One of my favorite chess quotes is the Indian proverb “Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe.”
Each great player of the game thrives according to his predilections.
Bobby Fischer, more than anyone of his time, was obsessed with certainty. He combed libraries, documents and books to uncover the hidden truths of his beloved game, in addition to crunching more hours of original analysis than anyone could imagine.
His great knowledge typically helped him take control of the board with crushing effect. He hated the unknown and tended to falter in unclear chessboard situations, particularly in his early encounters with Boris Spassky.
Spassky, on the other hand, was often happy to wing it. He thought that a fresh head was better than a burdened one — and he proved it time and again.
He described himself as lazy. For Spassky, a chess game could be both a celebration and an adventure.
Hikaru Nakamura is more a scion of the Russian than his American forebear. His credo: “You are not going to live forever, so every game I try to do something new and creative. The main thing in chess is to enjoy and play exciting games.”