The Legacy of Mikhail Botvinnik in Russian Chess

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Unlike the American Bobby Fisher, Russians Anatoly Karpov or Garry Kasparov, Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik is not well known outside the world of World Class chess.  However, his influence on the way the game is played today is undeniable.  World Chess Champion Tigran Petrosian once said “We all regard ourselves as pupils of Botvinnik and subsequent generations will learn from his games.” Besides Petrosian, Botvinnik also taught Karpov and Kasparov as well as other world champions.

Botvinnik’s hold on the Soviet Russian chess world of the mid 20th century is shown in his 6 Soviet chess championships from 1931 to 1952. He was also World Champion from 1948 to 1957, 1958 to 1960 and 1961 to 1963.

Besides teaching younger players, Botvinnik also wrote books about chess. His “One Hundred Selected Games” and his other works are still standard reading today.  Through these volumes and through his…

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