Vasily Smyslov

SportsWashington Times

Nice guy finishes first: Celebrating chess great Vasily Smyslov at 100

The competition isn’t particularly stiff, but Vasily Smyslov may have been the most normal person ever to capture the world championship crown in chess. In the competitive snake pit that is elite chess (and Soviet-era chess in particular), no one appears to have a bad word to say about Smyslov, who was born 100 years ago this week. Genial, level-headed, happily married, a talented pianist with a fine classical baritone voice, he also boasted a well-rounded, harmonious, technically rock-solid style at the chessboard and ranked among the world’s very best players for some four decades.
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