Aquarius and their strategy

by Dagmar Seifert
2/1/2023 – Most of all grandmasters were born under the sign of Aquarius. Among them romped the legends Taimanov, Eliskases and Sveshnikov. There is also a world champion - Boris Spassky. With Abhimanyu Mishra, we have not only the youngest grandmaster, but we also had Yuri Averbakh, the oldest, who died at the age of one hundred.| Photo: Pixabay

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Aquarius and their strategy

The ruler of this zodiac sign is Uranus, the sudden, the innovator. Uranus likes to surprise (himself if necessary) and invent all sorts of things, from practical trifles to grandiose, revolutionary creations - because he is not only a brilliant thinker, he can actually never stop thinking.

Aquarians are head people, mind players. Of all twelve signs, they are least in danger of sinking into their emotions, because they can always keep their distance and thus, from a distance, maintain an overview. They evade their opponent again and again by completely unexpected moves. In addition, Uranus acts and calculates with frightening speed. Suddenly, that is.

Nick Pert won the British Championships in 2021. But in 2022 it was only second place. However, he scored one point more than the year before, as he reports in the video.

A typical Aquarius as a chess opponent is a challenge, to say the least. No other sign has seen the birth of more grandmasters: over two hundred so far! An army of Aquarian grandmasters! An interesting factor here is that it is not so much the ambition to win at all costs as the urge to explore, the irrepressible pleasure of analysis, that makes them so successful.

The only Austrian who has ever achieved a FIDE rating of over 2700 is, of course, Wassermann, Markus Ragger, *5 February.


Markus Ragger has already created two FritzTrainers for ChessBase. Many fans of the Austrian are eagerly awaiting the latest volumes

The real Aquarius relaxes with thought acrobatics, he always comes up with something new - or he can successfully turn the old upside down. Intellectual penetration is fun for him, researching to the very bottom. His thinking is quite unconventional and easily follows its own paths.

Those born between January 20 and February 18 apparently start tumbling their brains earlier than most of their fellows. It is true that almost all chess greats were introduced to the board in childhood. However, it may be assumed that the American Abhimanyu Mishra, currently just 14 years old and born on February 5, learned the royal game before he could walk. Well, he was two and a half years old when he took the pieces in his paws for the first time. At the age of nine, he became the youngest national champion in the USA, and a year later he won the international title. And at twelve years, four months and 25 days, in June 2021, Abhimanyu Mishra could declare himself the world's youngest grandmaster (replacing Sergey Karjakin, the youngest until then).

Abhimanyu Mishra recorded an Endgame Magic Show with Dr. Karsten Mueller shortly after winning his Grandmaster title. | Photo: David Llada

Of course, Aquarius also compose, and they write chess books. Honorary Grandmaster Rudolf Teschner, *16 February, wrote - among many other books of this kind - the classic: A School of Chess in 40 Hours (of which, by the way, Bobby Fischer said it was 'pretty good').

In 1956, at the 23rd USSR Championship in Leningrad, three Russian Aquarius shared first place. These were the then thirty-year-old Grandmaster Mark Taimanov, * February 7, then the chess legend (and later World Champion 1969 to 1972), nineteen-year-old Boris Spassky, * January 30, and thirty-four-year-old Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh, * February 8.

A photo of Boris Spassky, which appears in his "Frederic's Mates" article. Find the video below.

Much could be said about each of these three men.

About Taimanov, for example - keyword 'inventive Aquarius' - who was not only a successful pianist, a prolific and successful writer but also popularized the Sicilian Taimanov (the Russian grandmaster Yevgeny Sveshnikov, *11 February, who became quite famous as a chess theorist, moved the e-pawn one more square forward and showed that the Sicilian that bears his name is actually quite sound).


About Averbakh that he was the oldest living grandmaster so far; He died in May 2022 at the age of one hundred. He declared that he never wanted to become a world champion: He was more a researcher than a fighter. A good Aquarius characteristic.

Yuri Averbakh died at the age of 100. The article on his centenary can be found here. | Photo: Averbakh at the USA vs. USSR match, New York City, 1954 (via D. Griffith)

Finally, we probably don't need to say much about the great Spassky; even non-chess players know him. He failed after a grandiose career not at all because of an Aquarius. But because of a player born in Pisces, as irregular, unpredictable and ingenious as possible. But that's another story, we'll get to that next time ...

Famous Aquarius chess personalities + birthdays:

Prusikin, Michael - 19 January 1978
Rodshtein, Maxim - 19 January 1989
Smirin, Ilia - 21 January 1968
Pert, Nicholas - 22 January 1981
Bacrot, Étienne - 22 January 1983
Mecking, Henrique - 23 January 1952
Yakubboev, Nodirbek - 23 January 2002
Wahls, Matthias - 25 January 1968
Bok, Benjamin - 25 January 1995
Ólafsson, Friðrik - 26 January 1935
Sarana, Alexey - 26 January 2000
Sargsyan, Shant - 27 January 2002
Piket, Jeroen - 27 January 1969
Smirnov, Anton - 28 January 2001
Dlugy, Maxim - 29 January 1966
Spassky, Boris V. - 30 January 1937
Dreev, Aleksey - 30 January 1969
Ju Wenjun - 31 January 1991
Kalinitschew, Sergey - 3 February 1956
Vitiugov, Nikita - 4 February 1987
Gunina, Valentina - 4 February 1989
Ragger, Markus - 5 February 1988
Andreikin, Dmitry - 5 February 1990
Tabatabaei, M. Amin - 5 February 2001
Mishra, Abhimanyu - 5 February 2009
Taimanov, Mark - 7 February 1926
Averbakh, Yuri L. - 8 February 1922
Gipslis, Aivars - 8 February 1937
Gulko, Boris - 9 February 1947
Avrukh, Boris - 10 February 1978
Sveshnikov, Evgeny - 11 February 1950
Jussupow, Artur - 13 February 1960
Tiviakov, Sergei - 14 February 1973
Eliskases, Erich - 15 February 1913
Fridman, Daniel - 15 February 1976
Teschner, Rudolf - 16 February 1922
Fedoseev, Vladimir - 16 February 1995


Dagmar Seifert is a North German journalist, author and astrologer. She loves chess, but is by no means an overly good player. After all, she was the one who taught ChessBase staff member Arne Kähler how to move the pieces, when he was six years old.