Boris Spassky (born January 30, 1937) is one of the most respected and loved GMs in the history of chess. He won the World Championship in 1969 and held it for 3 years until taking part in the Match of the Century.
Tigran Petrosian (17 June 1929 - 13 August 1984), Armenia's World Chess Champion (1963-69), became known as Iron Tigran due to his inpenetrable defensive skills. At his peak he was almost impossible to beat.
Mikhail Tal (November 9, 1936 - June 28, 1992) was a Latvian Grandmaster, often described as the greatest attacking player of all time. He was known as the Magician from Riga because of his amazing tactical riddles.
Vasily Smyslov (24 March, 1921 - 27 March, 2010) was a Soviet Grandmaster and World Chess Champion. He scored best of all elite grandmasters for move accuracy and spent longer than anyone at the top level of chess.
Mikhail Botvinnik (August 17, 1911 - May 5, 1995) of the USSR dominated chess for 30 years with his relentless positional pressure that led one rival to compare him to a bulldozer. He was possibly the 20th Century's most important figure in the development of chess on and off the board.
Max Euwe (May 20, 1901 - November 26, 1981) was a Dutch Grandmaster. He was one of the less eulogized World Chess Champions. His enormous contribution to chess isn't celebrated to the extent that it perhaps deserves.
Alexander Alekhine (October 31, 1892 - March 24, 1946) from Moscow, Russia was one of the greatest chess players of all time. He constantly mentally analyzed positions in his head and this helped him become a World Champion.
Jose Raul Capablanca (19 November, 1888 - 8 March, 1942) was the legendary chess master from Cuba. Dubbed the 'Human Chess Machine', many chessaholics hold that he was the most naturally talented chess player ever.
Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 - January 11, 1941) turned chess opening theory on it's head. He was a proponent of the art of complications, confusing opponents by not playing the recommended book move.
Wilhelm Steinitz (May 17, 1836 - August 12, 1900) was born in Prague, then Bohemia now Czech Republic. He dominated world chess in the late 19th Century becoming the first World Champion.
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