Hall of Fame
Mark Taimanov was ranked among the top 20 players in the world for over a quarter of a century and is one of the few players to have defeated six world chess champions (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, and Karpov). He played in 23 Soviet Chess Championships, a record equaled only by Efim Geller, tying for first in 1952 and 1956. Twice a candidate for the World Chess Championship (1953 and 1971), Taimanov was also a member of the gold medal-winning 1956 Soviet Olympiad team. A prolific and well-respected writer on the game, he was an excellent theoretician best known for the variation of the Sicilian which bears his name (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6).