[ltr]Every chess player has a distinct style, but among a few of the world’s best, there are patterns in common. The above maps by Seth Kadish, show where notable players have moved their pieces most frequently during their careers. The players tend to use a chevron in the center of the board, two central squares supported from behind by the two squares outwardly diagonal from those. In a typical game, this positioning would take the form of a pawn in the center supported by a knight. The central squares that are a knight’s move distant are similarly shaded in the maps, showing that players often use these squares in conjunction. The advantage of the player with the white pieces is also clear from the maps, as the masters moved their pieces into the opponent’s half the board much less frequently when playing with black.
The group here includes Wilhelm Steinitz, the Austrian champion who established the modern style of play in the nineteenth century, as well as contemporary players, such as Magnus Carlsen, who at 23 is regarded by some as the best player in history. Some differences in style among these players are visible in the maps. Bobby Fischer’s rival Boris Spassky, for example, played defensively as black. Most of this group seems to have preferred queen’s pawn openings to king’s pawn openings as white, with the exception of Steinitz who seemed to use both more or less equally.[/ltr]