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1. Steinitz 2. Lasker 3. Capablanca 4. Alekhine 5. Euwe
6. Botvinnik 7. Smyslov 8. Tal 9. Petrosian 10. Spassky
11. Fischer 12. Karpov 13. Kasparov 14. Kramnik 15. Anand
"To achieve high results, a chess player must possess at least three more qualities apart from talent: diligence, sound health and fighter's character." (M. Botvinnik).
Michael BOTVINNIK
Born: August 17, 1911 in Repino (nowadays Leningrad Region); died: May 5, 1995 in Moscow.
The 6-th World Champion (1948-1957, 1958-1960, 1961-1963) in the history of Chess Championships, the International Grandmaster (1950), the Doctor of Technical Sciences (1951).
Botvinnik
Michael Botvinnik got acquainted with chess at the age of 12. At 16 he made his debut at the Championship of the USSR (1927) and took the 5-6-th place.
1935, Moscow. M. Botvinnik took the 1-2-d place (together with Flor) at the International Grandmaster's Tournament, leaving behind Lasker and Capablanca.
 
1936, Nottingham. The 1-2-d place (together with Capablanca), leaving behind A. Alekhine, Euwe and Lasker.
 
Having defeated Alekhine and Capablanca at the AURO-Tournament (1938), M. Botvinnik took the 3-d place and proved his right to play the match with the World Champion. Alekhine accepted Botvinnik's challenge, but the beginning of the World War II (1939 -1945) interfered with the match plans. After the War the negotiations resumed, but in 1946 Alekhine suddenly died.
 
1948, Hague, Moscow. World Championship Match - Tournament. There were 5 competitors - Botvinnik, Keres, Smyslov, Reshevsky and Euwe. Botvinnik took the 1-st place with the result of 14 points out of 20, leaving behind the 2-d prize-winner Smyslov by 3 points.
 
The World Championship Matches:
 
1951, Moscow. Botvinnik - Bronstein. With the score of 12 : 12 (+ 5, - 5, = 14) Botvinnik kept the World Champion's title.
 
1954, Moscow. Botvinnik - Smyslow. One more draw: 12 : 12 (+ 7, - 7, = 10).
 
1957, Moscow. Botvinnik - Smyslow. Botvinnik lost with the score of 9.5 : 12.5 (+ 3, - 6, = 13) and Smyslov became the 7-th World Champion.
 
1958, Moscow. The return match Smyslov - Botvinnik. . Botvinnik gained the victory with the score of 12.5 : 10.5 (+ 7, - 5, = 11) and recovered his World Champion's title.
 
1960, Moscow. Botvinnik - Tal. Botvinnik's defeat with the score of 8.5 : 12.5 (+ 2, - 6, = 13). Tal became the 8-th World Champion.
 
1961, Moscow. The return match Tal - Botvinnik. . Botvinnik won with the score of 13 : 8 (+ 10, - 5, = 6)
 
1963, Moscow. Botvinnik - Petrosian. After the stubborn struggle Botvinnik lost his World Champion's title at the score of 9.5 : 12.5 (+ 2, - 5, = 15), and Petrosian became the 9-th World Champion.
 
In the history of chess the whole epoch is bound up with Botvinnik's name. His investigative approach to chess underlies the modern chess school. His play was remarkable for its thorough strategic conceptions, unexpected tactical attacks, and continuous striving for the initiative. Botvinnik was the first to focus special attention upon the problem of chess players' training and introduced his own method of preparation for competitions.