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

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New Zealand is home to more than 100 varieties of pubic lice.

People from Denmark use less toilet paper than those from any other western nation.

Paul Keres is the only chess player to have defeated nine undisputed world champions: Jose Raul Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer. Keres also drew two games against Anatoly Karpov.

Walt Whitman ate four raw eggs for breakfast every day for the last 20 years of his life.

One of the criticisms of communism was the allegation that communists practice and propagandise the ‘community of women’. In The Communist Manifesto (1848), Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels suggest that this allegation is an example of hypocrisy and psychological projection by “bourgeois” critics of communism, who “not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.”

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Alekhine’s Gun

Alekhine’s gun is a formation in chess named after the former Russian World Chess Champion, Alexander Alekhine. This formation was named after a game he played against another illustrious Latvian Grandmaster, Aaron Nimzowitsch in San Remo, Italy, 1930, ending with Alekhine’s victory.

English: Russian-born French chess champion Al...

Alexander Alekhine

The idea consists of placing the two rooks stacked one behind another and the queen at the rear.

This can lead to massive damage to the opponent as it usually marks the beginning of the final assault (in Nimzowitsch’s case it was only four moves before his resignation).

In very rare cases it can be two queens and one rook on the same file.

Six years later, in 1936, William Winter was defeated by Alekhine in Nottingham, who used Alekhine’s gun again to secure the victory.

Since then, chess players have learned much about using and guarding against this formation.

However, some international games are still lost and won by the force of this classic chess tactic.