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Since the previous forum I was posting in was locked I shall continue the 'debate' in this forum.
The notion that Karpov is much better than Spassky in 'match' play is illusory as I will now show.
Many if not most grandmasters do indeed come down on the side of Kasparov being better than Fischer. However, when they express what criteria they use to come to that conclusion it will usually be things related to tournament play. The problem is, this does not correlate to who would win a 'match'. So why would they say Kasparov? I think several factors filter into this, for instance, it could be because tournament play is how they make a living and get their ratings, so why not give the nod to a great tournament player since it can't be 'proven' anyway. Also, lets face it, Fischer was definately politically incorrect and not the kind of person most people would want as their 'Babe Ruth' [jusk ask the ghost of Cobb]. Likely most modern day grandmasters have had more interaction with Kasparov than with Fischer, and hey, wouldn't you like to say you were in a tournament with the greatest player of all time? Whatever their reasons, I will show their proclamations are not based on 'match' evidence. e.g. Is not Capablanca called greater than Alekhine by most grandmasters inspite of the fact that he lost a match for the championship of the world to him by a score of 6-3 when both players were in their prime? That being said, I give this post;
I have studied the matches of many grandmasters [relevant to the topic] and boiled it down to a basic choice which I will now illuminate. [Is this proof of anything? Of course not, but it is evidence].
The crux of the equation is [as I thought it would be] is 'Korchnoi'.
Since longevity is ruled out by the Anderssen-Morphy scenario, and ratings and tournament results are ruled out by the Capablanca-Alekhine scenario, and 'accuracy' measurements by computers and teams of analists moving pieces around with no clocks ticking is pointless, and since an impossible match rendering 'actual proof' is non-existant, I offer the following; [What side you're going to come down on should hinge on which of the following two things you believe is more likely]
Spassky has said that his play declined markedly after his match with Fischer. The cold war pressure and threats against himself and his family destroyed his will to drive for the top. If this is true, Spassky was not in his prime in 1974 when he lost to Karpov 4-1. Now, is Spassky lying? Is there any 'evidence' that might corroborate his claim? You decide.
In 1974, in those same candidate matches, Karpov only beat Korchnoi by a single point 3-2. Now this is important, because when Spassky was in his prime he beat Korchnoi in match play with a +3 score [when Korchnoi was in his 30's]. Did Korchnoi suddenly blossom [at the age of 44] against Karpov? Further, in 1978 Karpov could only beat Korchnoi by a single point again. Even if Karpov was not in his prime in 1974 [and I do not believe he was] he was in his prime in 1978. Not much of an improvement. Now, for years there has been a type of 'circular reasoning' involved in the Kasparov - Fischer debate. Karpov's 'match' strength is always used to bolster Kasparov's 'match' strength, and vice versa [do 'you' see the problem with this Elroch?] If the luster gets knocked off of Karpov, then it gets knocked off of Kasparov as well, because even though Karpov did not win a match agains Kasparov, Kasparov failed to win 2 matches against Karpov, and an overview of all match games shows not much difference between the two players in wins and losses.
So then, to the point. Which is more likely? That Spassky's played declined in the face of 'cold war' pressure? Or, that Korchnoi suddenly blossoms as a chess player and is actually much better at 47 then he was not only in his 30's, but at any other time in his chess career?
What ever you decide, don't fool yourself into believing the 'evidence' put forth doesn't matter. Because it does. It doesn't 'prove' anything, but, it is an indicator.
Here's why, If Spassky is a better 'match' player in his prime than Karpov then Fischer crushes Karpov in a match, and since Kasparov never did anything like that, it would 'indicate' that Fischer was the better match player.
Now, would this really happen? I don't know, but I 'do' know that the pro-Kasparov people 'don't know' either. How can they be so confident that Kasparov would win that match when the evidence shows it unlikely?
Who really is better? I couldn't care less. But it's been fun trying to deduce the problem with logic
P.S. Pro-Kasparov people take heart, Kasparov never lost a match to Fischer in real life, so if he loses a mythical one he will likely still be considered better, after all Capablanca lost an 'actual' match to Alekhine, and he is viewed as better.
The updated leaderboard, as of when this argument started:
I don't think we should continue this debate, however. That topic was locked for a reason. It was so that we could stop going crazy about something like this. Since, obviously, no one's opinion will be swayed, we should stop this debate.
Besides, I have already posted these threads, anyway.
So in summary, we should stop this debate and move on with our lives.
I also have this one:
It is an intersting bit of reasoning. Let's see if I've got the hang of it:
Shirov beat Kramnik in a match in 1998 +2 -0 =7. Pretty convincing result.
Kramnik beat Kasparov in a match in 2000 +2 -0 =13. Also pretty convincing.
Therefore, despite the Kasparov v. Shirov tournament results being something like +17 -0 =15 in favour of Kasparov, we can conclude from the clearly more accurate 'head-to-head, match results vs different opponents and then extrapolated to predict the winner of matches that never happened' method divised my mshaune above, that Shirov would handily beat Kasparov in a match and may do well against Fischer also (hard to say due to lack of matches played between Alexei and Korchnoi).
Did I get it right?
I wish people would stop bringing Kook-Aid to a grown man's party. I am talking about 'relevant matches with players in their primes'. I have found that people throw 'junk' when they run out of bullets. If you want the debate stopped 'checkmateyou'? You have that power, stop posting. As far as swaying anyone, I couldn't care less. I think it's hilarious how pro-Kasparov people come out of the woodwork when someone posts something that suggests that Fischer might win a match between the 2 of them in their prime, but then call the Fiscer people nuts. For the record I will restate that my favorite 2 players are Tal and Kasparov. I just went where the evidence lead me. If it doesn't lead you there, then you obviously buy into the notion that Korchnoi was his very best between the ages 0f 44 and 47. I do not, it's really not more complicated than that. But just for future reference 'Tomomori' i will help you out with a definition; Relevant-having a bearing or a connection with the matter at hand.
Sorry, I just assumed that your method could be used just as accurately outside the Fischer-Korchnoi-Karpov-Kasparov quadrilateral.
How stupid of me.
People need to snap out of "Fisher" myth and look at the facts. Karpov was a dominating champion for number of years. So was Kasparov. Fisher.... not so much. He could of stayed after he won the title but he didn't. It was his choice.
But to put him in the same place as Kasparov or Karpov is pure nonsence.
Tomomori, it could, if you stuck to the formula, but you didn't. You started your equation with Kramnik beating Kasparov 2-0. Since nobody, including the players themselves believed that Kasparov was in his prime your equation is flawed. But, at least you're 'trying' to offer a response based on 'match' play, which is apparently more than anyone else is willing to do.
To fanat, you are the one that needs to 'snap' out of a fog. The dominance you speak of is in tournament play, tournaments that did not contain Fischer. But to the subject, was not Capablanca 'dominant'. Did he win his match with Alekhine?
If Korchnoi was in his prime at 47 then you have a real point. If he was not, you have nothing, because it would simply mean that Kasparov and Karpov [although comparable to each other in match play] are not the two best match players of all time. I do realize however that it is much easier to dismiss something as 'nonsense' than to deal with it. You can put Kasparov back on his pedestal now.
There are several reasons that using match results like this is nonsensical.
1) A single oversight can alter the whole course of a match, and will skew your extrapolations ie your sample size is simply far too small to be significant.
2) It's not uncommon for an inferior player to have the "Indian sign" over a stronger player, for reasons not fully understood (styles of play and some psychological reasons among them, perhaps), and get significantly better results in head to heads than their strength would suggest, cf Geller/Fischer
3) Kramnik beat Kasparov in a match, but I think most GM's would prefer Kasparov's chances against Fischer, to Kramnik's.
Which is why I refer to my equation as 'evidence' and not 'proof'. If it was infallible we wouldn't need to talk about it. Although it certainly appeared that Capablanca had the 'Indian sign' over Alekine in tournament play, yet that did him no good in a match.
If your sample size is insufficiently large it shouldn't even be considered as evidence, because randomness has played too large a part.
Nice idea for a thread, though.
For what it's worth I think Kasparov's more robust psychological make-up alone would give him the edge in a match against Fischer, assuming it was played with the usual provisos ie both players at their peak etc: compare the latter's refusal to play Karpov that many top commentators interpret at least partly as fear of failure, with Kasparov's eagerness to take on all-comers, including super-computers as well as a field of GMs in a simul.
What do the GM's who played both Karpov and Fischer (or Kasparov and Fischer) say? That may be the most helpful. Anyone have any quotes on this?
I have heard that Spassky thought Fischer would win in 1975 but lose in 1978 to Karpov if they played. Kasparov liked Karpov's chances against Fischer in 1975. Both Spassky and Kasparov however are biased because their legacies are directly affected by who is considered greater. S. Polgar says Kasparov would easily beat Fischer and by 1992 no one would have argued otherwise, from what I have heard (of course Fischer was 20 years removed from his last official match).
You'd have to assume Kasparov would beat Fischer based on modernity and longer career of dominant tournament/championship victories in the computer age.
Who was a greater champion? Longevity easily favors Kasparov.
But, again, what do people say who played them both and/or played both prime Fischer and prime Karpov?
Surely there are additional GM's who have played both, such as Korchnoi who was too scared to play Fischer in the Candidates for the 1972 WC (allowing Petrosian to get crushed by Fischer).
But the debate still stands because even if Fischer "may" have crushed Karpov, Karpov may have had Fischer's number stylistically (or vice versa) and in any case it was Fischer who chicken$#!++ed out of the match. Therefore the debate stands and the benefit of the doubt may have to lie with Karpov. Fischer's demands were a ploy. He was too scared to play for whatever reason whether directly fearing Karpov or worried about tarnishing his legacy by risking a loss or winning narrowly against a newb challenger.
Fischer took the chance that his enigmatic erratic behavior would over the long run improve his legacy than actual playing top competition and that to me says it all. However, in the long run, he played "legacy chess" just perfectly, because he remains in the discussion despite his brief spotlight whereas Karpov will always be second fiddle to Kasparov in spite of the narrow margins by which he lost and the longevity of his career at/near the top.
Apparently, winning a single match and then simply holding the world title by denying the next best competition any other matches is considered stronger than playing...Lasker, Alekhine, and Fischer knew this, making them the the greatest "legacy chess" players ever.
To ontomorrow- This is where I strongly disagree, my sample size dealt with the necessity of Korchnoi to be in his prime at age 47, and it's still viable. If Karpov struggles with an out of his prime Korchnoi, 'it could' mean that Karpov is not as strong a match player as people think. e.g. It would render more understandable to me how he could fail to win a match in which he was ahead 5-0 in a race to 6, or how when needing only a draw for the title in the last game of a match with Kasparov he couldn't do it. As for Kasparov's robust psycholgical make-up, he fell behind 5-0 and should of lost, and allowed himself to be psyched out by a computer. If the luster's off of Karpov 'in match play' then it's off of Kasparov as well. I am not talking about tournament play.
I think 'checkmateyou' was very wise to ask me to stop talking about this subject, because it apparently bothers people when you do. I have offered my 'evidence' for why I believe what I do. It doesn't make me right, and nothing I've heard makes me wrong. The defense rests.
Where is ANAND in the list? i think he is the greatest
I like Anand, not as much as I like Tal and Kasparov, but I like him.
I would like to say that in the short time I've been posting I've noticed that people have very strongly held convictions of who they think is the 'best' chess player. If someone offers contrary evidence it's referred to as nonsense, if they can actually explain why they believe it's nonsense that's a plus, but, the irony is, if someone gives evidence in a similar vein that supports their pre-conceived notion, they suck it down faster than Alekhine would a glass of liquor. What ever happened to good old un-biased evaluation. I like Kasparov way better than I like Fischer. But I don't feel the need to get all defensive if someone [including of course myself] has the audacity to insinuate he might not win a match against Fischer when both people are in their primes. The evidence I've talked about is more relevant, and less 'nonsense' than anything I've seen to the contrary. But hey, you have to study and scrutinize to attempt actual conclusions. Anybody with a keyboard can call something 'nonsense'. [Providing they can type]
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