Talk:Boris Spassky

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I've moved this back here from Boris V. Spassky because his middle initial (or middle name in full) is almost never used. List it in the article, for sure, but the convention is to give the article title its most common form. --Camembert

In a recent book (Bobby Fischer goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time by David Edmonds and John Eidinow; Ecco, 2004) on the 1972 match, the authors discuss the report that Spassky had a Jewish mother (his paternal grandfather was an Orthodox priest) - when the authors asked Spassky about this, he denied it, saying he had no idea how this idea might have arisen. In the absence of any evidence I think we should accept this. Also according to Jewish religious law there is no such thing as being half-Jewish. I don't speak German, but the German link on this page seems to imply that he was Jewish. PatGallacher 00:11, 2005 Apr 29 (UTC)

Interesting London Telegraph article cited here: Outrage in Russia as Spassky puts name to rabidly anti-Semitic petition. Billbrock 03:25, 12 September 2006 (UTC) More sources can be found here: the petition-signing was widely reported. Billbrock 03:28, 12 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure why two of my changes were removed. Neither appears to be related to the Jack O'Lantern unsourced changes. Spassky's GM title at age 18 was in fact a record at the time, as documented elsewhere in Wikipedia. Furthermore, I believe that the change of "success" to "career" is valid as losing the 1972 match by 4 points and the 1974 match by 3 points can hardly be defined as successes. - albertod4

I removed the latter dilemma by removing sentence altogether. His pinnacle was clearly around 1969, while he was still a force until 1977. Rocksong 02:53, 29 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Spassky may have a better claim to being a prodigy than Fischer does: Botvinnik, in the introduction to his first games collection, praises the talent of the 12-year-old Spassky. (Fischer at 12 was quite strong for his age, but nothing special--he "got good" at 13.) Was Spassky a pre-teen prodigy as were Capablanca, Reshevsky, or Arturo Pomar? I'm not sure. Billbrock 13:05, 14 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Having added an interesting piece of trivia to the David Bronstein page, it seemed sensible to add the same information to this page Vonhangman 08:01, 7 December 2006 (UTC)vonhangmanVonhangman 08:01, 7 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree with the sentence "Spassky returned home to the USSR in disgrace, and was never again the same dominant player." Spassky returned home and may have been a persona non grata, but ended up winning the 1973 Soviet Championship, which is undoubtedly the strongest Soviet Championship of all time and I believe is a class-15 tournament according to chessmetrics. (I could be wrong, but it is still the one of the strongest tournaments ever). Spassky was still dominant into the 80s, regularly competing in the Candidates' Cycle and was ranked 6th in the world still in 1979. Losing a WC match doesn't make a player less dominant. I won't change it though because God knows you wouldn't want a 22 year old college student writing a thesis about Soviet chess to mess up what has already been typed here...they aren't old or wise enough... The5thHorseman 08:02, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A lot of the chess articles were originally written in the early days of Wikipedia. While they are a good starting point, some of them do contain a lot of hyperbole - or downright inaccuracies - such as the example you point out. By all means edit it yourself, otherwise I will when I get the chance. Rocksong 01:37, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Awesome job on the editing Rocksong (I figure you did it). The article, in my opinion anyway, is more appropriate. I would add something about Linares 1983, where Spassky placed 1st ahead of Karpov, and that this was the primary reason Spassky became a French citizen. This was the primary event that permanently ended Spassky's relationship to the Soviet Union. If you need a source, I will refer you to Andrew Soltis' volume "Soviet Chess". It's an excellent book and one that helped me complete my thesis. I'd edit it myself, but I'm not totally familiar with how things are edited on here. It's your decision though, I just want to commend you on the work you've be doing on here. I may come across badly at times...but I really do appreciate it. The5thHorseman 23:07 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I fixed up his 80s record after reading your input, but User:FrankEldonDixon has also been busy. Thanks for your thanks, anyway. :) Like I said before, feel free to edit it yourself. If you leave a mess, someone will usually come along and clean up after you :) Regular Wikipedia editors have a "watchlist", so if you edit a chess-related article, the chances are I (and a few others) will see the change and check that it looks sensible (which I'm sure it would be, in your case). Rocksong 11:26, 4 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's still some POV and hype that could use an exit visa-I'll have a go at it. Hushpuckena (talk) 22:28, 1 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need better image[edit]

I think we need a better photo of Spassky. The one in the article now is from a long distance and doesn't show his face well. Also, I think it would be better to have one from about 1960 to 1975. Bubba73 (talk), 02:48, 11 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some issues with the article[edit]

  1. The manual of style says to spell out small numbers and their ordinals. Thus "he tied for 1st-2nd" should be spelled out.
  2. I know what "URS-ch27" is, but many readers will not. That needs to be clarified. Bubba73 (talk), 01:12, 22 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is starting to happen; I agree that the usage is clumsy and should be cleared up a bit. Give it some time, I'm working on it now. Hushpuckena (talk) 03:37, 2 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good - I've cleaned up a large number of them in articles, but I think I got only a small percentage of them. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:41, 2 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've found some clear errors in this as I've gone along, such as Spassky's score in his World Junior win being 14/16, which in toto was correct, but he qualified from a preliminary section, then won the final, so the original way in which it was displayed was misleading. By the way, Bubba, if you should read this, we'll probably never get all the awkward usage for those events out, but I'm willing to purge them root and branch as I go! Hushpuckena (talk) 06:00, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The section on Reykjavik is heavily POV and laden with peacock language; there's no doubt in my mind that the thrust of the section as written is essentially true-that the match would probably not have come off without Spassky accomodating Fischer-but it's hardly presented in an encyclopaedic manner, and I'm not sure what to do for reliable sources. No wonder this article was listed as needing much improvement! Hushpuckena (talk) 06:21, 17 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One thing about the use of fractions in text vis-a-vis numerals is that they're practically illegible; this may not be a big deal when it comes to fractions such as halves typically used in articles on chess, but in other contexts it could very easy indeed to misread the equivalent of eg 2.125. Hushpuckena (talk) 00:21, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The use of 2½ looks OK to me. But there is another possibility: 2-1/2. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:03, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And also 2+12, but on my screen it takes up about a half line above and a half line below. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:04, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I assume it is okay then to change all the .5s to ½s, to eliminate the inconsistency (50–50 split) in the article. Please say if not okay. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 04:56, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here were the options for visual compare:


Ihardlythinkso (talk) 05:11, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with making the change. Number 1 was a bad idea (mine), with the dash between the scores it is a real mess! #4 doesn't look good. #3 is my preference, but #2 is the only other one that seems acceptable. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:14, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Prefer ½ also, as mentioned elsewhere so did Fletch79 and Krakatoa at ProjChess Talk. I assume we can ignore for now MoS's char accessability issue. Ok, Ihardlythinkso (talk) 05:36, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As to the four options, #2 is (obviously) my favoured method; if fractions are to be used, I prefer #3 over #4. Hushpuckena (talk) 17:03, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as the character accessibility issue in browsers, that was probably quite a few years ago. Probably any browser these days can display Unicode characters. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:39, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Out of curiosity I checked some other articles:

Bobby Fischer: (48) ½s, (1) .5s
Emanuel Lasker: (16) ½s, (0) .5s
Alexander Alekhine: (98) ½s, (1) .5s
Capablanca: (82) ½s, (0) .5s
Paul Morphy: (9) ½s, (1) .5s
Mikhail Botvinnik: (60) ½s, (0) .5s
Garry Kasparov: (37) ½s, (0) .5s
Wilhelm Steinitz: (49) ½s, (0) .5s
Anatoly Karpov: (9) ½s, (0) .5s
Viswanathan Anand: (15) ½s, (4) .5s

So, I'll also change the stragglers in the Fischer, Alekhine, Morphy, and Anand articles. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 22:39, 2 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have to be a little careful doing that with AWB or find & replace. Sometimes x.5 is not in a score. Also, 0.5 can get changed to 0½. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:45, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also x.0 scores need to be changed to x. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:31, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok I checked, and there weren't any ".0" scores in the above articles. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 03:00, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One more thing in re the proposed changes: how does one key in the fractions? Hushpuckena (talk) 02:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the edit screen, below the Save button is a combo box - Symbols. From there you can select Insert, Wiki markup, Symbols, etc. Select Symbols and the common fractions are there. You can click on it and it will be inserted to the cursor location or you can highlight it and copy & paste. You can also store it somewhere and copy & paste. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:25, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah (I like to highlight/copy it from the symbol list or from an article where it already occurs, then it's avail to paste at any time). Ihardlythinkso (talk) 03:03, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Family and personal life[edit]

This article lacks some basics: I believe his father was Russian Orthodox Christian, mother Jewish. What religion was he raised as, and what religion is he now? His wife is mentioned very briefly, yet there is no mention of when he married her, nor is their any mention of their children. When did he move to France? Does he possess Russian and French citizenship? If he holds French citizenship, when did he acquire it? Nietzsche 2 (talk) 09:19, 8 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did Spassky defect or was he given permission to leave?[edit]

The article is unclear on the legality of that particular issue, and I understand it may not be that important. For another article, we were putting together a list of defectors, and it is unclear in this article whether Spassky defected and just kept the asylum process quiet so he wouldn't upset the Soviets, or whether he had quietly worked out a deal for a permitted emigration.

Any insight would be appreciated.Mosedschurte (talk) 20:34, 23 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

according to this Spassky did not defect - he was allowed to emigrate. Bubba73 (talk), 22:58, 23 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks.Mosedschurte (talk) 23:04, 23 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's an illuminating, contemporary account given here. Brittle heaven (talk) 00:17, 24 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The ole Marital Gambit opening. A time honored classic. Thanks.Mosedschurte (talk) 00:34, 24 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting but atypical source[edit]

Some years ago I read a web page with a very interesting biography on Spassky (and on some others players also) by Larry Parr. This page disappeared (what a pity!), but it can be read at the internet archive:[].. Can it be used? Is it quotable? Dumu Eduba (talk) 13:32, 24 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some of the English usage appears awkward[edit]

From the beginning of the article:

"Boris Vasilievich Spassky (also Spasskij; Russian: Бори́с Васи́льевич Спа́сский; born January 30, 1937) is a Soviet-French chess grandmaster. He was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from late 1969 to 1972. he was known one of the greatest and oldest chess player."

The last sentence is awkward and missing at least one word. I think it should read:

"He is known as one of the greatest and oldest living chess players."

I have changed the article, substituting my sentence for the original.

jbarntt 03:43, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm removing "and oldest" because, at 75 or so, Spassky cannot be reasonably said to be "one of the oldest living chess players". Perhaps something else was meant? --Haruo (talk) 05:32, 2 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Boris & the Beluga[edit]

I've been hearing tales online about a beluga whale named Minsky beating a chess master (one site specifically names Boris Spasky [sic]). This is often used as an example of the high IQ of beluga whales. Has anyone seen a credible source on this, or is this just another 'net tale?

The hidden ones (talk) 15:23, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

World U26 Team 1960 and aftermath[edit]

As far as I know, Spassky lost his right to play abroad for a time after he lost a critical game to William Lombardy in this event. Does anyone know of a source which might substantiate this? I've found vague allusions, but nothing I'd go with as a reliable source. Hushpuckena (talk) 04:50, 9 June 2012 (UTC) Better photo?Reply[reply]

Surely there must be a better photo of Spassky that could be used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:06, 20 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Boris Spassky. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 16:41, 23 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Under disputed circumstances" Paris -> Moscow[edit]

I feel like the departure from Paris/return to Moscow section ought to be elaborated on, however I can see how there may be some questions of libel/liability. The claims that Spassky has made, however, seem worth noting here, and are at this point very well documented in a number of different reliable sources and interviews. It would be good to get a clear editorial consensus however on how to proceed on this point here. MarcelB612 (talk) 23:57, 3 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1969 World Championships Match v Petrosian[edit]

The above is barely covered, when it needs a subsection of its own instead of appearing under 'Challenger' Billsmith60 (talk) 00:44, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]