Mikhail Botvinnik the Patriarch of World Chess Champions
Mikhail Botvinnik succeeded Alekhine as world champion in 1948 by winning a FIDE invitational tournament. He finished 3 points ahead of the field which included Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky, and Euwe. It was the first time that FIDE oversaw the world chess championship.
Botvinnik lost and regained his world title in memorable matches against Vassily Smyslov and Mikhail Tal before eventually losing the title to Tigran Petrosian in 1963. There was no automatic rematch for Botvinnik, since by that time FIDE had changed the rules.
As a computer scientist Botvinnik played chess with an iron logic. His style was universal and all-rounded and Botvinnik would adapt to whoever he was playing. His game against Lajos Portisch, nicknamed the ‘Hungarian Botvinnik’, demonstrates a wonderful attacking style.
Botvinnik started his chess school in 1963 and trained world champions like Karpov, Kasparov and Kramnik. He also made unique contributions to opening theory and pioneered computer chess. His legacy lives on long after his death in 1995.
That’s all for today. Stay on top of COVID-19 by following the WHO Guidelines and build your legacy by playing well and coaching others like Mikhail Botvinnik, the patriarch of world chess champions.