Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vasily Smyslov - strategist or tactician?

Last weekend, Vasily Smyslov passed away in Moscow at the age of 89. He was the seventh world champion in 1957/58, beating and then losing to Mikhail Botvinnik in consecutive years. In 1984, aged 63, he lost 8.5-4.5 to Garry Kasparov in the candidates’ final to decide who played Karpov for the world title. In 1997, aged 76, he shared second place at Malmo. He is primarily thought of as a major strategist, but he was “vasily” underrated as a tactician, who employed sharp combinations when necessary, as in the miniature below!

Also, last weekend saw the international chess congress take place in Cork, with 139 players, including 3 GMs.-Bulgarian champion Dejan Bojkov pipped Croatian Bogdan Lalic and Russian-Irish Alexander Baburin to the title-a result that for former winner Lalic was nothing to “crow at”!

Finally, the winner of the recent Fisherwick tournament was, among the Seniors, Ian Woodfield ahead of Norman McFarland, while in the Juniors, R. Gupta and H. Reddy were “ever reddy” to take the spoils!

P.S. Years ago, when local young player Damien Artt from Belfast won his game, I commented in my newspaper article: “D. Artt hits the bullseye”.


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