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Lucena
06-04-2004, 03:33 PM
Who was/is the greatest chessplayer? I think Fischer was, personally. I think Capablanca runs a close second, then Alekhine. And no, no self-nominations please!

Paul S
06-04-2004, 03:52 PM
I give my vote to Bobby Fischer.

While his behaviour/sociability leaves a lot to be desired, as far as chess ability goes, he is IMHO the number one!

Garvinator
06-04-2004, 04:13 PM
can i nominate gareth? ;) as for a real answer, im not sure, but i would say kasparov, but i dont think anyone can accurately measure across different periods.

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 04:45 PM
can i nominate gareth? ;) as for a real answer, im not sure, but i would say kasparov, but i dont think anyone can accurately measure across different periods.
Jeff Sonas attempted this on his chessmetrics web page.
As far as I recall Fischer had the highest ever "chessmetric rating" along with Capablanca of 2921. Kasparov highest was "only" 2899.
The chessmetric rating also incorporates a SD value.
For their above peaks the SD' were 51 for Fischer, 61 for Capablanca and 48 for Kasparov.

Garvinator
06-04-2004, 05:21 PM
Jeff Sonas attempted this on his chessmetrics web page.
As far as I recall Fischer had the highest ever "chessmetric rating" along with Capablanca of 2921. Kasparov highest was "only" 2899.
The chessmetric rating also incorporates a SD value.
For their above peaks the SD' were 51 for Fischer, 61 for Capablanca and 48 for Kasparov.
and we all know that stats and numbers always tell the full story ;) :whistle: :hmm:

jeffrei
06-04-2004, 05:43 PM
My top four human players of all time are:

1st Garry Kasparov
=2nd Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand
4th Peter Leko

I think it's important to understand how much chess has changed in the last 15 years, what with Chessbase and Fritz, and all that this entails. With this in mind it's not surprising that Kasparov is ahead of the game - I mean, Kasparov practically invented the game. And I know it might seem a bit strange to some that Leko is up so high. Well, we'll see.

/jef

arosar
06-04-2004, 05:54 PM
Ow c'mon! This has to be the most unimaginative, unoriginal, most boring thread ever!

AR

Trent Parker
06-04-2004, 05:57 PM
Best chess player of all time Kasparov followed by Fischer then Capa.
Best chess MIND of all time Fischer then Kasparov.

I think Fischer's behavioural traits would rob him of best player.

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 06:23 PM
My top four human players of all time are:

1st Garry Kasparov
=2nd Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand
4th Peter Leko

I think it's important to understand how much chess has changed in the last 15 years, what with Chessbase and Fritz, and all that this entails. With this in mind it's not surprising that Kasparov is ahead of the game - I mean, Kasparov practically invented the game. And I know it might seem a bit strange to some that Leko is up so high. Well, we'll see.

/jef
I find it amazing you have listed 4 current players and disregarded any of the past greats.

Perhaps it is just a reflection of you age and lack of appreciation of their talents.

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 06:24 PM
Ow c'mon! This has to be the most unimaginative, unoriginal, most boring thread ever!

AR
No one is forcing you to contribute. :hand:

Oh thats right you havent. :whistle:

arosar
06-04-2004, 06:26 PM
I reckon you are the greatest of all time Reverend Bill, King William, Defender of the Faith. Happy?

AR

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 06:31 PM
I reckon you are the greatest of all time Reverend Bill, King William, Defender of the Faith. Happy?
No need to act like a complete goose AR.

1min_grandmaster
06-04-2004, 06:56 PM
To answer the Q of the thread, I guess you have to think about what is the definition of the greatest player? Do we mean at their peak? Or for a 3 year span, etc? I will take it as the best player at their peak.

It's hard to compare over the different eras, because more recent players obviously have a better understanding of opening theory. This allows them to play better chess even though they are not really "greater". But given the chance to learn, it's possible that the earlier players could have played better.

Ok, so to ignore the opening theory knowledge part of the game, my opinion is that Fischer was the best player. He is I think the 'purest' chess player. But the other notable possibilities would be: Capablanca, Kasparov and Morphy. Capa was occasionally unsound tactically (that's why Alekhine beat him). I think Kasparov's opening preparation helps him a lot. Morphy perhaps could have been the greatest had he played more.

skip to my lou
06-04-2004, 06:57 PM
Morphy, Pillsbury

Rapid/Blitz: Anand

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 07:01 PM
Morphy, Pillsbury

Rapid/Blitz: Anand
Fischer would have wiped the floor with Anand.

Leko is quoted as saying he could hardly draw a blitz game against Fischer let alone win and this was post 1992. Judith Polgar made a similar remark. Fischer at Blitz in 72 was virtually unbeatable.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2004, 08:21 PM
Sonas' approach only talks about greatness relative to one's contemporaries. If there was enough data it might be that, say, Philidor had a rating of 3100 but that means nothing. It is easier to be far ahead of your peers when the development of theory and analysis is so primitive and hence your peers aren't really all that good.

It is not just opening theory that has improved out of sight, it is also tactics and positional play. John Nunn did an analysis of this that showed that, by and large, top games in the 19th century were tactically utter rubbish by today's standards. So the idea that, say, Morphy would crush everyone on the scene today if he just had Kasparov's knowledge of opening theory seems unconvincing to me.

And you can say that if he had the modern understanding of everything else as well he would be up there, but that's really getting a bit ridiculous, and I'm not sure if he'd be any better than many others from history geared up with the same knowledge anyway.

So if we're going to keep this to actual objective strength of play at a player's best, I don't think anyone outside the last 50 years has any real claim and my vote would go to Kasparov (at his peak, which IMHO was several years back) followed by (in some order) Fischer, Kramnik and Karpov. That's even though I enjoy and feel I learn more from Capa's games than any of this modern mob.

In other words I agree with jeffrei's basic line of argument, but I'm just being a bit more conservative about it.

As has been pointed out, a lot depends on how you define "greatness".

Alan Shore
06-04-2004, 09:05 PM
1. Lasker (his games are pure genius)

2. Morphy (a brilliant imaginative player who pioneered the importance of piece development)

3. Kasparov (incredible mental tenacity and ability)


It's a shame older generation players seem to be dismissed so easily, when one thinks they had no access to computers or any resources of the magnitude available in the present day. I also have great respect for these players who did not just live and breathe chess but had a broader involvement in the world - Lasker was a mathematics professor, Morphy a lawyer, Euwe and others too had other professions.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2004, 09:17 PM
It's a shame older generation players seem to be dismissed so easily, when one thinks they had no access to computers or any resources of the magnitude available in the present day.

That's a part of why they're being dismissed. I think a lot of this is more an argument about what "greatest" actually means.


I also have great respect for these players who did not just live and breathe chess but had a broader involvement in the world - Lasker was a mathematics professor, Morphy a lawyer, Euwe and others too had other professions.

Me too, but that has nothing to do with their chess ability.

I'm glad someone mentioned Lasker. One thing modern chess seems a bit short of is great swindlers.

eclectic
06-04-2004, 09:20 PM
Fischer would have wiped the floor with Anand.

Leko is quoted as saying he could hardly draw a blitz game against Fischer let alone win and this was post 1992. Judith Polgar made a similar remark. Fischer at Blitz in 72 was virtually unbeatable.
Bill,

You are right there.

Wasn't it the Herceg-Novi 5 minute tournament of 1970 against 11 of his peers (?) where he got 19 or 19 1/2 out 22 ?

What's more he was able to recite the moves of all his games verbatim, or so the story goes.

But then again, wasn't it Fischer who said that blitz kills your ideas ?

I would be interested to know what he thinks about 1 minute games.

:hmm:

eclectic

Machiavelli
06-04-2004, 09:43 PM
The greatest player of all time is Tigran Petrosian, followed by Mikhail Tal.

I can't believe that nobody has suggested these two players!

skip to my lou
06-04-2004, 09:50 PM
Fischer would have wiped the floor with Anand.

Leko is quoted as saying he could hardly draw a blitz game against Fischer let alone win and this was post 1992. Judith Polgar made a similar remark. Fischer at Blitz in 72 was virtually unbeatable.

The thread says, who "is/was" best, not who "would have been" best.

eclectic
06-04-2004, 09:52 PM
The greatest player of all time is Tigran Petrosian, followed by Mikhail Tal.

I can't believe that nobody has suggested these two players!
Machiavelli,

Imagine if they had met in a World Championship match instead of being challengers to Botvinnik.

If the rematch clause had been scrapped before the Botvinnik-Tal match then perhaps such an encounter might have occurred.

eclectic

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 09:54 PM
Bill,

You are right there.

Wasn't it the Herceg-Novi 5 minute tournament of 1970 against 11 of his peers (?) where he got 19 or 19 1/2 out 22 ?
Yes 19/22. Fischer won 17, drew 4 and lost 1(to Korchnoi), Tal was second with 14.5 and Korchnoi third on 14.


What's more he was able to recite the moves of all his games verbatim, or so the story goes.
That is true.


But then again, wasn't it Fischer who said that blitz kills your ideas ?
Yes.
Imagine how strong he would have been if he hadn't played blitz. ;)

skip to my lou
06-04-2004, 09:55 PM
Sonas' approach only talks about greatness relative to one's contemporaries. If there was enough data it might be that, say, Philidor had a rating of 3100 but that means nothing. It is easier to be far ahead of your peers when the development of theory and analysis is so primitive and hence your peers aren't really all that good.

It is not just opening theory that has improved out of sight, it is also tactics and positional play. John Nunn did an analysis of this that showed that, by and large, top games in the 19th century were tactically utter rubbish by today's standards. So the idea that, say, Morphy would crush everyone on the scene today if he just had Kasparov's knowledge of opening theory seems unconvincing to me.

And you can say that if he had the modern understanding of everything else as well he would be up there, but that's really getting a bit ridiculous, and I'm not sure if he'd be any better than many others from history geared up with the same knowledge anyway.

So if we're going to keep this to actual objective strength of play at a player's best, I don't think anyone outside the last 50 years has any real claim and my vote would go to Kasparov (at his peak, which IMHO was several years back) followed by (in some order) Fischer, Kramnik and Karpov. That's even though I enjoy and feel I learn more from Capa's games than any of this modern mob.

In other words I agree with jeffrei's basic line of argument, but I'm just being a bit more conservative about it.

As has been pointed out, a lot depends on how you define "greatness".


Morphy/Pillsbury didn't have a super computer and chessbase to work things out for him, he had to do it by himself. If he did have resources available today, then who knows what they would have played like!!

Bill Gletsos
06-04-2004, 10:00 PM
The thread says, who "is/was" best, not who "would have been" best.
Ok, if you are going to be so picky.
Fischer was miles better at Blitz than Anand could ever hope to be.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2004, 10:05 PM
Morphy/Pillsbury didn't have a super computer and chessbase to work things out for him, he had to do it by himself. If he did have resources available today, then who knows what they would have played like!!

But it's also tactics and positional play. Morphy wasn't that great tactically by today's standards, he was mainly an exceptional attacker in an era where the theory of defence was grossly lacking. Many of his attacks don't stand up to computer analysis. This is also true of Tal, who was probably the greatest attacking genius who ever lived - but who made the same point by winning over and over with attacks that are now known to have been unsound, thus proving that players of his era could not defend themselves properly. Tal's play itself spawned great progress in defensive play to the extent that Tal later remarked that he could no longer play it the way he used to because his "calling cards" (key squares for attacks) were so well marked by opponents.

My view is that if you bring back Morphy at his peak and have him play a set match with Kasparov where he gets the same resources Kasparov would use in a match, Kasparov would still win easily. Bring back Morphy at his peak and give him, say, two years to adjust to the modern chess world and I wouldn't be prepared to call the outcome - but I think that that's cheating.

eclectic
06-04-2004, 10:06 PM
The thread says, who "is/was" best, not who "would have been" best.
Jeo,

Don't be so pedantic !

Next you'll be telling arosar to stick to whatever topic or thread ... :p :p

"is/was" ... "would have been" ...

Isn't a lot of chess about "what if I do this ... or what if s/he does that?" ?


cheers,


eclectic

Machiavelli
06-04-2004, 10:06 PM
Machiavelli,

Imagine if they had met in a World Championship match instead of being challengers to Botvinnik.

If the rematch clause had been scrapped before the Botvinnik-Tal match then perhaps such an encounter might have occurred.

eclectic

Indeed, this would have been an interesting match. Such contrasting styles, and so brilliant in different ways. I actually searched Chessbase and found that they have played some 47 games against each other. Tal actually has a +1 score, with +6 =36 -5. However, this includes three wins by Tal late in their respective careers, so it can be argued that while they were at their peak, Petrosian had the wood on Tal.

skip to my lou
06-04-2004, 10:10 PM
Well atleast in recent times Anand is best in rapid/blitz then.

I wasn't aware that Fischer was so good at Blitz.

Oepty
07-04-2004, 04:53 PM
I was told a story about Fischer and Walter Browne. Apparently soon after Browne became a GM he pestered Fischer to play him in some blitz games. Fischer after refusing for a while got sick of being pestered and agreed to play Browne, giving Browne knight odds. Browne decided to play thinking he would have to beat him seeing he was starting a knight up. Fischer apparently absolutely smashed him and Browne never asked him again. I don't if this story is true, but if it was it indicates he was exceptionally strong a blitz.
Scott

PHAT
07-04-2004, 05:57 PM
Fritz-like programs will analyse a player's games and give an estimated rating. Surely, someone has put a hundred random games by all the "greats" through such a program to generate an objective ranking by rating.

If any one of you fans want to prove your champion to be the greatest, start entering the games.

1min_grandmaster
07-04-2004, 06:50 PM
Lots of very interesting discussion on this thread...

Firstly, you can't prove who is "greatest" using Fritz. Fritz is not god, especially positional play. And anyway, as we have said, how is "greatness" defined? According to what definition shall we then select/restrict which games to put into Fritz?
A good point was raised in that positional play, tactical play and defence have also developed a long way in the modern era. But I only mentioned opening preparation because although this requires some skill, it does not require as much as the other areas, and I also feel that many people consider the knowledge of openings as a contribution to being a 'great' player. Perhaps in some sense it is, after all, a player can play better if they are prepared in the opening. But I just think it is mainly memorisation; they are not really being a 'greater' player.

Also, as has been pointed out, there are different forms of the game. Someone who is 'greatest' in blitz is not necessarily going to be the 'greatest' in longer forms of the game, etc.

Yes, Fischer was incredibly gifted in blitz, wasn't he? I don't think there is anyone who can be compared to him in the history of the game, except Fritz of course...

Talking about programs, do people think that Fritz would be a better player than their 'greatest' player at their peak? It is interesting whether we should consider the fact that humans get tired, are emotional, etc.

Someone mentioned 1 min chess... as you can tell, I personally think that 1 min chess requires quite a lot of skill. Yes, I know you can't think as much and be as creative as longer forms of the game, but it does require skill, and this skill is not easy to acquire. It is not all just tactics and moving quickly, it does involve a fair bit of positional play, believe it or not.

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2004, 06:50 PM
Fritz-like programs will analyse a player's games and give an estimated rating. Surely, someone has put a hundred random games by all the "greats" through such a program to generate an objective ranking by rating.

If any one of you fans want to prove your champion to be the greatest, start entering the games.

I don't think computers are yet at the stage of being able to analyse games by superGMs and give accurate rankings based on the kinds of moves the GMs play, no matter how much data they have.

Even with the best computers it's currently considered that their actual understanding of the game is generally only that of a say 2500 player, but the reason they are matching it with Kasparov and Kramnik is that their understanding of tactics is above human capabilities - within their computational limits they do not make tactical errors.

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2004, 06:55 PM
Talking about programs, do people think that Fritz would be a better player than their 'greatest' player at their peak? It is interesting whether we should consider the fact that humans get tired, are emotional, etc.

I actually think the computers have been a bit lucky in their recent matches with humans. Based on some of the freaky things that have happened in those matches I think that both Kasparov and Kramnik would win a long match (say 20 games) with sufficient rest between games, against the computer programs they have played.

arosar
07-04-2004, 07:01 PM
Thus, shouldn't chess greatness be determined against some measure that is beyond chess play?

AR

1min_grandmaster
07-04-2004, 07:03 PM
Personally, I think that if players got to prepare against Fritz (ie they know its positionally weak) and Fritz got to prepare as well (ie. the operator can choose more relevant openings for the program and ones the human doesnt like) then the human players would smash Fritz.

But in blitz, I don't think Fischer could have beaten Fritz.

It would be interesting to consider at what time control we would think the odds would be 50:50.

Kevin Bonham
07-04-2004, 07:12 PM
Thus, shouldn't chess greatness be determined against some measure that is beyond chess play?

Why, is there a problem if a computer becomes the greatest player ever?

Has Fritz been tested in blitz events against top GMs recently, does anyone know? I remember it tying for first with Kasparov in one years ago, I'm just wondering if there's been any subsequent form.

I've beaten Fritz in blitz five times. :D (The small print reads "from 1300 games").

PHAT
07-04-2004, 07:14 PM
Hang on. I am suggesting a Fritz style assessment of games. This would be an objective assessment. Sure, there is some subjectivity in the programming, sure there other factors such as open prep not being assessed. Nor are such contributions to chess literature included in such a method. However, it is a firm starting point.

The critisism that Fritz does not give positional/strategic conciderations much creadence may well be true - I do not know. If it is true, then a Fritz analysis can at the very least, tell us who was the greatest tactical player of all time. Am I wrong?

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 07:26 PM
I actually think the computers have been a bit lucky in their recent matches with humans. Based on some of the freaky things that have happened in those matches I think that both Kasparov and Kramnik would win a long match (say 20 games) with sufficient rest between games, against the computer programs they have played.

the general theory is i think that computers have an advantage over longer matches due to the fatigue factor. I would like to see a long match between either kasparov or kramnik against the top computers. one good thing would be that kramnik cant play 10 move draws against a puter ;) :hand:

Garvinator
07-04-2004, 07:28 PM
Has Fritz been tested in blitz events against top GMs recently, does anyone know? I remember it tying for first with Kasparov in one years ago, I'm just wondering if there's been any subsequent form.
yes I do remember a top program playing in a gm tourney with kaspa etc playing. It was a blitz tourney and it did well. when the same program, again i think fritz, played under the classical time control in a tourney, it didnt do so well. I think this is mainly in part to blitz being about speed of hand as much as speed of thought.

samspade
07-04-2004, 09:33 PM
The greatest player of all time is Tigran Petrosian, followed by Mikhail Tal.

I can't believe that nobody has suggested these two players!
of course, Petrosian, why didn't I think of that before!:wall: Who doesn't admire Petrosian?:lol: :lol:

Rincewind
07-04-2004, 10:45 PM
of course, Petrosian, why didn't I think of that before!:wall: Who doesn't admire Petrosian?:lol: :lol:

:lol: The WCh's WCh. I hear Fischer is a big fan of his work. :lol:

eclectic
08-04-2004, 01:43 AM
:lol: The WCh's WCh. I hear Fischer is a big fan of his work. :lol:
Perhaps that could be amended to read ...

"The WCHs' WCH".

Wasn't Kasparov also greatly influenced by him?

And surely Karpov too.

There's a "populist" tendency to regard Petrosian as dry, boring, strategic ... as someone who would "draw you to death".

However Schektmann who compiled the 2 volume set of his complete games took pains to note in the set's introduction that he was indeed a superb and consummate tactician.

:hmm:

eclectic

Kevin Bonham
08-04-2004, 02:45 AM
The critisism that Fritz does not give positional/strategic conciderations much creadence may well be true - I do not know. If it is true, then a Fritz analysis can at the very least, tell us who was the greatest tactical player of all time. Am I wrong?

I think this could be done in terms of the greatest concrete, medium-range tactical player of all time. What the computer would miss would be the ability to spot a sharp tactical sequence resulting in a position that was eventually won, although it is not obvious to a computer why. Such as a tactic ending in a piece-trap where the piece takes fifteen moves to capture.

Of course, if computers are allowed to enter the winner of this honour would be one of their own.

1min_grandmaster
08-04-2004, 08:12 AM
I think this could be done in terms of the greatest concrete, medium-range tactical player of all time. What the computer would miss would be the ability to spot a sharp tactical sequence resulting in a position that was eventually won, although it is not obvious to a computer why. Such as a tactic ending in a piece-trap where the piece takes fifteen moves to capture.

Well stated. Tactical ability cannot be considered on its own, as some variations lead to better positional games.

Using a program (at least for now) simply cannot prove who is the greatest player, and cannot even prove who is the greatest tactitian.

Some people have mentioned that certain players were great tacticians, etc. Sure, they were very skilled in all areas, but comparatively, I think one cannot say that, for example, Petrosian was a great tactitian in comparison to many other world champions.

1min_grandmaster
08-04-2004, 08:22 AM
When a program plays blitz in tournament conditions, if my guess is correct, there is still an operator involved. This is a considerable disadvantage for the program in a fast time-control game, simply because there is going to be significant delay between the program havign chosen a move and the operator knowing which piece they must move and to where.

Imagine this case: there is a time scramble, and the operator (for each move) must wait for the program to decide on the move, then they must quickly decide which piece to pick up and then put it on the correct square.

If this delay (which accumulated, would be quite long) were not present for the program, then I don't think a human can beat Fritz in blitz. I do not consider the actual moving of the piece as part of the delay, only the reaction and thinking time of the operator when they must realise and decide what move to play.

The reason I think Fritz is #1 in blitz is because it's too easy to make a tactical mistake (even just a small one) which Fritz will instantly recognise, even if humans opt for a positional approach to the game.

Rincewind
08-04-2004, 10:47 AM
Wasn't Kasparov also greatly influenced by him?

I'm sure all players have been influenced by him to some extent, even without realising it.


And surely Karpov too.

Yes, Karpov is probably the WCh who has been most influenced and who style is most like Petrosian. No one kills off counterplay like Karpov. Just look at the Karpov system vs the Najdorf. :p

My comment was deliberately faceous though. Fischer ruffled some feathers by not including Petrosian in his list of 20 best players of all time.

Garvinator
08-04-2004, 10:56 AM
When a program plays blitz in tournament conditions, if my guess is correct, there is still an operator involved. This is a considerable disadvantage for the program in a fast time-control game, simply because there is going to be significant delay between the program havign chosen a move and the operator knowing which piece they must move and to where.

Imagine this case: there is a time scramble, and the operator (for each move) must wait for the program to decide on the move, then they must quickly decide which piece to pick up and then put it on the correct square.

If this delay (which accumulated, would be quite long) were not present for the program, then I don't think a human can beat Fritz in blitz. I do not consider the actual moving of the piece as part of the delay, only the reaction and thinking time of the operator when they must realise and decide what move to play.

The reason I think Fritz is #1 in blitz is because it's too easy to make a tactical mistake (even just a small one) which Fritz will instantly recognise, even if humans opt for a positional approach to the game.

i dont know how this works actually for a tournament situation, but i would guess that when fritz has decided its move, fritz would execute it on the puter and then its clock would stop for the operator to play the move on the board, this is just a guess though.

1min_grandmaster
08-04-2004, 12:43 PM
Fischer ruffled some feathers by not including Petrosian in his list of 20 best players of all time.

Can you find and display here this list? Would be most grateful.

Rincewind
08-04-2004, 01:17 PM
Can you find and display here this list? Would be most grateful.

As usual I have the story a little mixed-up. He composed a list of the top 10 players in 1964. Petrosian was absent from this list and I think that was seen as a snubbing.

He revised the list in 1970 and this time Petrosian was present. So perhaps he became a fan of Petrosian. Here are the lists...

1964
Alexander Alekhine
Jose Raul Capablanca
Paul Morphy
Samuel Reshevsky
Boris Spassky
Howard Staunton
Wilhelm Steinitz
Mikhail Tal
Seigbert Tarrasch
Mikhail Tchigorin

1970
Mikhail Botvinnik
Jose Raul Capablanca
Svetozar Gligoric
Bent Larsen
Paul Morphy
Tigran Petrosian
Samuel Reshevsky
Boris Spassky
Wilhelm Steinitz
Mikhail Tal

The six players who made both lists were

Jose Raul Capablanca
Paul Morphy
Samuel Reshevsky
Boris Spassky
Wilhelm Steinitz
Mikhail Tal


I guess Sammy Reshevsky is the surprise inclusion in those lists. A fantasic player from a very early age, to be sure, but not a WCh.

Trent Parker
09-04-2004, 12:45 PM
As usual I have the story a little mixed-up. He composed a list of the top 10 players in 1964. Petrosian was absent from this list and I think that was seen as a snubbing.

He revised the list in 1970 and this time Petrosian was present. So perhaps he became a fan of Petrosian. Here are the lists...

1964
Alexander Alekhine
Jose Raul Capablanca
Paul Morphy
Samuel Reshevsky
Boris Spassky
Howard Staunton
Wilhelm Steinitz
Mikhail Tal
Seigbert Tarrasch
Mikhail Tchigorin

1970
Mikhail Botvinnik
Jose Raul Capablanca
Svetozar Gligoric
Bent Larsen
Paul Morphy
Tigran Petrosian
Samuel Reshevsky
Boris Spassky
Wilhelm Steinitz
Mikhail Tal

The six players who made both lists were

Jose Raul Capablanca
Paul Morphy
Samuel Reshevsky
Boris Spassky
Wilhelm Steinitz
Mikhail Tal


I guess Sammy Reshevsky is the surprise inclusion in those lists. A fantasic player from a very early age, to be sure, but not a WCh.

Perhaps a little american Bias?

Rincewind
09-04-2004, 02:25 PM
Perhaps a little american Bias?

Perhaps. Morphy was a genius and at his peak almost certainly the strongest player in the world. Reshevsky (according to Fischer) was the strongest player in he world in the period 1946-1956.

Perhaps someone with more of a bent for chess history than I would like to comment on that opinion.

Bill Gletsos
09-04-2004, 02:44 PM
Perhaps a little american Bias?
I was under the impression that Fischer was no real fan of Reshevsky as an individual, so I doubt Bobby included him based on any American bias.

Garvinator
09-04-2004, 03:04 PM
I was under the impression that Fischer was no real fan of Reshevsky as an individual, so I doubt Bobby included him based on any American bias.
in part this comes apparently from fischer as a young boy of about 18 or so. When he was looking for top notch games in usa, reshevsky and him agreed to play a match of i think eight games or so.

As the story roughly goes, reshevsky asked for a postponement of the second game for a couple of days so his wife could come watch him play. Fischer said no, that he wanted to play on the day of the agreement, then bickering between the two broke out and i dont think the match was finished at all :hmm:

Bill Gletsos
09-04-2004, 03:19 PM
in part this comes apparently from fischer as a young boy of about 18 or so. When he was looking for top notch games in usa, reshevsky and him agreed to play a match of i think eight games or so.

As the story roughly goes, reshevsky asked for a postponement of the second game for a couple of days so his wife could come watch him play. Fischer said no, that he wanted to play on the day of the agreement, then bickering between the two broke out and i dont think the match was finished at all :hmm:
It was in 1961. The match was scheduled for 18 games. After the 11th game there was a disagreement between Fischer and Reshevsky over a scheduling change and the match abruptly ended.

Garvinator
09-04-2004, 03:32 PM
It was in 1961. The match was scheduled for 18 games. After the 11th game there was a disagreement between Fischer and Reshevsky over a scheduling change and the match abruptly ended.
i was close ;)

eclectic
09-04-2004, 04:04 PM
i was close ;)Didn't Mrs R want to go to a concert that night?

It was to see either an opera or the cellist Rostropovitsch

eclectic

Rincewind
09-04-2004, 05:48 PM
I was under the impression that Fischer was no real fan of Reshevsky as an individual, so I doubt Bobby included him based on any American bias.

There may have been some bad blood between them as a result of that abruptly terminated match in 1961. The match finished dramatically on 5.5 - 5.5! The next time they met was the 1962/3 US Championship. Fischer won ;)

However, Fischer obviously held Reshevsky's play in great esteem.

Don't know about the concert theory but I think the match was primarily sponsored by Mrs Piatigorsky, who's husband was a concert cellist of some renown.

machomortensen
19-10-2012, 11:27 PM
Back to the original question....

Anatolij Karpov.

Capablanca-Fan
21-10-2012, 01:49 PM
Since there have been some posts about the best blitz player of all time, it makes sense to add Capablanca to the list:

When only 18, he won a knockout blitz tourney ahead of reigning world champ Lasker, winning the final game.
At San Sebastian 1911, he demolished Nimzovich in blitz "with ridiculous ease," and the assembled masters, the best players in the world apart from Lasker, concluded that he had no equal at quick chess.
Referring to St Petersburg 1914, Alekhine in an obituary of Capablanca wrote:

Neither before nor afterwards have I seen—and I cannot imagine as well—such a flabbergasting quickness of chess comprehension as that possessed by the Capablanca of that epoch. Enough to say that he gave all the St. Petersburg masters the odds of 5–1 in quick games—and won!
In Berlin that year, Capablanca defeated Lasker in Berlin blitz match of 10 games: 6.5 to 3.5, and Lasker reportedly said, "It's remarkable: you make no mistakes."
Also (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fast.html), "In the rapid transit tourney Capablanca had the satisfaction of making a score of 5˝ out of a possible 6 points, with Dr Lasker, Dr Tarrasch and Alekhine among the competitors. It is not the first time, however, that he has worsted the world’s champion in this style of chess.’"
Many years later, at a low point in his career after losing the title, Capa came out of retirement in 6 December 1933, and scored 9/9 in a blitz tourney, two points ahead of Fine and Reshevsky (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter30.html#4817._Capablancas_clean_sweep).
Fine said that in the early 1930s, he was about level with Alekhine in blitz, but Capa would always beat him "mercilessly" in the few times they played.

Adamski
21-10-2012, 11:33 PM
Since there have been some posts about the best blitz player of all time, it makes sense to add Capablanca to the list:

When only 18, he won a knockout blitz tourney ahead of reigning world champ Lasker, winning the final game.
At San Sebastian 1911, he demolished Nimzovich in blitz "with ridiculous ease," and the assembled masters, the best players in the world apart from Lasker, concluded that he had no equal at quick chess.
Referring to St Petersburg 1914, Alekhine in an obituary of Capablanca wrote:

Neither before nor afterwards have I seen—and I cannot imagine as well—such a flabbergasting quickness of chess comprehension as that possessed by the Capablanca of that epoch. Enough to say that he gave all the St. Petersburg masters the odds of 5–1 in quick games—and won!
In Berlin that year, Capablanca defeated Lasker in Berlin blitz match of 10 games: 6.5 to 3.5, and Lasker reportedly said, "It's remarkable: you make no mistakes."
Also (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fast.html), "In the rapid transit tourney Capablanca had the satisfaction of making a score of 5˝ out of a possible 6 points, with Dr Lasker, Dr Tarrasch and Alekhine among the competitors. It is not the first time, however, that he has worsted the world’s champion in this style of chess.’"
Many years later, at a low point in his career after losing the title, Capa came out of retirement in 6 December 1933, and scored 9/9 in a blitz tourney, two points ahead of Fine and Reshevsky (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter30.html#4817._Capablancas_clean_sweep).
Fine said that in the early 1930s, he was about level with Alekhine in blitz, but Capa would always beat him "mercilessly" in the few times they played.

Yep. Neva forgeta Capa! Superb at blitz and a WC over the long form of the game as well. I bought the excellent new book: Jose Raul Capablanca: 3rd World Chess Champion by Isaak and Vladimir Linder.