Game and skills analysis Maxim Chaplygin (RUS)

Thanks to Felix pointing me to this talented player. As for cadets I put a bit more effort into the analysis. Nevertheless: The following observations are of course my personal view and do not claim to be the “truth”!

Here comes Maxim Chaplygin (RUS):


  • very good footwork
  • nice and versatile twiddling of the bat especially making good use of pimples in sticky rubber and pushing stop balls back with heavy chop into the backhand side of the attacker making it difficult for him to get in with a first fast topspin
  • very good and choppy backhand defence
  • side spinny forehand defence can be a good change when achieving to get it back low enough
  • good variety of forehand and backhand serves
  • occasionally achieves deceptive “floats” when defending with his forehand making the attacker think the ball has loads of spin and hitting it far off the table.


  • generally going to fast to far away from the table. He often gets problems with slow spinny and very short topspins because he is too far away from the table.
  • often returning forehand defence too high
  • side spin forehand defence too often placed to forehand side or middle of the table, should go to backhand side occasionally, too.
  • moves to often to his forehand side to push with the backhand without real need for it. Thus giving away chances to attack with his forehand.
  • forehand topspins very consitent and spinny but not fast enough to occasionally directly win the point with it. Most attackers can easily block it back.
  • often returning serves into his backhand too high (mostly with the pimples)
  • occasionally pushing the ball too predictably always down the backhand side of the opponent (when right-handed)


  • try to stay closer to the table thus giving the opponent less time to react when defending
  • practise returning serves into his backhand more consistently low and place them pricesly into different places on the opponents side.
  • just push with backhand side when ball is in backhand side or middle of the table not from forehand side. Try to get to the habit of attacking every long push into his forehand as do the better high level defenders.
  • try to return slow and spinny topspins down his forehand with long pimples. The return will be loaded with backspin and cause a lot of problems to many attackers.
  • practise aggressive push balls right after the bounce with backhand long pimple rubber down the forehand side of the attacker when he is placing himself rather into his backhand or middle of the table in order to attack with his forehand.
  • practise this (very effective, but not often used by defenders!): When confronted with a push ball into the forehand side, use long pimples, put blade upright down and aggressively push it once hard down the forehand side and as a variation turning the wrist in the last second and pushing it hard down the backhand. This will cause a lot of trouble to most players due to surprise effect and unusual bounce of the ball!
  • try to practise either backhand topspin on pushes with pimples in or “pushlifting” the ball fast down the forehand side with the long pimples.
  • practise counterspinning topspins into his forehand ideally with heavy side spin as a variation to always defending only with forehand.
  • should also learn to block with his backhand side when confronted with with slow topspins down his backhand in a predictable manner like in the cadet final. One has to generally work on skills of disrupting the rhythm of attackers who are good in spin / push / spin / push – tactics as Polansky did in a very clever manner.