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Old August 6th 07, 07:20 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

Hi,

I am trying to settle an argument about who is or was the greatest
chessplayer. Chessmetrics.com states several possibilities...

1. Most Dominant Player: Emanuel Lasker

2. Highest-Rated Player: Bobby Fischer

3. Best Individual Event: Anatoly Karpov

See link for more details -
http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Summa...00000008910100

So which one do most people think is the the best indicator of overall
strength, or is there something else that should be considered? Thanks
for any opinions on this.

Mark

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Old August 6th 07, 09:33 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On Aug 6, 11:20 am, wrote:
Hi,

I am trying to settle an argument about who is or was the greatest
chessplayer. Chessmetrics.com states several possibilities...

1. Most Dominant Player: Emanuel Lasker

2. Highest-Rated Player: Bobby Fischer

3. Best Individual Event: Anatoly Karpov

See link for more details -http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Summary.asp?Params=1840AASSSSS3S038178...

So which one do most people think is the the best indicator of overall
strength, or is there something else that should be considered? Thanks
for any opinions on this.

Mark


Hello Mark,

I have been reflecting on a similar idea. However, I would like to
add to the criteria. Which of these people was also of the highest,
most admirable character. I am not a chess historian or biographer,
but my initial list of people that were of world championship caliber
and were people of high character looked like this: Lasker, Euwe,
Keres, Smyslov, Spassky, Anand. There are most likely changes that
should be made to this list.

Lasker was clearly a respectable and likable fellow. He was a
philosopher, a friend of Albert Einstein's, a mathematician. Given
Lasker's success at dominating his contemporaries for many years, I
think of him as "Greatest" at this point. But, I would like to see
more discussion if anyone else wants to chip in.

Cheers,

John Douglas Walker


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Old August 6th 07, 09:55 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

240 messages later, this was definitively answered in this thread:
http://tinyurl.com/2vr6jh

I'll save you some reading: it's Capa, Kramnik, Karpov, Kasparov, *in
that order* (cuz 'puters don't lie!)

RL


wrote:
Hi,

I am trying to settle an argument about who is or was the greatest
chessplayer. Chessmetrics.com states several possibilities...

1. Most Dominant Player: Emanuel Lasker

2. Highest-Rated Player: Bobby Fischer

3. Best Individual Event: Anatoly Karpov

See link for more details -
http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Summa...00000008910100

So which one do most people think is the the best indicator of overall
strength, or is there something else that should be considered? Thanks
for any opinions on this.

Mark


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Old August 6th 07, 10:42 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Posts: 6
Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On 6 Aug, 21:55, raylopez99 wrote:
240 messages later, this was definitively answered in this thread:http://tinyurl.com/2vr6jh

I'll save you some reading: it's Capa, Kramnik, Karpov, Kasparov, *in
that order* (cuz 'puters don't lie!)

RL



I read that article but your list be more correct as
Crafty,Capa,Kramnik, Karpov, Kasparov.

a quote from the article:

"One may argue that Crafty is weaker than at least some of the
fourteen World Champions who were taken into consideration. "

so if Crafty makes a "bad" move then it would be evaluated as a "plus"
for the player that did the same move?

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Old August 7th 07, 01:35 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On Aug 6, 1:20 pm, wrote:

I am trying to settle an argument about who is or was the greatest
chessplayer. Chessmetrics.com states several possibilities...

1. Most Dominant Player: Emanuel Lasker

2. Highest-Rated Player: Bobby Fischer

3. Best Individual Event: Anatoly Karpov

See link for more details -http://db.chessmetrics.com/CM2/Summary.asp?Params=1840AASSSSS3S038178...

So which one do most people think is the the best indicator of overall
strength, or is there something else that should be considered?



There is a lot more to being great than just being the
highest-rated or most dominant player, and it is quite
obvious that a single performance falls well short of
greatness, by itself.

One idea is this: how much did a given chess player
contribute to the theory of chess? Or to popularizing
the game? Or even to improving the game's prestige,
as opposed to lowering it by his own antics? One way
for a player to make his mark other than by winning
tournaments or matches, is to write about chess; in
this arena, even such players as GMs Evans, Keres,
Tal, Nimzowitch, Timman, etc., have surpassed some
of those listed in your post.

Add to this the fact that the names listed as chosen
by Chessmetrics don't really hold water, and you are left
with the realization that "greatness" is not something
easily quantifiable. It is a judgment, in which various
factors are weighed against one another, by a judge who
is biased and therefore unable to do more than pretend
his own objectivity.

Probably, a good chess book could be made out of
a carefully considered examination of each of the
candidates and their overall contributions to chess.


-- help bot





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Old August 7th 07, 06:12 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?



There is a lot more to being great than just being the
highest-rated or most dominant player, and it is quite
obvious that a single performance falls well short of
greatness, by itself.

One idea is this: how much did a given chess player
contribute to the theory of chess? Or to popularizing
the game? Or even to improving the game's prestige,
as opposed to lowering it by his own antics? One way
for a player to make his mark other than by winning
tournaments or matches, is to write about chess; in
this arena, even such players as GMs Evans, Keres,
Tal, Nimzowitch, Timman, etc., have surpassed some
of those listed in your post.

Add to this the fact that the names listed as chosen
by Chessmetrics don't really hold water, and you are left
with the realization that "greatness" is not something
easily quantifiable. It is a judgment, in which various
factors are weighed against one another, by a judge who
is biased and therefore unable to do more than pretend
his own objectivity.

Probably, a good chess book could be made out of
a carefully considered examination of each of the
candidates and their overall contributions to chess.

-- help bot


help bot,
These are valid points but I wasnt looking for people who contributed
most to the game, what I was really looking for is who most people
think played the strongest overall chess.

Its my fault for using the word greatest, I agree a whole book could
be written on this.

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Old August 7th 07, 06:54 PM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
SBD SBD is offline
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Posts: 1,172
Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On Aug 7, 12:12 pm, wrote:

Its my fault for using the word greatest, I agree a whole book could
be written on this.


No, you clearly asked for the best player and gave examples of
playing, not of other contributions to chess. To throw analysts etc.
into the mix was just a way of saying, "hey I have an opinion that has
nothing to do with your question, which I can't answer anyway".....


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Old August 8th 07, 04:35 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2006
Posts: 9,302
Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On Aug 7, 12:12 pm, wrote:

These are valid points but I wasnt looking for people who contributed
most to the game, what I was really looking for is who most people
think played the strongest overall chess.


You are going to settle a dispute by taking a sort of
poll of what ordinary players here think? That's not a
good idea, for several reasons.

First and foremost, these forums are dominated by
posters from just one country: the USA, so there is
a powerful, built-in bias which you will find leads to
an overwhelming tilt in favor of the most recent
*American* world champion (Bobby Fischer).

Secondly, there are an awful lot of people here who
aren't good enough to do anything but regurgitate
opinions they have read in the media -- again, this
favors Bobby Fischer, and in case it is not perfectly
obvious, the media don't know squat about chess
so if they got it right, it was by dumb luck.

Third, even if it were the case that, say, GM Jose
Capablanca happened to be the strongest chess player
ever by a wide margin, do you think for one second that
the passing of time has no effect on the "voters"? It's
a fact that the most recent successes, all other things
being equal, are going to weigh most heavily in the
minds of "voters", never mind who was really strongest.

In sum, I think a poll is only going to determine one
thing: how many of the "voters" here are biased by the
various factors I mentioned above. What you really
need is a computerized rating system which properly
accounts for changes over the passage of time, and
which inputs every known "serious" game. The main
trouble here is that every such system I have seen
allowed the programmer to tweak things any which
way he wanted, so his personal favorites did the best.

As far as I know, no one has made an effort to do
this *blindly*, and let the chips fall where they may.
You really need an outsider, a person who knows
nothing about chess and who is utterly indifferent as
to the computer's rankings.


-- help bot



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Old August 8th 07, 04:35 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2006
Posts: 9,302
Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On Aug 7, 12:54 pm, SBD wrote:
On Aug 7, 12:12 pm, wrote:

Its my fault for using the word greatest, I agree a whole book could
be written on this.


No, you clearly asked for the best player and gave examples of
playing, not of other contributions to chess. To throw analysts etc.
into the mix was just a way of saying, "hey I have an opinion that has
nothing to do with your question, which I can't answer anyway".....


It seems Mr. SBD feels wounded over something
(I know not what), and is now stalking me, so to
speak, much like Skippy Repa once did. Well, I
knew of course that "all great men have their
detractors", but nobody ever warned that something
like this could ever happen to *me*. :D


The latest version is that the fellow wants to know
who we chess players think is the *strongest* ever.

Of course, while computer programmers may opt
out by referring such questions to the rating lists,
there is a Catch 22 here, in that our ratings systems
don't work properly for comparisons over long periods
of time. On top of this, the size of the ratings pool
has changed dramatically over time as well.

Soon, perhaps, chess computers will be so strong
that a system could be devised which objectively
rates the accuracy of their play, but this ignores the
psychological factor altogether. It also fails to take
into account any inferior move played deliberately,
with full knowledge of its status, so as to improve
winning chances or even drawing chances.

Personally, I think players like GM Tal would be
shortchanged here, while "boring" players like say
GM Kramnik would be relatively over-rated for his
tendency to just wait for mistakes.


-- help bot

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Old August 8th 07, 04:36 AM posted to rec.games.chess.misc,rec.games.chess.analysis
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: May 2006
Posts: 9,302
Default Who is or was the greatest chessplayer?

On Aug 7, 12:12 pm, wrote:

These are valid points but I wasnt looking for people who contributed
most to the game, what I was really looking for is who most people
think played the strongest overall chess.


You are going to settle a dispute by taking a sort of
poll of what ordinary players here think? That's not a
good idea, for several reasons.

First and foremost, these forums are dominated by
posters from just one country: the USA, so there is
a powerful, built-in bias which you will find leads to
an overwhelming tilt in favor of the most recent
*American* world champion (Bobby Fischer).

Secondly, there are an awful lot of people here who
aren't good enough to do anything but regurgitate
opinions they have read in the media -- again, this
favors Bobby Fischer, and in case it is not perfectly
obvious, the media don't know squat about chess
so if they got it right, it was by dumb luck.

Third, even if it were the case that, say, GM Jose
Capablanca happened to be the strongest chess player
ever by a wide margin, do you think for one second that
the passing of time has no effect on the "voters"? It's
a fact that the most recent successes, all other things
being equal, are going to weigh most heavily in the
minds of "voters", never mind who was really strongest.

In sum, I think a poll is only going to determine one
thing: how many of the "voters" here are biased by the
various factors I mentioned above. What you really
need is a computerized rating system which properly
accounts for changes over the passage of time, and
which inputs every known "serious" game. The main
trouble here is that every such system I have seen
allowed the programmer to tweak things any which
way he wanted, so his personal favorites did the best.

As far as I know, no one has made an effort to do
this *blindly*, and let the chips fall where they may.
You really need an outsider, a person who knows
nothing about chess and who is utterly indifferent as
to the computer's rankings.


-- help bot



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