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The Sinquefield Chess Generation – Young Guns at Work!


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The Sinquefield Chess Generation – Young Guns at Work!

To write proper “characteristics”, I had to go over hundreds of games of each player. I wanted to

learn what they liked and disliked, how they reacted in different situations, what was their

preferred way of playing, how they handled themselves. During the first “scan”, I went relatively

quickly over the games, writing down the impression from each game. This is what Botvinnik did

when analyzing Bronstein’s play before their match in 1951. I continued with the scan until the

moment when I felt that I had “understood” the player. Then I returned to the games that were

most relevant for their “characteristics” and I analyzed them deeply. Alex Colovic 

– ISBN 9789464201307

– 274 pages.

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While we were discussing the idea of the book, now over some good food, I remembered that I had

always liked to analyze players’ styles and preferences as Botvinnik did in his preparations. When his

secret notebooks were published, I was fascinated with how he managed to extract precise characteristics

based on concrete examples. As a matter of fact, Botvinnik also called these analyses “characteristics”.

Here is an example of what he thought about Tal’s play prior to the match in 1960 (my translation from

Russian from the book “Botvinnik – Tal, Return Match”): “The general tendency – to obtain positional

advantage by lively play rather than long maneuvering”.


Has Botvinnik’s way of analysis become a lost art? Now I had a chance to do it myself. By the time

dessert came, we had agreed on the concept. Some days later, I realized with horror the enormity of the

task that I had taken upon for myself. It took me a year and a half to complete the analytical work.

The main difficulty was that sometimes, the initial impression of a “characteristic” based on a game was

not exactly what I thought it was, as the deeper analysis unearthed details that changed the picture. In

such cases, I had to discard those examples and either look for others, or to conclude that the

“characteristic” was not clear enough to form part of the player’s profile.


Most of the players in this book turned 20 in 2020. I intended to analyze their styles while they were still

juniors and therefore, the latest games I consulted were from

early 2020.

Sample Pages



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