Historama, October 31

The burial of the Soviet Union’s most controversial leader and the birth of a renowned chess champion made this day in Russian history.

­Stalin gets final rest

Today in 1961, Josef Stalin’s embalmed body was finally buried in the walls of the Kremlin.

It had been on public display for the previous eight years in a mausoleum on Red Square.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev took the decision to remove the former leader’s body as part of his de-Stalinization campaign.

The removal was carried out in secret to avert a possible public outcry.

Read more on this event in Russian history

Chess champion dies a winner

Today is the birthday of one of the greatest chess players of all times, Aleksandr Alyokhin.

Alyokhin was one of the founders of the Soviet school of chess, and he became the fourth world chess champion by defeating Capablanca, who had been widely considered invincible.

The grand master played over 1,300 matches and lost only 65 of them. In March 1946, he was challenged by then-Soviet champion Mikhail Botvinnik.

The match, however, never took place – Alyokhin died undefeated.

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