Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Greatest Chess Master?

Who do you think is the Greatest Chess Master - Paul Morphy, Bobby Fischer, B. Larsen... ?

Bobby Fischer's List of ... "The Ten Greatest." (1964)
1. Paul Morphy - "In a set match, Morphy would beat anyone alive today."
2. Howard Staunton - "One of the most profound players and analysts of all time."
3. Wilhelm Steinitz - "A genius, and the Father of the Positional School of chess."
4. Siegbert Tarrasch - "A magnificent player, his play was often razor-sharp."
5. Mikhail Tchigorin - "The last of the romantics, and the first great Russian player."
6. Alexander Alekhine - "A player that I have never really understood."
7. Jose R. Capablanca - "The glamour-boy of the chess world.", "Among the greats", "His simplicity is a myth", "Brilliance ... in the middle-game"
8. Boris Spassky - "A truly great player, with a dynamic, individual style."
(These words were penned 2-3 years before Spassky became World Champion!)
9. Mikhail Tal - "A fantastic player ... speculative sac's ... he frightens everyone."
10.Samuel Reshevsky - "For a period of at least ten years - 1946 to 1956 - Reshevsky was probably the best chess player in the world. I feel sure that had he played a match with Botvinnik during that time, he would have won and been champion."
*** "He is like a machine, calculating every variation."
*** "He can see more variations, in a shorter period of time, than most players who ever lived."
I personnaly have been influenced by the games played out by Paul Morphy and am a great fan of his. Before Morphy, sacrifices in chess were made without any rhyme or reason. Morphy moves were scrupulously conceived and executed, though some may argue that he played to the gallery. Another equally great player of his time was Adolph Anderssen.

Most of Morphy's games are very instructive. Please use this link to check out a game played by him way back in 1858.

The debate continues. There's an interesting article here on The Greatest Player of all Time.

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