by Smyslov

 

I have frequently stated that I regard chess as an art form, where creativity prevails over other factors.

 

The first chess book that I read was Dufresne's self-tutor, published with Lasker's 'Common Sense in Chess' as an appendix.

 

My study of chess was accompanied by a strong attraction to music, and it was probably thanks to this that I became accustomed to thinking of chess as an art, for all the science and sport involved in it.

 

In my opinion, the style of a player should not be formed under the influence of any single great master.

 

Despite the development of chess theory, there is much that remains secret and unexplored in chess.

 

Although he was an outstanding player in his heyday, he was not one of that vanguard of chess thinkers, who blaze new trails and open new chess horizons. A populizer of Steinitz' ideas, Tarrasch made them accessible to ordinary players.

 

No fantasy, however rich, no technique, however masterly, no penetration into the psychology of the opponent, however deep, can make a chess game a work of art, if these qualities do not lead to the main goal - a search for truth.

 

A considerable role in the forming of my style was played by an early attraction to study composition.

 

My fascination for studies proved highly beneficial - it assisted my the development of my aesthetic understanding of chess, and improved my endgame play.

 

The Ruy Lopez occupied a constant place in my opening repertoire. In it is reflected the classical interptetation of the problem of the centre.

 

The name of Alekhine is illuminated by the brilliance of his chess combinations. Alekhine possessed an exceptionally rich chess imagination, and his skill in creating combinative complications is incomparable.

 

In chess, as in life, a man is his own most dangerous opponent.

 

There is no doubt that for Morphy chess was an art, and for chess Morphy was a great artist. His play was captivated by freshness of thought and inexhaustible energy. He played with inspiration, without striving to penetrate into the psychology of the opponent; he played, if one can express it so, 'pure chess'.

on Smyslov

 

If a man may be summed up by a single characteristic, then the most suitable one for Smyslov as a chess player would be - assurance. Not only in his method of play but also in his movements Smyslov gives this impression.  -  Svetoszar Gligoric

 

In whatever he says there is always a tincture of delicate irony. It is not pomposity, but good humour, which perhaps stems from Smyslov's belief that he is above petty human weakness.  -  Svetoszar Gligoric