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olympio 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Greatest player of OUR time. Who do you think it is and why? I'd have to say Kasparov because not only was he a prodigy.. he was the world champion for a good amount of time and his play seemed to make his rivals seem somewhat paltry by comparison.
philaretus 8 ( +1 | -1 )
What is "OUR" time? I daresay there are some GK members who can recall the days of Alekhine and Capablanca.
tonlesu 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Some of our members were at Paul Morphy's welcome home party.
baseline 0 ( +1 | -1 )
cairo 8 ( +1 | -1 )
:-)) LOL

brobishkin 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Greatest player of our time... It would be a close race between Fischer and Kasparov...
dorisia 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Some of our members... ... *are* morphy; seven of them, to be precise.
peppe_l 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Best player of my time (1977-) Must be Kasparov - clearly. And even if we extend "my time" to early seventies, I cant see Fischer getting even close to Kaspy because his time as a best player wasnt long enough. At some stage all Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov were best players of their time, but only two of them kept playing and defending their crowns against the strongest players of next generation.

Imagine Capablanca quitting his career just before Reti breaking his record of playing 8 years without a single loss. Kasparov, Fischer...who are they? :-)

More: Chess
silverwolfwsc 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Kasparov if you are talking about my time (post 1981). He didnt have a single match loss until 1997 i believe, and that one was Deep Blue.
tulkos 1 ( +1 | -1 )
I would put Kasparov and Karpov just behind Fischer.
clemens 9 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't think Fischer can be called a player of "our" time, though it's highly subjective, of course....
chess_champion 301 ( +1 | -1 )
top players- not the most recent but hey its close 1 KASPAROV, GARRY g RUS 2830 12 13.04.63
2 KRAMNIK, VLADIMIR g RUS 2789 25 25.06.75
4 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2764 25 11.12.69
5 Leko, Peter g HUN 2746 12 08.09.79
6 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2735 13 15.03.75
7 Shirov, Alexei g ESP 2735 22 04.07.72
8 Bareev, Evgeny g RUS 2734 13 21.11.66
9 Adams, Michael g ENG 2723 9 17.11.71
10 Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2718 25 11.10.83
11 Kamsky, Gata g USA 2717 0 02.06.74
12 Polgar, Judit (GM) wg HUN 2715 13 23.07.76
13 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2713 29 17.06.76
14 Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2704 13 18.03.69
15 Akopian, Vladimir g ARM 2703 0 07.12.71
16 Khalifman, Alexander g RUS 2702 0 18.01.66
17 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2701 22 31.10.83
18 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2700 0 24.06.68
19 Dreev, Alexey g RUS 2695 9 30.01.69
20 Short, Nigel D. g ENG 2686 24 01.06.65
21 KARPOV, ANATOLY g RUS 2686 13 23.05.51
22 Ye, Jiangchuan g CHN 2684 11 20.11.60
23 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam g UZB 2680 6 05.12.79
24 Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2678 9 18.07.77
25 Azmaiparashvili, Zurab g GEO 2678 0 16.03.60
26 Sokolov, Ivan g NED 2677 24 13.06.68
27 Almasi, Zoltan g HUN 2676 0 29.08.76
28 Van Wely, Loek g NED 2675 22 07.10.72
29 Malakhov, Vladimir g RUS 2672 9 27.11.80
30 Rublevsky, Sergei g RUS 2670 19 15.10.74
31 Zhang, Zhong g CHN 2666 24 05.09.78
32 Lautier, Joel g FRA 2666 9 12.04.73
33 Zvjaginsev, Vadim g RUS 2664 9 18.08.76
34 Sakaev, Konstantin g RUS 2664 18 13.04.74
35 Bologan, Viktor g MDA 2663 24 14.12.71
36 Smirin, Ilia g ISR 2662 18 21.01.68
37 Movsesian, Sergei g SVK 2659 21 03.11.78
38 Sasikiran, Krishnan g IND 2658 38 07.01.81
39 Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2654 9 22.01.83
40 Vaganian, Rafael A g ARM 2653 9 15.10.51
41 Sutovsky, Emil g ISR 2652 18 19.09.77
42 Aleksandrov, Aleksej g BLR 2650 26 11.05.73
43 Beliavsky, Alexander G g SLO 2649 0 17.12.53
44 Onischuk, Alexander g USA 2647 16 03.09.75
45 Georgiev, Kiril g MKD 2647 10 28.11.65
46 Piket, Jeroen g NED 2646 0 27.01.69
47 Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2645 26 21.08.82
48 Salov, Valery g RUS 2644 0 26.05.64
49 Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2644 25 12.03.87
50 Khenkin, Igor g GER 2644 17 21.03.68
51 Tkachiev, Vladislav g FRA 2643 18 09.11.73
52 Nikolic, Predrag g BIH 2643 9 11.09.60
53 Landa, Konstantin g RUS 2643 9 22.05.72
54 Lutz, Christopher g GER 2640 0 24.02.71
55 Kaidanov, Gregory S g USA 2640 18 11.10.59
56 Kobalia, Mikhail g RUS 2639 9 03.05.78
57 Lputian, Smbat G g ARM 2638 0 14.02.58
58 Gurevich, Mikhail g BEL 2635 9 22.02.59
59 Volkov, Sergey g RUS 2634 9 07.02.74
60 Motylev, Alexander g RUS 2634 20 17.06.79
61 Macieja, Bartlomiej g POL 2634 37 04.10.77
62 Hjartarson, Johann g ISL 2634 0 08.02.63
63 Tregubov, Pavel V. g RUS 2632 28 21.12.71
64 Lastin, Alexander g RUS 2632 9 30.10.76
65 Korchnoi, Viktor g SUI 2632 26 23.03.31
66 Graf, Alexander g GER 2630 0 25.08.62
67 Xu, Jun g CHN 2628 19 17.09.62
68 Granda Zuniga, Julio E g PER 2628 9 25.02.67
69 Epishin, Vladimir g RUS 2628 37 11.07.65
70 Moiseenko, Alexander g UKR 2627 25 17.05.80
71 Filippov, Valerij g RUS 2627 19 28.11.75
72 Seirawan, Yasser g USA 2626 9 24.03.60
73 Nielsen, Peter Heine g DEN 2625 9 24.05.73
74 Huebner, Robert Dr. g GER 2625 0 06.11.48
75 Sadler, Matthew g ENG 2624 0 15.05.74
76 Tiviakov, Sergei g NED 2623 32 14.02.73
77 Pelletier, Yannick g SUI 2623 16 22.09.76
78 Fridman, Daniel g LAT 2621 41 15.02.76
79 Vescovi, Giovanni g BRA 2615 24 14.06.78
80 Smirnov, Pavel m RUS 2615 33 27.04.82
81 Nunn, John D.M. g ENG 2611 0 25.04.55
82 Goldin, Alexander g USA 2611 13 27.02.65
83 Ftacnik, Lubomir g SVK 2611 1 30.10.57
84 Dautov, Rustem g GER 2611 9 28.11.65
85 Hansen, Curt g DEN 2610 0 18.09.64
86 Dorfman, Josif D g FRA 2610 0 01.05.53
87 Bruzon, Lazaro g CUB 2610 12 02.05.82
88 Krasenkow, Michal g POL 2609 22 14.11.63
89 Hodgson, Julian M. g ENG 2608 0 25.07.63
90 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyaz g AZE 2607 9 12.04.85
91 Baklan, Vladimir g UKR 2607 10 25.02.78
92 Alekseev, Evgeny g RUS 2607 9 28.11.85
93 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter g ROM 2606 19 01.08.76
94 Najer, Evgeniy g RUS 2606 9 22.06.77
95 Korneev, Oleg g RUS 2606 58 25.07.69
96 Dolmatov, Sergey g RUS 2606 9 20.02.59
97 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2606 9 06.10.82
98 Hellers, Ferdinand g SWE 2605 0 28.01.69
99 Hamdouchi, Hichem g MAR 2605 17 08.10.72
100 Shipov, Sergei g RUS 2604 0 17.04.66
cpocf 6 ( +1 | -1 )
AND# 101 CPOCF ! Though a good argument could be made for # 23.
lightning_rider 27 ( +1 | -1 )
WHAT THE HELL???????!!!! hey chess_chapion I went through your list 3 times and found it just a bunch of rubbish. If you don't believe me, where's the greatest attacking genius of all time Mikhail Tal? I suppose you can't find a place for him in the top 100!

nivag18 12 ( +1 | -1 )
no such thing Actually there is no such thing as greatest player...There never was...Chess is the thing...not any individual...

the way I see it anyway
olympio 14 ( +1 | -1 )
yes chess is the thing. now who played it the best. if you compare any two players one of them will be better. so surely there must be a greatest player.
olympio 5 ( +1 | -1 )
and the list yeah it's rubbish cause capablanca isn't even in it
atrifix 26 ( +1 | -1 )
If you notice those are the top 100 players by rating. Capablanca didn't play in FIDE rated events, probably because FIDE wasn't formed until after his death (just a guess), so Capablanca isn't in it. They post the recent ones at
olympio 9 ( +1 | -1 )
but you must agree that capablanca is AT LEAST among the 10 greatest players of all time
dorisia 54 ( +1 | -1 )
Capablanca wasn't Elo-rated because the FIDE adopted the Elo rating system only around 1970. Elo invented his system around 1960 and it was first adopted by the USCF in the early '60s. The FIDE did exist, however, in Capablanca's time.

Arpad Elo calculated a list of historical Elo ratings in 1963; Capablanca was given a rating of 2720, based on his five best years of chess.

See also the thread:
calmrolfe 77 ( +1 | -1 )
If we are looking at 2003 only then you would have to say that the "form" players so far this year are Peter Leko and Vishy Anand. They have garnered the major honours of 2003 so far, although honourable mentions might also be made of Judit Polgar (two fine performances in category 17 Tourneys) and Nigel Short (winner of two major Tournaments so far this year - Iceland and Hungary).

lightning-rider you failed to comprehend that chess_champion was printing the current ELO standings of active GM's and not a historic list over the past century, hence the absence of Mikhail Tal, Capablanca, infinitum.

Kind regards,

danrieke 293 ( +1 | -1 )
The question... ... is not well defined.

Perhaps a better question is, "Who is the strongest player of all time?"

That is a question that can be decisively answered... to a degree, that is.

In order to decide THAT question (strongest vs. greatest), one would have to compare their playing strength against the field they played.

So, the question now becomes, "Who is the strongest player of all time relative to the strength of the field they played?"

But, before we jump to an answer on THAT, we have to consider the strength of the particular field, as compared to the strength of other fields, at other times!

The point is... it is all relative.

So far as I know, only four players have achieved a RATED playing strength above 2800 in measured competition play: Kaspy, Kramnick, Fischer and Capa. (Tho Capa's rating was before FIDE, we must consider the strength of his opponents: Lasker, Nimzo, Alexander, et al... as VERY strong.)

Also, looking over the games and books of such players we find no MAJOR flaws in their games, really, and these form the backbone for more modern ideas and games, without really supplanting any of them.

We have to also consider this... time control. In years past, time control allowed TOP players to perform at their best, relative to the strength of their fields, who also played under similar time controls.

In more recent times, time controls have decreased dramatically, which forces errors and does not, by and large, draw the very best play out of top players.

In the end, all things considered, I think the question cannot be decisively answered; either the GREATEST or the STRONGEST!

But, there is also this intangible, which is as much a part of chess as ratings and time controls and opening theory... and that is the aesthetics. The art. The charisma. Of the game, the player, the move.

And so, as with all art, we come down to this: who was the most skilled at communicating the aesthetic qualities of chess in their games by trouncing their contemporaries?

Undoubtedly Morphy in this regard, but his field was weak.

Who was the most skilled at demostrating the aesthetics of the combination by unleashing a dazzling, unexpected sequence upon their prey?

This has to be Fischer. No question.

Who should we consider the greatest tactician? The one who could, faced with unlimited complications, concoct the most ingenious path to victory while the rest of us sit dumbfounded by the witchcraft of it all?

In my book, Alekhine.

Who, shall we ask, has the greatest natural flair for winning the unwinable game?

Capablanca... no question. Like teflon.

And who, having played consistently against a broad field of super-strength, honed players, and has amassed the most successful playing record?

Kasparov. Period.

Now... which of these is the GREATEST?!?

That's relative. Because there are too many parts to chess, too many aspects to the game, its people, its ideas and its art... to really find a single exponent who encompasses the best in all these things.

But, man! Don't we love it so!
olympio 9 ( +1 | -1 )
so So wouldn't you agree that the greatest player of "our" time would have to be Kasparov?
lhunter 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Pertinent to this discussion

Note where Alekhine is ranked!

lhunter 48 ( +1 | -1 )
danrieke I have to admit- I very much liked / enjoyed the logic to your argument. Very well written.

I personally enjoy hearing opinions of what people think of "the greats" in chess. No doubt, others here do as well.

Out of curiousity, might I ask the players here-

Who, in your opinion, was the strongest ENDGAME player, in their field, in their time (as danrieke so elegantly put it)?

I nominate Rubinstein for one.

Or should this be started in another thread?

clemens 3 ( +1 | -1 )

Capablanca, maybe.
atrifix 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Alekhine was a very strong player, and people almost always put him in the top 3, with usually only Morphy and Tal ever causing a challenge. As for the greatest tactician--I think Tal was generally better than Alekhine.

And as pointed out at the beginning of the thread, the question of who is the greatest player of "our" time is ambiguous, since "our" can mean several different things.
edmaster 18 ( +1 | -1 )
edmaster 4 ( +1 | -1 )
danrieke 2 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh good Lord! Edmaster is back!
peppe_l 152 ( +1 | -1 )
IMO In order to become "great" in the eyes of chess public one has to be more than a great player. It is as much about choosing favourite player as it is about choosing greatest player.

Yes I am half-joking but here are some examples anyway...

You get plus if you,

1) Are an attacking player. Chess public always wants quick kingside attacks and abhors long positional struggles or deep endgames. Boring, they say. Examples : Morphy, Alekhine, Tal, Kasparov

2) Are an interesting character. If you qualify as a positional player, hey you better be. Otherwise it doesnt matter how many years you dominate chess, you will never be THE greatest. Examples : Morphy, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tal, Fischer (above all!)

3) Are NOT Russian :-) Preferably you want to be American. Lets face it, there are too many Russian champions. Thats boring, people want changes. Just look at what happened to the popularity of chess in U.S after the day Fischer became champion! Examples : Morphy, Fischer - and since America is continent, not country - Capablanca :-)

And not to forget...

4) You need to be a great player. Examples : Morphy, Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine...

According to Peppes law, you need at least 1 out of 3 first rules I gave. Otherwise when being asked who was the greatest ever, people will not choose YOU. Just look at Lasker - relatively boring and somewhat complex character who was mainly known as brilliant defender and endgame wizzard. After all his accomplishments, how often he is mentioned in these discussions? As often as he deserves? I dont think so.
cairo 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Somebody needs to call for Mr. ED's mother, nurse rachet!!!

dlarry 31 ( +1 | -1 )
greatest ever without a doubt... Fischer is hands down the greatest player of any era. His accomplishments during the 1969-1971 candidates matches place him in league by himself. He ONLY defeated larsen 6-0 and taimanov 6-0 then follows this by defeating petrosian 6.5-2.5. All of which was accomplished without the aid of any computer aid or even software based database.

kremator 101 ( +1 | -1 )
Fischer Why is everyone praising him. What IS so great about him. If it makes americans proud that they've finally broken Russia's championship streak thats OK, but labeling him as the best player ever is way old. He dissappeared thats it. No reason to praise him. He dissapeared before anyone could beat him. If Capablanca dissapeared before Alekhine beat him, what would that make him? A god? In fact the what ifs about fichers are plain stupid. What if Capablanca studied chess more thoroughlu or what if Alekhine didn't die of a heart attack, or what if Petrosian didn't change his attacking style to a more prophylactic stlye. Fischer's dissapearance is just a big disgrace. It can be interpreted as not his dissatisfaction with the FIDE rules but him realizing that he has reached his limits or trying to become a hero which he has successfully done. Forget about him, he should be erased from chess history by now. Yea he was great and all but he dissappeared PERIOD, no more arguement he chose to go away so lets accept it and forget about him!
kremator 8 ( +1 | -1 )
OOps correction alekhine died when he chocked on a piece of meat.. sry i was in a hurry.
shoshin 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Why forget about him? We remember other greats...remember him for his his games and learn.

You can respect his play without agreeing with his beliefs.

His games will stand the test of time just as the greats before him have continued to teach and inspire.

There is no way to say who the greatest of all time is...only who we each admire the most. (as a player not as a person)
kremator 37 ( +1 | -1 )
No reason to forget but It's annoying people putting Fischer as the best player ever. It's okay to think so but saying things that IF he didn't leave he would've wiped the floor with Karpov and wherever he is he'd beat Kasparov is just not right. If he left that doesn't make him a hero, in fact it makes him the opposite of that, but yeah his games were great.
atrifix 50 ( +1 | -1 )
Frankly Fischer didn't really care. After he won the world championship he felt like he had nothing left to prove. Sure, he could have played Karpov, and if-maybe-then Kasparov, who knows? But ultimately it wasn't really what Fischer was interested in--Fischer is a highly competitive man, and when he feels that the competition is not up to his standards, he simply doesn't play.

At any rate, Fischer does not play for the people, or the U.S., and thinking he does is a delusion. Fischer plays for no one but himself and the game.
shoshin 3 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix Well said! I agree
kremator 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes true So why does everyone treat him like some hero and savior to the American people? cold war propoganda?
kremator 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes true So why does everyone treat him like some hero and savior to the American people? cold war propoganda?
bluebabygirl 86 ( +1 | -1 )
to kremator and all kremator why does it bother you that other players think fischer is greatest and etc. ?? Also do they not have the right to their own opinions ??? Why can you not accept his chess play as a seperate factor ?? why must you try to downgrade him so much ,. are you so slow that you can not comprehend his genius ?? Personally I CARE ONLY ABOUT HIS GAMES!! not him !!!! I say love him or hate him - if you or anyone can not see the greatness of his games then im just sorry for you . I personally love his games and do not like him or his current views on things . just like i love TAL'S games and i adore TAL FOR HIS GENIUS ! SEE I PERSONALLY DO NOT LIKE BOTVINNIK BUT I DO NOT GO BASHING HIM OR HIS ADMIRERS ALL THE TIME . and yes I recognize his great games also. To me the greatest player of our time is most likely Kasparov - even though I much prefer Kramnik!!!! yours bluebabygirl p.s, Kremator still friends i hope ---- this is just my views on subject and your comments .
bogg 108 ( +1 | -1 )
kremator I don't know how much you have studied of chess history but in 1975 no one thought Karpov had a chance against Fischer. The 1978 Karpov was a different story, he had matured much as a player and a lot of people thought that the Karpov of 1978 could have given Fischer a good match. It is all speculation though as Fischer had quit playing. If you know Fischer's game it is not hard to infer from the games in his second match with Spassky that he was helping Spassky to make the match close. Every time that he extended his lead to far he started defending the KID one of his weakest defences and one of Spassky's specialities. Just an observation made by an friend of mine. I would guess that the reason there is so much Fischer this and Fischer that is because so many people feel cheated that he quit playing when he was so much better than anyone else, he was a full class better than World Champion Spassky. We will never know how long it would have taken someone to catch up to him.
nimzoredivivus 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Nuts! It's Nimzowitsch! He's the greatest because without
him chess would still be in the stone age. All of the
"greats" adopted his ideas. It is interesting to note
that probably the weakest World Champion, Euwe,
was not a follower of Nimzowitsch. Whereas the
greatest Champions live and breath Nimzo.
bluebabygirl 47 ( +1 | -1 )
to nim zoredivivus While nimzo was a very great inovator he was always 2or 3 places behind world champ and the real number one contender. during lasker's reign lasker usually beat himas he pleased so did capa and alekhine. as for stone age remark please get real. as for Euwe being weakest world champ that honor goes way back to Stauton !!!! and also the greatest champions lived and breathed thier own creativity not nimzo!!! yours bluebabygirl
kremator 122 ( +1 | -1 )
Fischer His games were absolute genius I'm not blind I can see how great they were, but he shouldn't be made into a religion because of that. It's about time people stop labeling him as the champion. He may have been way ahead of his time but if he quit chess and ran away then people should let him go. I don't care where he is Antarctica, Korea, Sweden, Russia, or the US, he quit chess for whatever his insane reason were so he is no longer a champion. I have nothing against his games and I am really not so against him as a person. Alekhine is my favorite chess player despite all the things he did. Also, bluebabygirl, I don't go around downgrading fischer, it's just time people stop labelling him the world champion, he could be called the greatest player in history, but he isn't the current world champion because he was never defeated. By the way I know no one though Karpov would've made it against fischer, but the three years after which you said Karpov became a much better players is because he felt like people didn't believe that he had what it took to be a world champion after getting the title by default so he played in many tournaments and won pretty much all of them to prove that he is the world champion.
verticalchess 9 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree - Fischer's games were great but he should not be idolized the way that many people do.
nimzoredivivus 106 ( +1 | -1 )
to bluebabygirl Nimzowitsch was not the strongest player -- I
agree. But the subject was the greatest player. To
me, Nimzo was the greatest because he had the
greatest single impact upon the game of chess since
the introduction of the modern castling move. ALL
modern theory derives from Nimzo. I doubt anyone
will dispute that. If they do, I doubt the person
understands the history of chess theory. Hence my
advocacy of Nimzo as the greatest player, not the

But both are relative as was pointed out above.
The greatest player is greatest in what sense. The
strongest is strongest depending on his competition.
Staunton was the strongest player of his day, but
his competition was weak. Fischer and Kasparov
were strong players with strong competition. Were
they better than Staunton comparatively speaking?
Probably, but they also have the development of
chess theory on their side. Bring Staunton up to
speed and maybe he would give them a run for their
money. Of course we will never know. All we can
do is enjoy a player's games and view him or her in
context of the time he or she played.
bluebabygirl 36 ( +1 | -1 )
re- to nimzo you say nimzo had the greatest single impact on the game of chess since intro- of castling . well i hate to inform you but castling came before Steinitz and surely you are not foolish enough to say nimzo had greater impact than Steinitz!! in my opinion Reuben FINE had as much impact on the game as nimzo maybe even more , yours bluebabygirl.
bluebabygirl 14 ( +1 | -1 )
also David bronstein is possibly most creative player ever, so in my opinion he has contributed as much or even more than nimzo.
nimzoredivivus 124 ( +1 | -1 )
to bluebabygirl Perhaps we are not talking of the same Nimzowitsch? Aron Nimzowitsch the foremost exponent of the Hypermodern School of chess? The one who formulated the theory of strong and weak squares? Strong and weak colours? Blockade? Who's name is on just about every chess opening because he contributed to just about every opening we know? Who invented the modern forms of the Nimzo-Indian, Queen's Indian, Bogo-Indian (even though his name isn't attached), Philidor's Defense, NImzowitsch Defense, Nimzowitsch Attack, etc? Are speaking of the same fellow here?

I agree Steinitz was great. In fact, Nimzowitsch and not Tarrasch was the true heir to Steinitz's creativity. But it was Nimzo who fully developed what Steinitz saw; Steinitz still being somewhat under the Romantic influence (witness the Steinitz gambit in the Vienna Game).

Reuben Fine has had about zero impact on the development of chess theory and to compare Nimzowitsch to Fine reveals you may need to read a bit more of chess history. I do not denigrate Fine as a fine player and his tome on the end game is a classic. But not in the same league as "My System".

Bronstein was a great player. Highly creative. But he did not contribute the breadth and depth of theory that Nimzo did.

Why do you not like Herr Nimzowitsch?