Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vasily Smyslov, 1921-2010

Vasily Smyslov, World Chess Champion from 1957 to 1958, died in Moscow today.  Smyslov was a genius, arguably the greatest player of the 1950s, and a decent human being.




Smyslov was also a great composer of endgame studies: here's a page devoted to some of his most beautiful compositions.

Sergey Shipov interviewed Smyslov in 2006: here's the Google translation and the original Russian.

Vasily Smyslov: Endgame Virtuoso  is reasonably priced and still in print.  For a more complete look at Smyslov's career, see the autobiographical Smyslov's 125 Selected Games (unfortunately out of print).  If you don't mind descriptive notation, a used copy of this Dover edition of Smyslov's best games through 1957 is reasonably priced.

And Smyslov was much more than a quiet endgame grinder:

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