Along the way, I have met and mingled with thousands of chess players from around the world. All of them seem to have one or two chess heroes, and I have always found the reasons why fascinating. And, just to be clear, although many chess heroes are GMs or world champions past or present, many aren’t; sometimes, it’s just plain ole dad.
As my loyal readers will already know, my personal chess hero is Alexander Alekhine. I greatly enjoy his razor-sharp tactics, his attacking style, his ‘never give up’ attitude, and the rich history of his personal life. The man was definitely interesting, to say the least.
I’m sure many of you out there would love to pick Fischer as a chess hero, but have conflicting feelings because of the way the man acted. While this is logical, I try to separate the chess from someone’s off-board actions. For this reason, Fischer is also a chess hero of mine. Talk about a powerful player! If one can get past the fact that he was unlikable as a person, one can enjoy his chess fully.
Sometimes, other players get into the limelight and are more likely to be heroes because of it. Jennifer Shahade, for instance, and all she does for women in chess and promotion of the game. Or Emory Tate, the man known for losing to experts and scalping GMs. Or Yasser Seirawan, or Andrew Martin, or Kasparov, or the ever-popular and entertaining Roman Dzindzichashvili, known for his stellar chess videos and outspoken manner.
But maybe your chess hero is someone entirely different from the normal ones. Maybe it’s dad, who taught you how to play. Maybe it’s a candidate master down at the club who helps you with chess opening lines. Maybe it’s a lesser known but very powerful master of the past like Keres, Reshevsky, or Fine.
No matter who you are or what level chess you play, you likely have a chess hero of some sort. What do you enjoy so much about your hero? Have you ever met him or her? Is that even possible? How does your hero influence your chess play? Do you have more than one?
Cheers, and thanks for reading.