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general > Who is the greatest chess player of all time? Bobby Fischer? Garry Kasparov? Paul Morphy?

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message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I think Garry Kasparov is the best as of now, but Magnus Carlsen is rising. He's second on the FIDE list right now.

message 3: by Gabriella (new)

Gabriella Gricius (advocate0802) I definitely think it's Capablanca! He was by far the best

message 4: by Ettore (new)

Ettore Pasquini It's almost impossible to answer. Too many incredible players, in such a vast amount of time. Too many things have changed in chess over time. If Morphy (just an example) played today, it's possible he wouldn't be as successful, or maybe he would be even more successful than what he was.

Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly (joselitohonestlyandbrilliantly) Depends on what you mean by "the greatest." Most dominant during his time I'd say was Morphy. The one who did the most to popularize chess as a sport, I'd go for Fischer. The most number of tournament wins would be Karpov. The strongest, and the highest rated under the elo system would be Kasparov. The one with the most natural ability may have been the slave Sultan Khan. The handsomest, according to my wife, is me.

message 6: by Andy (new)

Andy (androo) | 6 comments Kasparov. Would love to have a match Fischer in his prime vs Kasparov in his prime. I know it isn't possible, but it would be greatest match ever.

message 7: by Tuklas Pahina (TP) (last edited Apr 04, 2012 04:29PM) (new)

Tuklas Pahina (TP) | 3 comments Joselito wrote: "Depends on what you mean by "the greatest." Most dominant during his time I'd say was Morphy. The one who did the most to popularize chess as a sport, I'd go for Fischer. The most number of tournam..."

hahaha! ayos ha sir! talagang may ganun segway?..hhaha...cge ako din...maybe its my time to shine? hahaha...

seriously I go for b. fischer

message 8: by Joni (new)

Joni | 1 comments For me it's Bobby Fischer. He was so strong during his days that it was almost impossible to beat him.

message 9: by Anthea (new)

Anthea Carson (antheajane) | 1 comments My personal favorite is Capablanca

message 10: by Randy (new)

Randy (rkjulian) Fischer get my vote for how far he was ahead of his very strong competition (as opposed to Morphy). He also did everything by himself, no computers and very limited team help (although to say 'all by himself' might not be totally fair). Finally, his candidates match record leading up to the world championship match with Spassky was absolutely insane. His 20 consecutive wins, including the collapse of Petrosian in the final match was, as Botvinnik said, "miraculous".

message 11: by Wilson (new)

Wilson Silva | 1 comments Gary Kasparov!

message 12: by Randy (new)

Randy (rkjulian) Wilson wrote: "Gary Kasparov!"

Is that because of the tournament record or his rating?

message 13: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 16 comments It is very difficult to make comparisons between different eras. The use of computers and the development of theory, especially in the openings, means that a Morphy or Casablanca would be slaughtered by a modern master, let alone a GM or world champion.

So the strongest player of all time is probably always going to be the most recent world champion. Each champion is effectively standing on the shoulders of giants. Which arguably means that the answer right now is either Magnus Carlsen or Rybka/Houdini, depending on whether you take your chess champs in carbon or silicon.

But you could argue that the "greatest player of all time" isn't necessarily the strongest player. After all, we may never know what would have happened if a Morphy or a Lasker had been given access to the same knowledge and resources as Kasparov or a Carlsen.

One definition might be to look for a player who was way ahead of his time, clearly better than his peers and/or stayed champion for a long time. After that, it starts to get more subjective. FWIW, here's my top 6:


* Strictly speaking, Fischer and Morphy were not world champions for very long, but I personally believe they could have been had they carried on playing.

I expect that we may need to add Magnus Carlsen to that list in the next decade or so.

message 14: by Vincent (new)

Vincent DeGruy | 5 comments vincent degruy

message 15: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 16 comments I've been thinking about it some more while I've been writing a chess book.

Let's imagine that we could somehow take all of the world's greatest chess players of all time and equalise the variables.

First we would use a time machine to bring them together at the peak of their careers. Then we would give them access to the same chess books, chess history, computers. Oh, I don't know how. We would clone them or something.

And we get them to play in a tournament. A series of matches. The best of the best of all time.

Who would win?

Sad to say, but one of my heroes Capablanca would probably be the first to lose. I doubt he would have the work ethic to study hard, and natural flair would not be enough in this company. An early exit to the ballet for the Cuban.

Next I think we would lose Lasker. He gets himself into too many poor positions before miraculously escaping. But that approach would not work against these predators.

Bottvinik, I think, would not be aggressive enough. That might also be an issue for Magnus Carlssen. Fantastic defensive players and highly technically accomplished, but neither I think could cope with the aggression of one of three finalists.

That leaves Kasparov, Morphy and Fischer. All have incredible natural talent and a strong work rate. They would prepare to the nth degree.

I think Morphy bows out next. He was a fantastic player and would be phenomenal with modern day chess knowledge, but he hasn't quite got the killer instinct to go all the way. A little too polite.

That means my final would be between Kasparov and Fischer. What a match that would be! Bloodthirsty Sicilians and King's Indians. A street fight, a brawl, a knife fight.

It's almost impossible to call, but I would have to edge it to Fischer. I think he would want it just that little bit more.

And that he would give the tournament organisers absolute hell about the seats, the clocks, the pieces, the television cameras ....

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