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(A page to ask, "WHO really was The Best?")


On this page I plan on having the kind of discussions like: 

"What would have happened if Morphy had played Kasparov?"
"Who was the greatest player who ever lived?"


If you would like to see your comments recorded on this page, then send me a note. 

  (?+-,  -  8:))  

I may or may not comment on the material I place on this page. I mainly want to capture here some of the more interesting and eloquent ideas I have seen elsewhere.

"I have already stated my case on a chess bulletin board. Fischer, at age 29 - 32 CRUSHES  Kasparov 10 - 7 or 10 - 8 in a match. My reasoning:

1.) Kasparov's current rating is 2850, or there about. Fischer's last rating before his retirement was 2785. Larry Evan’s has stated is in "Chess Life", that the current ratings are inflated by at least 100 points. So Kasparov's 1972 rating is no better than 2750. Advantage Fischer.

2. I believe that Fischer's rating is undervalued by at least 100 points. I submit as evidence Fischer's 20 game win streak during his march to the championship and his 4-point destruction of both Petrosian and Spassky. So the ratings, relative to each other are 2885 - 2750. Big advantage Fischer.

3. Kasparov, himself has said that he most admires Fischer for his accomplishments and he did not have a serious competitor, to drive him further. Fischer's hatred for the Soviet Chess Organization is well known. How much better would Fischer have been, had he and Kasparov been rivals?

That is my argument. Make your case against it."

Richard Staples of Atlanta, GA.


I will only add that mathematicians agree that there has been a definite rating inflation of one to two percent per year since the 1970's. This means that Fischer (today) would be rated in the same neighborhood as Kasparov's 2850 rating. (Or better.) Also, another little known fact is that the ELO rating list today is much different in many ways than in the 1970's. For instance, in the early 1970's, ratings were updated usually every six months. Did you know Fischer LOST rating points in his match against Spassky? Bobby's post-match rating after stomping former World Champion, Tigran Petrosian would have been nearly 2830!! (BEFORE inflation. This translates out to approximately 2880 in post-2000 rating terms.) 
 [See my article in the GA Chess Magazine in Sept, 1999.] 

Would you like your opinion PERMANENTLY recorded here? Send me an e-mail and give it your best shot. Remember, ONLY the very best and most eloquently expressed opinions will be recorded here.

Nov, 2000.  I did an informal survey via my list of e-mail contacts. (Several hundred chess lovers all over the south-east U.S.) The conclusion? By a majority of over 3-to-1, all of the persons responding to my questionnaire felt Bobby Fischer was the greatest player who ever lived. Do you agree with this? Is this because he is fairly "recent," and people can remember him? Who do you think is the greatest player who ever lived? Make sure to drop me a line and let me know what you think!! 

May, 2001. A reader/web-surfer from  South Carolina,
(who asked to remain anonymous); wrote:

"I must agree with you, A.J.  I took statistical science in college. And although I am not a very good chess player (Class "D" or worse), I feel you cannot argue with the math."

"Paul Morphy dominated his generation by 200-500 points. Garry Kasparov is usually only 100 points ahead of his generation, at best. Therefore, if Garry plays Paul Morphy in 2001, Paul Morphy  WINS  the match with a score of eight wins to three, with thirteen draws in a standard FIDE 24-game match. (+ 8, - 3; = 13)"


Can this be true? I might have said Paul only wins by 2-3 games. But this gentleman claims this is the correct score, according to statistical science. Can anyone verify this? HELP!!??!

FIDE GM  says.... 
A FIDE GrandMaster - who asked not to be named - told me that he has personally seen Kasparov AND Fischer play. (MANY Times!!!) He did not wish to speculate as to score, but he felt that Fischer beats Kasparov in a set match!!  (January, 2003.) 

To counter this, I just got an e-mail from an  IM  who is in New York for the  Kasparov vs. Deep Junior  Match. He says it is the opinion of many chess players today that Garry is the greatest and strongest player who ever lived. Any comments? Feedback? Opinions? (Feb. 2003.) 


 --- Cristina --- <>  wrote:  
"I would like you to consider the following simple idea  ...  At present, it is impossible for Kasparov, or any other player - for that matter; to win 20 games against other grandmasters without even allowing a single draw." 
( I guess she is implying that the chess players of today are somehow better than the ones Fischer played against. If this is what she is trying to communicate, then I must whole-heartedly disagree. When Fischer did it, it was ALSO considered an 'IMPOSSIBLE' feat!  {A.J.G.}

"This debate reminds me of the question about  Pelé vs. Maradona. According to official measurement, Pelé is (much) better. Nevertheless, people do not have doubts and they have voted massively in favour of Maradona. Fischer, (same as Maradona); is a feeling." 

"Thank you," - Cristina. (Posted July 03, 2003.) 

   (She wrote back to clarify - in her opinion Fischer is MUCH stronger/better than Kasparov!)   

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  Page last modified on: July 08, 2003.  Last edit/save on: 07/14/2012 . 

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