Pt. 9 of Bobby Fischer’s TOP 10 LIST of the World’s Best Chess Players

In 1964, for ChessWorld Magazine, Robert James Fischer was asked to name the Top 10 Best Chess Players in the world. 
Here is his list (in alphabetical order) of those players:

Alexander Alekhine, José Capablanca, Paul Morphy, Samuel Reshevsky, Boris Spassky, Howard Staunton, Wilhelm Steintz, Mikhail Tal, Siegbert Tarrasch, and Mikhail Tchigorin. 

Siegbert Tarrasch - 1862 - 1934

Fischer said: Razor-sharp, he always followed his own rules. In spite of devotion to his own supposedly scientific method, his play was often witty and bright.

Tarrasch may have been the best player in the world in the early 1890s. He scored heavily against the aging Steinitz in tournaments, (+3-0=1), but refused an opportunity to challenge for the world title in 1892 because of the demands of his medical practice.


  • 4 years ago


    Yeah, Fischer's list is what it is. I will say that with all the players before 1964 (Fischer's list date) that it is difficult to choose just 10. 

    And there are characteristics that vary from player to player making me think there should be several lists - Greatest Theoretician, Greatest ....etc.   And Bobby left some off that should have been included.

  • 4 years ago


    Thanks for the links...

  • 4 years ago


    Tarrasch is undboubtedly one of the greatest chess theoreticians of all time along with Rubinstein, Steinitz, Tchigorin and of course his arch-enemy Nimzovitch. As far as being one of the ten greatest players of all time, I don't think so but he apparently was TOP TEN material (or very close) for several yrs and in the TOP 35 or so for at least two decades, according to (last link below) 

    This link has links to the "Greatest Chess Minds" video series, including 5 videos on Tarrasch

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