Saturday, August 14, 2004

Botvinnik, Mikhail Moiseyevich

Soviet chess grandmaster (b. Aug. 17 [Aug. 4, Old Style], 1911, Kuokkala, near St. Petersburg, Russia--d. May 5, 1995, Moscow, Russia), was the first Soviet world chess champion (1948-57, 1958-60, 1961-63). Botvinnik learned chess at the relatively advanced age of 12, but within two years he had defeated the reigning world champion, Jos� Ra�l Capablanca of Cuba, in an exhibition match. In 1931 he won the first of seven national championships.