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Mine is Natalia Pogonina!!
Can't think of a favorite living GM, I'm not that familiar with many of their games. However I have noticed Morozevich seems to have a very broad opening repetoire and plays a lot of unusual and offbeat lines, at least for a world-class GM these days.
Polgár Judit. Great attacking player
Tigran L. Petrosian
Tal, Alekhine, and if this counts Morphy and Greco
On the front page it looked like this was asking "Who is your favorite Grandma"
Dead: Tal, Nezhmetdinov.
Alive: Shirov, and Polgar (Judit).
In Between- Fischer
In Between?!? Is he, a zombie or what?
Tal, Rubinstein, and as of active players right now; Magnus Carlsen
lol I noticed that too.
My favorite grandmaster is Emanuel Lasker. Lasker was a true Renaissance Man. He was a strong bridge and GO player, writing a book about each of these tough games. He also invented a remarkable board game called Lasca. He was the first chess champion to rely upon psychological assessment of his opponents and to try to use their character weaknesses against them . . . often being accused of playing inferior moves that exploited opponent tendencies. He was also accused of blowing smoke from his cigars and using hypnosis against his victims. He was world champion longer (27 years) than any of the rest. He was also a mathematician whose book on commutative algrebra is still read today and a philosopher of great note; a close personal friend of Albert Einstein (who wrote the forward to Lasker's biography) and one of the greatest competitors head-to-head the chess world has ever seen. Lasker wrote a philosophy book Kampf (Struggle) that emphasized some of the characteristics and big picture ideas the great man brought to the 64-square battlefield. Kampf outlined a general theory of all competitive activities including chess, business and war. Lasker earned a Ph.D. in mathematics and John Nash (A Beautiful Mind) famed Nobel Prize winner in Mathematics used some of Lasker's ideas in his overall schism with Adam Smith's economic theories. After losing all his savings in the Weimar Republic's hyper-hyper inflation of 1922-23, Lasker went back to playing chess and despite his age won perhaps the strongest chess tournament ever played up to that time: New York, 1924 over Capablanca and Alekhine just as he'd done earlier in 1914 in St. Petersburg over what was considered at that time also the strongest tournament field ever gathered together.
Lasker only lost one match in his lifetime when he agreed to Capablanca's terms and played in Cuba in the summer of 1921. Capablanca was strong and Lasker was bothered by fever and dysentery throughout the match. Capablanca violated the terms of their agreement and never allowed a rematch. Later Capablanca would run into the same thing when his long delayed match with Alekhine wound up in Capa's losing the championship and never getting a rematch over the next dozen years. Lasker played a total of eight championship matches (twice against Steinitz and Janowsky; once against Capablanca, Marshall, Schlecter and Tarrasch). Tarrash had once haughtily insulted Lasker and refused to play Lasker a match saying that the younger man "needed to prove himself." Lasker did just that by winning the World Championship within 20 months.
Despite Lasker's obvious greatness (only seven players in the world ever beat him twice or more in his ultra-long career) in an infamous article, Bobby Fischer pointedly left world champions Lasker and Steinitz off his list of the twelve greatest grandmaster. Later in his erratic life, Fischer would show his anti-semitism often when questioned about the two Jewish players and the article. Along the same lines Einstein and Lasker both received nasty surprises when the world's most infamous dictator, Hitler, came upon the scene. Einstein's life had been saved during a mountain excursion by his best friend who shared the same first name as Lasker's father: "Adolf." Hitler would, of course, also write a book whose title mimicked Lasker's philosophy book: the notorious Mein Kampf and both men escaped Germany and the clutches of Hitler's Nazis as soon as possible. Emanuel Lasker was the type of chess player and man I respect.
Alive: Judit, Yifan, Shirov, Topalov, Aronian, Fabiano, and Anand.
Dead: E. Lasker, Tal, Alekhine, Petrosian, and Karpov.
Inactive: Morphy for his creative sacrifices and for being the first American world champion.
Active: Anand for how fast he makes his moves and calculations. I find this style of play exciting and creative.
When did Karpov die?? >:[
It's hard to know for sure.
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