Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik (Russian: Михаи́л Моисе́евич Ботви́нник, pronounced [mʲɪxɐˈil məɪˈsʲejɪvʲɪtɕ bɐˈtvʲinʲnʲɪk]; August 17 [O.S. August 4] 1911 – May 5, 1995) was a Soviet and Russian International 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 professional chess 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 he resisted attempts by Soviet officials to intimidate some of his rivals.
Botvinnik also played a major role in the organization of chess, making a significant contribution to the design of the World Chess Championship system after World War II and becoming a leading member of the coaching system that enabled the Soviet Union to dominate top-class chess during that time. His famous pupils include World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.