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Boris Spassky
Number of games in database: 2,278
Years covered: 1948 to 2009
Last FIDE rating: 2548
Highest rating achieved in database: 2690
Overall record: +770 -212 =1254 (62.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      42 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (249) 
    B25 B24 B23 B20 B42
 Ruy Lopez (125) 
    C77 C92 C95 C73 C67
 French Defense (91) 
    C18 C11 C16 C19 C17
 Nimzo Indian (76) 
    E30 E46 E31 E21 E54
 Caro-Kann (75) 
    B17 B19 B18 B12 B14
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (59) 
    C92 C95 C96 C93 C98
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (235) 
    C95 C64 C93 C84 C92
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (138) 
    C95 C93 C84 C92 C89
 Sicilian (119) 
    B83 B81 B31 B80 B47
 Orthodox Defense (98) 
    D58 D55 D59 D50 D63
 Nimzo Indian (76) 
    E59 E21 E47 E42 E46
 Queen's Gambit Declined (64) 
    D37 D35 D31 D30 D38
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Spassky vs Bronstein, 1960 1-0
   Larsen vs Spassky, 1970 0-1
   Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1960 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 1-0
   Spassky vs Petrosian, 1969 1-0
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 1-0
   Spassky vs Geller, 1968 1-0
   G Andruet vs Spassky, 1988 0-1
   Spassky vs Larry Evans, 1962 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Match (1966)
   Petrosian - Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969)
   Fischer - Spassky World Championship Match (1972)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   USSR Championship 1961b (1961)
   USSR Championship (1973)
   Bugojno (1978)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   USSR Championship (1963)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1955)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games by jakaiden
   Match Spassky! by amadeus
   Road to the Championship - Boris Spassky by suenteus po 147
   Boris Spassky's Best Games by KingG
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1960-1979 (Part 3) by Anatoly21
   Spassky! by chocobonbon
   Spassky The Legend by CharlieLuciano
   Match Petrosian! by amadeus
   Spassky: Getting out of Reykjavik by pawn to QB4
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1940-1959 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Favorite Games from (1960-1979) by wanabe2000

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Boris Spassky
Search Google for Boris Spassky
FIDE player card for Boris Spassky

(born Jan-30-1937, 78 years old) Russia
[what is this?]
Boris Vasilievich Spassky was born in Leningrad, USSR. As a child, in 1943, he escaped from the siege of Leningrad by the Nazi forces in World War Two. In 1955 he won the World Junior Chess Championship and became a grandmaster - the youngest ever at that time - and in 1956 tied for first place as Soviet Champion (losing the title to Mark Taimanov), becoming the youngest player ever to qualify for the candidates round that would be won by Vasily Smyslov. Many people expected Spassky to be world champion before his 25th birthday, but his 5th place in the Soviet Championship of 1958 was not enough to qualify him for the Portoroz Interzonal. This was due to a last-round loss to Mikhail Tal (Spassky vs Tal, 1958), which shook him deeply.

After winning one of the 4 semi-finals tied with Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov Leningrad champion of 1959 [rusbase-1] and 1961 [rusbase-2] and finally Soviet Champion in 1961 [rusbase-3]. Winner of the Russian Zonal [rusbase-4]. Spassky shared the first place with Smyslov and Bent Larsen at Amsterdam 1964 In 1965 he eliminated Paul Keres, Efim Geller and Mikhail Tal but failed to win against Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian, the world champion; Petrosian-Spassky World Championship Match (1966). As Sub-Champion, Spassky was pre-qualified for the next cycle, where he overcame Geller, Larsen and Korchnoi.

Spassky's style of play can be described best as lively and adaptable; this produced many brilliant victories. A position based on his victory in 1960 against David Bronstein was used in the James Bond movie, From Russia With Love. His style of play was key in defeating Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian in 1969 for the World Championship Petrosian-Spassky World Championship Rematch (1969). His polite, friendly disposition and his entertaining games have made him one of the most popular world champions ever. In the West, his tournament victory at Santa Monica 1966 is the most remembered

In 1972, Spassky was challenged by Robert James Fischer for the World Championship; Spassky lost, 12-8, ending the reign of 35-year Soviet hegemony over the World Championship. In the next year Spassky was the Soviet Champion [rusbase-5] ahead Anatoly Karpov, but lost to Karpov at the Candidates semifinal in 1974, after eliminating Robert Eugene Byrne. In 1977 he lost the Candidates final to Viktor Korchnoi, after eliminating Vlastimil Hort and Lajos Portisch with brilliant play. In 1992 he played a rematch against Fischer for five million dollars and lost once again, 10 to 5 (with 15 draws).

Wikipedia article: Boris Spassky

 page 1 of 92; games 1-25 of 2,278  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Korchnoi vs Spassky 1-012 1948 LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
2. Spassky vs Shman 1-035 1948 Trud ChD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Spassky vs Rodgaisky 0-18 1948 URSB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
4. Spassky vs Avtonomov 1-021 1949 Soviet Junior QualifyersD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
5. V Liavdansky vs Spassky 0-151 1949 LeningradB23 Sicilian, Closed
6. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-151 1949 LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
7. Spassky vs Vilup 1-027 1949 LeningradD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. Estrin vs Spassky 0-119 1951 RigaC44 King's Pawn Game
9. Y Gusev vs Spassky 0-124 1951 RigaA00 Uncommon Opening
10. M Aizenshtadt vs Spassky 0-133 1951 LeningradD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
11. Taimanov vs Spassky ½-½59 1952 LeningradD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
12. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-147 1952 LeningradD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. Levenfish vs Spassky ½-½32 1952 TournamentD71 Neo-Grunfeld
14. Spassky vs J Yuchtman 1-028 1952 Rostov on DonE28 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation
15. G Chepukaitis vs Spassky 0-135 1952 tC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
16. Furman vs Spassky 0-136 1952 LeningradD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. B Vladimirov vs Spassky 0-127 1953 LeningradD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. G Barcza vs Spassky  ½-½28 1953 BucharestD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
19. Szabo vs Spassky 0-129 1953 BucharestE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
20. Spassky vs Smyslov 1-035 1953 1, BucharestE31 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, Main line
21. Spassky vs O'Kelly  ½-½48 1953 BucharestE26 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
22. O Barda vs Spassky 0-140 1953 BukharestA43 Old Benoni
23. Stoltz vs Spassky  ½-½31 1953 BucharestE10 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Spassky vs Sajtar ½-½30 1953 BucharestD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
25. Spassky vs Tolush ½-½15 1953 BucharestA54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3
 page 1 of 92; games 1-25 of 2,278  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Spassky wins | Spassky loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 87 OF 87 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-03-14  ljfyffe: Must ache, nontheless. T's correct.
Oct-19-14  TheFocus: <I consider myself an idler, too, but the dimensions of Spassky's laziness were astounding> - Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Whatever one makes of Karpov's self-assessment of that facet of his character above, his mien at the chessboard displayed no lack of will power or ferocity.
Oct-19-14  TheFocus: True. At the chessboard, Karpov was anything but lazy.

Didn't he win about a thousand tournaments?

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: How is the old man these days? I haven't heard anything more about the state of his health.
Nov-09-14  alfiepa:

It's sad see Spassky in this state .....

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <ChessVibes ‏@ChessVibes 3h3 hours ago

Memorable moment in Sochi: Boris Spassky, at a press conference, talking about Paul Keres and saying "I feel I will see him again soon.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Boris Vassilievich, whom could you single out as a personality among chess players?

Undoubtedly, Paul Keres. He was the greatest treasure of the chess world. Being a man of great modesty and tact, he possessed the highest chess and general culture. His tragic destiny reminds of the end of Alekhine's life. And if we remember that for some time there was chess rivalry between Alekhine and Botvinnik, Id rather resort to some literary comparison. Keres was the Gulliver among the Lilliputians, he was a real giant. Botvinnik, I believe, was the leader of the Lilliputians. And that is the crux of the matter. As simple as that.>

Nov-09-14  Murky: Spassky speaks in English at the Carlsen-Anand WCh match. Calls Carlsen a 'gnome', a 'ghost from underground'. Not an insult at all Spassky explains; Carlsen is 'mysterious' and very good for chess.

Video clip here:

Nov-09-14  HeMateMe: Thanks for posting the Spassky interview, good stuff.
Nov-09-14  john barleycorn: Thanks <Murky>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Do they have gnomes (silent g, Boris) in Russia? Their spiritual heartland seems to be the English garden of the lower middle classes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From the pictures, it appears that Boris may have lost most or all of his teeth. The story goes that when Fischer had his fillings removed, and he was asked what would happen if his teeth fell out, he replied, 'I'll just have to gum it!'
Nov-09-14  john barleycorn: In the version I know he said "I'll get some vulcanizing".
Nov-10-14  HeMateMe: He's doing ok for a guy that had a stroke. It's good that he wants to travel and see the games first hand.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: I love the Liev Schreiber quote from the premiere of the film "Pawn Sacrifice":

"I know how to play chess, I just don't know how to win."

I can empathize with that!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: All Boris needs is a white cat and he could take over the chess world:
Dec-02-14  Zonszein: Mr Ilyumzhinov doesn't seem to be paying attention to what the great man is saying
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Finally, there are some interesting historical anecdotes. Spassky (who, incidentally, clearly did quite a bit of work for the book, not merely lend his name to the project) notes (p. 7) that his years as world chess champion were the worst and most stressful of his career, bearing 'enormous responsibility' against the 'scalp hunters' and receiving no support. Keres replied with deep silence when Spassky told him he was lucky never to become world champion...>


Dec-24-14  HeMateMe: Who knew? Botvinnik was +1 = 8 against Spassky, lifetime.

<search "spassky v. botvinnik">

Seems odd, doesn't' it? The younger world champion has no victories against the much older world champion. I suppose MB toned down his playing schedule in the 1960s, but still it seems odd that Spassky has no wins, in 9 games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM> Botvinnik only experienced a palpable downturn in his results at the very end of his career, in 1969-70, though of course all their games at Leiden 1970 (Botvinnik's last event) were drawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <HMM> Looking over the games between the two titleholders, two are clearly duplicates, though I am unsure which Classical Caro-Kann is the correct version.

Botvinnik by +1 =6 was the actual lifetime mark.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: Boris Spassky has an even record against Kramnik:
Kramnik vs Spassky, 2001
Dec-24-14  RookFile: Things like that will surprise you. Lasker had a nice record against Alekhine. A lot of people would love to have Petrosian's record against either Kasparov or Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday to ex-world champion, Boris Spassky.
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