I read this quote on Dennis Monokroussos’s blog about a week ago, and found it an interesting way to break things down:
“I divide chess players into six categories. The first ones are the killers. Players who, figuratively speaking, are trying to kill their opponent. The second type is that of the fighters. They try to win with all means, but it’s not necessary to kill. The third type are the sportsmen. For them chess is a sport like any other kind of sport. Number four are the ‘players’ or gamblers. Karpov, for instance, is a typical player. He wants to play any game. These four all have very strong motivation. Then we have two more, number five the artists, for whom not only the result is important, and number six the explorers.”
Yuri Averbakh was the speaker, and is one in a long line of people trying to classify chess players in one way or another. Terms like aggressive, solid, dynamic, and positional seem to float around all the time, while more recently, Lars Bo Hansen introduced the idea of four types of chess players based on how they think at the board: activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatics.
I was never quite sure where I fit into Hansen’s paradigm, and I’m not sure where I fit into Averbakh’s system either … Maybe I should crowdsource my label?