I have many role models in chess, but there's only one player that has never failed to give me total joy and artistic satisfaction when I look at his games, and that is Morozevich.
I was thinking about some of his games today, when I realized why I like his ideas so much more compared to other players. Moro's ideas have punchlines.
At the elite level today, so many of the novelties are very subtle. Kramnik, for example, is probably one of the best analysts living--the ideas coming out of his lab are impeccable, but they are very subtle and deep. I feel so much of chess by the elite today is about nuances, and nuances within nuances, with only the occasional revolutionary innovation. Nuances are fascinating, don't get me wrong, but Moro's ideas are different.
I find that Moro's ideas, though wonderfully bizarre and different on the outside, always mask some killer punchline, some beautiful blow that steers the game towards alien-looking waters, and many times a winning game. Here are some examples off the top of my head:
There are countless more, each one unique and wonderfully bizarre. No Berlins, no QGDs, no QGAs...just oldschool innovation, each with their own punchline. Why then, is Moro no longer thriving at the top? The first is that is interest has gone on to other things, but the second reason is more sad; most of his ideas, though stunning, cannot survive long.
The problem with having a clear punchline in today's chess world is that it is too simple to find the antidote. Once the trick is revealed, the whole idea loses its splendor, but perhaps the most beautiful ideas are never meant to be everlasting.