Attacking, Solid, Calculating, Calm
Masterminds seek to master both their own emotions and to impose their reality on the chessboard. A Mastermind always seeks the right move, and believes that attacking is the right way. Typically choosing sharp openings, Masterminds win with fantastically deep calculations, producing combinations which are deeply hidden in correctly built-up positions. Masterminds thrive in complicated positions, where their accurate calculating ability and iron nerves give them the advantage.
“Through chess I developed my character. Chess first of all teaches you to be objective. You can become a big master in chess only if you see your mistakes and short-comings. Exactly the same as in life itself.” – Alexander Alekhine
Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946), the fourth world champion, was a true Mastermind. One of the greatest attacking players ever, Alekhine could produce spectacular combinations from positions which seemed to promise no such thing. His calculation ability was phenomenal, and his combinations often included deadly and unexpected surprises at the end of a series of obvious moves: the famous “sting of the scorpion’s tail”. Most important was his ability to build up an attacking position and create complications without taking undue risks himself. Alekhine held the world championship from 1927 until 1935, when he lost a match to the Dutch Grandmaster Max Euwe, and then from 1937 (after beating Euwe in the return match) until his death in 1946.
See other: Chess Personalities