Who was the most talented chess player ever?

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Mike S.
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Mike S. » Thu May 21, 2009 10:39 pm

This is difficult to judge upon. But if we consider what a player had when he started, I think that Morphy had much less material (chess literature) to study than the masters after him. Also, his strongest contemporary opponents were in Europe while he had to start in, and from America. But when he met them, he was already superior.

Another consideration is the performance in the first "big" international tournament. Both Pillsbury and Capablanca won their's.
Regards, Mike

Uri
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Uri » Thu May 21, 2009 11:46 pm

Wilhelm Steinitz is in my opinion. Steinitz invented modern chess theory and without the help of computer programs at that time. Although Morphy understood these even before Steinitz, he never released his chess wisdom into theory.

Today with the help of powerful chess programs it's much easier to increase the playing strength so there is much less talent involved. Also since chess is known to be a draw with near-perfect (and perfect) play, it's possible that some of today's top players are actually equal in playing strength.

swami
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by swami » Thu May 21, 2009 11:47 pm

Garry Kasparov
Jose Raul Capablanca

Jorge Garcia de Andres

Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Jorge Garcia de Andres » Thu May 21, 2009 11:55 pm

Alekhine was the best!!

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sje
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by sje » Fri May 22, 2009 12:53 am

Emanuel Lasker is the top candidate; he held the World Championship for the longest time and also had the longest career compared to his strong contemporaries. Also, his natural talent was so great that it's not clear that Lasker ever actually studied the game!

Jose Capablanca is a close contender for several reasons including his ascension to the World Championship with his victory of Lasker.

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mhull
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by mhull » Fri May 22, 2009 5:25 am

sje wrote:Emanuel Lasker is the top candidate; he held the World Championship for the longest time and also had the longest career compared to his strong contemporaries. Also, his natural talent was so great that it's not clear that Lasker ever actually studied the game!
If you read his Manual of Chess, he makes clear that he was an admirer of Steinitz' theory of chess and sought to expand upon it. That seems to imply some study.
sje wrote:Jose Capablanca is a close contender for several reasons including his ascension to the World Championship with his victory of Lasker.
Yes, even with his amazing victory in the great New York tournament of 1924, Lasker was bested by Capablanca 1.5-.5. But he was middle-aged by then -- 20 years older than Capablanca. He reminds one of Korchnoi in that he maintained his tremendous powers for a very long time.
Matthew Hull

james uselton

Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by james uselton » Fri May 22, 2009 6:36 am

michiguel wrote:
M ANSARI wrote:To me talent is when you can do something without training hard for it. In tennis Mc Enroe was an amazing talent and drove other competing tennis players nuts because he could get away with not training and still play world class tennis. In chess Capablanca is the same, a natural talent who seems to have been born with chess abilities. Remember talent does not mean the strongest chess player ever, that would have to go to Fischer or Kasparov.

By the way, I also think Carlsen is an exceptionally talented player ... in a few years he might surpass everyone.
I think Ilie Nastase would be a good example of amazing talent too.

I do not believe that talent is when you can do something without trainiing hard for it. I think that is a consequence of it. To me, talent is to have a superior understanding and mastery, linked to skills that allow you to do things that fewer can do. Talent is potential. As a consequence, most talented players may be able to perform well with less effort.

I chose Rubinstein for those reasons. He mastered all levels of the game, despite he started to play relatively late. Only a handful of players in history may compare to his endgame skills. His games were symphonies at a time that most players were just hackers. He was only shadowed by his occasional blunders, his mental problems, and that his prime was by WWI. I witnessed Najdorf telling some stories that he and other players visit him when he was hospitalized. They could no beat Rubinstein at blitz, and the man was completely insane.

Miguel
Well, Rubinstein was certainly a talented player, but the most talented? I think he was known as the most blunder prone of all the elite Grandmasters.
You say---"They could no beat Rubinstein at blitz, and the man was completely insane." One could almost say that about Fischer---No one could beat him at blitz and he was almost completely insane!
And yet I dont think you feel very highly of Fischer.

What about Capablanca? Somebody said that he was quoted in 1907 as having said he had never opened a book on openings. Of course, no one knew who he was in 1907--- He was a student at Columbia. He was champion for 6 years (he never played anyone) and on his first defence he loses to a player who had never beaten him ever! Thats reminiscent of Spassky v Fischer isnt it.

Lasker who was champion the longest---never played anybody! Steinitz was an old man. Marshall was a terrible match player. Lasker handled him like a baby. Ditto Janowsky. The drawing master, Schlechter, put up a good fight---too bad he didnt play like that all the time.

Its fun to speculate but you can punch holes in almost everyone! Dont all of these elite GMs of the past come up short when tested by computer programs? How talented can you be with all those mistakes!?

Terry McCracken
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Terry McCracken » Fri May 22, 2009 6:48 am

james uselton wrote:
michiguel wrote:
M ANSARI wrote:To me talent is when you can do something without training hard for it. In tennis Mc Enroe was an amazing talent and drove other competing tennis players nuts because he could get away with not training and still play world class tennis. In chess Capablanca is the same, a natural talent who seems to have been born with chess abilities. Remember talent does not mean the strongest chess player ever, that would have to go to Fischer or Kasparov.

By the way, I also think Carlsen is an exceptionally talented player ... in a few years he might surpass everyone.
I think Ilie Nastase would be a good example of amazing talent too.

I do not believe that talent is when you can do something without trainiing hard for it. I think that is a consequence of it. To me, talent is to have a superior understanding and mastery, linked to skills that allow you to do things that fewer can do. Talent is potential. As a consequence, most talented players may be able to perform well with less effort.

I chose Rubinstein for those reasons. He mastered all levels of the game, despite he started to play relatively late. Only a handful of players in history may compare to his endgame skills. His games were symphonies at a time that most players were just hackers. He was only shadowed by his occasional blunders, his mental problems, and that his prime was by WWI. I witnessed Najdorf telling some stories that he and other players visit him when he was hospitalized. They could no beat Rubinstein at blitz, and the man was completely insane.

Miguel
Well, Rubinstein was certainly a talented player, but the most talented? I think he was known as the most blunder prone of all the elite Grandmasters.
You say---"They could no beat Rubinstein at blitz, and the man was completely insane." One could almost say that about Fischer---No one could beat him at blitz and he was almost completely insane!
And yet I dont think you feel very highly of Fischer.

What about Capablanca? Somebody said that he was quoted in 1907 as having said he had never opened a book on openings. Of course, no one knew who he was in 1907--- He was a student at Columbia. He was champion for 6 years (he never played anyone) and on his first defence he loses to a player who had never beaten him ever! Thats reminiscent of Spassky v Fischer isnt it.

Lasker who was champion the longest---never played anybody! Steinitz was an old man. Marshall was a terrible match player. Lasker handled him like a baby. Ditto Janowsky. The drawing master, Schlechter, put up a good fight---too bad he didnt play like that all the time.

Its fun to speculate but you can punch holes in almost everyone! Dont all of these elite GMs of the past come up short when tested by computer programs? How talented can you be with all those mistakes!?
Computers aren't talented, people are.

james uselton

Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by james uselton » Fri May 22, 2009 7:15 am

Terry, if you live to be 110 and you improve your game by leaps and bounds every day---you will never beat the rybka3 you have right now!
Some people might consider that as talent, wisdom, strength.

After the loss to Deeper blue, Kasparov said that he sometimes saw deep intelligence and creativity in the machine's moves. If that an't talent---it will do til' the real thing comes along!!!

Keep hitting those books kiddo!

Terry McCracken
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Terry McCracken » Fri May 22, 2009 7:31 am

james uselton wrote:Terry, if you live to be 110 and you improve your game by leaps and bounds every day---you will never beat the rybka3 you have right now!
Some people might consider that as talent, wisdom, strength.

After the loss to Deeper blue, Kasparov said that he sometimes saw deep intelligence and creativity in the machine's moves. If that an't talent---it will do til' the real thing comes along!!!

Keep hitting those books kiddo!
I've beaten Rybka in a Game 30 althought not a match, as I said computers aren't talented people are.

I don't care what Kasparov saw as it was synthetic, an illusion, a result of engineering, again human creativity and talent.

Mind your superiors.

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