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Old February 4th 09, 11:22 PM posted to,
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Default Unusual "All time top 10"s


Bobby’s opinions about the game have provoked as much controversy as
his exploits over the board. For example, the brouhaha occasioned by
his selection of Morphy, Staunton, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Tchigorin,
Alekhine, Capablanca, Spassky, Tal and Reshevsky as the ten greatest
chess players of all time. This list appeared in the first issue of
the now defunct Chessworld which noted:

"In naming the ten greatest masters in the history of chess, Bobby
(who, in the editor’s opinion, belongs in the list himself) gives
decisive significance to the quality of their play, not to their
successes and results. This may explain the exclusion from
the list of such players as Lasker, Botvinnik, and others."

That Bobby considered Staunton, for example, as stronger than either
Lasker or Botvinnik, was curious indeed. He justified his choice
saying, "Just because a man was champion for many years doesn’t mean
that he was a great chessplayer, just as we wouldn’t necessarily call
a ruler of a country great just because he was in power for a long

A thundering rebuke from the veteran Edward Lasker (not to be confused
with Emanuel, in whose defense he wrote) appeared in the following

"Fischer has a lot of growing up to do before he can create works of
art like the Ruy Lopez Lasker won from Capablanca (at St. Petersburg
1914) or the game he played with the Black pieces against Alekhine’s
Queen’s Gambit in New York 1924. Even Alekhine himself willingly
admitted that in the course of two decades, beginning with the victory
over Steinitz, Lasker had no equal in the art of the endgame...I
predict that, despite his youth, which gives him a tremendous
advantage, Fischer will
never become World Champion."

THIS CRAZY WORLD OF CHESS by GM Larry Evans (page 35)

Marlon wrote:
He forgot Smyslov and Petrosian too.

Gah! I now see it is by Bobby Fischer! The article was famous at the
time for omitting Botvinnik! I thought it was a magazine filler!

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