Sunday, 9 November 2008

Poetic Chess - Yevgeny Yevtushenko on Boris Spassky



Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1933- ) is a famous Russian poet. He is also possibly the first person to speak out against Stalinism through the vehicle of his poetry (ref). In this article ("A Poet Against The Destroyers" - December 19, 1966) (1966) from Sports Illustrated he discusses a conversation with the then aspiring World Chess Champion Boris Spassky.
I once asked one of the challengers for the world championship, Boris Spassky, "Tell me, don't you sometimes find that as a result of playing chess you have acquired the habit of working out in advance all your moves in life, too? Doesn't that interfere with life's spontaneity?" Spassky thought for a while and answered, "Well, yes, perhaps that does happen. It's true that I am sometimes too calculating in certain situations in life. But life is the sort of opponent who occasionally makes such unexpected moves that no matter how much you want to, you can never think up a reply to it in advance."
I wonder if Boris Spassky now feels his life, 40 plus years later, has produced many "unexpected moves".

Tags: Boris Spassky - Poetic Chess - Stalinism - Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Posted by ALCHEssMIST - Alchemipedia alliance.

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