3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

“How can I lose to such an idiot?”

– A shout from chess master Aaron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935)

Aaron Nimzowitsch was perhaps one of the most influential grandmasters(GM) in modern chess history—particularly for the advocating of hyper-modernism.

Hyper modernism in chess was based on the core principle that the centre of the board didn’t necessarily have to be held by pawns, a belief that spawned perhaps some of the more well-known openings in chess (but uncommon and no understood at sub-1400 ELO).

These include but are not limited to:

The King’s Indian Defence, The Queen’s’ Indian Defence, Catalan Opening, King’s Indian Attack, Alekhine’s Defence, Modern Defence and the Nimzo-Indian Defence.

The Queen’s Indian Defence. An example of a hypermodern position as played by black.

The Hypermodern School of Thought never achieved a champion in the form of the world title, but hypermodern players were considered some of the strongest players in chess history.

To this date, Aaron Nimzowitsch is considered one of the most important players and writer’s in chess history. When his entreaties on hypermodernism were first published, they flew in the face of chess orthodoxy in the nineteenth century. Nimzowitsch is considered to be so influential, the terminology he coined for strategic principles—such as the much hated, or the tactic I most hate, the ‘fianchetto’ (Real Time Strategy players may refer to it as turtling up), is still in use today.

Here’s a description of his personality by GM Jan Hein Donner which called him:

“A man who was too much of an artist to be able to prove he was right, and who was regarded as something of a madman in his time. He would be understood only long after his death.”

The King’s Indian Defence as played by black. The black bishop placed on g7 on the long diagonal is an example of a Fianchetto position.

Many of you would not know of this, but when I was younger, I briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a grandmaster. Although I was never officially graded, I estimated my ELO to be somewhere between 1500-1600 points, which would put me somewhere in the top ten percent of players. As a point of comparison, the current reigning champion – Magus Carlsen ELO peaked at 2882 points.

In the end, in one of those moments where I contemplated it more seriously, I decided that chess is more about memorisation, than it is about tactical skill. The average GM memorises hundreds of games and I didn’t have that sought of ability in me.


“How can I lose to such an idiot?”

That, however, didn’t mean I was unable to sympathise with him in the moment. In life, it is very easy to lose yourself and become conflated with a sense of superiority. This quote is a reminder that no matter how intelligent we are—or how well respected, we are all prone to mistakes – and I think it’s important tor remember that.


Written In response to the 3-day Quote Challenge (Day 1)

Nominated by the lovely Ms. Fofo at Hush Speak Softly.

I nominate the following bloggers for the 3-day quote challenge:

Soph : A Little bit of Everything

Ngobesing Romanus:  Your Success Inspirer

Ms Ambitchious: The Goddess 1996

Please check out the amazing people above!

If you accept, post 1-3 quotes for 3 consecutive days, and nominate 3 fellow bloggers to do the same each day



2 thoughts on “3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

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