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I would be very interested in IM Jeremy Silman's answer. He wrote a great article on Lasker, in which he called Lasker his favorite player. That doesn't necessarily mean he considers Lasker the best ever. With Silman's vast knowledge of chess history, his answer would be deserving of serious consideration.
Question: In these hypothetical matches with a great from the past playing a modern player, is the player from the past given adequate time to study what has happened in chess since his death prior to the match? ... Or do we give the modern player the benefit of decades of other peoples' study and innovation, while handicapping the older player?
Could Babe Ruth have hit Bruce Sutter's split fingered fastball?
My point exactly, chess players over the decades have done loads of work, study and play from which the current players benefit. One cannot possibly campare a player from the early 20th century to one a hundred years later. It defies common sense to even try!
If Lasker were given Carlsen's games to analyze before the match I am sure he would be able to prepare psychological motives which would upset Magnus during the game.
Lasker played against different generations of great players, starting from late romantics, then classics, hypermodernists and scientists. He was able to beat them all!
By analysing opponent's games he was able to learn his strongest and weakest sides and then make use of this findings during actual game. Lasker avoided positions where the opponent mastered and felt comfortable. Instead, he steered into areas where the opponent disliked and played inferior moves most frequently.
As for the openings, Magnus uses a very similar approach as Lasker did. He avoids main lines and chooses less known, older lines. He does not try to obtain better position since the very first moves. Instead, he just wants to get a playable position and waits until the opponent plays a weaker move.
This is how Lasker crushed everyone. He played simple openings and did not change his repertoire much during the long decades. Look how he outplayed hypermodern Reti using his favourite London setup at the famous NY super tournament.
Therefore, I would expect Lasker to win the match. Not only was he much more experienced than Magnus is now, he was one of the greatest chess scientists who developed new ideas and improved the game immensely.
This is of course under the aforementioned assumption about letting Lasker prepare against his opponent. Otherwise the conditions would not be equal because Magnus knows Lasker's games for sure.
I'll tell you more: after the match everyone would learn how to beat Magnus but none of the current top players could make use of this method as effectively as Lasker!
The problem is that Carlsen has no weaknesses and is comfortable in every position.
I think he is not as perfect in rook endgames as in the others. His recent losses all resulted from blunders in rook endgames
Yeah he isnt that good in rook endgames
I would expect Lasker to win the match.
I think Lasker is the only player that can compete with Kasparov as the greatest player ever, but it always surprises me when people expect great players from long ago to beat the best players today.
Carlsen's advantages would be many. He has studied the last 100 years of chess theory and the games of the last 100 years, is used to playing games with much shorter time controls, and to play endgames without long adjournments. He is also a chess professional together with the other top players today, that study chess with much more dedication than someone like Lasker, who was a mathematician and philosopher, that could go years between events.
If Lasker really would be expected to beat Carlsen just after looking at his games, that should mean that the difference in chess talent between the best players today and those a century ago would be gigantic. If players today, with all these advantages and with chess as their profession still would play worse chess than the top players of a hundred years ago it would mean that the chess level in practice has fallen quite a lot the last century.
I read the title of this thread fast and thought of LA Lakers v. Carlsen. Now THAT would be interesting!
good awnsers :)
You are right, Lasker would also have to fill the century gap because chess improved much.
Thus I would like to re-phrase my original post: given a year to prepare by comprehending last 100 years of development (a bit of middlegame, most in endgame - he could roughly ignore the openings as he avoided forced lines with deadly traps) of chess and analysing Carlsen's games to determine his psychological posture - Lasker would win the match.
However, I think Magnus can follow Lasker and become a world champion for a very long time. He is probably the strongest contemporary player
the history did improve alot :)
Carlsen would win simply because of all of the advances, but Lasker along with many others of the past definitely made more of a contribution to the sport.And don't forget Kasparov! He has left quite an imprint as well.
I think Magnus would manage to win because Lasker died 72 years ago.
Well, there is not much suspense.
You really think the fat smoking grandfather has a chance against the mobster ?
(you're talking about boxing, right ?)
Worked alright for 'Serge Blanco'.
Smoking aids concentration (for about 10-minutes)
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