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.