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In August there were conflicting and worrying reports that former world chess champion Boris Spassky had either fled, or been taken against his will, from his home in Paris back to Russia.
Spassky had lived in France with his third wife since 1976, and had been receiving treatment for a second stroke which he suffered in 2010.
Now some more information about the fate of Boris Vasilievich has emerged after the great champion spoke about his recent experiences in an interview with WhyChess..
Photos and video: Irina Stepaniuk via WhyChess.
I think he's the most underrated Champion ever. I've seen, in some books for chess, some endgames of him, and I was very impressed. I like him, and I like his personality.
So Boris, the old lion, fights on. First, profuse thanks to those who provided this filmed interview for us; it's great to have news of him. May he recover as much health and happiness as he can. As a contemporary of Boris's I can vouch for the fact that the years of old age (or incipient old age) are very often leaden, not golden, and Boris's fear of the double whammy of poverty and ill health is understandable. I hope he finishes his book, and that, more than merely collecting his games, it contains much of his personal feeling and opinions. May God bless and keep him.
I see a great man with deep personal problems and one who is trying to overcome them.
I wish you the Best, Boris Spassky and hope you will find a happier life in Russia. What you need now is more kind words from people.
Ah Spassky. Large Champion and certainly the Best with a long time.... Great players, Thanks SonofPearl.
I hear the life story of a highly intelligent man, one who is capable to make winning decisions in chess, but at the same time who is puzzled with complex human relationships of his family members and relatives. It's sad that a king in chess is not a king in his family. His speech is direct and honest. I wish him health and positive energy to appreciate the new change of life - living in his homeland.
A proud but sad man. Thanks for posting SonofPearl!
it's a sad thing to see a once strong man surrender to his fate, throwing off his crown on the board - a king disappears from the scene, another rises
Long castling ...The King is back home
Those teachers, police, atheletes, or whatever usually get life insurance and health insurance. It'd be very hard for FIDE to even attempt something like that since they cover so many countries and would have to deal with the laws within each country. It'd be better if the chess organizations within a country would offer such for professional chess players. Actaully, As far as I know, life insurance is private and not provided by places of work. I think the exception is for military.
Mozart actually made decent money but wasted it. He might have saved some for his family and his funeral if he expected to die at 35.
Mr Boris Vasilievich Spassky is born January 30, 1937, and really a great man !
Thumbs up Boris!
Good spirit! If he can get over the hurts and frustrations, he can heal. Kidney troubles are almost always associated with long-standing hurts that one hasn't released from their mind. He seems on his way to forgiveness, though loneliness appears to trouble him, as he repeatedly stated that he's starting from square 0 (and he feels that to be unfair in some ways).
I wish him, and all the chess world, the best of health and life!
Mr.Spassky is one for the ages despite wherever he winds up on the pages of
chess history. A chess gentleman's gentlement. I wish him well.
Peak Average Ratings: 20 year peak range
Boris certenly has a place in history of the Hearth in chess game.
@ Nimzo Roy ... Right On! PCA would have been perhaps one way of making this happen. Spassky will always be admired by everyone as one of the true heros of the game! We should appreciate him!
Is FIDE responsible for for taking care of the health and fortunes of former grandmasters? ClavierClavier
Obviously not, since they're apparently just throw away garbage - just like Mozart for instance, who received a pauper's funeral that one book described as "one of the major travesties of Western civilization"
It's funny that public employees such as cops, firemen and teachers all have unions to look out for their interests (health insurance, pensions, etc) and so do many professional athletes (at least in the USA) but GMs and IMs have nothing.
Spassky is the most noble and humble chess player with the the best sportsmanship in history. He could have walked away with the 1972 World Championship, by default, but decided to comply with Fischer's demands, despite that they were not in his favor. I have a profound respect for him more than any other chess player. It is so sad yet typical to see World Champions live in destitute in their later years.
I got him to sign my copy of Spassky's 100 Best Games by Cafferty when he was giving a simul in Tom's River, NJ in the 1980's. He started a lot of games with the King's Gambit. I also saw him give a lecture at the NJ Open a few years later. Nice guy, great player. Previous reports kept using the phrase "grave condition". Wasn't sure we'd ever hear from him again. Glad he is doing better now.
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