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Boris Spassky
Number of games in database: 2,262
Years covered: 1948 to 2009
Last FIDE rating: 2548
Highest rating achieved in database: 2690

Overall record: +760 -209 =1240 (62.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 53 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (207) 
    B25 B20 B42 B43 B23
 Ruy Lopez (123) 
    C92 C77 C95 C73 C78
 French Defense (90) 
    C18 C11 C16 C19 C10
 Nimzo Indian (76) 
    E30 E46 E31 E21 E45
 Caro-Kann (73) 
    B18 B17 B12 B14 B16
 King's Indian Attack (58) 
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (231) 
    C95 C64 C84 C92 C93
 Ruy Lopez, Closed (134) 
    C95 C92 C84 C93 C89
 Sicilian (113) 
    B83 B81 B31 B80 B47
 Orthodox Defense (84) 
    D58 D55 D59 D50 D56
 Queen's Gambit Declined (78) 
    D37 D35 D31 D30 D06
 Nimzo Indian (75) 
    E59 E21 E47 E42 E20
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 Geller, 1968 1-0
   G Andruet vs Spassky, 1988 0-1
   Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 1-0
   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)
   Mar del Plata (1960)
   USSR Championship (1973)
   USSR Championship (1959)
   USSR Championship (1963)
   Bugojno (1978)
   USSR Championship (1956)
   Amsterdam Interzonal (1964)
   Palma de Mallorca (1968)
   USSR Championship (1957)
   USSR Championship (1955)
   USSR Championship (1958)
   USSR Championship (1962)
   USSR Championship 1961a (1961)
   Gothenburg Interzonal (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games by jakaiden
   Boris Spassky's 400 Selected Games by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Match Spassky! by amadeus
   Road to the Championship - Boris Spassky by suenteus po 147
   Boris Spassky's Best Games by KingG
   Boris Spassky's Best Games by brucemubayiwa
   Space Invaders by Gottschalk
   SmyslovV and SpasskyB Games by fredthebear
   Power Chess - Spassky by Anatoly21
   ySome Special Games Found by Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Spassky! by chocobonbon
   Spassky The Legend by SantGG
   Spassky The Legend by CharlieLuciano
   Max Euwe - From Steinitz to Fischer, Part 1 by Chessdreamer

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FIDE player card for Boris Spassky

(born Jan-30-1937, 81 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 II. In 1955 he won the World Junior Chess Championship and became a grandmaster - the youngest ever at that time, by virtue of qualifying from Gothenburg Interzonal (1955) for the Candidates Tournament- 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 fifth 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 four semi-finals by finishing equal first 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 versatility 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 nearly 25-year Soviet hegemony over the World Championship. In the next year Spassky was the Soviet Champion over, amongst many strong grandmasters, [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. In 1992, Spassky played a rematch with Fischer for US $5 million and lost once again, 10 to 5 (with 15 draws).

Wikipedia article: Boris Spassky

Last updated: 2017-02-04 01:24:43

 page 1 of 91; games 1-25 of 2,262  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Korchnoi vs Spassky 1-0121948LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
2. Spassky vs Rodgaisky 0-181948URSB45 Sicilian, Taimanov
3. Spassky vs Shman 1-0351948Trud ChD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Spassky vs Avtonomov 1-0211949Soviet Junior QualifyersD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
5. V Liavdansky vs Spassky 0-1511949LeningradB23 Sicilian, Closed
6. Spassky vs Vilup 1-0271949LeningradD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-1511949LeningradB71 Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation
8. M Aizenshtadt vs Spassky 0-1331951LeningradD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. Estrin vs Spassky 0-1191951URS-ch qfC44 King's Pawn Game
10. Y Gusev vs Spassky 0-1241951URS-ch qfA00 Uncommon Opening
11. Levenfish vs Spassky ½-½321952TournamentD71 Neo-Grunfeld
12. G Chepukaitis vs Spassky 0-1351952URS-ch sfC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
13. Spassky vs J Yuchtman 1-0281952Rostov on DonE28 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch Variation
14. Korchnoi vs Spassky 0-1471952LeningradD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. Taimanov vs Spassky ½-½591952LeningradD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. Furman vs Spassky 0-1361952LeningradD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
17. B Vladimirov vs Spassky 0-1271953LeningradD25 Queen's Gambit Accepted
18. Spassky vs Smyslov 1-0351953BucharestE31 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, Main line
19. Spassky vs Z Milev  0-1691953BucharestD87 Grunfeld, Exchange
20. V Ciocaltea vs Spassky  ½-½211953BucharestC50 Giuoco Piano
21. Petrosian vs Spassky ½-½151953BucharestD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
22. Sliwa vs Spassky 1-0321953BucharestD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
23. Spassky vs Golombek 1-0251953BucharestE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
24. Spassky vs Filip 0-1721953BucharestA84 Dutch
25. O Barda vs Spassky 0-1401953BucharestA43 Old Benoni
 page 1 of 91; games 1-25 of 2,262  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 67 OF 92 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Thanks <PB>
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Youze guys are SOO analytical.
Apr-03-12  bwarnock: Spassky win/draw pcts in the '80s - someone asked about this awhile ago:

Yr - W___L__D
80 - 13__5__36
81 - 12__3__33
82 - 23_10__42
83 - 17__7__49
84 - 15__4__45
85 - 17__5__43
86 - 34__4__73
87 - 12__1__29
88 - 18__8__49
89 - 10_10__48
T - 171_57_447

Note: 207 of the draws are 20 moves or fewer.

Draw percentage is 66%
Win pct decisive games: 75%
Win pct overall: 58.4%

Apr-13-12  Petrosian63: <Dionysius1>
Apr-18-12  bwarnock: Spassky's record in Candidates matches leading up to the World Championship: (65-66 and 68-69). (Not including the WC matches with Petrosian).

22 5 28

i.e. in 6 matches against Geller, Korchnoi, Larsen, Tal and Keres he lost a total of 5 games. Wow. (Keres was the only one to beat him twice).

I'd say that's a good basis for declaring him the strongest player of this period.


Apr-18-12  AVRO38: <I'd say that's a good basis for declaring him the strongest player of this period.>

There is no doubt that Spassky was the strongest player of the 1960's. Keep in mind that the 1966 match from a chess perspective was a draw. Game 22 had a 3-fold repetition but Spassky refused to claim it because of the limited match format. He was therefore forced to play inferior moves and as a result he lost the game and subsequently the match.

I'd also point out Spassky's victory at Santa Monica in 1966 over Fischer and Petrosian and his victory over Fischer at the 1970 Olympiad.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Winning the candidates is a good basis for declaring someone the best challenger. But if you're going to throw out the championship itself, you might as well throw out the candidates too, and declare that Botvinnik was the best all through the 60's (If we're throwing out the championship, then he never lost it).
Apr-18-12  JohnDahl: Yes, Spassky's reputation as a battle-hardened fighter at the end of the 60s was very high. That's why it was the manner, rather than the fact of his defeat to Fischer that really shocked people like Tal and Botvinnik. From later interviews with Spassky, it appears that the physical and mental stress of all these world championship matches simply wore him down.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: There's certainly good basis for declaring Spassky the strongest player of the 60s. However, there's also good basis for declaring this of a few other players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: That's kind of like declaring the Colts the best team of 1968. "Well, they lost the Superbowl, but we think they were a better team anyway." I actually think they were too, but it makes no difference if you don't win the big one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Perhaps Spassky's best form was wasted in the somewhat dull matches with Petrosian, one victory, one loss. As good as Petrosian was, the games are a bit dry. That isn't any knock on Petrosian--he won matches with his own style, but this chess didn't get Spassky the kind of exposure he deserved. I think that, even in the 1960s, the world championship winner only got $10,000, or something like that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Have you actually played them over? both matches were quite interesting. Especially 1969, which, honestly, had more interesting games than 1966. Almost every game in 1969 was interesting, with the possible exceptions of Games 13 and 15.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I have played through most of it. A lot of draws. I realize you will get a lot of draws at the highest level of chess. Again, no knock on Petrosian, it's just his chess isn't the most exciting.

Contrast the Spassky/Petrosian matches with Tal/Botvinnik. The Tal/Botvinnik matches, especially the first one, which Tal one, are very exciting.

Or for something more contemporary, the excitement of all of the KK matches is strong. I still enjoy playing through Kramnik v. Topalov, fighting chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: 55% draws is actually fairly low for a championship match. Especially a championship match involving Petrosian.

But you can't just go by the result of the game. Karpov-Korchnoi 1974 was one of the most exciting matches, with 79% draws, while conversely, Game 8 is probably the least interesting game of the Fischer-Spassky match.

Apr-18-12  AVRO38: <Have you actually played them over? both matches were quite interesting. Especially 1969..>

I agree. Although the 1966 match is interesting, I've always considered the 1969 match to be one of the most accurate and well played matches in chess history. I'd also include 1927, 1937, and 1954 on that list.

Jun-22-12  Call Me TC: This picture ( is used (in part) on the front cover of Gennady Sosonko 's book, <Smart Chip from St.Petersburg>, (NIC, 2006).

It's stated there: <Tal and Spassky at the Chigorin Chess Club, Leningrad 1960>. No such game fitting that description is listed in the <> records, but the presence of the clock and crowd suggests it was, at least, a formal game. I'm not sure if we should read anything into the fact that board is the wrong way round (a8-h1 diagonal is dark squared).

Jul-09-12  gezafan: Many seem to feel that Spassky lost his edge after the match with Fischer.

Actually he lost his edge after his 1969 match with Petrosian in which he won the title.

He achieved his goal and his drive declined and consequently his play.

After winning the title he was known to have referred to it as a burden. Subconsciously he may have wanted to lose to Fischer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: I've always been of the opinion, that Boris, over all other GM's who have played both Fischer and Karpov would be the best authority on their relative strengths and weaknesses. He and Bobby played around 39 games, and with Anatoly some 57 games. Do not think any other living GM can make that boast. Has Boris ever gave a complete description of what might have happened had Bobby and Karpov played? Since Korchnoi gave Karpov all that he could handle in 1974 and 1978, I believe Fischer would have won these two matches, due to Bobby being so much younger than Korchnoi. Korchnoi lost easily in 1981, so this in my opinion would have been a very, very tough match for Bobby, with Karpov probably winning by a thread. Thanks in advance!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Spassky wouldn't be very objective. He's always pitied Fischer, but seems to actively dislike Karpov. If we try to reduce the whole equation to how well each one did against Korchnoi, Fischer actually comes off a little worse, only breaking even with a Korchnoi who was lower ranked and rated than the Korchnoi of the mid 70's.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: < I believe Fischer would have won these two matches, due to Bobby being so much younger than Korchnoi>

Korchnoi was old, but at this old age he was actually at his prime (slightly later actually, around 1979 - according to all rating systems).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Natalia Pogonina: Shocking revelation about how Spassky was on the verge of dying/getting killed in the French hospital:

Aug-17-12  LoveThatJoker: <Natalia> Thanks for that!


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <"My Chess Way"> sounds great, the long awaited Spassky autobiograpy. If (please make it so) the book is truly open and objective, it will make for excellant reading.

Some of Spassky's comment's about his contemporaries haven't been very interesting. I think in Seriwen's book <Five Crowns> Spassky is asked about Fischer's allegation that all five of the KK matches were prearranged, and Spassky mentions one particular game and says something like "...well, we have to consider game 19....". A serious answer of course would be to dispell such Fischer nonsense, the rant of a disturbed man.

I just hope Boris takes the time, and listens to advisors, editors and perhaps other chess players to be serious and thorough in addressing the issues of his career. It won't always be pretty, some toes will have to be stepped on, but that's what makes for a good book.

1. If Fischer was better than Karpov, go into detail. Pehaps show how a few game positions were handled.

2. Did he face the same pressures that Korchnoi, did by state censors?

3. Who is his favorite player of his era?

4. Most feared opponent?

5. Strongest player of Russia, after Kasparov and Karpov?

6. Was he ever told to draw a game in a tournament when a countryman had a better chance of catching Fischer or Larsen and winning the event?

7. Describe the siege of Leningrad, seen from his youth, and adulthood.

8 What are his true views of the west, don't sugar coat anything.

9. Was Botvinnik given too much help by the state, and by FIDE, with the rematch clause?

10. How do we improve chess, today and for the future? Give specific examples, go into depth.

40 pages of narrative, along with 50 annotated games probably won't be a very good book. I really hope he takes the bit by the teeth and is serious about his one chance to set the record straight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<If we try to reduce the whole equation to how well each one did against Korchnoi, Fischer actually comes off a little worse, only breaking even with a Korchnoi who was lower ranked and rated than the Korchnoi of the mid 70's.>>

Fischer and Korchnoi played each other only eight times, and only twice after Fischer was a teenager, so what can one really make of such data? I mean, why not try to compare Fischer and Karpov by looking at how they both faired against Polugaevsky, whom Fischer played exactly once?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<HeHateMe>>

That would all be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. Spassky is a life long diplomat.

In any event I don't recall The Life And Games Of Mikhail Tal being especially uncompromising (considering when it was written it couldn't have been), but it was still a delightful read.

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