Is Spassky the greatest attacker of all time? Perhaps…but unlike Tal or Alekhine, Spassky was not a born attacker. It was only when he started to work with Alexander Tolush (1952-1960?) that he seriously started to develop what would soon become his famous attacking instinct.
Alexander Tolush (1910 to 1969)
”It was then that I met Tolush, and it seemed natural that we should work together….Tolush was very involved with chess. He was a brilliant player who loved to sacrifice pieces, and he helped me very much. When I first met him in the early 1950’s I had a great desire to work with him, and I changed my style because he was an attacking player.” – Boris Spassky (LINK) It should also be pointed out that Tolush died several months before Spassky won the World Championship!
He was so successful as an attacking player because Tolush brought out and helped refine Spassky’s unique ability to completely let go and fearlessly sacrifice one piece after the other in pursuit of total victory. Unlike Tal or Alekhine, there was no question of EGO involved.
Spassky, the attacker, was like a Samurai warrior of ancient Japan: it was all about following the code (Bushido) and serving his master to the exclusion of everything else.
The Resko game from 1959, curiously, is a game that I had never seen before. Or maybe I had seen it but then I must have quickly forgotten about it, only to joyfully re-discover it just recently! What ever the case, I am very pleased
According to Spassky himself, this game is perhaps his favourite game. It is not my favourite Spassky game, but I have to admit that it is a truly magificent attacking game. Enjoy!
Spassky, Boris – Reshko, Aaron St.Petersburg 1959
Spassky’s original annotations to this game
Some of Spassky’s most famous victories
Spassky – Bronstein Moscow 1960 (1-0)
Spassky – Evans Varna Ol 1962 (1-0)
Spassky – Seirawan Candidates 1985 (1-0)
Spassky – Geller Candidates 1968 (1-0)
Spassky – Petrosian WCC 1969 (1-0)
Larsen – Spassky Belgrade 1970 (0-1)