by Spassky


I took his death very badly ... the death of Fischer.


My forte was the middlegame. I had a good feeling for the critical moments of the play. This undoubtedly compensated for my lack of opening preparation and, possibly, not altogether perfect play in the endgame. In my games things often did not reach the endgame!


The best indicator of a chess player's form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.


I was the strongest from 1964 to 1970, but in 1971 Fischer was already stronger.


As world champion I consider myself obliged to play constantly against the grandmasters who are closest to the chess throne. Therefore, I had not the slightest hesitation about the advisability of playing against Fischer at the (1970 Siegen) Olympiad.


There is only one thing in chess that Fischer does without pleasure - to lose !


When you play Bobby, it is not a question if you win or lose. It is a question if you survive.


I can't play with you because I don't understand the way you play or your train of thought.  -  (to Karpov)


After I won the title, I was confronted with the real world. People do not behave naturally anymore – hypocrisy is everywhere.


If they had played 150 games at full strength, they would be in a lunatic asylum by now.  -  (on Kasparov and Karpov, 1987)


The shortcoming of hanging pawns is that they present a convenient target for attack. As the exchange of men proceeds, their potential strength lessens and during the endgame they turn out, as a rule, to be weak.


The power of hanging pawns is based precisely in their mobility, in their ability to create acute situations instantly.


Often, in the Ruy Lopez, one must be patient, wait and carry on a lengthy and wearisome struggle.


He considered that chess was closest to an art, and he was able to demonstrate this with his optimistic, eternally youthful play.  -  (on Alekhine)


Bobby Fisher came back to chess! It was a miracle! I could never have missed it. No way!


The best indicator of a chess player's form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.


The best tournament that I have ever played in was in 1950. It was great – a waiter came to you during the game, and you could order anything you wanted to drink (even some vodka, if you liked). Pity, there are no longer tournaments organized in this manner…

on Spassky


It is noteworthy that Spassky never in his life began a game with 1 Nf3 - this apparently seemed to him to be a 'half-move', whereas a normal move was the only one leading to an open battle. - Garry Kasparov


Spassky possesses enviable health, he is a good psychologist, and he subtly evaluates the situation, his strengths, and the strengths of his opponent. He rarely gets into time-trouble, he is a splendid athlete, and nothing frightens him. Spassky is always in a good, cheerful frame of mind. - Mikhail Botvinnik


Spassky is a player of enormous practical strength, versatile to the highest degree. He prefers clear methods of play, but he feels very much at home in complicated positions, full of tactical possibilities.  -  Vasily Smyslov


I was staggered by his tenacity and resourcefulness in defence, and his composure and endurance after a defeat.  -  Tigran Petrosian


Spassky was a complete and absolutely universal player. He was equally good at attacking, defending, and accumulating positional advantages. It was he who created the fashion for universality, which is alive to this day.  -  Anatoly Karpov


Spassky was the first of the great players who employed both 1 e4 and 1 d4 in equal measure and with identical success.  -  Garry Kasparov


Boris Vasilievich was the only top-class player of his generation who played gambits regularly and without fear ... Over a period of 30 years he did not lose a single game with the King's Gambit, and among those defeated were numerous strong players of all generations, from Averbakh, Bronstein and Fischer, to Seirawan.  -  Garry Kasparov


Personally, I like him very much. He was under a lot of pressure. He can't really do what he wants, he has to follow orders from Moscow.  -  Bobby Fischer


When I began consciously working on myself and devising a universalism of the game, I did so mostly because Spassky's game was distinguished by universalism.  -  Anatoly Karpov


I consider myself to be an idler, too, but the dimensions of Spassky's laziness were astounding.  -  Anatoly Karpov


I'm not afraid of him. He's afraid of me. I'm not afraid of him.  - Bobby Fischer


I'm not afraid of Spassky. The world knows I'm the best. You don't need a match to prove it.  -  Bobby Fischer


Spassky sits at the board with the same dead expression whether he's mating or being mated.  -  Bobby Fischer


As a fellow traveller and a living witness of Spassky's progress, I can testify that I know no man who is more capable of self-perfection than Spassky.  -  Victor Kortchnoi


From being an average member of society - featureless, unreasoning, submissive - he has become an independent, discerning thinker, and has gradually turned into a dissident.  - Victor Kortchnoi