Who do you think was (or is) the person who loved chess most

OrcaHastasi

I am talking about the person who lived and breathed chess to the point beyond obsession, studied/played it with great enjoyment and never got bored of it, and actually held chess with utmost regard (comparable to the noblest sciences and arts). The first one that comes to my mind is Alexander Alekhine. Another choice of mine would be Irwing Chernev, who "probably read more about chess, and played more games than any man in history." 

Who are your own choices?

waffllemaster

Korchnoi fits your description perfectly in my opinion.  In fact, to my knowledge no player can compete with him given these conditions.  If there's a worthy competitor I'd like to read about him/her though.

sixtyfoursquares

Who can forget Bobby Fischer!!

Scottrf
sixtyfoursquares wrote:

Who can forget Bobby Fischer!!

Someone who quit an an early age because he didn't get his own way? Wouldn't be my first choice.

Probably Immortal-Gladiator. He will stop at nothing to become a GM, even if it takes him 50 years.

OrcaHastasi
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Bur_Oak

It's a guy named Phil in Terra Haute. He sucks at chess, but, man, he loves it!

OrcaHastasi

@ Wafflemaster: I agree with you, Korchnoi is a great choice, albeit a bit of a grumpy one :)

@ sixtyfoursquares: Fischer was a big fan of chess in his youth, but as Scottrf put it, he left the chess scene quite prematurely and actually he later thought that modern chess became a boring game. So I guess he is not the person who loved chess most!

waffllemaster

A few quick facts about Korchnoi:

Defected from the Soviet Union, leaving his son and wife behind while he played chess abroad.

Never officially retired but only recently unofficially after his latest stroke at the age of 82(!)  (Most pros retire some 40 years before this).

The title of his first book was "Chess is my Life."

 

From Learn from the Legends by Marin:

[Talkig about Korchnoi's strength even in his advanced years compared to his contemporaries failing chess strength decades earlier]

"I found the explanation for this remarkable phenomenon in the introduction to the book Izbranniie Partii published in 1996 on the occasion of Korchnoi's first visit to St Petersburg after the collapse of the Iron Curtain.  According to his own confession around the age of 30 Korchnoi started being dissatisfied from a creative point of view with his style of play, althoug he was unanimously acclaimed as a USSR champion and very enterprising player.  For 10 long years, he tried to relearn the basics of chess from the beginning.  Such an ambitious attitude based on objectivity and self-criticism explains Korchnoi's strength in his late forties as well as his stunning results around the age of 70."

 

Excerpts from the preface to Korchnoi's "My Best Games" by Sosonko:

"His uncompromising nature, motivation, and eagerness for a struggle are well known.  These qualities, together with imagination in chess, are usually typical of youth, and with age they normally fall away.  Experience is accumulated, novelty loses its attraction, and there is hardly anything to excite the imagination or to urge one on, as in one's younger years.  With Victor Korchnoi this has not happened.  he is still search, analysing, preparing for tournaments, and playing."

"At the tournament in the Dutch town of Tilburg in 1998 Korchnoi reprimanded some young grandmasters:  'why didn't you play on in this position?  You had chances.  Dangerous?  Then you'd be better not playing chess at all, if you find it dangerous...'  'And you, aren't you ashamed of agreeing a draw after half an hour with White against Anand?  Isn't it interesting -- to play Anand?  Is it every day that you have the chance to play Anand?  Yesterday against Kramnik I too could have taken on d5 in the Slav and would definitely not have lost, but I don't play that way, and I never will play that way, if I think there is a variation that leads to an advantage.  Even if the position turns out to be dangerous and complicated.  After all, it is dangerous for both players...'"

"Once, after he had found a new idea as a result of a lengthy analysis, I advised him not to employ it in a tournament that seemed to me less significant, but to keep it for some more important event.  'For another tournament I'll think up something else', replied Victor 'I don't store up innovations.'"

(This is impractical from a competitive standpoint, but in keeping with his fighting spirit and love for the game itself.  Another example being when Korchnoi didn't agree to the "non-combat drawing cooperative" suggested by Petrosian at the 1962 candidates tournament.  Geller and Keres played along to save energy for the many days of play).

"When Korchnoi plays chess he forgets about everything.  Tal once told me that before a simultaneous display in Havana, Victor was asked: 'You will be played Che Guevara.  he is rather weak player, but he loves chess passionately.  he would be happy, if he were able to gain a draw...'  Korchnoi understandingly nodded his head.  A few hours later he returned to the hotel.  'Well?'  'I crushed them all, all without exception!'  'And Che Guevara?'  'Che Guevara?'  'I also crushed Che Guevara -- he hasn't a clue about the Catalan Opening!'

"For him the age of a player does not play any role, because in chess, as also in literature or music, performers are not distinguished by years.  Therefore, when analysing a game with a young twelve year old talent, he talks with him as he would with an adult: 'Do you notice that at the end of the variation suggested by you, your king is left undefended?  What if I sacrifice a bishop?' he asks, paying no attention to the bright shining eyes and the trembling chin of his opponent."

"A few years ago at a major international tournament, preparing for a game with a highly repsctable grandmaster, Korchnoi said: 'I have noticed that he markedly tires towards the end of a game.  So I have decided to wear him out, by maintaining the tension to the last hour of play'.  His opponent was twent-five years younger..."

Rasparovov
Scottrf wrote:
sixtyfoursquares wrote:

Who can forget Bobby Fischer!!

Someone who quit an an early age because he didn't get his own way? Wouldn't be my first choice.

Probably Immortal-Gladiator. He will stop at nothing to become a GM, even if it takes him 50 years.

Haha!

SocialPanda

Emil Joseph Diemer

maDawson

Marcel Duchamp

Spent the honeymoon playing chess. Later his love for the game pretty much ended his marriage. He also gave up a very promising and rare future in art to go play late-night chess in clubs. Ironically he is known more for being an artist due to his impact in such a short career span.

OrcaHastasi
maDawson wrote:

Marcel Duchamp

Spent the honeymoon playing chess. Later his love for the game pretty much ended his marriage. He also gave up a very promising and rare future in art to go play late-night chess in clubs. Ironically he is known more for being an artist due to his impact in such a short career span.

I agree, he is one of the candidates for such a person. Who would give up such a promising career for chess? In fact he knew that he would never be a top level player and despite this, he continued playing chess.

TetsuoShima
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waffllemaster
paulgottlieb wrote:

There's a great book called "Russians Versus Fischer" that details all the measures that the Soviet chess establishment tried to take to cope with the "Fischer menace." All of the top players in the USSR were required to submit their written analysis of Fischer's style, personality, and chess strengths and weaknesses. Some of the Soviet GM's, like Tal, Spassky, Petrosian, and Stein had pretty good personal relations with Fischer, while Geller and Korchnoi seemed to dislike him--and Botvinnik seemed to have an irrational hatered of Fischer. But in almost every single one of their reports you see virtually the same phrase over and over again: "He really loves chess!"

Interesting, I didn't know this.

Urthor
maDawson wrote:

Marcel Duchamp

Spent the honeymoon playing chess. Later his love for the game pretty much ended his marriage. He also gave up a very promising and rare future in art to go play late-night chess in clubs. Ironically he is known more for being an artist due to his impact in such a short career span.

This^

As for known players i'd say Korchnoi, he is like 1000 years old and still goes to tournaments in his wheel chair :')

TetsuoShima
Urthor wrote:
maDawson wrote:

Marcel Duchamp

Spent the honeymoon playing chess. Later his love for the game pretty much ended his marriage. He also gave up a very promising and rare future in art to go play late-night chess in clubs. Ironically he is known more for being an artist due to his impact in such a short career span.

This^

As for known players i'd say Korchnoi, he is like 1000 years old and still goes to tournaments in his wheel chair :')


shame i cant find it anymore, on youtube was a great interview by Korchnoi were he says : Karpov, of Carp.

You cannot overestimate him, you can not underestimate him, he is a fish.

That was so funny, i really wish i could find it again and show you.