Grand Master

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grand Master


the highest honorary title in chess and checkers, conferred by international federations and in the USSR; in Hungary the title is awarded only in chess.

In the USSR the title of grand master in chess was established in 1935; between 1935 and 1970, 40 individuals met its standards and received the title. The first Soviet grand master was M. M. Botvinnik. In 1949 the International Chess Federation (FIDE), founded in 1924, established the title of international grand master. By the beginning of 1971 this title had been awarded to the 104 best chess players in the world, of whom 36 were Soviet sportsmen: I. E. Boleslavskii, I. Z. Bondarevskii, M. M. Botvinnik, D. I. Bronshtein, P. P. Keres, A. A. Kotov, G. Ia. Levenfish, A. A. Liliental’, V. V. Ragozin, V. V. Smyslov, and S. M. Flor in 1950; Iu. L. Averbakh, E. P. Geller, V. L. Korchnoi, T. V. Petro-sian, B. V. Spasski, M. E. Taimanov, M. N. Tal’, and A. K. Tolush from 1952 to 1957; and V. S. Antoshin, E. A. Va-siukov, A. P. Gipslis, B. I. Gurgenidze, E. E. Gufel’d, A. N. Zaitsev, A. E. Karpov, N. V. Krogius, A. Ia. Lein, V. M. Liberzon, L. A. Polugaevskii, V. P. Simagin, A. S. Suetin, S.A. Furman, R. D. Kholmov, L. A. Shamkovich, and L. Z. Shtein from 1960 to 1970. The title of grand master of the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF) was established in 1958; it has been awarded to 20 chess players from various countries. Six of these were Soviet players, including world champions of the ICCF V. P. Zagorovskii and V. V. Ragozin.

In the USSR in 1970 there were 12 grand masters in checkers (the title was established in 1961)—seven in Russian and five in international hundred-square checkers. In 1948 the title of international grand master of the World Checkers Federation (FMJD) was established.

Among the 14 international grand masters in checkers are the Soviet world champion A. G. Andreiko and ex-champions I. I. Kuperman and V. I. Shchegolev.


Grand Master


in the Catholic Church the head of a religious order of knights.

The grand master was elected for life by the members of the order and confirmed by the pope. In the Middle Ages, when the influence of the religious knightly orders was considerable, the grand masters played a large political role in the feudal life of Europe. Although the orders have lost their former influence, the term “grand master” continues to be the title of the heads of some orders.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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