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A little more on Keres, related to the occupation of Estonia during the 1940's:
Former world champion Boris Spassky wrote:
“I loved Paul Petrovitch with a kind of special, filial feeling. Honesty, correctness, discipline, diligence, astonishing modesty ? these were the characteristics that caught the eye of the people who came into contact with Keres during his lifetime. But there was also something mysterious about him. I had an acute feeling that Keres was carrying some kind of a heavy burden all through his life. Now I understand that this burden was the infinite love for the land of his ancestors, an attempt to endure all the ordeals, to have full responsibility for his every step. I have never met a person with an equal sense of responsibility. This man with internally free and independent character was at the same time a very well disciplined person. Back then I did not realise that it is discipline that largely determines internal freedom. For me, Paul Keres was the last Mohican, the carrier of the best traditions of classical chess and ? if I could put it this way ? the Pope of chess. Why did he not become the champion? I know it from personal experience that in order to reach the top, a person is thinking solely of the goal, he has to forget everything else in this world, toss aside everything unnecessary, or else you are doomed. How could Keres forget everything else?
Just counting the 3 years peak of the ELO points is not the correct solution for determining who was the best player ever not becoming worldchampion. Because there is an inflation of ELO points during the decades and centuries. So you first have to make a correction for the inflation to find the correct answer to that question. But Korchnoi is still a very good candidate, among others...
Paul Keres - of course. but Bronstein, Rubinstein and Nimzowich are also fine candidates.
Hi. Check our Chessmetrics via Google or go here http://www.chessmetrics.com/cm/
Sonas has done alot of work on this subject.
I believe that he deals with inflation, but that's a problem only after the rating system has been invented. It's even more challenging to extrapolate back to times when no rating system existed!
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