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Tal vs Smislov.Who was better chess player?

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Mirhosseini2006
Tal
Mirhosseini2006

Smyslov vs Tal

quietheathen1st

tal may not have been actually better than him during the late 50s, but he for sure surpassed him in strength later on, imo

Laskersnephew
If you look at there results and accomplishments, they were extremely close in strength. But while Smyslov was an outstanding example of the Soviet School of Chess, Tal brought an exciting new dynamism back to chess. He made sacrificial attacking chess fashionable again
tygxc

Smyslov
http://www.chessmetrics.com/cm/CM2/PlayerProfile.asp?Params=199510SSSSS3S123392000000111000000000000010100 

Laskersnephew

Well, according to chessmetrics, Smyslov's 3-year peak rating was 2793, and Tal's 3-year peak was 2786. I don't think a difference that tiny is at all significant

tygxc

Smyslov won the Candidates Tournament 1953 to challenge Botvinnik and still played the Candidates' Final Match against Kasparov in 1984. So the peak of Smyslov was not only higher, but also broader in part because of Tal's poor health.

Laskersnephew

Yes, Tal's health was probably the most important influence on his chess success, although his lifestyle didn't help! Without addressing the question of who was better, I feel that Tal was the more influential because of the way reintroduced sacrificial chess and tactical excitement to top level chess. He showed that there was more to chess than the ultra-scientific "Soviet School"

tygxc

#8
Yes, the victory of Tal over the scientific Botvinnik shocked the world. Tal was ill during the revanche match but Botvinnik and the chess federation insisted on Tal playing, rejected the Latvian doctor's attestation and demanded medical examination of Tal by a Moscow doctor. Tal also had to be hospitalised during the Curaçao Candidates'.
Nevertheless the time span of Smyslov at top level is extraordinary as well. The scientific style is probably less demanding physically than the calculating style.
Tal had as predecessors Alekhine, Nezhmetdinov, Bronstein and as followers Spassky and Kasparov.
Smyslov had as predecessors Steinitz, Capablanca and as followers Petrosian, Karpov, Carlsen.

quietheathen1st

Spassky was not his followers lol they were the same age and were friends. In fact, isn't Spasskys sacrifices said to be more dangerous than tals?

tygxc

#10
Age does not matter. Spassky became World Champion after Tal and after Petrosian. In that sense Spassky followed Tal.

Likewise Korchnoi played for the World Championship after Spassky despite Korchnoi being older. In that sense Korchnoi followed Spassky.

quietheathen1st

U mean succeeded, not followed

DreamscapeHorizons

Lifetime score between them in classical:

Smyslov  4 wins

Tal  3 wins

21 draws

Ruhubelent

IF you look at their career achievements, Tal is superior. But if you say who was superior theoretically (e.g. whose moves are better for scholastic chess) then I would think Smyslov was superior.

Tal has won the USSR championship 6 times (though I would argue only 2 of those 6 were elite tournament), he won several international super-tournaments like Canada 1979 and Bled 1962. Smyslov too won something like Hava 1965 or so. In olympiads they were close, Smyslov won more medals than Tal. Also, Smyslov reached the candidates final in 1984.

All in all, Smyslovis lack of clear 1st in USSR championships may hold him back as Tal has 6 of them. Also, Tal's tournaments victories must be more than that of Smyslov

tygxc

#14
Smyslov won Zürich 1953, the tournament of tournaments, 15 players, double round robin.

Muhammadrpm

Tal

Ruhubelent
tygxc ýazany:

#14
Smyslov won Zürich 1953, the tournament of tournaments, 15 players, double round robin.

That, Amsterdam Candidates 1956 and Havana 1965. Also, Candidates 1983 final is also worth mentioning. Besides them, I do not know if he won any tournament that included most of the leading players whereas in Tal's case, Tal won USSR championship 1957 and 58, Portoroz Interzonal 1958, Candidates 1959, Bled 1961, Montreal Stars Tournament 1979. Tal won 4 more USSR championships but I am not gonna count them as a tournament that is worth mentioning here as they were mainly subpar opposition. Tal won Riga INterzonal 1979 as well but then that, I consider, also not worth comparable to the list. As far Smyslov's 1983 final, Tal reached the candidates final in 1965.

All in all, Tal has more achievements.