Boris Vasilievich Spassky (also Spasskij; Бори́с Васи́льевич Спа́сский; born January 30, 1937) is a Soviet-French chess grandmaster. He was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from 1969 to 1972. He is known as one of the greatest living chess players, and is the oldest living world champion.
Spassky won the Soviet Chess Championship twice outright (1961, 1973), and twice lost in playoffs (1956, 1963), after tying for first place during the event proper. He was a World Chess Championship candidate on seven occasions (1956, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1980, and 1985).
Spassky defeated Tigran Petrosian in 1969 to become World Champion, then lost the title in the Fischer–Spassky match in 1972 – one of the most famous chess matches in history.