The games of Mikhail Botvinnik, world chess champion from 1948 to 1963, have been studied by players around the world for decades. But little has been written about Botvinnik himself.
This book explores his unusual dual career- as a highly regarded scientist as well as the first truly professional chess player- as well as his complex relations with Soviet leaders, including Josef Stalin, his bitter rivalries, and his doomed effort to create the perfect chess-playing computer program.
The book has more than 88 games, 128 diagrams, twelve photographs, a chronology of his life and career, a bibliography, an index of openings, an index of opponents, and a general index.
Grandmaster Andy Soltis, eight times champion of the Marshall Chess Club, New York Post editor and Chess Life columnist, is the author of dozens of chess books. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
1. Misha 11
2. Allies and Enemies 29
3. Rivals 45
4. Botvinnik vs. the Bourgeoisie 66
5. Two Moscows and a Nottingham 80
6. From Levenfish to AVRO 98
7. Absolution 115
8. War 133
9. Champion 156
10. „But They Were Good Years” 180
11. The End of Revenge 209
12. Last Moves 230
Appendix A: Chronology 251 – Appendix B: Career Record Against Opponents 256 – Notes on Sources 257 – Bibliography 264 – Index of Openings (ECO) 267 – Index of Opponents 268 – General Index 269
IM John Donaldson, JeremySilman.com:
„A fascinating book that is must reading for anyone wishing to learn more about this fascinating figure.”
„Covers more background information on the person Botvinnik, than I ever have ever seen in print before!”
Lubomir Kavalek, Huffington Post:
„Soltis tells a fascinating story (..) a brilliant account, the best book written on Botvinnik by far.”
Chess Life Magazine:
„An excellent job.”
The Judges of the English Chess Federation Book of the Year Award:
„Soltis provides much detail on the intrigues which Botvinnik survived and sometimes started (..) A fascinating and readable biography of a very great chess player who was also a complex man of many contradictions.”
British Chess Magazine:
„Respect is etched on every page and considerable effort has obviously been made both at the editing and writing stages. Botvinnik himself would surely have nodded approval.”
Hans Ree, New In Chess:
„A book that is readable for the general chess enthusiast interested in history.”