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Bronstein i think.
yeah, Korchnoi was close, but we felt like Karpov was always #1 during Korchnoi's peak. Bronstein was arguably as strong as Botvinnik at some point. So if the "best never to win" means compared to players at that time, then I definitely think it's Bronstein.
If, however, by best we mean strongest objectively, then modern-day players are stronger than players from 50 years ago, and it goes to Aronian. Or Topalov if you don't think his tournament win in San Luis qualified him for the list of World Champions. After Carlsen, Aronian is the highest rated player not to win the world championship (and has been for 4 years I think), and I think that's a pretty simple way of determining the answer.
I disagree that today's players are stronger than players of fifty years ago. Why would you say that? Do you think there as been some quantum leap in chess ability in the last fifty years? Today's players may play at a higher level than players of fifty years ago but that is only because they have a much deeper knowledgebase to build off of and much better training and preparation tools. I have no doubt that a young Fischer or young Spassky or young Botvinnik would be among the top 5 players in the world today.
Your statement is like saying that today's soldiers are better warriors than soldiers of fifty years ago only because they have better weapons.
we've spoken on this subject a couple times...
we think that chess has evolved over time. it's a game which contains ideas now that people did not know of, appreciate, or articulate 30 years ago or 60 years ago. players now stand on the shoulders of those who came before them.
this is the case in lots of fields. to me, it's not like your soldier example, it's like saying that Einstein had a better understanding of the physical world than Newton or Maxwell. it's not in any way a disparagement of those who came before, just a pure evaluation of knowledge/skill. and it's not to say that those who were world champion 50 years ago might not be world champion now if they were born in 1990 and had studied the way our current crop of top young guns have.
which brings us to another reason why today's players are better than those of the past: many of them started studying chess at a younger age, with access to tons of information through databases and the internet, and sparring partners. from a larger source of chess players, studying more seriously, it's logical that you would have a larger pool of players reaching a given level, even if the theory of the game had stood still.
if the development of the theory of chess tapers off, then we won't see the best players in 50 years being much better than Kasparov or Carlsen were, but I'm not yet sure that's the case (though I suspect the development has slowed down).
Sorry, I don't think this sort of argument will wash. I don't think you can say that Einstein was a better scientist than Newton because he was able to draw from a more knowledgable era. Perhaps (as usual with these kinds of things) this is all a quibble on the word "better." Players of today are doubtless technically more adept, more complete; but comparisons of this absolute sort are pointless for different eras. After all, if players are standing on others' shoulders, their own height is diminished thereby.
As Kasparov himself has said, the real test (the only meaningful one) is how far ahead of the pack somebody was during their time period. Fischer-2785, Spassky-2660...now that's domination. Kasparov-2775, Karpov-2750, Speelman (I think it was)-2650...that's a double dose of hegemony.
Oh yeah, and I vote for Klaus Junge
As I recall Kaspy said that dominance was the measure of greatness. Superiority of play he did not address.
Today's players don't seem superior to one old timer, Capablanca, in terms of move accuracy. Move accuracy is a fair metric though, right? Not the only one, but a main one.
They turn the jewel a few ways to inspect it. It's an interesting article.
Ah yes, the oft-touted greatness/superiority-of-play distinction... ;)
Just that one can be settled in a way, and the other is much more difficult to establish.
Who was the better player (technically) vs. the one who dominated more in his era.
Since you and David TOTALLY ignored me during the broadcast, I'll reiterate my opninion here. IT WAS LARSEN!!!
Sorry, but the thing that kept him from winning the title was several players in his era who were stronger than he was. Fischer in particular---
unfortunately he happened to have played at a time when there were 3 or 4 players who were stronger than he was.
Let's consider those people who were stronger than him when he was at his peak: Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer. All of these men became world champions. So that makes Larsen second-best, right?
Now when we compare Larsen with Bronstein, I will have to say that David Bronstein is still the greatest never-to-become-world-champion for one reason: he actually played in the world championship.
Following that argument, Korchnoi played in the world championship three times! But he's still playing, so I won't say never for him just yet.
I think Nimzowitsch, at his best he beat both Capanlanca and Aalekhine
His my favorite. I learned my basics in his "My Praxis".
You should read Chess Strategy in Action by John Watson.
It's like a long-overdue update to your favorite classic.
Here is the thread made on the same subject
If he'd entered the 1948 WC I reckon he would have taken it.
We can only wish that Fischer played Karpov to defend his title back in 1975.
There is the rumor that Bronstein was kept from the championship by those that ruled soviet chess at that time.
In his book THe Sorcere's Apprentice, he incinuates pretty strongly that those rumours are nothing more than (to quote Reb) hogwash.
Almost all the KGB influences before 1970 could not be verified.
We can confirm that the Soviets tried to stop Fischer, that they gave Spassky hell after he lost to Fischer, that they supported Karpov absolutely and that they gave Korchnoi hell for trying.
Prior to that, who knows? What happened to Keres and Botvinnik were speculative at best.
I've read the same or similar accounts of your cases regarding Keres, Bronstein and Fischer prior to 1970, but you will have to admit that they were mostly based on the perspective of individual players and not blatant and undeniable actions.
1. After the 1962 Candidates Tournament, Bobby Fischer publicly alleged... - It was through Fischer's high-level chess capability to sense that his Soviet opponents were taking it easy amongst themselves but not with him. The problem was that we only have Fischer's intuition to run with.
2. Bronstein and Keres' perspectives were similar: players' personal account which were mentioned in passing in their game collection books. There was no other written, audio or video reference that emphasized that they received orders to throw their matches. My other argument was that it has been mentioned that the two still faced stiff competition among their contrymen. They simply were not the best players in every tournament. And if they were given orders, that did not resound as loudly as the Soviet support for Karpov or they hatred for Korchnoi.
This what I meant with the "speculative" nature of the Soviet and KGB influences prior to 1970.
hmmmm, i really don't know. I would consider a lot of players.
Out of these, I would consider Bronstein and Korchnoi the most. Bronstein hardly got his title ripped out of his hands by Botvinnik, and Korchnoi was a very good player, probably on par with Karpov.
Suetin states: Before the start of the tournament the prize-winning trio (Petrosian finished first and Keres and Geller tied for second) concluded a "non-aggression pact" with one another.
If you still feel the way you do, in the face of all the evidence, then we probably should move on to other issues.
One last argument regarding the tournament that involved Fischer's claim: Was the behavior of the three GMs an order from the Soviet authorities or KGB or did they decide on that agreement themselves? I do not recall reading that they received orders to do draw their games and to let Petrosian win the tournament.
To be honest, Kasparov's reference, Chess Through the Prism of Time, gave me something to be anxious about. But even in Kasparov's book, Garry played it safe by not accusing the Soviet government or KGB of directly influencing the players of the tournament.
Again, I only wanted to emphasize that prior to 1970, we could only speculate the direct involvement of the Soviet authorities or KGB compared to the later years.
ADDED: Moving forward, have you read "Russians Versus Fischer"? Now THAT was one glaring testament of how a body of government could make its citizens gang up against a foreign threat! My readings on how the Soviet Union groomed Karpov came mostly from Karparov's books, and that even made life more difficult for the other strong GMs in the country. Hence, Korchnoi's defection.
If we're measuring greatness based on how dominant a player was against his or her contemporaries, I'd have to go wtih Morphy - when he was in his prime, there was no one considered even close to as good as him. It's a shame that he quit chess - he was a phenomenal talent, and could have been considered even more legendary than he is already.
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