Mikhail Botvinnik

Electrical engineer, Chess Player

1911 – 1995

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Who was Mikhail Botvinnik?

Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik, PhD was a Soviet and Russian International Grandmaster and three-time World Chess Champion, widely considered one of the greatest chess players of all time. Working as an electrical engineer and computer scientist at the same time, he was one of the very few professional chess players who achieved distinction in another career while playing top-class competitive chess. He was also a pioneer of computer chess.

Botvinnik was the first world-class player to develop within the Soviet Union, putting him under political pressure but also giving him considerable influence within Soviet chess. From time to time he was accused of using that influence to his own advantage, but the evidence is unclear and some suggest he resisted attempts by Soviet officials to intimidate some of his rivals.

Botvinnik also played a major role in the organization of chess, making a significant contribution to the design of the World Chess Championship system after World War II and becoming a leading member of the coaching system that enabled the Soviet Union to dominate top-class chess during that time. His famous pupils include World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.

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Born
Aug 17, 1911
Repino
Also known as
  • Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik
  • M. Botvinnik
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Ethnicity
  • Ashkenazi Jews
  • Jewish people
Nationality
  • Soviet Union
  • Russia
Profession
Education
  • Saint Petersburg Polytechnical University
Died
May 5, 1995
Moscow

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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