Master of aggressive counter-attacks and considered one of the greatest players to never win a World Chess Championship.
He graduated from Leningrad State University in Saint Petersburg with a degree in history.
While almost exclusively a counter-attacker early in his career, he became proficient at initiating attacks and developed a deadly endgame.
He grew up in the USSR; his father was Jewish, and his mother was Catholic.
His counter-attacking style was a natural foil to Grandmaster Mikhail Tal's all-out attack, giving Tal lots of trouble in their matches.