Mad Scientist

Positional, Solid, Calculating, Emotional

Mad Scientists believe in justice and principles in chess, and use passion and calculating ability to prove their beliefs. The Mad Scientist is capable of carrying out brilliant attacks, but will only do so when he believes it is the right way – he won’t normally play speculatively. More often that not the Mad Scientist is the one facing an attack, and he is willing to do that if he believes the attack is not objectively correct. Mad Scientists are also experimenters, trying different ways to expand the horizons in chess.

“Unfortunately, many regard the critic as an enemy, instead of seeing him as a guide to the truth.” – Wilhelm Steinitz

Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900), the first World Champion, was a Mad Scientist. Beginning as an attacking player specializing in gambits (as was the style at the time), Steinitz eventually realized that chess obeys certain rules and principles, and that a player – regardless of how brilliant – could not circumvent those rules and force through a winning combination if his game was not well-founded. Steinitz’s style changed into a positional and defensive one, in which he often accepted extremely passive positions to defend his theories, but also showed that brilliant results could be produced. His contemporaries initially didn’t understand his play, seeing it as bizarre or even cowardly, but later his principles were accepted, and he is regarded as the father of modern chess theory.

See other: Chess Personalities


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