Yesterday, the UK's Guardian paper published a brief portrait of the ex-World Champion (1969-'72).
There must have been times in his career when the former world chess champion Boris Spassky, something of a rebel within the old Soviet chess establishment, feared being packed off to Siberia. At Hay, he finally found out what it would have been like.
Happily, he quickly charmed away the wintry weather. Here was the most gentlemanly and, whisper it, sane of chess players - proof that the great game does not, contrary to popular myth, attract only those who would spend their lives in an asylum if they were denied the sanctuary of the 64 squares.
Spassky visited Wales recently for the Hay Festival where he took on 20 players in a simul.