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Always a controversial topic but its also an interesting discussion of players styles and how they do in blitz. It seems to me that the best blitz players are the more natural type players Fischer, Karpov, Capablanca, Morphy , Tal all were more intuitive and were very well known for playing that way and amazing at blitz. I would like to argue that players that have very solid endgames and technique tend to do very well in blitz over more agressive/risky based players at the top end. [Nakamura btw is VERY good at endgames even though his risky style is what people take more notice of.] To smoothly win won endgames to gain critical points against best defense requires is critical in time pressure.
The clear topic is who was the best blitz player of all time
I would argue Fischer in 1970 they played an unofficial blitz
The first unofficial "Speed Chess Championship of the World" (or World Blitz Championship) was held in Herceg Novi on April 8, 1970. This was shortly after the first USSR versus the rest of the world match (in Belgrade), in which ten of these players also competed. Eleven Grandmasters and one International Master played a double round-robin tournament. Bobby Fischer won first place, with a score of 19 points out of a possible 22. Fischer scored seventeen wins, four draws, and one loss (to Korchnoi).Mikhail Tal was a distant second, 4½ points behind. Fischer won both games against each of Tal, Tigran Petrosian, and Vassily Smyslov; all of whom are past World Champions.
Tal later won an event in 1988 with
There was an interview in ChessLife Magazine after the event and Tal was asked how he thought Fischer would have done. In typical Tal style he laughed, and said something like "Last time I played in a blitz tournament with Fischer he won by 4.5 points over me." At a time when Tal was in his prime as well.
Fischer was also rumored to have played Grandmaster Peter Biyiasas and won 17 in a row. I also heard he gave him 5 / 1 odds and won a majority as well. Another player that people forget about too was GM Ruben Fine. He was amazing in transit chess at 10 sec a move.
I feel that Tal and Fischer are probably the main contenders for the title. In terms of results Fischer edges it, but as we all know Tal's health was very fragile, and that may have effected his performance in the 1970 tournament.
Some might say Genrikh Chepukaitis.
I'd say Capablanca and Tal are up there in the blitz department.Capablanca had a natural ability to play speed chess and Tal's style was well suited for blitz chess.
The 1970 event was organized after the USSR v the World match, when all the top players were around. Fischer was at the height of his powers, and won easily. Tal was past his blitz prime, but the margin establishes Fischer as the class of his era.
There weren't the sort of events with Karpov or Kasparov, who both were supposedly excellent blitz players, and Carlson seems the class of the current players - although Nakamura plays above his ranking and can contend.
No one has dominated like Fischer.
I don't think I'd characterize Fischer as a "natural type player" He may have had great natural ability, but we'll never know because he arguably worked harder at chess than anyone else in history
From chessgames.com: "He was Leningrad/St. Petersburg blitz champion in 1965, 1967, 1976, 1978, 1982, and 2002."
Are you kidding me? He was a blitz champ contender for almost 40 years? What a blitz monster.
Kasparov was a better blitz player than a comparison of Fischer vs Tal in Herceg Novi 1970 with Kasparov vs Tal in New Brunswick 1988 implies. The latter was maybe the worst blitz event in Kasparov's career, but he was the best blitz player in the world for a long time, as results like this one show:
A chess statistics site that collected all blitz games of the last decade ended up with this top five and these Elo performances:
Needless to say Carlsen's results have been much better after the 2000-09 period.
Your stats cover one ten-year period, and do not address rating inflation or even attempt to estimate earlier periods.
These results may support your conclusions, but they do not prove them.
Didn't Kasparov beat Vachier-Lagrave (no mean blitz player himself) in a mini-match not so long ago?
Blitz chess has changed a lot the last 50 years, nowadays all top players are very experienced at blitz and it's played more than ever. In that respect a result like Carlsen's World Blitz win in 2009 was quite impressive. He scored 8-0 against Anand, Kramnik, Karjakin and Grischuk in 2nd to 5th place, and only Anand finished within six points behind Carlsen, three points behind in second place.
batgirl can I ask a question? Is researching chess history your actual job? It would seem like a pretty cool job to have, are you writing a book or anything on it?
I read and write about history for fun, that's all.
by natural players I mean players that have a more positional type feel. These players find moves more through intuition first then follow up with calculation. Kasparov is more of a pure calculator although intuition always plays a part. The intuitive players are along the lines of Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, Carlsen and even Tal who was more dynamic. Kasparov, Alekhine, Botvinnik , Anand fall into the more calculation first realm. In longer games the calculation aspect tends to do well because of the ability to find exceptions to the intuitive players instinctive moves. In faster time controls intuitive players find moves faster,.. (thats at least the idea) Kasparov's "worst" result is a point but I dont think anyone was quite as dominate as Fischer. And Kasparov's dominance was not clear against Karpov. (their life long scores against each other shows that clearly they were essentially equals)
I dont think anyone was quite as dominate as Fischer. And Kasparov's dominance was not clear against Karpov. (their life long scores against each other shows that clearly they were essentially equals)
Fischer had 13.5-12.5 against Spassky after their title match, so it's not as if their head-to-head score was much more one-sided. Karpov was of course an extremely strong opponent but Kasparov only finished behind him once in two decades of tournaments, and was eventually successful in their matches. He was no more than 24 years old during the fourth of these matches, by the way. As for who was the most dominant player I think that is something that is difficult to measure, for example Steinitz and Lasker were quite dominant for long periods.
Fischer had 13.5-12.5 against Spassky after their title match, so it's not as if their head-to-head score was much more one-sided.
Really, statistics exist but don't tell a story. Fischer's results against Spassky were extremely one-sided. If you look at the results chronologcally and take into consideration the 1992 match, it would look different.
-Up to 1970 the results of Spassky vs Fischer was +3=2 or 4-1 pts., Spassky's favor.-Going into the 3rd game of the world champion match, their result was greatly in Spassky's favor+5=2 or 6-1 pts. One might conclude that by the 3rd game in the wc match Spassky was lightyears ahead of Fischer based on the stats. But. . . . just the opposite.In the next 18 games, Spassky managed to win only 1 and draw 11, while Fischer totally dominated the current world champion with 7 wins. Even taking into account Fischer's theatrics, somewhere between 1970 and 1972, Fischer grew far beyond the reach of Spassky. This event resulted in +3=11-7 or 8.5-12.5, Fischer's favor, giving a grand total to that point of 12.5 -13.5 -In their rematch in 1992, Spassky lost even more with 17.5 - 12.5 pts. (+5=15-10)-giving a lifetime total of +11=28-17 or 25-31 pts. in Fischer's favor, but +5=24-17, Fischer's favor, since 1972. About half (5 of his 11 wins) of Spassky's wins against Fischer were in the first seven time they met over the board. In the following 49 games Spassky won only 6 games compared to Fischer's 17.
Do results before the 3rd game in 1972 not count for some reason? Is there a certain age a chessplayer reaches and then we can start tallying results? If we're discarding Fischer's bad results before 1972 I guess we have to ignore his good ones too huh?
Anand is better than kasparov!!!!!!!
I think you might have missed the point.