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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vasily Smyslov 1921-2010

I'm playing a simul against
Vasily Smyslov, Moscow 1990.

Dear chess friends!

The chess legend, fantastic chess-player, searcher for chess harmony and a very talented champion, the 7th world chess champion Vasily Vasilyevich Smyslov (Russian: Василий Васильевич Смыслов) passed away last night.

It's always sad when such a legend leaves our world but Vasily Vasilyevich will always be remembered in our hearts and through his magnificent chess masterpieces. The games of Smyslov are not filled with sacrifices but his pieces are always heading to the perfect squares.

Just a few days ago I was analyzing the following game of Smyslov from the Candidates tournament of 1953 which he won.

[Event "Candidates Tournament"]
[Date "1953.10.10"]
[Round "22"]
[White "Smyslov Vasily"]
[Black "Geller Efim P"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "E94"]
[Source "Candidates"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O c6
8.Re1 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.Bf1 Ng4 11.h3 Qf6 12.hxg4 Qxd4 13.g5!
Nd7 14.Bf4 Qxd1 15.Raxd1 Be5 16.Be3 Nc5 17.f3 Be6 18.Rc1 a5 19.Rc2
a4 20.a3 Reb8 21.Rb1 h6 22.gxh6 f5 23.f4 Bf6 24.e5 Be7 25.exd6
Bxd6 26.Rd1 Bf8 27.Nd5! Rd8 28.Nf6+ Kf7 29.Rxd8 Rxd8 30.Nh7 Ne4
31.Ng5+ Kf6 32.g4 Rd1 33.Nxe4+ fxe4 34.g5+ Kf7 35.Kf2 Rd7 36.Rd2
Rxd2+ 37.Bxd2 Bc5+ 38.Be3 Bd6 39.Bd4 Kg8 40.Ke3 Bf5 41.c5 Bc7
42.Be2 Ba5 43.Bd1 Be1 44.Bxa4 1-0

Vasily Vasilievich was not only a brilliant chess player but also a fine baritone singer, who only positively decided upon a chess career after a failed audition with the Bolshoi Theatre in 1950. He once said, "I have always lived between chess and music."

Smyslov was also a chess composer, he created many nice chess studies, like, for example, this one:

White plays and makes a draw. V. Smyslov, 2000

I'm with the Smyslovy's - Nadezhda Andreevna and
Vasily Vasilievich in Moscow, 2004

RIP, Vasily Vasilyevich

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion



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