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Are today's GMs better than 100 years ago?

  • #21

    It's easy to believe nonsense like that when the only games that you've seen of those great old masters come from their "Best Games" collections. But if you look at all their games, you will find a lot of real blunderfests. Again, this is not meant to deride those immortals; every great player of today has built on what they taught us

  • #22
    You can't compare players of before to players of now, since all of them have different styles and they would have adapted to the type of play at their time.
  • #23
    Like the Fried Liver was amazing back then
  • #24
    yureesystem wrote:

    Lasker was a much better endgame player than Carlsen will be, he played precise and could defense very difficult position and endgame; in a recent tournament { Sinquenfield Cup 2017}, Carlsen miss a win against Nakamura, Lasker would of found the win.

    Wow. 

    https://www.chess.com/article/view/laskers-worst-loss

     

    Lasker was a great endgame player, but he was already surpassed in the endgame in his own day by Rubinstein and Capablanca. After that, Botvinnik, Averbakh, and of course Smyslov were great endgame technicians. And then Bobby Fischer, Ulf Andersson and Anatoly Karpov showed what the next generation had learned from the past.

    But even those greats, whom I love and studied, can't hold a candle to today's elite GMs. Time after time, they have to navigate incredibly difficult endgames with almost no time on the clock, no adjournments, and no seconds to help them. And yet they play computer-perfect endgames. This is in large measure because they practice endgames on a daily basis with perfect machines. 

    Even in these rapid games, where mistakes happen far more often than not, these guys can defend difficult technical games with great precision. 

    Lasker was great. But in terms of pure technique, he can't hold a candle to what today's players do, even in rapid and blitz time controls.

  • #25
    yureesystem wrote:

    Lasker was a much better endgame player than Carlsen will be, he played precise and could defense very difficult position and endgame; in a recent tournament { Sinquenfield Cup 2017}, Carlsen miss a win against Nakamura, Lasker would of found the win.

    Carlsen is good at endgame too, but he got lazy in that game, and performed far below his normal. The huge difference between most modern top players and the ancient ones is the computer assisted homeraparations. I think the old masters generally were better in endgames than the current masters, because they spent more time in the endgames. These days too often  endgames are blitzed out in time trouble and therefore not well calculated.  I guess the old masters if they could come here with the strength of their youth they could do very well, because they were strong enough to usually survive the first 40 moves, and better at endgames.

  • #26

    Carlsen missed one move (Ba4 instead of Be3) in a very difficult position. Lasker would never have gotten to that position in the first place. Don't be too hard on Carlsen in that game. 

    Take a look at the game with GM commentary.

    http://en.chessbase.com/post/sinquefield-08-carlsen-forgives-nakamura

  • #27

    In the year 2117, a hundred years from now, the future GMs will be far greater than our present day one, including chess ingines. Chess players will be debating the same thing again. Who knows, in two or three hundred years from now, GMs like Fischer & Kasparov etc might be the great ones now but could be viewed as better than average patzers & not the GOAT, imo. Just saying.

  • #28

    the ancients are the real players, they actually came up with stuff. today's chess dudes play better, but their moves are mainly just a mechanical regurgitation of their training.

  • #29

    @bishoptakesrookpawn Interesting, I didn't think of it in that way.

  • #30

    In my opinion, yesteryears masters are the thinkers and inventors of many games. Today's masters studied those games and enhanced it to the modern times..more precise, solving more complex positions. Computers made it easier. They would be of no match of today's GMs.

     

  • #31
    Hdhehsjjdudi
  • #32

    I don't understand why so many people diss today's great players. These guys are creating some amazingly beautiful games. They aren't just following machine lines. They're tactical monsters who rarely miss a shot. These guys are playing rapid chess at a higher level than Alekhine or Lasker could play classical time controls. 

  • #33
    Riggghhht
  • #34

    Because today's players are subjected to constant criticism by chess engines. This allows complete patzers to pretend that they no something about chess. So they are happy to sit in judgement on the best players in the world. Lasker, Capablanca, et al were never subjected to that kind of treatment

  • #35

    I'd say GM's are a lot better in the old days because the GM's these days play for draws and get draws about 80% of the time. The old GM's went for the win because they weren't afraid to lose. I'd take the old GM's any day over this current group.

  • #36
    pawn8888 wrote:

    I'd say GM's are a lot better in the old days because the GM's these days play for draws and get draws about 80% of the time. The old GM's went for the win because they weren't afraid to lose. I'd take the old GM's any day over this current group.

    Take a look at the games from the St. Louis Rapid tournament going on as I type this. Those guys are going all out for the win in every game.

  • #37

    Not only would the contemporary players you named crush the players from the past, but so would any of the other 1000+ contemporary grandmasters. It's an entirely different game now.

  • #38

    Well, first of all, today's top players don't draw 80% of the time, and most of the draws are because the standard of play is so much higher today. As far the "went for the win because they weren't afraid to lose" part, that isn't how elite chess is played. If the position justifies pushing for a win, today's top GMs will push. However, they aren't thinking about winning at all if they're worse in a simplified position, simply because playing objectively bad moves just to avoid a draw doesn't work at the 2700 level.

  • #39
    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • #40

    Obviously today's best masters are stronger than the best masters 100 years ago.  They have the advantage of all the advances in theory (especially opening theory) and the ability to study countless instructive games played over the last 100 years.  Today's masters would be considerably stronger than yesterday's even if they didn't have the additional advantage of chess engines.  Would Einstein have come up with the general theory of relativity if he hadn't started out with the knowledge gained from the pioneering work of Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and others?

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