SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
There is a truly excellent interview with Boris Spassky at Chess in Translation where the 10th World Champion looks back at his life. ”I’ve had a good life.” he admits. I especially like the story of how his mother saved his father’s life…
It was during the Siege of Leningrad, when thousands of people were dying of famine (more than half a million died). What little food there was, was rationed. Spassky’s father–a soldier– found himself in the death ward of a hospital, apparently soon to become one more statistic of starvation…
WHEN Spassky’s mother found out about her husband, she was desperate! She went out and sold absolutely everything she had and bought…A BOTTLE OF VODKA! She then hurried to the hospital:
”My father was on the verge of death from starvation and even ended up on the death ward. You’ll never guess how my mother saved my dad: she sold all her things and bought a bottle of alcohol.
She arrived in the ward and started to look for him among dozens of people, but he’d lost so much weight that she didn’t even recognise him.
My father was stern despite his weakness and shouted at her: don’t you recognise your own husband? After that he drank the whole bottle and got up. A miracle? No, they say vodka has calories.”
”A life saver!”