There is a lot of discussion of 'style' in many arts, but perhaps the ultimate goal is to go beyond style to a point at which one does everything in one's sphere with the same high level of excellence. To fall short of this means having weak spots which will sooner or later be found out.

Two very disparate sources on the matter:

When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style. — Bruce Lee

I don’t think so. I’m not even sure what, “Fischer’s style,” is or if it exists. A very dear friend, GM Miguel Najdorf, who had strong, very strong, opinions on just about every topic and every subject, delighted in baiting me and drawing me into animated, emotional discussions. He was a passionate man who loved chess very much. He postulated a theory which I’ve thought about often and think he was right. His theory went like this: “Jasser (Miguel would always mispronounce my name in this Spanish way) you know, Bobby had no style.” Such an opening gambit to start a conversation was perfect bait. “You see, when you show me a game of Capablanca, I think, ‘Aha. Very nice. Very smooth. Logical. Beautiful play. Must be a game of Capa!’ Then you show me another game, I think, ‘My God! Who is this bandit playing the white pieces? Look at these reckless, daring sacrifices. And this quiet move as well! Incredible! Down two pieces and he stops to make such a move. And he won! Of course, I realize, this is Tal.’ And another game. ‘I can’t understand what the player is doing. He is taking extraordinary precautions and his opponent isn’t even attacking. Now he has maneuvered his pieces backwards and then to nice squares. He improves his position but has done nothing concrete. My God! The opponent is suffocated and is dead. Of course, that is Petrosian.’ You see Jasser! I recognize style. But you see when I play a game of Bobby, there is no style. Bobby played perfectly. And perfection has no style.” We argued for hours, but in the end I found Miguel’s theory quite convincing.” — Yasser Seirawan


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