Ronan Bennett & Daniel King
The Guardian, Tuesday 6 July 2010
Smyslov-Ribli, London 1983.
White to move.
The life of a professional chess-player is mentally and physically challenging. After the age of 40, for most professionals, there is a seemingly inevitable slide down the rankings. Garry Kasparov retired at 42, rated No 1 in the world, but I suspect he felt that the chasing pack was getting too close. That’s why Vassily Smyslov’s career was so remarkable. Smyslov, who died earlier this year, became world champion in 1957 at the age of 36, but continued playing at the highest levels, qualifying for the final of the world championship at the age of 63. This was the victory that got him there and shows his ability to calculate incisively.
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