September 23, 2010 23:05

'Boris Spassky in critical condition'

Boris SpasskyRussian media report that Boris Spassky on Saturday suffered from a stroke and is in critical condition. Medics are said to have found the 10th World Champion lying on a bed in a semiconscious state. He was taken to hospital and doctors are said to be fighting for Spassky's life.

The Russian site Life News brings a worrisome report about Boris Spassky, which we translate here.

10th World Chess Champion was taken to a Moscow hospital in serious condition

Doctors are fighting for the life of International Grandmaster and Honored Master of Sports of the USSR Boris Spassky.

Last Saturday at about 11am the ambulance received a call on board from the Moscow apartment of the grandmaster. When the medics arrived, they found 73-year-old Boris Vasilievich lying on a bed in a semiconscious state. He has a paralyzed left side of the body - arm and leg.

The famous chess player was urgently hospitalized in the intensive care unit at the 13th city hospital.

The patient had a cerebrovascular accident - the clinic told Life News. His condition is serious and doctors are doing their best.


On October 1, 2006, Spassky also suffered a stroke, during a chess lecture in San Francisco. From this he recovered well. Last week he was a special guest at the Women Blitz Championship in Moscow, together with Nona Gaprindashvili and others, and Spassky suggested to organize matches between veterans and you talents. The news comes in an already dark year for chess, in which former legends Andrei Lilienthal, Vassily Smyslov and Bent Larsen passed away.

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


noyb's picture

Very sad to hear of this. Thoughts and prayers to Boris Vasilievich and his family and friends.

jazzkoo's picture

bummer! what a gentleman. think of his behavior vs fischer as opposed to topalov's vs kramnik. and he was still playing beautiful chess, i really liked that win w/ black vs korchnoi in thier recent match in a reversed silcilian.

DOug's picture

One can only hope that the treatments will bring about a full recovery, although with a stroke, it is often a lengthy and difficult recuperation.

Voor's picture

I'll be saying a prayer for you today Borya, and will play a King's Gambit. Hang in there...

chandler's picture

thx for the translation. "young" talents?

Anastasia's picture

Hi how about putting in a target="_blank" in your links so that new links open in a new window and the chessvibes window remains? I love reading your reports.

Felix's picture

Anastasia, I already made that suggestion once iirc :) So I support that suggestion :)

SDX's picture

The target="_blank" is not customary since it breaks the browsing history. If you want the link to open in a new window, click the secondary mouse button and choose the option "Open in new tab (or window)".

Hope that Mr. Spassky recovers. From what I have heard: he is a gentleman and a great ambassador for chess.

Arvin's picture

My prayers are with Boris for a full and complete recovery.

Pierre's picture

---deleted--- for lack of taste

Pedro's picture

I am really sad to hear that. I never met Spassky but in the interviews and speechs he seemed a good and ethical man to me. I hope he recover soon, the chess world needs people like him. God save him.

voyteck's picture

"Hi how about putting in a target=”_blank” in your links so that new links open in a new window and the chessvibes window remains? I love reading your reports."

It would be a "programming" error (no choice for the user). If you want to open a link in a new tab, use a mouse gesture (if supported by your browser), click it with a relevant key (like SHIFT or CTRL+SHIFT in Opera, which open the link in a new tab on top or in a background, respectively) or open it via the context menu.

Jim's picture

It's so sad to see the giants slip into legends. We have so few adequate replacements.

john's picture

firstly can someone remove Pierre's SICK COMMENT!

My thoughts are with Spassky and his family at this terrible time.

I was really upset reading this after Larsen's recent death.

We are with you Boris! Fight!

Gordon's picture

I was saddended to read this. Get well soon Boris! The whole chess world wishes you a speedy recovery.

Felix's picture

SDX: It's a widely used and good practice of webmasters to use the target=_blank for links "outside" the own website. So a link to "Chess News" should open in a new Window. You can close that one and you are back at chessvives, in the other case you may click a link on Chess News and go to some other website and don't find the way back to chessvibes.

unknown's picture

I hope Boris will recover and play chess again...

I see last scene of "Diagonale du fou"....

V's picture

Pierre, shame on you!

Daniel's picture

Wish you a quick recovery Boris!

Nima's picture

It is not a good idea to bury people alive, Pierre.

Recover Boris. You are one of the brightest lights of the chess world - both on and off the board.

me's picture

@felix SDX is just right on this - even html5 has dropped support for target=_blank (so, it'll just be invalid)

RuralRob's picture

When I look at that picture above, the words "don't call me Shirley" keep popping into my head.

Get well soon Les-, er, Boris!

Juan Ramón's picture

What a strong bad news from Moscow!
I hope that Mr. Spassky recover his health soon.

test's picture

Sad news.

test's picture


Middle click opens a new tab in most browsers (or can be configured that way).

fiercebadger's picture

wishing boris a speedy and full recovery
a wonderfull style and many splendid games at the highest level,
my favourite player by a mile

inky's picture

I pray for his full and speedy recovery. I last saw Boris in Dresden, 2008. He hugged me. I am looking forward to the next hug.

paul's picture

Thanks for removing the horrible comment of Pierre. As a chesslover i always was in awe with Boris..he needs all the positive thoughts we can give him. A great champ a modest and brave man! a 10-of-a-guy! Thumps up chessies and maybe he will be with us for a decade+. And remember he was a brave man and wille be!!

lefty's picture

What a sad year in chess for the legends of the last generation...Hopefully Boris pulls through.

Aditya's picture

Chess and sportsmanship have often been disconnected terms. It may appear to be a gentleman's game but it's usually a war in which winners often step on the losers' fallen bodies to collect their trophies. In such a world people like Boris Spassky stand as wonderful exceptions. When I saw the 1972 documentary, I was struck by how one man stood amidst the throttling politics of two huge nations and acted calmly, in his accordance, for the love of the game. I think there were two victors in 1972. Get well soon Boris!!

Bob's picture

The news article mentioned that it was not Boris' first stroke. This is a very
bad sign - second strokes are commonly fatal.

We're all pulling for you, Boris, to survive this. You won't be the same but that
is of little consequence.

mdamien's picture

Hoping for a speedy recovery. You are a class act, sir.

Hans's picture

a real chessman, but above all a beautiful person.
Hopefully we keep Boris the GREAT with us for many years!!!

Salem's picture

very sad news indeed - wishing a fast and speedy recovery to a gentleman of our game


Robert  W.'s picture

Everyone have Boris Spassky in their thoughts/prayers for a very successful
recovery!! What a first class gentleman & chessplayer!! I met him at a Reno,NV
chess tourney about 5 years ago and my wife & I were totally impressed by his
demeanor & personality!!

Mark's picture

It is sad to hear that Boris Spassky is so unwell.
As a chess fan, it is a shame that he has not written a book of his life and games.
It shows we have to "seize the day"

I saw Grandmaster Spassky give a talk in 2008 at the Hay on Wye Literary festival and he was full of humour and stories then. I am glad in the question and answer session after I was able to compliment him on his great moment of sportsmanship after game 6 of the match in Iceland when he joined in the applause for Fischer's famous win in the Tartakover Makaganov Bondarevsky variation.
That was probably one of the great moments of sportsmanship in all sport , not just chess.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

i with millions of chess players, pray for the speedy recovery of this colourful, gentleman champion of chess!
spassky belongs to the vanishing breed of gentlemen-world champs like tal and smyslov.

sundararajan ganesan
pudukkottai south india

Carlos's picture

I met Boris in León (Spain) in 2007 after over ten years of postal exchanges.One of the most important moments in my life.
He is a gentleman, an absolutely educated and polite man, an intelectual.
I personally owe him much because he has always inspired me not only in chess but in life too. I am shocked and only hope he recovers as soon as possible.
Boris, please, fight. You are not allowed to give up.We cannot afford losing your kindness,your passion for chess,your example,.You are the beacon light for many people.

Chess Enthousiast's picture

He may be way out of my generation, but from what I have read in biographies and histories he seems like a respectful and down-to-earth kind of guy. He could have easily walked away from Bobby Fischer's demands and win the title. Everyone at the time was laughing at Bobby Fischer as some nut who had unreasonable demands. Instead of walking away, Spassky, gave him a try. He probably asked himself "what if... What if Bobby is a real strong player... What if I meet his conditions...". If it wasn't for Spassky generosity and openmindedness a whole different turn out would have happed for Fischer. Spassky is a gentleman. Pure and simple.

Jagdish Dube.'s picture

Please inform us about the latest condition about his health.

capt av malhotra india's picture

the best ever chess player. gentleman to the core. my idol. i am extremely worried about the ill health of the legend. i pray god for his speedy recovery. pl do update me on his recovery.

Anonymous's picture

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