Chigorin's talent is enormous, and possibly he is a real genius. At times the depth of his ideas can be inaccessible to mere mortals. - Alexander Alekhine.
(Chigorin) was a bundle of nervous energy and he constantly swung his crossed foot back and forth. Speaking only in his native Russian, he was handicapped in getting along with the other masters. - Frank Marshall
Once he fixated on an idea, his theoretical point became more important to him than winning, and this lack of competitive pragmatism prevented him from making it to the top. - Garry Kasparov
Had Chigorin been able to rein in his fantasy on just a few occasions, the world might have had its first Russian champion decades before Alekhine. - Garry Kasparov
In Russia the first player to devote all his life to the game, the man who initiated the habit of adopting a profound approach to chess, was Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin, and we can only speak of the existence of a Russian chess school from this time onward. - Mikhail Botvinnik
The grandiosity of Chigorin's ideas is enchanting: his every move breathes with creative force and an irresistable will to win. - Rudolph Spielmann
Chigorin, a genius of practical play, considers his privilege at every convenient opportunity to challenge the principles of contemporary chess theory. - Wilhelm Steinitz
In difficult positions Chigorin gets very excited, and at times seems quite fierce, sitting at the board, with his black hair brushed back, splendid bright eyes, and flushed face look as if he could see right through the table. When calm, however, he is decidedly handsome, and calculated to beget confidence. - Tournament Book of Hastings 1895