My favorite living chess player is Vishy Anand. He is a machine! Always sharp, always tactical, and the greatest rapid player ever!
My favorite chess player from the past is Capablanca. He just made it look so easy!
I'm not sure I have a favorite. I did like Alekhine and Tal's games when I remember going over them.
I'm interested in Kamsky at the moment and following his progress to the championship! :)
I'm a big fan of Judit Polgar for her attacking, take-no-prisoners style of play and her achievement of showing that women players can compete at the top levels of the game.
Historically, you can't beat Capablanca IMO.
Of the current players I like Anand and Polgar. They both have aggressive styles of play and (by all accounts) seem like nice people.
Of historical players, I like Capablanca. He was the chess machine! I like this quote from "The High Window" by Raymond Chandler: " It was night. I went home and put my old house clothes on and set the chessmen out and mixed a drink and played over another Capablanca. It went fifty-nine moves. Beautiful, cold, remorseless chess, almost creepy in its silent implacability..."
maybe Joseph Blackburne...
no, maybe Paul Morphy...
maybe Mikhail Tal...
maybe James Mason...
maybe Emmanuel Lasker....
I don't know!!
Pyotr Romanovsky, an early Russian Master of Sport and, more significantly, an important chess instructor throughout the Stalin years, believed that James Mason was the strongest player ever to live. Mason could flat out play chess. He learned to play as an 11 year old Irish immigrant boy hanging around the local chess cafés in New York City. He never studied chess, but, similar to Joseph Blackburne, quickly mastered the game and out-classed everyone. The fact that he was good was indisputable but his actual results don't necessarily support that fact. Mason was an alcoholic. He often got drunk during tournaments and even matches. Mason would sometimes just disappear during tournaments, or even during games where he was winning, and simply forfeit.
Mason won the 4th American Chess Congress of 1976 - making him, at that time, the unofficial American Champion.
As he got older, his drinking became so predictable and disorderly that he was banned from even entering many tournaments. He supported himself primarily by writing about chess - books, free-lancing, editing.
Lasker wrote, "Mr. Mason's play as a player was very high, but he could have achieved the highest place of all, had he not possessed characteristics that unfit anyone for the attainment of success."
Here's a page I made on Mason several years ago.
How come no one is saying Bobby Fischer? He is the only chess player I know a little about and I heard he was the best. I don't know really anything about players, but I just thought Fischer was the greatest.
And I have a question. Are Chess events ever aired on TV? If not, how can I follow the Chess games of all the recent GMs and stuff? Thanks!
Thanks! I am on my way to chessbase.com to check out some games.
I think the hype for Fischer was so over blown for so long that people just got sick and tired of hearing about him/talking about him. The stories got so ridiculous at times...it basically felt like "While in the womb, 3 months into his mother's pregnancy, Fischer delved into the underworld and single handedly defeated every person who had ever played chess, heard of it, or seen it throughout all of time. He was born with chess pieces for fingers and toes, and his doctors had to perform reconstructive surgery so that he could function as a human being. Normal mortals like you or me would be deterred by such horrid atrocities, but the being known as Fischer took his former appendages, travelled back in time, and created the game we now know as Chess!." I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Fischertology religion within the next decade or so...
Anyways...throw my hat in as another Capablanca fan. I also enjoy studying Kasparov's work quite a bit.
As far as Gms go my Favorite Players are Emmanuel Lasker and Akiba Rubinstien.