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Old October 9th 05, 06:10 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
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Default Strongest ever?

Objectively, who is the best chess player of all time?

There are several ways to argue this question. You can compare players to
their peers, to some artificial intergenerational standard, or you can just
be a good-old American anti-commie Joe and say, "Fischer."

Jeff Sonas compares players across generations through a mathematical
algorithm which, I admit, I don't understand. I've only half-bought his
theory that Sammy Reshevsky was a 2700 player.

What is a 2700 player? According to the FIDE rating list Ruslan Ponomariov
is rated 2704. What do you think would be the result of a match between Pono
and Sammy Reshevsky in his prime (according to Sonas, that would be in the
mid-1930s)? I'd say 9-1 in favor of Pono. I would not be surprised if it
went 10-0. How about a Fischer (ca. 1972) -Pono match? Bobby would be lucky
to score 3 points, maybe 3.5. Again, I would not be surprised if it went 8-2
or 9-1. Anyone who does not believe that is delusional.

In his recent Chessbase.com article
(http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2670), Jeff Sonas writes
that Topalov's current performance in San Luis is only the eigth best
tournament performance (TPR) record of all time. I've been following Sonas'
writing for some time now and I believe he's finally crossed into the
twilight zone.

For example, he lists Topo's recent 7/8 (88% vs. 2736 FIDE) right behind
Kasparov's 10/13 (77% vs. 2737) at Linares 1993. I don't understand how this
is mathematically possible, unless you attribute immensely greater
statistical weight to 13 game tournaments compared with eight round
tournaments. Incredibly, Topo's recent performance pales by comparison (in
Sonas' eyes) even to Emanuel Lasker's (!!!) performance in London, 1898
(!!!) in which he scored 18/22 against an average opponent rating of 2692
(!!!).

Now really, Jeff. Do you think *anyone* in Londaon, 1898 could hold their
own against *anyone* today rated 2692, or even 2592? how about 2492? The
standard of play, the openings knowledge, has progressed to the point where
these comparisons become absurd. It's safe to say that any 2500 player would
whoop Lasker and all his London, 1892 opponents into pierogi filling.

That's not to belittle Lasker and his contemporaries, but let's put all of
this into perspective. On an objective scale with Anand around 2780, Lasker
was possibly 2400 strength.


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Old October 9th 05, 08:17 AM
Matt Nemmers
 
Posts: n/a
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"Angelo DePalma" wrote in message
...
Objectively, who is the best chess player of all time?

There are several ways to argue this question. You can compare players to
their peers, to some artificial intergenerational standard, or you can
just be a good-old American anti-commie Joe and say, "Fischer."

Jeff Sonas compares players across generations through a mathematical
algorithm which, I admit, I don't understand. I've only half-bought his
theory that Sammy Reshevsky was a 2700 player.

What is a 2700 player? According to the FIDE rating list Ruslan Ponomariov
is rated 2704. What do you think would be the result of a match between
Pono and Sammy Reshevsky in his prime (according to Sonas, that would be
in the mid-1930s)? I'd say 9-1 in favor of Pono. I would not be surprised
if it went 10-0. How about a Fischer (ca. 1972) -Pono match? Bobby would
be lucky to score 3 points, maybe 3.5. Again, I would not be surprised if
it went 8-2 or 9-1. Anyone who does not believe that is delusional.

In his recent Chessbase.com article
(http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2670), Jeff Sonas writes
that Topalov's current performance in San Luis is only the eigth best
tournament performance (TPR) record of all time. I've been following
Sonas' writing for some time now and I believe he's finally crossed into
the twilight zone.

For example, he lists Topo's recent 7/8 (88% vs. 2736 FIDE) right behind
Kasparov's 10/13 (77% vs. 2737) at Linares 1993. I don't understand how
this is mathematically possible, unless you attribute immensely greater
statistical weight to 13 game tournaments compared with eight round
tournaments. Incredibly, Topo's recent performance pales by comparison (in
Sonas' eyes) even to Emanuel Lasker's (!!!) performance in London, 1898
(!!!) in which he scored 18/22 against an average opponent rating of 2692
(!!!).

Now really, Jeff. Do you think *anyone* in Londaon, 1898 could hold their
own against *anyone* today rated 2692, or even 2592? how about 2492? The
standard of play, the openings knowledge, has progressed to the point
where these comparisons become absurd. It's safe to say that any 2500
player would whoop Lasker and all his London, 1892 opponents into pierogi
filling.

That's not to belittle Lasker and his contemporaries, but let's put all of
this into perspective. On an objective scale with Anand around 2780,
Lasker was possibly 2400 strength.


Either one of two old standards: Capablanca or Morphy.

Anybody with the pure, natural ability to see the board the way these two
did would certainly eclipse any player today. This is, of course, assuming
that the hypothetical match-up would take place on even ground. That is,
Capa and/or Morphy would been given the opportunity to review all the
advances in theory that've happened since they've been pushing up daisies.
After all, Topo's surely analyzed the games of both players, but neither had
ever seen his.

Nothing could ever be proven in this department and even the greatest
algorhythm of all time could only guesstimate the result. I could be
totally wrong in my theory because let's face it: these two are legends
because chess was so much more popular then and so much more was written
about it that their names and games have lasted through the years. Nothing
will ever change that. And I seriously doubt that in 100 years, regardless
of his strength, rating, or accomplishments, Topo's name will just fall
among the ranks of also-rans in the data banks of ChessBase 157. Kasparov's
and Fischer's legacy will probably prove to be as close as one can get to
the legendary status of Capa and Morphy due to their charisma and the sheer
volume of literature written about them, but Topo's bound for
insignificance, IMHO, unless he shoots a world leader or something.


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Old October 9th 05, 03:58 PM
Chess One
 
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"Matt Nemmers" wrote in message news:bu32f.5560
Either one of two old standards: Capablanca or Morphy.

Anybody with the pure, natural ability to see the board the way these two
did would certainly eclipse any player today. This is, of course,
assuming that the hypothetical match-up would take place on even ground.
That is, Capa and/or Morphy would been given the opportunity to review all
the advances in theory that've happened since they've been pushing up
daisies. After all, Topo's surely analyzed the games of both players, but
neither had ever seen his.


Good picks.

Fischer chose Morphy as best ever. Tal when accused of being a 'Great'
thanked the speaker but deferred to the real greats in his opinion,
Capablanca and Alekhine. Taimanov chose Kasparov, and Kasparov chose...
Kasparov! lol

Phil

Nothing could ever be proven in this department and even the greatest
algorhythm of all time could only guesstimate the result. I could be
totally wrong in my theory because let's face it: these two are legends
because chess was so much more popular then and so much more was written
about it that their names and games have lasted through the years.
Nothing will ever change that. And I seriously doubt that in 100 years,
regardless of his strength, rating, or accomplishments, Topo's name will
just fall among the ranks of also-rans in the data banks of ChessBase 157.
Kasparov's and Fischer's legacy will probably prove to be as close as one
can get to the legendary status of Capa and Morphy due to their charisma
and the sheer volume of literature written about them, but Topo's bound
for insignificance, IMHO, unless he shoots a world leader or something.



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Old October 9th 05, 04:32 PM
cynic
 
Posts: n/a
Default

*Topo's bound for insignificance, IMHO, unless he shoots a world leader
or something.*
Matt Nemmers

LOL. Matt finally struck gold.

The departure of Kasparov from the arena coupled with FIDE's
knockout tourneys has cheapened the title beyond recognition. The round
robin in San Luis is a step in the right direction. Now a match between
Topalov and Kramnik is needed to restore some legitimacy to the title.

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Old October 9th 05, 05:38 PM
 
Posts: n/a
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Angelo DePalma wrote:
Objectively, who is the best chess player of all time?

There are several ways to argue this question. You can compare players to
their peers, to some artificial intergenerational standard, or you can just
be a good-old American anti-commie Joe and say, "Fischer."

Jeff Sonas compares players across generations through a mathematical
algorithm which, I admit, I don't understand. I've only half-bought his
theory that Sammy Reshevsky was a 2700 player.

What is a 2700 player? According to the FIDE rating list Ruslan Ponomariov
is rated 2704. What do you think would be the result of a match between Pono
and Sammy Reshevsky in his prime (according to Sonas, that would be in the
mid-1930s)? I'd say 9-1 in favor of Pono. I would not be surprised if it
went 10-0. How about a Fischer (ca. 1972) -Pono match? Bobby would be lucky
to score 3 points, maybe 3.5. Again, I would not be surprised if it went 8-2
or 9-1. Anyone who does not believe that is delusional.



Now really, Jeff. Do you think *anyone* in Londaon, 1898 could hold their
own against *anyone* today rated 2692, or even 2592? how about 2492? The
standard of play, the openings knowledge, has progressed to the point where
these comparisons become absurd. It's safe to say that any 2500 player would
whoop Lasker and all his London, 1892 opponents into pierogi filling.



Did you ever hear the expression "standing on the shoulders of giants"?
I'm not sure if your main point is that 100 or so years of theoretical
refinement and the discovery of many decisive opening innovations has
tipped the balance, or whether you're arguing that modern GM's are just
objectively stronger, but I'd take issue with either point.

It's slightly disingenuous to argue that modern GM's are stronger
because they have more knowledge of openings and so on anyway. I think
historical ratings assumes that such weighted variables are discounted.
I think you can say the same about ie:Ponomariov knows the games of
Capa... Capa doesn't know the games of Ponomariev.

I saw in a historical rating list, Morphy 2550, this is surely wrong
and based no doubt on the fact that Morphy played little class
opposition. Would anybody seriously suggest that Morphy would go down
in flames to a modern 2550? I seriously doubt it.

The earlier masters, such figures as Tarrasch, Lasker, Nimzowitsch and
so on virtually created the modern game. It was their intellect that
created the principles we know today. Perhaps they would be ignorant of
some tactical subtlety that a computer found in the Richter- Rauzer,
does that mean they're not as good? Are you seriously suggesting that a
2500 player today would just crush Alekhine?,....or Capablanca...? lol
at that. It's going to remain a hypothetical question unfortunatly, but
I know who my money would be on.


That's not to belittle Lasker and his contemporaries, but let's put all of
this into perspective. On an objective scale with Anand around 2780, Lasker
was possibly 2400 strength.


You must be joking.



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Old October 9th 05, 06:41 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote:
Angelo DePalma wrote:
Objectively, who is the best chess player of all time?

There are several ways to argue this question. You can compare players to
their peers, to some artificial intergenerational standard, or you can just
be a good-old American anti-commie Joe and say, "Fischer."

Jeff Sonas compares players across generations through a mathematical
algorithm which, I admit, I don't understand. I've only half-bought his
theory that Sammy Reshevsky was a 2700 player.

What is a 2700 player? According to the FIDE rating list Ruslan Ponomariov
is rated 2704. What do you think would be the result of a match between Pono
and Sammy Reshevsky in his prime (according to Sonas, that would be in the
mid-1930s)? I'd say 9-1 in favor of Pono. I would not be surprised if it
went 10-0. How about a Fischer (ca. 1972) -Pono match? Bobby would be lucky
to score 3 points, maybe 3.5. Again, I would not be surprised if it went 8-2
or 9-1. Anyone who does not believe that is delusional.



Now really, Jeff. Do you think *anyone* in Londaon, 1898 could hold their
own against *anyone* today rated 2692, or even 2592? how about 2492? The
standard of play, the openings knowledge, has progressed to the point where
these comparisons become absurd. It's safe to say that any 2500 player would
whoop Lasker and all his London, 1892 opponents into pierogi filling.



Did you ever hear the expression "standing on the shoulders of giants"?
I'm not sure if your main point is that 100 or so years of theoretical
refinement and the discovery of many decisive opening innovations has
tipped the balance, or whether you're arguing that modern GM's are just
objectively stronger, but I'd take issue with either point.

It's slightly disingenuous to argue that modern GM's are stronger
because they have more knowledge of openings and so on anyway. I think
historical ratings assumes that such weighted variables are discounted.
I think you can say the same about ie:Ponomariov knows the games of
Capa... Capa doesn't know the games of Ponomariev.

I saw in a historical rating list, Morphy 2550, this is surely wrong
and based no doubt on the fact that Morphy played little class
opposition. Would anybody seriously suggest that Morphy would go down
in flames to a modern 2550? I seriously doubt it.

The earlier masters, such figures as Tarrasch, Lasker, Nimzowitsch and
so on virtually created the modern game. It was their intellect that
created the principles we know today. Perhaps they would be ignorant of
some tactical subtlety that a computer found in the Richter- Rauzer,
does that mean they're not as good? Are you seriously suggesting that a
2500 player today would just crush Alekhine?,....or Capablanca...? lol
at that. It's going to remain a hypothetical question unfortunatly, but
I know who my money would be on.


That's not to belittle Lasker and his contemporaries, but let's put all of
this into perspective. On an objective scale with Anand around 2780, Lasker
was possibly 2400 strength.


You must be joking.


The best ever is Ray Gordon. I gave him all the steroids he needs to be
2900.

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Old October 9th 05, 11:08 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
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wrote

Did you ever hear the expression "standing on the shoulders of giants"?
I'm not sure if your main point is that 100 or so years of theoretical
refinement and the discovery of many decisive opening innovations has
tipped the balance, or whether you're arguing that modern GM's are just
objectively stronger, but I'd take issue with either point.


I have one and only one criterion. What would the score be in a 12 game
match between Alekhine and a modern 2700 player? No excuses. I know Pono has
seen Alekhine's games and the revers is not true, but what does that matter?
I'm not asking who *would* be the best given the same training. I'm asking
who *is* the best.

It's slightly disingenuous to argue that modern GM's are stronger
because they have more knowledge of openings and so on anyway.


Disingenuous? It makes them stronger. Haven't you ever lost in the opening?
When you did, did you write "0" next to your name or some other number?

I saw in a historical rating list, Morphy 2550, this is surely wrong
and based no doubt on the fact that Morphy played little class
opposition. Would anybody seriously suggest that Morphy would go down
in flames to a modern 2550? I seriously doubt it.


2550 seems about right for Morphy. He'd surely get creamed by any of today's
2700 players.

. Perhaps they would be ignorant of
some tactical subtlety that a computer found in the Richter- Rauzer,
does that mean they're not as good?


Yes indeed, it sure would.

That's not to belittle Lasker and his contemporaries, but let's put all
of
this into perspective. On an objective scale with Anand around 2780,
Lasker
was possibly 2400 strength.


You must be joking.


The basis for saying this is that Lasker, bless his heart, would be lucky to
draw a match against one of today's 2500 players. VERY lucky.


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Old October 10th 05, 12:53 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
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In the first of his "Great Predecessors" books Kasparov asserts that an
average GM of today would easily defeat the Fischer of 1972. Let's assume
His Arrogance is exaggerating a bit and that by "average" what we're really
talking is ELO 2650-2700 rather than what is probably the real average of
2550 or so. If such a modern player could beat the great Bobby Fischer, you
don't think he'd easily trash Tarrasch, Lasker, Steinitz, and even
Capablanca?

Maybe, instead of going back 80 or 100 years we should analyze this in
steps. Wouldn't you say that Alekhine could easily beat Lasker in a long
match? Tal beat Alekhine? Karpov beat Tal? Don't you think it's interesting
that Tal was considered to be a better player in 1971 than in 1961 when he
won the title, yet he was no longer the best player in the world in '71?

Chess players at all levels are much better than they were 30 years ago. I
have several of my games from when I was rated about 1500, and believe me, I
stunk. I was horrible. Today I'm rated close to 1900 and I crap in my pants
when I play a 1500 player at my club. They're all tough, they know some
openings, they generally don't hang pieces, and they never quit. An expert
(former master) friend of mine once lamented rating deflation, and how the
top players at Hackettstown would have all been experts if they played this
well thirty years ago.

My point here was to doubt the validity of Sonas' chessmetrics as valid
measures of inter-generational chess playing strength. ChessMetrics might
give a good measure of relative strength for a given era, but they're way
over-inflated when comparing intergenerationally.



"Angelo DePalma" wrote in message
...
Objectively, who is the best chess player of all time?

There are several ways to argue this question. You can compare players to
their peers, to some artificial intergenerational standard, or you can
just be a good-old American anti-commie Joe and say, "Fischer."

Jeff Sonas compares players across generations through a mathematical
algorithm which, I admit, I don't understand. I've only half-bought his
theory that Sammy Reshevsky was a 2700 player.

What is a 2700 player? According to the FIDE rating list Ruslan Ponomariov
is rated 2704. What do you think would be the result of a match between
Pono and Sammy Reshevsky in his prime (according to Sonas, that would be
in the mid-1930s)? I'd say 9-1 in favor of Pono. I would not be surprised
if it went 10-0. How about a Fischer (ca. 1972) -Pono match? Bobby would
be lucky to score 3 points, maybe 3.5. Again, I would not be surprised if
it went 8-2 or 9-1. Anyone who does not believe that is delusional.

In his recent Chessbase.com article
(http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2670), Jeff Sonas writes
that Topalov's current performance in San Luis is only the eigth best
tournament performance (TPR) record of all time. I've been following
Sonas' writing for some time now and I believe he's finally crossed into
the twilight zone.

For example, he lists Topo's recent 7/8 (88% vs. 2736 FIDE) right behind
Kasparov's 10/13 (77% vs. 2737) at Linares 1993. I don't understand how
this is mathematically possible, unless you attribute immensely greater
statistical weight to 13 game tournaments compared with eight round
tournaments. Incredibly, Topo's recent performance pales by comparison (in
Sonas' eyes) even to Emanuel Lasker's (!!!) performance in London, 1898
(!!!) in which he scored 18/22 against an average opponent rating of 2692
(!!!).

Now really, Jeff. Do you think *anyone* in Londaon, 1898 could hold their
own against *anyone* today rated 2692, or even 2592? how about 2492? The
standard of play, the openings knowledge, has progressed to the point
where these comparisons become absurd. It's safe to say that any 2500
player would whoop Lasker and all his London, 1892 opponents into pierogi
filling.

That's not to belittle Lasker and his contemporaries, but let's put all of
this into perspective. On an objective scale with Anand around 2780,
Lasker was possibly 2400 strength.




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Old October 10th 05, 12:57 AM
Mike Murray
 
Posts: n/a
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On Sun, 9 Oct 2005 18:08:26 -0400, "Angelo DePalma"
wrote:

I have one and only one criterion. What would the score be in a 12 game
match between Alekhine and a modern 2700 player? No excuses. I know Pono has
seen Alekhine's games and the revers is not true, but what does that matter?
I'm not asking who *would* be the best given the same training. I'm asking
who *is* the best.


Pono definitely *is* the best. He'd win 7-0 when Alekhine flagged out
on move 1 in every game.

But here's a question: would the reanimated Alekhine be aware that
he'd been dead for sixty years and that chess had advanced greatly,
especially in opening theory, since his passing? A related question:
would Pono be aware of who he was playing and would he know whether or
not Alekhine knew?

The answers to these questions would greatly influence how both
players would approach the game.
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Old October 10th 05, 03:08 AM
Ray Gordon
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In the first of his "Great Predecessors" books Kasparov asserts that an
average GM of today would easily defeat the Fischer of 1972.


The average 8th grader of today knows more science than Newton did. The
average undergraduate student knows more than Einstein.



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