he defeated the strong grandmaster Vasily Smyslov. He was awarded the title of International Master by FIDE.

By sharing 7th-9th place, with 11/20, at the 1955 Goteborg Interzonal, he qualified for the 1956 Candidates' Tournament, held in Amsterdam, automatically gaining the grandmaster title, and was then the youngest to hold the title. During Spassky's three-year reign as World Champion, he won several more tournaments. He placed first at San Juan 1969 with 11½/15. Spassky's reign as world champion lasted three years, as he lost to Fischer of the United States in 1972 in the "Match of the Century". This game is one of the greatest games of all-time.

Spassky continued to play some excellent chess after losing his crown, winning several championships. In 1973, he tied for first at Dortmund on 9½/15 with Hans-Joachim Hecht and Ulf Andersson. A very important victory for him was the 1973 Soviet Chess Championship at Moscow (URS-ch41). He scored 11½/17 in a field which included all the top Soviet grandmasters of the time.

Boris Spassky on
Wiki & ChessGames
Play through over 2400 games of Spassky here
Below is a brilliancy played by Spassky with black pieces

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