Top 10 Chess players of all-time

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Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:08 am

Inspired by Retro's Rockers: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5106" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I have decided to make my version (my opinion) of the Top Ten best chess players of all-time. A new entry on the countdown will appear every one to three days.

Some of my background in chess can be seen at a chess website I have: http://www.d-chess.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

In determining the best all-time, there are many different methods and no one measure works. For example, in the past when competition was lighter, it was easier to remain champion for many years, so length in years at the top is not the best method, by itself. Also, elo chess ratings tend to get inflated over time (as do all rating systems), so that is not entirely accurate. A composite of factors need to be looked at. For my version of the Top 10 all-time, I use the following factors:

1. Brute strength of the player (as determined by ratings, best performances)
2. Number of years as World Champion (if any)
3. Significance of the player to the history of chess (or one of the predecessors of the current game)
4. Significance of the player to the promotion of the sport/game and the image of chess

10. Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900) from Austria / U.S.

World Champion from 1886 to 1894 (8 years)
At the top of the ratings chart for 173 months (over 14 years) from 1866 to 1890

Image

Image

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by Modus.Ponens » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:24 am

Nice topic :thumbsup:
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:15 am

9. Paul Morphy (1837-1884) from the U.S.

World Champion from 1858-1859
At the top of the ratings chart for 39 months between 1858-1861

The first [known] chess prodigy, winning games and matches against top rated players at a very young age.

He earned a degree, studying mathematics and philosophy and later also a law degree at the age of only 19. Since he was not old enough to practice law, he had time to play chess, which he did very well at, beating masters easily.

There were no "official" world championship matches yet at that time, but he was generally considered to be the world's best and world champion from at least 1858-1859. Bobby Fischer considered Morphy to be the greatest chess player of all-time (but other chess commentators disagree).

Image

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Nxg4 Nxe4 7. d3 Ng3 8. Bxf4 Nxh1 9. Qe2+ Qe7 10. Nf6+ Kd8 11. Bxc7+ Kxc7 12. Nd5+ Kd8 13. Nxe7 Bxe7 Fischer: ..'and Black should win.' (My 60 Memorable Games,p.124). 14. Qg4 d6 15. Qf4 Rg8! 16. Qxf7 Bxh4+? 16... Rf8! 17. Qxh7 Ng3 18. Nd2 Bf5 Maroczy 17. Kd2 Re8 18. Na3 Na6 19. Qh5 Bf6 20. Qxh1 Bxb2 21. Qh4+ Kd7 22. Rb1 Bxa3 23. Qa4+ (Black resigns)

Image

Paul Morphy displays his great skill at Queen sacrifices (1857):
Paulsen v. Morphy

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bb5 Bc5
5. O-O O-O
6. Nxe5 Re8
7. Nxc6 dxc6
8. Bc4 b5
9. Be2 Nxe4
10. Nxe4 Rxe4
11. Bf3 Re6
12. c3 Qd3
13. b4 Bb6
14. a4 bxa4
15. Qxa4 Bd7
16. Ra2 Rae8
17. Qa6 Qxf3
18. gxf3 Rg6+
19. Kh1 Bh3
20. Rd1 Bg2+
21. Kg1 Bxf3+
22. Kf1 Bg2+
23. Kg1 Bh3+
24. Kh1 Bxf2
25. Qf1 Bxf1
26. Rxf1 Re2
27. Ra1 Rh6
28. d4 Be3
White (Paulsen) resigns

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by Sanjog » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:42 pm

You could try posting the players best game as well, if possible, makes things more interesting.

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:55 pm

Sanjog wrote:You could try posting the players best game as well, if possible, makes things more interesting.
Good idea. I'll add some now.

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:58 pm

Greetings David,
David N. Snyder wrote:Good idea. I'll add some now.
But which is the Top 10 player and which is the opponent? :tongue:

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:16 am

retrofuturist wrote: But which is the Top 10 player and which is the opponent? :tongue:
I think you mean the chess diagram under the Morphy photo? Morphy was playing white. He was the first great expert (as far as I know) at sacrificing important pieces (such as Rooks, Queen) for a better strategic position and then wins.

A good example of how 'letting go' works in chess and how greedily going after piece advantage doesn't work. :) :ugeek:

edit above: I also added the full list of moves for the Rook sacrifice game pictured above for Morphy-Andersen

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:15 am

8. Sa'id bin Jubair (665-714 CE) from Africa / Persia

Image

World Champion of Shatranj from approximately 700-714 CE

sources: http://www.thechessdrum.net/newsbriefs/ ... dfold.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Complete Chess Addict, The Even More Complete Chess Addict, The Times, London, by Mike Fox and Richard James, 1987, 1993


Shatranj was a precursor to the current form of chess, but very similar with some minor to medium differences, such as the Queen, which could only move one square instead of the length of the board if the player wanted to. Sa'id bin Jubair was a master of blindfold chess too. In the Suttas blindfold chess was referred to as "chess in the air" when mentioning that monks should not be playing board games, but there is no prohibition for lay people.

Sa'id bin Jubair is on this list because of the great importance and historical significance he provided to shatranj and the development of the current form of chess and clearly must have been a very powerful player since he was considered champion and played well while blindfolded.

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:48 am

7. Ruy López de Segura (1540-1580) from Spain

He was a Catholic priest, probably of Jewish descent and was generally considered World Champion from 1560-1575. He wrote manuscripts on chess openings and is most famous for the "Ruy Lopez" opening to which there are at least 30 variations. Many past world champions have used and preferred the Ruy Lopez opening.

The Ruy Lopez opening:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5

Image

Image

Ruy Lopez, commemorated on a Cambodian stamp

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:15 pm

6. Garry Kasparov (1963- ) from Russia, Azerbaijan

Undisputed World Champion from 1985-1993. World Champion of a 'rival' organization to FIDE from 1993-2000.

Kasparov has had a peak rating of 2851 in July of 1999 and by many is considered the greatest of all-time. But he helped in the break-up of FIDE and many top players into two different groups and there were two sets of champions similar to boxing for several years. Currently the title is reunified, but there was a long division and Kasparov contributed to this. Although being a very strong player, in many of his early world championship matches, the outcome was very close, often just barely defeating his long rival, Anatoly Karpov.

Garry Kasparov was born Garry Weinstein (Russian: Гарри Вайнштейн) in Baku,Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union; now Azerbaijan, to an Armenian mother and Jewish father. He first began the serious study of chess after he came across a chess problem set up by his parents and proposed a solution. His father died of leukemia when he was seven years old. At the age of twelve, he adopted his mother's Armenian surname, Gasparyan, modifying it to a more Russified version, Kasparov.

Image

Kasparov was the first sitting World Champion to play a match against a chess super computer. The computer programs could analyze millions of moves per second, but Kasparov could still beat the best programs the best computer engineers could produce. This perhaps shows the human potential with the power of creativity and imagination that no computer could match. Although in recent years the computers have become so strong that even the best are having difficulty beating them now.

Here is a game that Kasparov played against the Fritz Computer chess program in 2003:

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. d4 c6 5. e3 a6 6. c5 Nbd7
7. b4 a5 8. b5 e5 9. Qa4 Qc7 10. Ba3 e4 11. Nd2 Be7 12. b6 Qd8
13. h3 O-O 14. Nb3 Bd6 15. Rb1 Be7 16. Nxa5 Nb8 17. Bb4 Qd7
18. Rb2 Qe6 19. Qd1 Nfd7 20. a3 Qh6 21. Nb3 Bh4 22. Qd2 Nf6
23. Kd1 Be6 24. Kc1 Rd8 25. Rc2 Nbd7 26. Kb2 Nf8 27. a4 Ng6
28. a5 Ne7 29. a6 bxa6 30. Na5 Rdb8 31. g3 Bg5 32. Bg2 Qg6
33. Ka1 Kh8 34. Na2 Bd7 35. Bc3 Ne8 36. Nb4 Kg8 37. Rb1 Bc8
38. Ra2 Bh6 39. Bf1 Qe6 40. Qd1 Nf6 41. Qa4 Bb7 42. Nxb7 Rxb7
43. Nxa6 Qd7 44. Qc2 Kh8 45. Rb3 1-0
(Kasparov, playing white, defeats the computer, which was analyzing millions of moves and strategies per second)

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by Sanjog » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:35 pm

:thumbsup: Awesome.

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:05 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Kasparov was the first sitting World Champion to play a match against a chess super computer. The computer programs could analyze millions of moves per second, but Kasparov could still beat the best programs the best computer engineers could produce. This perhaps shows the human potential with the power of creativity and imagination that no computer could match. Although in recent years the computers have become so strong that even the best are having difficulty beating them now.
You're perhaps being a bit generous towards 'human potential' there, David.
Human-computer chess matches
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article documents the progress of significant Human-computer chess matches.
Chess computers were first able to beat strong chess players in the late 1980s. Their most famous success was the victory of Deep Blue over then World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, but there was some controversy over whether the match conditions favored the computer.
In 2002-2003 three human-computer matches were drawn. But whereas Deep Blue was a specialized machine, these were chess programs running on commercially available computers.
After convincing victories in two matches in 2005 and 2006, it appears that chess programs can now defeat even the strongest chess players.
[etc]
Kasparov lost to the most advanced programme of its day running on the most advanced computer of its day, but a programme running on a mobile phone :jawdrop: now competes successfully at grandmaster level.
Of course, if you want to claim human potential wins the day then all you have to do is remind us that chess software and the hardware it runs on are products of human ingenuity, so you could say a bunch of people using complicated tools have beaten a highly skilled individual.

While I'm here, I will recommend a good chess-themed detective story - The Flanders Panel by Perez-Reverte http://www.perez-reverte.com/FlandersPa ... iption.asp.
:namaste:
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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by fig tree » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:08 am

Kim O'Hara wrote: Kasparov lost to the most advanced programme of its day running on the most advanced computer of its day, but a programme running on a mobile phone :jawdrop: now competes successfully at grandmaster level.
Kasparov pointed out that when he competes against human beings, they have risen through the ranks and he has the chance to get acquainted with their style of play as they play against others. Deep Blue was assembled, competed against him, and then was disassembled. Machines on the other hand typically are supplied with information gained from observing people play. My impression is that human beings do better against machines when we get accustomed to their strengths and weaknesses. Probably by now the best chess machines would beat the best people, but it would be nice to see how it would go if a program were implemented, then played over a course of time against people (without its designers adjusting it by hand between games).

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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:58 am

fig tree wrote:My impression is that human beings do better against machines when we get accustomed to their strengths and weaknesses.
Reading between the lines of the wikipedia article I quoted and a related one, what you say seems to be true and there are now recognised strategies which people use against machines - avoiding anything brilliant but risky, for instance, in favour of slowly and carefully adding tiny advantages together.
fig tree wrote: Probably by now the best chess machines would beat the best people, but it would be nice to see how it would go if a program were implemented, then played over a course of time against people (without its designers adjusting it by hand between games).
I think that is already happening, in that strong software has been publicly released, but I'm not sure. Chess is something I used to play a long time ago (and never very well); I still occasionally try to solve the puzzle in the local newspaper but I haven't actually taken the board out for ten years or more.
:namaste:
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Re: Top 10 Chess players of all-time

Post by DNS » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:23 am

5. Viswanathan Anand (1969- ) from India (Tamil Nadu)

World Champion 2000-2002 (FIDE)

Undisputed World Champion 2007 and continuing through today (most recent defense of title in 2010)

Viswanathan Anand represents a great achievement for chess, being Indian born, where the game of chess originated. It started around the first to fifth century CE in India as Chaturanga and then later most popular in the Middle East as Shatranj and then to the current form of chess as we know it. Viswanathan Anand may be a catalyst to the game for India and the rest of Asia the way Bobby Fischer elevated the popularity of chess in the U.S. starting in 1972 when he won the World Championship.

Viswanathan Anand is not at this rank position simply because he is Indian or Hindu, but because he truly is a very strong player, with one of the highest recorded ratings. As the current World Champion and an active player, he could go up on my list here of the all-time best, at some future date.

Image

2010 World Championship

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.e3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Be2 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd7 13.O-O b6 14.Bd3 c5 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Qc2 Nf6!? 17.dxc5 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 bxc5 19.Qc2 Bb7 20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.f3 Ba6 22.Rf2 Rd7 23.g3 Rbd8 24.Kg2 Bd3 25.Qc1 Ba6 26.Ra3 Bb7 27.Nb3 Rc7 28.Na5 Ba8 29.Nc4 e5 30.e4 f5! 31.exf5? e4! 32.fxe4?? Qxe4+ 33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3 Qe8! 35.g4 h5 36.Kh4 g5+ 37.fxg6 Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Re7 40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Nf5+ Kh7 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ 43.hxg3 Qg4+ 44.Kh2 Re2+ 45.Kg1 Rg2+ 46.Qxg2 Bxg2 47.Kxg2 Qe2+ 48.Kh3 c4 49.a4 a5 50.Rf6 Kg8 51.Nh6+ Kg7 52.Rb6 Qe4 53.Kh2 Kh7 54.Rd6 Qe5 55.Nf7 Qxb2+ 56.Kh3 Qg7 0–1

Anand playing black and winning the game and match

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