Vasily Smyslov (Seventh World Chess Champion) Bio

Mar 14, 2015, 3:23 PM |

Vasily Smyslov

Seventh World Chess Champion



Vasily Smyslov was the seventh World Chess Champion. He lived from March 24, 1921 to March 27, 2010. Smyslov was a Soviet and Russian world chess champion. He attained his title in the 1957 world chess championship against Mikhail Botvinnik. The following year, Botvinnik exercised his right to a rematch, and won the title back with a final score of 12½–10½. Smyslov later said his health suffered during the return match, as he came down with pneumonia, but Smyslov also admitted that Botvinnik had prepared very thoroughly.



He may have had the least distinctive style of the World Chess Champions. Vasily Smyslov is mainly known as a positional player, strong in the endgame and possessing excellent technique, but was also capable of finding deep combinations at times, adapting to the situation as need be. Smyslov did not find a school or style of chess, but he was a rather prolific contributor to opening theory.



            Vasily Smyslov was a baritone singer, and only positively decided upon a chess career after a failed audition with the Bolshoi Theatre in 1950. He occasionally gave recitals during chess tournaments, often accompanied by fellow Grandmaster and concert pianist Mark Taimanov. Smyslov once wrote that he attempted to achieve harmony on the chess board, with each piece assisting the others. He also wrote five chess books.


Smyslov versus Botvinnik



1. e4e6 2. d4d5 3. Nc3Bb4 4. e5c5 5. a3Ba5 6. b4cd4 7. Qg4Ne7 8. ba5dc3 9. Qg7Rg8 10. Qh7Nd7 11. Nf3Nf8 12. Qd3Qa5 13. h4Bd7 14. Bg5Rc8 15. Nd4Nf5 16. Rb1Rc4 17. Nf5ef5 18. Rb7Re4 19. Qe4de4 20. Rb8Bc8 21. Bb5Qb5 22. Rb5Ne6 23. Bf6Rg2 24. h5Ba6 25. h6