6th World Champion, 1948 - 1957, 1958 - 1960 and 1961 - 1963
Born in St Petersburg, Russia in 1911. He was the first Russian to hold the World Championship title after he won the 1948 tournament following the death of Alexander Alekhine. He held on to the world title until his defeat by Petrosian in 1963, except for two occasions when he lost the title for one year, to Smyslov (1957-1958) and Tal (1960-1961). Botvinnik was very serious about chess and never played for fun or blitz games. His style was characterized by good judgement, thorough analysis, excellent endgame technique and above all by thorough preparation.