Flashy chess players are more fun. People like Tal or Fischer or Polgar, who make shocking sacrifices and relentless attacks, are exciting to watch. But today, on the 105th birthday of Mikhail Botvinnik, we remind ourselves that careful position players not only have their place, but are often the best in the world.
Botvinnik was one of the top chess players for 30 years, from 1933 to 1963, and in 13 of those last 15 years was undisputed world champion of chess. He's generally ranked in the top five or ten players of all time. And while he liked closed games without wild tactical strikes, he could still surprise, being an all-around sort of player.
But why talk about it when you can show it?