Who was the most talented chess player ever?

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

Post by Nimzovik » Fri May 22, 2009 3:27 pm

Me. If you speak in terms of creating an opening system (which I am compiling for the past 35+ plus years.) :wink:

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

Post by Mike S. » Fri May 22, 2009 6:33 pm

As often in discussions of this type, we need a definition to agree upon:

What means "talented"?!

If you think about the relation between high quality learning material available, and the chess strength a master achieved: Is there a match to Morphy? He had no Steinitz, no Lasker, no Capablanca to study from, because they all came later.

MORPHY is a giant above all modern masters! Objectively, his absolute strength may have been smaller than of all top-100 today, but the question was for TALENT!! I think he was unique among mankind, and players like Lasker and Capablanca, although being bright, had no chance to match his achievements. They were stronger because they had Morphy to learn from.
Regards, Mike

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

Post by michiguel » Fri May 22, 2009 7:39 pm

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.
Capablanca, Fischer and Kasparov are obvious choices but they have other attributes that made them succeed. Nerves of steel, competitive edge, etc. etc. Rubinstein was a loner made of only 100% talent and a philosophical approach to chess.

You are making my point with the blunders. His overall chess was like Michelangelo's Moses. A Masterpiece full of talent with a blunder on the knee.
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.
We are talking about someone that was in a mental institution for years. No, the comparison is not the same.

Where the heck did you come up with the idea I do not feel 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!?
Rubinstein shoudl have been WC from ~1910 to 1921. Capablanca should have beaten Rubinstein then, not Lasker. That would have been a match 20 years ahead of his time!
That would have make Capablanca an ever better Champion.

Other options in modern times are Tal and Spassky. Tal was clearly held by poor health, and Spassky just did not love chess. Spassky was one of the few who could play any style. He could play like Petrosian or could be an attacking beast. He told Panno once: "Why do I want to win this match?" (He was playing Portisch in Switzerland at that time). If I win, I will have to prepare for the finals, and then against Karpov, and if I regain the title, it will be more and more problems.

Another name that shoud consider among the top talented players is Harry Pillsbury. Withouth disease, Lasker would not have been a Champion in the XX century.

Miguel

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

Post by michiguel » Fri May 22, 2009 7:55 pm

Mike S. wrote:As often in discussions of this type, we need a definition to agree upon:

What means "talented"?!

If you think about the relation between high quality learning material available, and the chess strength a master achieved: Is there a match to Morphy? He had no Steinitz, no Lasker, no Capablanca to study from, because they all came later.
Using this criteria, actually Capablanca is far more superior. Capablanca had notihng to study from because everything was poor quality. On the other hand, generations studied Capablanca's games, even today.

It is difficult to evaluate Morphy because he had no opposition. His opponents really sucked big time.

Miguel

MORPHY is a giant above all modern masters! Objectively, his absolute strength may have been smaller than of all top-100 today, but the question was for TALENT!! I think he was unique among mankind, and players like Lasker and Capablanca, although being bright, had no chance to match his achievements. They were stronger because they had Morphy to learn from.

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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Albert Silver » Fri May 22, 2009 8:37 pm

Dann Corbit wrote:That is why I chose Capablanca above the others. Legends are that he drank and caroused and did not prepare or study and still clobbered everyone.

After the 1907 World Championship Capablanca said that he had never opened a book on chess openings.
Before I give my opinion, I will mention that not opening an openings book in *1907* can hardly be considered a disadvantage.

In terms of pure raw talent, I would go with Capablanca, Mecking, Kasparov, Anand, and Fischer. Caruana is more than a little astonishing too.

Albert
"Tactics are the bricks and sticks that make up a game, but positional play is the architectural blueprint."

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Graham Banks
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Graham Banks » Fri May 22, 2009 9:51 pm

Albert Silver wrote: In terms of pure raw talent, I would go with Capablanca, Mecking, Kasparov, Anand, and Fischer. Caruana is more than a little astonishing too.

Albert
I had a feeling that you might include Mecking. Is Caruana Brazilian also? :wink: :lol:
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Steve B » Fri May 22, 2009 11:10 pm

Graham Banks wrote:
Albert Silver wrote: In terms of pure raw talent, I would go with Capablanca, Mecking, Kasparov, Anand, and Fischer. Caruana is more than a little astonishing too.

Albert
I had a feeling that you might include Mecking. Is Caruana Brazilian also? :wink: :lol:

Will no one speak for Dr.Max Euwe who captured the World Championship while working full time as a school teacher?
just imagine how strong Euwe would have become if he were actually able to devote all of his time to Chess like Alekhine

Day Dreaming Regards
Steve

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

Post by Laskos » Fri May 22, 2009 11:47 pm

Steve B wrote: just imagine how strong Euwe would have become if he were actually able to devote all of his time to Chess like Alekhine

Day Dreaming Regards
Steve
Alekhine was half-a-day drunk, 3 hours devoting to his cat, and the rest of the day sleeping.
:lol:

Kai

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Dr.Wael Deeb
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Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by Dr.Wael Deeb » Sat May 23, 2009 12:06 am

Laskos wrote:
Steve B wrote: just imagine how strong Euwe would have become if he were actually able to devote all of his time to Chess like Alekhine

Day Dreaming Regards
Steve
Alekhine was half-a-day drunk, 3 hours devoting to his cat, and the rest of the day sleeping.
:lol:

Kai
Sounds like a healthy life style for me :lol:
Dr.D
_No one can hit as hard as life.But it ain’t about how hard you can hit.It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.How much you can take and keep moving forward….

james uselton

Re: Who was the most talented chess player ever?

Post by james uselton » Sat May 23, 2009 12:09 am

michiguel wrote:
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.
Capablanca, Fischer and Kasparov are obvious choices but they have other attributes that made them succeed. Nerves of steel, competitive edge, etc. etc. Rubinstein was a loner made of only 100% talent and a philosophical approach to chess.

You are making my point with the blunders. His overall chess was like Michelangelo's Moses. A Masterpiece full of talent with a blunder on the knee.
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.
We are talking about someone that was in a mental institution for years. No, the comparison is not the same.

Where the heck did you come up with the idea I do not feel 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!?
Rubinstein shoudl have been WC from ~1910 to 1921. Capablanca should have beaten Rubinstein then, not Lasker. That would have been a match 20 years ahead of his time!
That would have make Capablanca an ever better Champion.

Other options in modern times are Tal and Spassky. Tal was clearly held by poor health, and Spassky just did not love chess. Spassky was one of the few who could play any style. He could play like Petrosian or could be an attacking beast. He told Panno once: "Why do I want to win this match?" (He was playing Portisch in Switzerland at that time). If I win, I will have to prepare for the finals, and then against Karpov, and if I regain the title, it will be more and more problems.

Another name that shoud consider among the top talented players is Harry Pillsbury. Withouth disease, Lasker would not have been a Champion in the XX century.

Miguel
Miguel, I seem to recall several derogatory remarks about Fischer in your recent posts. Maybe I mis-read your remarks.

You said "Rubinstein was a loner made of only 100% talent and a philosophical approach to chess."
Let me change the wording around slightly and we will have a nice description of Fischer and Rubinstein---They were extraordinary loners made of 100% talent and a maniacal approach to chess.

You say---"We are talking about someone that was in a mental institution for years. No, the comparison is not the same."

Maybe, maybe not. I think everyone agrees Fischer was mentally ill. Maybe his life was more difficult because he was not in a mental institution. Anyhow, I doubt if Rubinstein played the class of blitz players Fischer did---No, the comparison is not the same.

Miguel, you said---"Rubinstein shoudl have been WC from ~1910 to 1921."
Thats your opinion and welcome to it. Kasparov has said that had there been a match between Lasker and Rubinstein at this time, Rubinstein would have lost due to his psychological weaknesses. Amigo, I have to side with Kasparov on this one!

You say---"Another name that shoud consider among the top talented players is Harry Pillsbury. Withouth disease, Lasker would not have been a Champion in the XX century.

maybe, maybe not---Pillsbury, in his prime, before his illness, still had a minus score against Lasker. Correct me if I'm wrong. So, one could conclude, even without Pillsbury's illness---Lasker would still have been world champ.

Salud!

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