Yuri_AverbakhYuri Averbakh, Russian GM, author, endgame expert and currently the world’s oldest living GM at 93 (!), revealed in a 1997 interview in New in Chess that he placed chess players into 6 categories.

Here they are with his description of each and the names of some famous examples (as given by Yuri).

  1. The Killers – “players who are, figuratively speaking, trying to kill their opponent. As a rule, the main definition of a killer is a man who was raised without a father.”
    1. Fischer
    2. Botvinnik
    3. Korchnoi
  2. The Fighters – “They try to win with all means, but it’s not necessary to kill. ”
    1. Kasparov
    2. Bronstein (“He tries to pose as an artist. Maybe he has something of the artist but his main strength is that of the fighter.”)
  3. The Sportsmen – “For them chess is a sport like any other kind of sport. They are normal people, but when they play it is for them just like any other sport.”
    1. Spassky
    2. Keres
    3. Capablanca
  4. The Gamblers – “He wants to play any game.”
    1. Karpov
  5. The Artist – “For whom not only the result is important.”
    1. Simagin
    2. Rossolimo
    3. Zukertort
  6. The Expolorer
    1. Averbakh
    2. Nimzowitsch
    3. Rubinstein
    4. Fine

” Of course, not everyone fits just in one category. For instance, Tal had something of both the fighter and the artist. Karpov and Kasparov also have some killer characteristics, but not as strongly as Botvinnik.”

9 thoughts on “The 6 Types of Chess Player – Which one are you?”

  • Lenin says :

    I Guess Tal was the owner of the category Gambler, his results were those from an artist or a fighter but, a true gambler everytime.!

  • joel masheke says :

    4 me I think its the best of both world’s In my opinion I want to master all styles of play I take chess very seriously bt kasparov once said “don’t take chess to seriously its jst a game ” I dnt think he ment dnt care bt just dnt take it to seriously it might bloke ur mind frm the boerd if u put ur emotions 1st u won’t play ur best chess I knew that the hard way rely though what an trying to say is that we all have s little bit of as he put it killer in am sure there cones a point in every chess carerea atlesst 1 game is ‘ personal and just some games were we put in our best even even to point were we never knew we could reach and that 4 many iis s turninhlg point in there chess life am s big fan of yuri bt on this one I dnt agree evn an atskive player cn b defensive dnt limit yourself Chess is nt a game we are nt supposed to be put in categories or types we chess players are all a limited edtion of only one. chess is like a proffesion the more u know about ursself the more succesful in what u r doing u will become

  • Ron Rafol Doc says :

    How about today’s New generation of players? what category they belong..?

  • Syamsi says :

    I think I’m a sportsman and Killer

  • Raphael says :


  • Freddy Philip says :

    Yes, play with the a Winning spirit & focus of every move you play & every move your Opponent playing.

    So, my catogery is the “Good Fighter!”
    I’m a Good Fighter!!!
    “The Fighters”

  • Wildepotamo says :

    Where Misha Tal is?

  • Yyedprior says :

    I think I am an Explorer.

  • Gustavo Aguiar Rocha da Silva says :

    Why does GM Averbakh classifies Karpov as a “gambler”? And where would him put Petrosian? Or Kholmov? Or Nezhmetdinov?

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