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Who was the most underrated player in your opinion?
Personally, I think Nezhmetdinov was the most underrated because he never got to be World Champion and helped Tal beat Botvinnik in one of the World Championship matches.
Nezhmetdinov is often mentioned in this type of threads, but he is fairly well known for a player with his results. He was never top 20 according to Chessmetrics, and his by far best result in a Soviet Championship was 7th.
One rather unknown player nowadays is Erich Eliskases. He won against Capablanca and Keres in Semmering/Baden 1937, won Noordwijk 1938 far ahead of Keres and Euwe and was undefeated in eight consecutive tournaments from then on, and still good enough to beat Fischer in 1960. In the 1930s he played four matches against Spielmann and Bogo, winning all four. He was Alekhine's second in the title match in 1937, and was scheduled to challenge Alekhine in 1941 but by then he had moved to South America. Here he is outplaying Capa in the endgame:
My list of underrated players are:
Paulsen, Chigorin, Euwe, Spassky
GM John Nunn. Probably the smartest too. His brain cannot concentrate on chess alone.
I've never heard of him; he's too underrated.😀
Teichmann , Gunsberg , Schlechter , Paulsen , Duras. Rubinstein has been recognized as a great master long ago , I don't think he is underrated anymore.
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Nezhmetdinov is an excellent choice for the most underrated GM.
Check out ,though, Albin Planinc who was less well known than Nezh but was the most imaginative GM I have ever seen. You need go no further than his remarkable game against Rafael Vaganian from Hastings 1974/5.It culminated in a Queen sacrifice in order to mate his opponents King at the opposite end of the board with Bishop and Knight.
There are numerous such examples in his games.
Planinc later developed mental problems and died about 2009 at age 64.
I don't think Steinitz is thought of as influential as he should be. He was great! Probably because of his regal Greco-like bearing with a beautiful defence named after him.
Schlecter tends to be underrated. His match with Lasker was played at an extremely high level.
Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh:
Nezhmetdinov, ... if he had the attack, could kill anybody, including Tal. But my score against him was something like 8½–½ because I did not give him any possibility for an active game. In such cases he would immediately start to spoil his position because he was looking for complications.
I understand Nezhmetdinov is always a popular pick in these "most underrated" posts. But he was what he was...an IM, and if you kept the position quiet he didnt perfrom well.
If anyone deserves to be on this list its Sultan Khan.