Former World Champion - Vasily Smyslov 89, from Russia died yesterday. Smyslov was World Champion from 1957-1958 defeating another legandary and former World Champion - Mikhail Botvinnik. Both battle in three World Championship Final were Botvinnik won two out of three .
Among former World Champion who he has beat in the past is players like Tal, Fischer, Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov among others.
Smyslov played the first World Championship match against Botvinnik in 1954. The match ended in a draw after 24 games and Botvinnik as the defending Champion retained his title. Smyslov once again win the Candidate final and got the right to challange Botvinik in 1957 World Championship Final. This time Smyslov won quite convincingly. In 1958, Botvinnik got the right to challange Smyslov in the World Championship final and Botvinnik manage to win it.
One interesting fact about the three Smyslov-Botvinnik World Championship matches ( 1954,1957 and 1958) , Smyslov has won 18 games to Botvinnik's 17 (with 34 draws), and yet he was only champion for a year.
In 1983, at the age of 62, Smyslov create a sensation in chess world when he advance to Candidates' Final beating young players such as Robert Hubner (quarterfinal) and Zoltan Ribli (Semifinal). However in the final, he lost to the young - Garry Kasparov who proceed to play Karpov in the World Championship final in 1985.
From the Smyslov`s book - 125 Selected which i had read in the past , i found that he is an expert on endgame and his style of play is his chess pieces always work harmony with each other.