"Smyslov was always known for his positional style and his extraordinary endgame abilities. He was also a great combinational player, and in his games we find many spectacular tactical shots. In the opening he made important contributions to the English, Grünfeld, Ruy Lopez and Sicilian." --ChessBase website
"He is truth in chess! Smyslov plays correctly, truthfully and has a natural style. ... But I am fond of his style. I would recommend a study of Smyslov's games to children who want to know how to play chess because he plays the game how it should be played: his style is the closest to some sort of 'virtual truth' in chess. He always tried to make the strongest move in each position." --Vladimir Kramnik (photo at right from ChessNinja blog)The following sample games from ChessGames.com offer a glimpse into the style of the 7th World Champion.
- Botvinnik-Smyslov (1954 WC match) - King's Indian - queen sacrifice
- Botvinnik-Smyslov (1957 WC match) - English / Slav - endgame
- Smyslov-Liberzon (1968 USSR champ) - English / Dutch - bishop pair
- Smyslov-Ribli (1983 London) - QGD / Semi-Tarrasch - builds up attack