Mikhail Botvinik (1911-1995) was a Soviet and Russian chess grandmaster and World Chess Champion for most of 1948 to 1963. Working as an electrical engineer and computer scientist at the same time, he was one of the very few players who achieved distinction in another career while playing top-class competitive chess. He was also a pioneer of computer chess.
Botvinnik was the first world-class player to develop within the Soviet Union, putting him under political pressure but also giving him considerable influence within Soviet chess. From time to time he was accused of using that influence to his own advantage, but the evidence is unclear and some suggest[who?] he resisted attempts by Soviet officials to intimidate some of his rivals.
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