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Keres?! Come on, he never even held the WCC title!
Asked for '' best '' not most titles ?
Paul Keres one of the best-players of all time & goes in my top 5.
All right, so how was Keres better than Tal or Alekhine or Lasker?
We never know now since war intervened in the middle that period of history...
He did have some fine games with Alekhine.
I admire Keres as much as anyone, but Alekhine was one of his worst opponents. Alekhine had 5-1 in wins and all their games were played 1935-43 when Alekhine was between 43 and 51 years old and had passed his peak. Of course Keres also improved later but was top ten at Chessmetrics throughout that period and did win AVRO 1938, so he was already a very strong player even if Alekhine was a difficult opponent for him.
People saying, "Carlsen" are about 15-20 years premature. He's an enormous talent, but he hasn't even participated in a world championship yet. In fact, he didn't feel ready to face an aging Anand at this time and let this championship cycle pass him by and go to Gelfand.
He said it had to do with FIDE changing the rules and deciding the Candidates in a knockout. Of course you may be right that it was an excuse because he "didn't feel ready to face an aging Anand", but I don't think it's a fact.
Anyway, no one is suggesting that Carlsen is one of the greatest players ever achievement wise at 21. But it's definitely possible that the Carlsen of 2009-12 has been playing better chess than Anand and Kramnik even if he hasn't won as many titles since he is so much younger.
Yes Alekhine was '' thorn-in-side '' for Keres. But a benchmark of brilliant players is the new lines/theories they introduce to the game. True of Fischer,Kasparov,Keres,Karpov & many others mentioned here :)
I do agree that Carlsen's talent is innate, natural & brilliant. No question he is most exciting player around currently.
what if i post a pic of a chess player?
"Does a top 5 OF ALL TIME refuse to stake his claim as champion because it's a knockout tourny? What ofther criteria should we use than achievement in chess?"
Well, Fischer, Kramnik and Anand refused to participate in many cycles for all kinds of reasons but that doesn't necessarily make them weaker than players that top the rating lists today. I don't think Carlsen can be said to be playing worse chess than he does because he didn't participate in the knockout. If it's a question of career achievements it's obvious that Carlsen can't be compared to Karpov, if it's a question of playing strength he might be about the same level. It's difficult to compare but chess evolves and Carlsen is winning the Chess Oscar for best player of the year for the third time in a row for 2011 and that's an achievement in itself considering the competition from players like Anand and Kramnik.
People saying, "Carlsen" are about 15-20 years premature. He's an enormous talent, but he hasn't even participated in a world championship yet. In fact, he didn't feel ready to face an aging Anand at this time and let this championship cycle pass him by and go to Gelfand. He has much to prove; especially in match format.
It's difficult to say who the best players of all time are because each generation learns something from the previous one. If you're talking about natural or innate talent; then Morphy, Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Carlsen are excellent picks.
'Best' players? We need to define what we mean by 'best'. If we mean 'strongest player irrespective of time' it naturally favors modern players who know more than earlier players. So 1.Kasparov, 2.Karpov, 3.Fischer, 4.Anand, 5.Kramnik.
who says Kasparov in first place its wrong, i say Fischer. The best player of all times. 3 reasons: Mindgame( was the reason why he won in iceland and was the first chess american player to be worldchampion, defeating the russians). second reason: Strong figther against u.s. politician. 3 reason: Wow, dream games that he did against his opponents...FISCHER PLAYS LIKE FISCHER, THE REST PLAYS CHESS!!
Sure was but takes two. One of Fischers greatest ever games was against Keres:
Robert James Fischer vs Paul Keres, Zurich 1959