Entries in Boris Spassky (6)
According to Boris Spassky himself, he had spent the past two years or so under what was effectively "house arrest" under his wife, ever since suffering a stroke in September of 2010. With the help of some friends, he escaped their home in France and made it to back to Russia, where he hopes to live out his days. Spassky even thinks someone (he doesn't say who) may have been trying to kill him, at least during the period when he was in the hospital recovering from the stroke.
Quite the story. Whether or not it's true, I hope he finds safety, good health and happiness back in Moscow.
[HT: Brian Karen]
[N.B. There's another big non-chess story featuring a legendary chess player, and I suspect that many if not most or even all of you know already about it. The story seems to me too crude for a blog that I wish to keep kid-friendly; my apologies to those of you who wished to see it on here. Suffice to say that the prominent parties directly involved in the story - but not the chess figure - both behaved disgustingly.]
Their comments about Boris Spassky are fairly brief, but coming as they do from such legends of the game they are noteworthy nonetheless. (HT: Brian Karen)
Apparently the interview was made back in September, but when Boris Spassky's health took a turn for the worse after a stroke its publication was delayed. Now it has been published and translated, and you can read it here. (HT: Brian Karen)
The former world champion is 75 years old today (January 30). For the past couple of decades he has primarily been an elder statesman and goodwill ambassador of the game, but for many years he was a tremendous player, often cited as a model of universality in his style. In his day he was the youngest grandmaster ever, won the World Junior championship, became a Candidate as a teenager (and back then the latter was not the result of the former), won every event in sight, played three world championship matches and all while being liked by everyone (except Viktor Korchnoi, for a time).
Among his many gifts, industry doesn't seem to have been one of them, and unfortunately for chess fans and for his reputation with generations that didn't see him play, he hasn't written a chess autobiography. (And it doesn't seem likely, given his current health, that it will ever happen.) It's a real pity that his best games are so unfamiliar to most of us, so do yourself a favor. Celebrate his birthday by looking up some of his best games online - they're worth seeing!