Technology vs Bobby Fischer

Sep 14, 2011, 3:48 PM |

A great debate amongst many chess enthusiasts I know is whether or not Bobby Fischer was the greatest of all Chess Champions.  Surely everyone has a favorite, and each a strong opinion.  I have based my opinion on a single concept:  Technology.

I question if Kasparov or Karpov etc would have been as strong without Computer Analysis?

I am a mere mortal and I can testify to how much computers have helped my game, my knowledge, my understanding.  Having a computer analyze my games and show me my flaws has been a huge advantage.

I am not suggesting that Kasparov owes his greatness to the aide of modern technology, only that it's an advantage that Bobby didn't have.

To analyze games, find novelties, create ground breaking new opening theory, with out the aide of computes is surely a great feat indeed.  A computer didn't help Bobby slay the Dragon.

By all the accounts of other GM's that I have read Bobby's mind was like a computer itself.  A suspected photographic memory, the ability to calculate on a seemingly super human level, acheiving winning records that are still mind boggling today are just some of the amazing details shared.  All of this without technological help.

It does make me wonder...If Bobby had continued playing into the age of Computer Analysis, how much stronger would he have become?

Sadly we will never know, and the romantics like me will always cheer for Bobby. 

Still, if a computer can help much more could it help someone like Kasparov?  And thus, was his mind alone better than Bobby's?

It's the same with Athletes of other much greater could the golden age athletes have been with modern advances such as Gatorade, IV fluids at halftime, better weight room facilities, better shoes, etc.  Magic Johnson will always be better than Kobe.  :-)

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts.