MOSCOW — Mikhail M. Botvinnik, a three-time world chess champion who held that title off and on through three decades, died Friday, the Russian Chess Federation said. He was 83.
Botvinnik, onetime instructor of Garry Kasparov, died at his Moscow home, according to a chess federation official who declined to be identified. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Botvinnik, an electrical engineer who was not afraid of differing with Soviet Central Committee policy, was a master strategist who applied his scientific approach to the game and devised new methods of chess strategy and training. He held the world title for 13 years (from 1948 to 1957, from 1958 to 1960 and won it for the final time at the age of 49 in 1961).
One of his pupils was Kasparov, who went on to become the highest-rated player of all time. When Kasparov was 11, Botvinnik wrote: "In the hands of this young man lies the future of chess."