Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spassky: Sanest of Chess Players

When asked by a reporter if he ever regretted devoting his life to chess, Boris Spassky was reportedly tight-lipped telling the reporter, "Ask second question, please".

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.

1 comment:

Ryan Emmett said...

I was at Hay-on-Wye to see Spassky being interviewed and he didn't disappoint - a real gentleman and an entertaining speaker.

I've written a report about it at Chess.com if anyone is interested:

http://www.chess.com/news/boris-spassky-at-hay-on-wye