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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
Chess skill requires the analytical abilities development. The ability to analyse is a very important property for a chess player's self-perfection." (V. Smyslov)
Born: March 24, 1921 in Moscow.
The 7-th World Champion (1957-58) in the history of Chess Championships, the USSR Grandmaster (1941), the International Grandmaster (1950), the Chess Composition International Arbiter, and a chess theorist.
Vasily Smyslov learned to play chess at the age of 6. In 1938 he shared the 1-st - 2-d place (with S. Belavenetz) at the Moscow Championship. The Champion of Moscow (in 1942, and 1943/44 - the 2-d place after M. Botwinnik, who had played hors concours).
1948, Hague, Moscow. The World Championship Match - Tournament. There were 5 competitors: Botvinnik, Keres, Smyslov, Rashevsky, and Euwe. V. Smyslov took the 2-d place with 11 points out of 20.
World Championship Matches:
1954, Moscow. Botvinnik - Smyslov. Score: 12 : 12 (+ 7, - 7, = 10). Botwinnik kept the World Champion's title.
1957, Moscow. Botvinnik - Smyslov. Smyslov won with the score of 12,5 : 9,5 (+ 6, - 3, = 13) and took the Chess Crown.
1958, Moscow. Return Match Smyslov - Botvinnik. Smyslov lost with the score of 10,5 : 12,5 (+ 5, - 7, = 11).
Having lost his highest chess title, Smyslov continued his successful participation in the highest rank chess tournaments - in olympiads and team championships. In the World Championship candidates' elimination tournaments cycle of 1983/84 (at the age of 63!) he had reached the final and yielded only to Kasparov. "The Smyslov's chess playing main strength is, that he is astute. His talent is universal and extraordinary. He could subtly play the opening, withdraw into tight defence, impetuously attack or, finally, coolly manoeuvre. And let alone the endgame - it's his hobby-horse. Sometimes he took the decisions of amazing profundity" (M. Botvinnik).