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Pics 02 - #7 Meets #14

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Continuing to put up some of my photo archives. The 7th world champion, Vasily Smyslov, shakes the hand of the 14th champion, Vladimir Kramnik. This was in Moscow, at the closing reception of the Botvinnik Memorial match series between Kasparov and Kramnik. The legendary Smyslov, then 80, attended most of the rounds and sat in the audience. He is nearly blind, so his wife would whisper the moves to him. On several occasions she would be distracted by well-wishers and friends and lose a few moves, but he seemed unperturbed.

Vasily Smyslov and Vladimir Kramnik. December 9, 2001

Slightly larger size here (137kb)


I still find it amazing that Smyslov won Zurich 1953; and then was in the Candidates Final against Kasparov in 1984, *thiry-one* years later.

Great Stuff.


Anyone recall a certain recent US-Canada Olympic gold medal hockey game? ;-)

Morning, explain your comment if you get a chance--confused me.

Smyslov is one of my favorite world chess players of all time. Loved, nice, great, beautiful style, wanted to be in Kirov or Bolshoi as a singer but ended up being a great chess champion instead.

It's too bad Russian inteligentsia (including my mother) mistakenly cheered for Botvinnik in the 50's, thinking he was the lesser Communist of the two.

"He was the champ. Then I beat him so I was the champ. Then he got a rematch and beat me so he was the champ again. Now I ask you, young fella, where the hell was MY rematch?"

What's the prize for the best caption?

"Nice win, Garry!"

Or "Rematch? You want me to tell you what I think of a goddamn rematch?!"

"No, I said Cutty and water."

"So you are a painter? I am a singer."

"No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night."

Hi Yuriy-

Just friendly joking. Canada beat the US 5-2 in the gold medal game last Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City, 2002). We Canadians think our team is perennially the best in the world, in spite of the fact that it very rarely actually takes first place (which is sort of along the lines of Mig's original jest).

"Has my opponent ever hung a piece and I forgot to take it? And then on the next move have I ever hung a piece? Sure, in a blitz game last week. But you have to remember, I'm 83 years old."

It's easy to think of more:

"Now remember, Vlad, if he takes your bishop on B1, the pawn on E4 will be unprotected."

"Even with my hearing aid off, I can hear Garry asking for a rematch."

"I will do anything to avoid talking to Garry. Heck, I will even listen to Smyslov talk about rook endings."

"These days, I often feel exhausted after a long match. Then I will sign-up for tournaments and play badly, but not realize how sick I was till after the tournament. Has that ever happened to you, young man?"

"I am glad I turned my hearing aid off."

"Continue carrying on the tradition. Blunders or no blunders, you are world champion and beat a hell of a player for the title."

Vlady, ever heard the saying "never give a sucker an even break"?

Kramnik on Smyslov:

"He is truth in chess! Smyslov plays correctly, truthfully and has a natural style. By the way, why do you think he lacks that aura of mystique like Tal or Capablanca? Because Smyslov is not an actor in chess, his play is neither artistic nor fascinating. But I am fond of his style. I would recommend a study of Smyslov's games to children who want to know how to play chess because he plays the game how it should be played: his style is the closest to some sort of 'virtual truth' in chess. He always tried to make the strongest move in each position. He has surpassed many other of the World Champions in the number of strongest moves made. As a professional, this skill impresses me. I know that spectators are more interested in flaws ... ups and downs. But from the professional standpoint, Smyslov has been underestimated.

He mastered all elements of play. Smyslov was a brilliant endgame specialist, all in all his play resembled a smooth flow, like a song. When you look at his games, you have that light feeling as if his hand is making the moves all by itself while the man is making no effort at all - just like he was drinking coffee or reading a newspaper! This has the feel of Mozart's light touch! No stress, no effort, everything is simple yet brilliant. I like this feature of Smyslov and I am fond of his games. ... Chess players who adopt an intensive approach normally can't maintain their position at the highest level at that age. Smyslov could, and it was not because of his energy, drive or character - he had a deep understanding of chess. ... He was a master of positional play and surpassed his predecessors in this area. He was also good at opening preparation and tactics but no more than that. Smyslov did not have incredible conceptual ideas but he was very accurate and carried out his ideas 'millimetre by millimetre'. Probably, he was the first chess player to reach the highest level of accuracy. To a certain extent, Smyslov was the pioneer of this style, which was later brilliantly developed by Karpov, i.e. the gradual mounting of positional pressure based on the most accurate calculation of short lines."


Acirce--that is a great quote by Kramnik.

Are Smyslov and Kramnik the tallest world champions ever?

Great quotes and captions.

"Oh I'm sorry to hear that. Its terrible that you can't see the pieces on the board anymore... You know, YOU never had a rematch and I happen to be looking for a challenger..."

"I'm sorry to see your going blind too, Vlad"

I think Max Euwe was slightly taler then either Kramnik or Smyslov. Smyslov can actually confirn that himself if that's true.

Maybe Bobby will pick Smyslov as his opponent for his return to chess.

Just friendly joking. Canada beat the US 5-2 in the gold medal game last Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City, 2002). We Canadians think our team is perennially the best in the world, in spite of the fact that it very rarely actually takes first place (which is sort of along the lines of Mig's original jest).

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 31, 2005 4:01 PM.

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