It’s quite common for players to typecast themselves or others as ‘positional players’, ‘attacking players’ or such like. But this is often a grave mistake.

Players who are too one sided expose themselves to the possibility that their opponents will steer the game toward positions which don’t suit them. And those who typecast an unexpectedly versatile opponent can be in for a nasty shock.

In the following game, from the FIDE World Cup in 1982, Anatoly Karpov shows a surprisingly sharp side to his game and brings off a brilliant win. And I can’t help but think that Yasser Seirawan might have developed his pieces more quickly had he been playing Mikhail Tal.