Boris Spassky

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Boris Vasilievich Spassky (also Spasskij; Russian: Бори́с Васи́льевич Спа́сский; born January 30, 1937) is a Soviet-French chess grandmaster. He was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from late 1969 to 1972.

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.


Life and career

Early life

He was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) to a Russian mother and father, and 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[citation needed] Soviet champion Mikhail Botvinnik in a simultaneous exhibition. His early coach was Vladimir Zak, a respected master and trainer. 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[citation needed] in the Soviet Championship semi-final[citation needed] at Riga, and placed second in the Leningrad Championship that same year, being very praised by Botvinnik.

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