I just learnt that the world chess champion Vasily Smyslov died during the night from Friday to Saturday in Moscow. He was 89 years old. The cause of his death were cardio-vascular problems.
Vassily Smyslov was the 7th world chess champion (1957-1958). He was born in Moscow March 24, 1921.
He was known for his positional style, and, in particular, his precise handling of the endgame, but many of his games feature spectacular tactical shots as well.
He made enormous contributions to chess opening theory in many openings, including the English Opening, Grünfeld Defence, and the Sicilian Defence. There is a variation of the Closed Ruy Lopez named for him: the line runs 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 h6. Smyslov also successfully revived the Fianchetto Defence to the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6) in the 1970s. In the Slav Defence, the main line with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 is named the Czech or Smyslov Variation.