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The Boston Globe


Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

Although multiple volumes have been written about Bobby Fischer, relatively little has been written about Boris Spassky, the man who lost his world title to Fischer. Spassky had been living in France apparently peacefully, but in August of last year, the news broke that he had suddenly disappeared to Russia and there was talk that he had been abducted. All this reporting turned the spotlight back on Spassky and a series of interviews have divulged a lot about his experience as world champion and the aftermath of his loss of the crown.

Spassky was the world champion after eking out a 12.5-10.5 win against Tigran Petrosian in 1969. He had lost to Petrosian in 1966. As for Spassky’s performance, his critics had always said that he neglected preparation and was lazy. His answer was that it was true that he did not study openings in detail, but that he knew his lines well and that he felt very assured in the middle game. There was no doubt that Spassky worked hard during his games.

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