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The Most Dominant Chess Players in History, 2016 version

The Most Dominant Chess Players in History, 2016 version

Spektrowski
Jan 4, 2017, 7:40 AM 9

About three years ago, I made a statistical table about the most dominant world champions in history. Now I feel that it deserves an update - there are even more players in it now, and some results have changed accordingly. Carlsen continues his ascension into the world of chess legends, while Wesley So shows most promise among the five novices (the other four are Caruana, Nakamura, Giri and Vachier-Lagrave); however, he played much fewer games than most of this field, so the stats are a bit unreliable as of yet.

The rules of admission had changed slightly:

  • Everyone who played a World Championship match.
  • Everyone who made it into top 8 of Candidates' Tournaments, matches and FIDE Knockout championships.
  • Participants of AVRO 1938, New York 1924 and St Petersburg 1914.
  • Everyone who doesn't fit the above criteria, but has a peak rating above 2800 (MVL and So qualified by this criterion).
Player Notes Points% W L D # of games #of opponents
Emanuel Lasker WC 66.34% 146 47 110 303 24
Garry Kasparov WC 64.09% 325 68 519 912 55
Jose Raul Capablanca WC 61.45% 85 22 168 275 23
Bobby Fischer WC 59.70% 97 46 120 263 25
Alexander Alekhine WC 59.13% 150 72 205 427 22
Magnus Carlsen WC 58.48% 150 61 314 525 40
Anatoly Karpov WC 57.53% 340 151 764 1255 67
Viswanathan Anand WC 56.31% 293 148 708 1149 60
Vladimir Kramnik WC 55.75% 228 117 620 965 52
Akiba Rubinstein 55.46% 107 74 121 302 20
 
Wesley So 54.38% 28 16 93 137 28
Mikhail Botvinnik WC 54.31% 112 76 230 418 33
Vasily Ivanchuk 54.02% 278 186 679 1143 60
Levon Aronian WCT 53.60% 144 98 397 639 44
Paul Keres WCT 52.97% 120 88 330 538 38
Boris Spassky WC 52.92% 189 135 602 926 51
Tigran Petrosian WC 52.87% 143 100 505 748 39
Lev Polugaevsky 52.78% 132 98 381 611 52
Fabiano Caruana 52.48% 95 74 254 423 37
Aron Nimzowitsch 52.29% 63 53 102 218 19
 
Harry Pillsbury 52.17% 51 45 42 138 10
Mikhail Tal WC 52.07% 157 125 490 772 47
Veselin Topalov WCC 51.79% 228 197 441 866 53
Alexei Shirov 51.55% 238 210 455 903 59
Hikaru Nakamura 51.23% 103 92 253 448 39
Valery Salov 51.18% 87 79 174 340 46
Viktor Korchnoi WCC 50.93% 329 304 711 1344 69
Sergei Karjakin WCC 50.76% 81 74 304 459 36
Peter Svidler WCT 50.74% 144 133 468 745 54
Efim Geller 50.64% 135 127 367 629 50
 
Karl Schlechter WCC 50.63% 74 70 175 319 18
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 50.56% 66 62 228 356 37
Samuel Reshevsky WCT 50.55% 74 70 218 362 44
Boris Gelfand WCC 50.54% 195 184 648 1027 57
Vasily Smyslov WC 50.41% 161 154 549 864 57
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 50.18% 49 48 178 275 39
Geza Maroczy 49.83% 66 67 161 294 23
David Bronstein WCC 49.69% 92 95 301 488 42
Evgeny Bareev 49.67% 124 127 210 461 53
Alexander Grischuk WCT 49.67% 76 79 294 449 44
 
Peter Leko WCC 49.66% 111 116 514 741 49
Ruslan Ponomariov FKC 49.61% 71 74 240 385 48
Alexander Khalifman FKC 49.60% 64 67 245 376 56
Wilhelm Steinitz WC 49.53% 81 83 48 212 9
Sergei Movsesian 49.47% 33 35 121 189 43
Anish Giri 49.42% 48 52 245 345 34
Michael Adams 49.18% 174 188 490 852 61
Alexander Beliavsky 49.12% 179 192 369 740 69
Reuben Fine 48.97% 18 20 59 97 18
Lajos Portisch 48.64% 178 204 575 957 56
 
Teimur Radjabov 48.64% 60 72 310 442 46
Alexander Morozevich WCT 48.50% 110 123 199 432 48
Dmitry Andreikin 48.41% 19 23 84 126 30
Andrei Sokolov 48.33% 45 54 171 270 48
Zoltan Ribli 48.26% 48 61 264 373 52
Richard Reti 48.19% 60 67 66 193 14
Boris Gulko 48.03% 71 84 175 330 57
Milan Vidmar 47.93% 42 50 101 193 27
Judit Polgar 47.88% 124 146 250 520 58
Leinier Dominguez 47.76% 35 46 165 246 38
 
Bent Larsen 47.75% 168 195 236 599 51
Gata Kamsky WCC 47.73% 117 141 271 529 58
Savielly Tartakower 47.65% 94 113 197 404 29
Nigel Short WCC 47.64% 178 214 370 762 67
Rafael Vaganian 47.58% 103 128 286 517 65
Isaak Boleslavsky 47.39% 33 44 134 211 22
Jan Timman WCC 47.38% 248 312 660 1220 68
Alexei Dreev 47.10% 61 82 219 362 54
Salomon Flohr 46.99% 35 50 164 249 29
Robert Huebner 46.98% 98 135 380 613 60
 
Artur Yusupov 46.90% 113 153 379 645 60
Efim Bogoljubov WCC 46.58% 109 134 123 366 20
Max Euwe WC 46.35% 85 113 186 384 31
Mikhail Chigorin WCC 46.25% 95 116 69 280 15
Henrique Mecking 46.10% 22 33 86 141 37
Rustam Kasimdzhanov FKC 45.96% 44 66 162 272 46
Andras Adorjan 45.95% 31 51 165 247 41
Siegbert Tarrasch WCC 45.91% 87 114 129 330 20
Vlastimil Hort 45.86% 71 118 379 568 50
Vladimir Akopian 45.43% 50 79 188 317 53
 
Frank Marshall WCC 45.40% 108 149 189 446 19
Sergei Tiviakov 45.09% 40 66 159 265 49
Jonathan Speelman 45.01% 49 83 209 341 58
Joel Lautier 44.93% 77 120 227 424 54
Svetozar Gligoric 44.81% 100 175 447 722 49
Kevin Spraggett 44.78% 19 31 65 115 33
Oleg Romanishin 44.74% 76 113 163 352 58
Miguel Najdorf 44.69% 56 92 191 339 36
Laszlo Szabo 44.68% 65 105 206 376 37
Mark Taimanov 44.20% 70 120 241 431 47
 
Rudolf Spielmann 44.09% 85 128 151 364 21
Borislav Ivkov 43.84% 59 120 316 495 46
Wolfgang Uhlmann 42.45% 46 94 178 318 47
Joseph Blackburne 41.71% 49 79 53 181 16
Dawid Janowski WCC 41.67% 100 153 65 318 20
Robert Byrne 40.83% 19 52 109 180 35
Loek van Wely 40.25% 97 207 260 564 57
Johann Hjartarson 39.77% 33 77 105 215 44
Christopher Lutz 38.44% 19 56 85 160 39
Eugenio Torre 38.21% 31 85 113 229 49
 
Isidor Gunsberg WCC 37.87% 32 65 39 136 15

WC - was/is World Champion

WCC - World Championship Candidate (failed to defeat the champion in a match)

WCT - played in a World Championship tournament (either 1948 or 2007)

FKC - FIDE Knockout Champion

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