The Crown is Heavy

The Crown is Heavy

Dec 16, 2013, 9:33 AM |

This an article about "chess styles".

Immediately after Carlsen wrested the World Championship Crown from Anand, there followed demonstrative declarations of this new era in chess where the romantic style was 'dead and buried' never to rear it's ugly head again. We chessplayers were headed to a world of automatons where we would emulate machines and play for sterile, dry positions bereft of the beauty, creativity and artistry that is ever present in any random position in chess.

I've always believed that chess, like life, has the capacity to accommodate and reflect a wide range of personalities and temperaments, and that any and all can be employed successfully contingent on level of competency. Generally one's chess style reflects one's temperament and personality.

In my development as a chessplayer I studied carefully the games of

• Robert James Fischer

• Paul Morphy

• David Bronstein

• Alexander Alekhine

• Paul Keres

Sure I studied others (the other side), but this quintet really reflected my personality and outlook on life and thus in chess style. As mankind evolves, chess becomes more and more, a game requiring technical competency, but this isn't absolute. There is no need to sacrifice the human element. Style is style and ALL is good!

Carlsen's current "minimalist" approach to the game at times makes him myopic to other aspects of the game, such that he often misses opportunities to create beauty, artistry; blowing right past these sign posts in pursuit of the inevitable 'grind' he so cherishes. I KNOW Carlsen is fully capable of playing more dynamic chess and doing it with the best of them; but for now he chooses a different road.

I say all this to say this:

Carlsen will come back to the chess universe - before it comes to him.