Grinders are players with an unassuming style that can hide just how intent they are on winning. They don’t need to know opening theory to beat you. They don’t need to have an advantage to beat you. They don’t even need to have an equal position to beat you. Grinders have good positional skills, and are usually most at home in endgames. They are attuned to their opponents’ weaknesses which they use against them. On the other hand, they often know their own strengths and limitations pretty objectively, and will make good practical decisions. It’s hard to take advantage of a Grinder’s weaknesses, and you won’t have much luck getting errors out of them by applying pressure.
“The boy doesn’t have a clue about chess, and there’s no future at all for him in this profession.” – Mikhail Botvinnik, on Anatoly Karpov
Anatoly Karpov (born 1951), the twelfth World Champion and superb positional player, is one of the most successful Grinders of all time. Not only did he hold the world title for 10 years, but in order to prove himself after Fischer disappeared, he played in as many tournaments as he could and amassed the most impressive win total and tournament resume of any player in history. During his prime, Karpov was famous for declining draws in worse positions, confident that he would play well enough to never lose them – all while giving his opponents ample opportunity to blow the game as they got ground down by the long game and his intense will to win.
Professionals are strategists who place a high value on the exactness of their game and rarely let their emotions get out of hand. Professionals like to keep things under control – they don’t like to take undue risks, either by attacking the opponent or allowing themselves to be attacked. Instead, Professionals like to exploit long-term weaknesses. While they deal with long-term strategic and positional factors, they don’t rely on vague, intuitive judgements – for the Professional, chess is an exact, calculated science.
“Yes, I have played a blitz game once. It was on a train, in 1929.” – Mikhail Botvinnik
Mikhail Botvinnik, the sixth world champion, was a clear example of the Professional. Botvinnik was the first top player to develop in the Soviet Union, and was thus considered to be the patriarch of Soviet chess. Botvinnik was one of the first to take a professional approach to preparing for competitions, which included a big emphasis on physical exercise, opening preparation, and deep analysis of his own and his opponent’s games. Botvinnik took chess very seriously, but ironically considered himself not to be a full chess professional and worked as an engineer as well.
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.”