AMIDST the death last week of Svetozar Gligoric and the arrest of Garry Kasparov at the Pussy Riot trial in Moscow, came the news that Boris Spassky – the former world champion who played the legendary 1972 match with Bobby Fischer – disappeared from his Paris home, claiming he had “fled” from a “plot” against him.
Days after disappearing, Spassky, 75, resurfaced at an undisclosed location in Moscow to tell the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda that he was being held under virtual “house arrest” by his wife, Marina Shcherbacheva, and “pumped full of tranquillisers” after suffering a very serious stroke in September 2010. With the help of friends – and, bizarrely, the collusion of the Russian Embassy in Paris, who issued him with a one-way passport – he said he was able to flee to Moscow.
Spassky, has dual French and Russian citizenship, and emigrated to France after the 1972 match he lost to Fischer. He is now saying he has returned to Russia “for good,” but many believe he could well have been taken advantage of; and unconfirmed reports say that that his sister, Iraida Spasskaya, believes he has been kidnapped.
As someone who has known Spassky for many years, I can tell you just how fiercely independent he can be. It is likely he didn’t conform well to the strict rehabilitation needed after his stroke, which has prohibited his lifestyle of travelling around the world to be wined and dined as a VIP/Commentator at top tournaments.
N Grandelius - A Ipatov
51st World Junior Ch., (6)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 a3 d6 5 Nc3 g6 6 g3 Bg7 7 Bg2 0–0 8 0–0 a6 9 d5 Na5 10 Nd2 Rb8 11 b4 Nxc4 12 Nxc4 Nxd5 13 Nxd5 Bxa1 14 Bh6 Bg7 15 Bxg7 Kxg7 16 Qd4+ f6 17 Nc3 d5 18 Na5 c5 19 Qf4 Bd7 20 Rd1 b6 21 Nb3 c4 22 Nd2 e5 23 Qf3 d4 24 Nd5 Rc8 25 e4 c3 26 Nf1 Bb5 27 h4 f5 28 Rc1 Bc4 29 h5 b5 30 hxg6 hxg6 31 g4 Qg5 32 Qg3 Rfe8 33 gxf5 Qxg3 34 f6+ Kf8 35 fxg3 Bxd5 36 exd5 e4 37 d6 Rcd8 38 g4 e3 39 g5 e2 40 Kf2 d3 41 Ne3 Rxe3! 42 Rh1 e1Q+ 0–1