Smyslov, Vasily Vasilievich
Smyslov began to play at the age of 6, under the supervision of his father, V. O. Smyslov—a first-rate chess player. He left his last mark in the 1982 interzonal tournament, entering the ranks of challengers at the age of 61. Such a strong force in chess at that age was only reached by Emanuel Lasker—the world champion from 1894 to 1921 (most professional chess players rarely continue to compete past the age of 50 or 60). In a TV interview broadcast on March 24, 2000, when he turned 79, Smyslov admitted that even he was astonished at the way he still manages to keep clarity of though in chess: "It's because I worked my whole life to keep in good shape."
Smyslov was awarded with a decoration of Lenin in 1957 and a Friendship of the People decoration in 1981.
"Smyslov's main strength in chess is that he is penetrating... His talent is universal and exceptional." (Botvinnik) On his lengthy chess journey Vasily was determined to conquer the most important aspect of our favorite, ancient game—it's inner harmony." (Suetin)
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 24, 1921
Smyslov was the Seventh World Champion: 1957 - 1958.
In 1949, he became the USSR Champion.
Vasily was made an Honored Master of the Sport in 1948
He was a participant in numerous World Championship matches, including the famous contest in 1948 when he came in second to Botvinnik, defeating Kesser, Reshevsky, and Eive.
Playing on the USSR team, Smyslov was the winner of ten FIDE Olympiads:
1952: scoring 10.5 points out of 13
1954: 9 out of 12
1956: 8.5 out of 13
1958: 9.5 out of 12
1960: 11.5 out of 13
1962: 10.5 out of 13
1964: 11 out of 13
1968: 11 out of 12
1970: 8 out of 11
1972: 11 out of 14
Amazingly stable results.
Following his playing career, Smyslov remained a chess journalist and theoretician.
World Champion (International Grand Master: 1950)