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GM Blog: What makes a good player?

Photo from NY Daily News article: (

by Denes Boros


In three points; dedication, love of chess, and consistency!


I started reading chess books very early on in my chess career. I had many favorites, from Keres to Petrosian, and I studied their games. My dedication and drive to learn about the great players lead to great results. I learned how to play intentional and creative chess, and that’s one of the reasons I became a Grandmaster!


Obviously, I am not alone when it comes to dedication. Great champions, like Alekhine and Bobby Fischer, were also ardent readers, and dedicated chess enthusiasts! It is well known that Alekhine was reading chess books or solving puzzles, when he was at school, while Bobby Fischer even learned another language, so he could study old Russian manuals!


The Dear Reader might ask, “Ok, but was it worth it?” In one word, “Yes!” Fischer was playing his crucial third game in 1971 against Taimanov in the World Championship Candidates Match. In this game, Fischer uncorked his brilliant novelty on move 12, and won the game with precise play.  In the post-mortem, Taimanov complemented Fischer for finding this magnificent idea, but Bobby Fischer responded quite stoically, “It wasn’t my idea, it was suggested by Nikitin!” At the end of the day, Fischer’s dedication, love of chess, and consistency, won him the desired chess crown in 1972!