What Type of Chess Player are You?

Types of Chess players


A chessboard has 64 squares and millions and billions of moves you can take in each game. Every game of chess is unique and allows you to explore your hidden personality.

Have you ever thought about identifying a behavioral pattern in your game?

We have compiled some questions for you to ponder:

  1. Do you usually score with consistent results while playing in a tournament, or do you swing between extremes- either you play really well or really poorly?
  2. Do you bring the best game when facing opponents whom you personally dislike, or do you tend not to notice your opponent at all?
  3. Do you like playing gambits?
  4. If you are hard-pressed for time, do you tend to miss a tactic or end up moving pieces aimlessly?
  5. Is it a joy to be paired with someone you have crushed in a previous game, or do you feel that your winning odds are higher if you are up against someone you have already beaten once?
  6. Do you feel like smashing something hard or scream out loud when you lose a game?
  7. Do you feel nervous before a game or constantly worry about titles, honors, rankings, prizes while playing?
  8. Are you a good planner, or would you instead trade a good position impulsively for a strong attack that you feel will work?

A chess player is a person of many moods, temperaments, and multiple personality traits.

Chess is truly a game of planned restraint with controlled aggression. It pays to work hard to develop skills that really define you as a chess player, without giving even an ounce of information about your actual behavior. The more hidden your personality traits are, the difficult it is for your opponent to read your game.

But at the same time, when it comes to your opponents, you must know how to read their hidden personality traits as much as you know how to read their game. Making your way into an opponent’s headspace also gives you an idea about their game plan, strengths, and weaknesses. In a game of wit like chess, everyone starts equally, but to be first amongst equals, you must know how to read a game, and well, minds too!

Here are some insights into various types of players that you might encounter as you go along playing Chess.

1.  A Houdini

With a quiet positional play that sometimes seems to end up in nerve-wracking, challenging, stressful struggles for their opponent. A Houdini is like an escape artist who pushes his opponent down with sleek, positional play and forces them to hit back with counterattack or sacrifice. A Houdini is a master of deception and instigates an opponent into attacking. Not one to play good defense, Houdini is a master of calculating and foreseeing the moves and never prevents the opponent’s attack.

A calculating mind with a deathly calm!

Personality TraitsChaotic, Complicated, Adventurous, Unusual

2.  A Brainiac

Brainiacs work their way around the chessboard like Gods! They never seem to be making any calculations and just smoothly make their way through positions based on their intuition. It’ ‘s like they can play the game in their heads before executing it on the board. They might give out the impression that they are bored with the game, but in reality, their minds are working like clockwork!

With their finger on the pulse of the positions, they engage in small combination tactics that are deceptively simple and can be deathly. Brainiacs never overcomplicate and may look like they are drawing a few games.

But look closely, and you will notice that they rarely lose.

Personality TraitsCreative, Curious, Unusual

3.  A Realist

A realist plays like there is nothing to lose.

They tend to play without a plan, truly a nightmare for their chess coaches and crunch situations. They have an unassuming air about them that successfully hides their intentions to win. They don’t plan much and don’t show that they have any opening theory or advantage to beat their opponents. What they have is good positional skills, a clear view of their strengths and limitations, and an even clearer picture of their opponent’s weaknesses. They go for the kill in endgames where they use their opponent’s weaknesses against them.

Being a realist and staying away from overthinking helps them- you practically can’t shake them into making mistakes during high-pressure situations.

Personality TraitsStrategical, Powerful, Thoughtful, Curious

4.  A Methodist

A Methodist chess player tends to put method to every madness. They are passionate about their calculation power and completely believe in chess principles.

After all, to a Methodist, a game of chess is just not a game; it is a combination of mathematical and often scientific – principles that have been proven right over hundreds of years!

Methodists are brilliant attackers, but they don’t play speculatively at all. Only when they believe by assessing and recalculating a move in their overheated supercharged brains, to be absolutely useful, will they go ahead. You can easily spot a Methodist when he is being attacked. They will be taking the experimental route on set principles just to be objectively correct on all fronts.

Personality TraitsThoughtful, dutiful, disciplined, dependable, theoretic, trustworthy.

5.  A Wizard

An exact opposite of the Methodist is a Wizard.

Wizards love attacking games.

They don’t care too much about the objective correctness of the game. Most of the wizards love to follow their whims and often create complications that confuse their opponent. To a Wizard, chess is an art form, and you can not be too strict and stringent with art. Like all chess players, they tend to calculate well, but they have a very quick and casual attitude towards it all, with their intuition and gut taking the better. Wizards are essentially your showmen on the chessboard, bringing in the unusual and spectacular game in a lightning-fast manner.

No slow maneuvering for them!

Personality TraitsCreative, complicated, unusual, experimental, chaotic

6.  A Tactician

Like a real mastermind, a tactician has mastered the art of managing their emotions and bringing their imaginary games to reality on a chessboard. The Tactician is all about the right move, the right attack, the right way at the right time. They typically choose sharp openings and often win with the help of intense calculations. An average person with basic chess knowledge will probably need a pen and paper to understand their combinations that lead to correctly built-up positions.

Tacticians love to over complicate, and their steeled nerves and impeccable calculative accuracy often works for their advantage.

Personality TraitsTactical, strategical, team player, complicated, chaotic, experimental

7.  An Elegant Artist

An Elegant Artist is a natural, well-rounded player who has mastered the art of chess with sheer grit and determination. They are not iconoclasts when it comes to chess rules. They tend to stay within control of everything- their emotions are in check, and they often go with their intuition.

You can spot an Elegant Artist on a chessboard when they seek a fair opening and work their way through healthy positions. They don’t resort to trickery, and when they have an advantage over their opponent, they are almost unbeatable. They certainly know how to remain calm under high pressure and chaos.

An Elegant Artist lets the game unfold with his flair and aptitude, not with flashy moves and undue risks!

Personality TraitsProtective, natural, safe, trustful, introverted, reliable, talented, dependable

8.  A Whiz

If you ever want to see a brilliant sportsman on a chessboard, a Whiz is your best bet.

They are aggressive, going for the kill from the first move type of players, and never give up. They may or may not have maintained emotional control, but they sure love utilizing every opportunity that comes their way. It’s like they want to hit every ball out of the park and relentlessly keep doing it. They don’t believe in proving theories or display a great game, although, with their stellar moves, they often create a spectacular opening, middle, and endgames involuntarily.

Though it’s true for all players, for the Whizzes, winning is everything, and the phrase “it’s just a game” doesn’t really exist!

Personality TraitsSportive, competitive, adventurous, disciplined, powerful, talented

9.  A Master

Masters are pure thoroughbred professionals.

They play strategies out by the book.

They like to keep things under control and are not ones to take undue risks. They don’t even attack an opponent if it’s too risky because they always tend to think long-term. Their forte is long-term, strategic placement keeping in mind the opponent’s weaknesses and no vague or intuitive judgments. For a Master, a game of chess is an exact, calculated mathematical equation.

Personality TraitsThoughtful, theoretic, experimental, safe, strategical, team player

10.   A Dreamer

The Dreamers are chess lovers who are full of unusual and unique ideas. They don’t usually win by outwitting, but by doing something totally unexpected. They are often emotional when it comes to losing, and they are also very moody. Their uniqueness and brilliance shine through due to their creative approach to the game.

Personality TraitsCreative, joyful, emotional, extrovert, curious, unusual, experimental, talkative

11.   A Precisionist

They are the true fighters who have the ability to bring themselves back in the game from the worse positions. They are tricky, pragmatic players who can use positional play brilliantly and win against all odds. They surely know how to put up a good fight, and their nerves and calculating ability comes in handy. They are not early risers, and their hidden talent often comes through in the middle and endgame.

Personality TraitsMethodical, energetic, experimental, tactical, strategical

12.  A Sleeping Giant

Still waters run deep for the Sleepy Giants.

They may seem all peaceful and quiet on the outside, but they are always on to preparing something- like a deep positional squeeze. They are masters of stealth and like to build positional pressure. They shun obvious and direct moves and work in the background while fooling the opponent that they are sleeping.

But once you are in their grip, you will be fortunate to figure out an escape!

Personality TraitsThoughtful, protective, disciplined, reliable, powerful, talented

13.  A Ninja

The Ninja’s are all about controlled aggression.

With their razor-sharp openings, they are real followers of checkmate-in-one, two, or three moves. But they are neither wild nor careless. They have mastered the art of attacking with objective assessment and precise calculation. They will strike to kill for sure, but only where it’s necessary, and they often tend to ignore who their opponent is.

This is done to ensure they stick to their game plan and not get affected by their opponents’ thinking.

Personality TraitsChaotic, unusual, disciplined, tactical, powerful, energetic

14.   A Viking

Think of brutal, muscled Nordic warriors on a chessboard.

Their moves are loud, they don’t like to mess around, and they are absolute bullheads. They just want to hurt the opponent’s king from the first move. They attack ruthlessly and are hardly bothered about losing their pieces and positional advantages. Their all-out aggression and willingness to accept risks make the opponent squirm.

Most of the time, the Vikings give the impression that they are playing with their hearts and not their minds, which could be dangerous since they are emotionally invested. But at the same time, their openness often leads to success. They are not ones to offer draws, and they are just there to out-calculate their opponent with solid, decisive moves.

Personality TraitsExtrovert, talkative, protective, powerful, aggressive, talented, dutiful

15.   A Conqueror

The Conquerors are great fighters.

They thrive on the attack but avoid undue risks.

They are the masters when it comes to managing emotions to increase the intensity of the game for both themselves and their opponents. Deep and profound calculations are always part of their positional play. They are calm and composed and don’t just hunt for a win if it’s just not there. Without being too flamboyant, they are happy to quietly end the game if they feel they can win it that way.

Personality TraitsSportive, brave, protective, dutiful, experimental, introvert, thoughtful, harmonic 

Do you identify with some of the many traits we just shared? Are you a Houdini, a Viking, or a Ninja? Or do you have a combination of some of these traits?

Leave us a comment and let us know!