While on the subject of old-time greats from Russia, here's a piece that's part article, part compilation. Whatever it is, it's on former world champion Vasily Smyslov, who died last year, on the occasion of what would have been his 90th birthday.
Entries in Smyslov (2)
Earlier today, three days past his 89th birthday, former World Chess Champion Vasily Smyslov died of heart failure. Smyslov was not only a champion, but a player with great longevity - he first played for the title in 1948, won it in 1957, and played Garry Kasparov in the Candidates Final in 1984. (Indeed, he kept on playing until 2001, when failing eyesight forced him to retire. His last rating, as an 80-year-old, was still a very impressive 2494.)
He was an openings innovator, a great master of the endgame both as a player, writer, and study composer, and as if all that wasn't enough he was an opera singer too. He was good enough to try out for the Bolshoi Theater; fortunately for chess, he wasn't good enough to be accepted.
You can access some of his best games here (go down to "Notable Chess Games" and follow the links), and I might present some sooner or later as well. My obituary source is here, and it links to a couple of Russian reports. Here's the fuller one, as the Google Translator renders it in English:
MOSCOW, March 27 - RIA Novosti. World chess champion Vassily Smyslov, died on Friday night [DM: The translation program seems to have been a touch inaccurate here: it was in the early hours of Saturday morning] at the Botkin Hospital in Moscow, told RIA Novosti source in the health facility.
"Previously, the cause of death was cardiovascular failure," - said the source.
Smyslov was 89 years.
He entered the hospital a few days ago by the ambulance with complaints of heart, told the agency.
"He was in intensive care, but doctors' efforts were unsuccessful, and the player died last night" - the source added.
Smyslov - the seventh world chess champion (1957-1958). Born March 24, 1921 in Moscow. His father was a chess player of the first category. Smyslov learned to play in six years, in 17 years became a master of sports and champion of Moscow.
HT: Brian Karen