Click here to look for "chess" with the Google search engine.   Hello friend!     ...............    Welcome to one of the best {private} chess sites around. (Recognized as such by several national chess federations and also "C.J.A." Site of The Year for 2004.)     ................     Check out my School of Tactics!!  ..........  Many improvements and NEW PAGES!!!!   (Be sure to check the T.L.A. in 'Chess Life' for the tournaments in your area.)  Thanks, and have a great day!!!

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  Click  HERE  to see an article on A. Anderssen.  
  Click  HERE  to see the article on P. Morphy. 
  Click  HERE  to see an article on W. Steinitz.  


  Click  HERE  to go to my web page on "The Best Chess Books Ever Written."  

  Click  HERE  to go to my page on "The Best/Strongest Tournaments Ever Held."  

  Click  HERE  to go to my page on "The Best Chess Games Ever Played."

  Click  HERE  to go to my page that has, "The Best SHORT Games  (miniatures)  of Chess Ever Played." 

  Click  HERE  to go to my web page with, "The Best Chess Moves Ever Played." 

  Click  here  to see my web page on ... "The Best All-Time Draws."  

  Click  HERE  to see a page on a book on this topic. (Best players.)  


The best player who ever lived?  This is a great series of articles by Jeff Sonas

Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four.  

 Click  here  to read a short, but interesting article on the history of the world's 
 best players, and also a history of the World Championship of Chess. 

To go to a site with good chess graphics ... plus lots of PICTURES of the 
 best players who ever lived ...  click  HERE.  

  Requests to do a web page (August 22nd, 2005)  

I have had many requests to build web pages. Many want to see their favorite player ... and have asked that I do a web page on that person. The list is very long, some of the more notable and worthy requests ask that I do a web page on Anand, Ivanchuk, Topalov, Radjabov, etc. All I can say is that if there were 100 hours in every day ... I might eventually get to all these requests. Right now, I have a pretty full schedule and doing the best that I can. (Stay tuned.) 

  Combinations - by great players  
  (Added February 26th, 2006.)  

  1. A super combo by ... ... ... well, its not who you think!  (Check it out!) 

  2. Next?  

  The History of the Chess World Championships (Sunday / October 24th, 2010.)   

Many articles have been written on this subject. The short ones seem to lack detail, while the longer ones make for very tedious reading. 

In my mind, the following article, ( is absolutely one of the best that I have seen. 

This might seem a little out of place here, but - in my mind - there is nothing more appropriate on this page of "Best Players," than a history of the WCC. 


  ( This page will continue to be improved - & added to. )  

   Bobby Fischer's List of ... "The Ten Greatest."   (1964)  

  1. Paul Morphy - "In a set match, Morphy would beat anyone alive today." 

  2. Howard Staunton - "One of the most profound players and analysts of all time." 

  3. Wilhelm Steinitz - "A genius, and the Father of the Positional School of chess." 

  4. Siegbert Tarrasch - "A magnificent player, his play was often razor-sharp." 

  5. Mikhail Tchigorin - "The last of the romantics, and the first great Russian player." 

  6. Alexander Alekhine - "A player that I have never really understood." (hmmmm) 

  7. Jose R. Capablanca - "The glamour-boy of the chess world." 
    "Among the greats."  "His simplicity is a myth."  "Brilliance ... in the middle-game." 

  8. Boris Spassky - "A truly great player, with a dynamic, individual style." 
    (These words were penned 2-3 years before Spassky became World Champion!) 

  9. Mikhail Tal - "A fantastic player ... speculative sac's ... he frightens everyone." 

  10. Samuel Reshevsky - "For a period of at least ten years - 1946 to 1956 - Reshevsky 
    was probably the best chess player in the world. I feel sure that had he played a 
    match with Botvinnik during that time, he would have won and been champion." 
    ***  "He is like a machine, calculating every variation."  ***  "He can see more 
    variations, in a shorter period of time, than most players who ever lived." 

  (See the article in 'Chess Life,' Winter/March 2004, beginning on page # 09.)  

Fischer adds a very distinct and unique insight to each player that he names on his list. He also shows complete disrespect for Lasker, calling him ... "a coffee-house player, with no knowledge of positional chess!" He also seems to ignore, or he wants to ignore, the accomplishments of Mikhail Botvinnik ... for reasons at which I can only guess. But it still makes for very interesting reading!! (2/6/04) 

One of my favorite photographs of Keres. (bestplay_keres01.jpg, 05 KB)

One of the best players who ever lived, (but maybe not in the Top Ten), was GM Paul Keres of Estonia. (I attended a simul he gave in New York in the early 1970's.) Paul Keres lived from 1916 to 1975. He was in the World's Top Ten players for close to 25 years. He may have won the World Championship, had he not lived in the Soviet Union and probably was under pressure from communist leaders to lose to "more politically-correct players."


(This topic has often been detailed in the pages of  Chess Life  magazine.)


Paul Keres was a true genius of the game. He played and understood the game like few before or since. He endured the hardships of WWII and saw his native Estonia over-run by Hitler, and then later the communists. He also lived during a time of great political oppression, during the reign of Stalin and other monsters who were the 'leaders' (dictators actually) of the Soviet Union. Being of Jewish heritage, and perhaps unfairly accused of being a Nazi collaborator, he was never allowed true freedom. (In the former U.S.S.R./Soviet Union.)

(I personally feel, based on extensive reading about the man, that he was of a non-violent nature. I think he was unfairly accused of working with the Nazi's, and did what many people did during that terrible time - he simply did what he could to survive.) Keres was a simple man and a chess-player, it may have been asking too much to expect him to be also a great war-time hero. (And as far as I can tell, he never did anything that could even be remotely considered a "war-crime.") 


In his early days, his thirst for chess was of staggering proportions. It is said he would walk 30 miles to a library to read a chess book. He consumed everything he could find on chess. Still not satisfied, he began playing. Finding little or no competition in his home town, he took up postal chess. It is said at one time he may have had close to (or over) 1000 games of chess going at once!  (Based on a story from an elderly gentleman who knew Keres personally as a child.) 


His record of coming in 2nd for three straight FIDE cycles will probably never be equaled. (He was a consistent presence in the World Championship picture from the late 1940's to the late 1960's!!) He won the U.S.S.R. Championship in 1950 and again in 1951. He represented the Soviet Union in the Olympiads something like 10 times. He tied for First (with Alekhine), at Bad Nauheim 1935 and at Margate 1935. (With R. Fine.) He won Semmering-Baden, 1937; ahead of all the strongest players of his day. This included Fine, Capablanca, Reshevsky, Flohr, and many others. At   A.V.R.O. 1938, he tied for First with GM Ruben Fine. This officially made him one of the Challengers for Alekhine's title, but W.W.II and Alekhine's death soon afterwards prevented the match from ever taking place. He placed just behind the leaders at San Antonio, 1972. Then in 1975, he took 1st Place at Tallinn. His last tournament was The Open Championship (Swiss) of Canada, which he won.

(Paul Keres won over 200 {international} tournaments during his long and distinguished career. Easily the best player who did not win the Chess World Championship since the beginning of the FIDE era.)

Paul Keres was an expert problem solver and composed many problems and endgames.


He died of a heart attack in 1975. The chess community still mourns his loss.  
(Go to   to download a few of Paul Keres' games.) 

(If you have not figured it out by now, I am a great admirer of Keres.)


 ( I consider Paul Keres AND Akiba Rubinstein to be two of, 

"The Strongest Players Never
To Win The  World's [Chess] Championship
." )

  (Of course Viktor Korchnoi is also close on their heels.)  


(Main Source for the biographical data presented here: 'The Oxford Companion to Chess.')  

  Good links ... for Paul Keres  

  1. Search Google for Paul Keres. 

  2. The Mecca entry for Paul Keres.  

  3. A biography of Paul Keres.  

  4. The Wikipedia entry for Paul Keres. 

  5. Another on-line encyclopedia covers Paul Keres

  6. Replay a few of the games of Paul Keres ... on the CG website. 

  7. The "Chess Metrics" page for Paul Keres.  

  8. An article (on Paul Keres) on the ChessBase website.  

  9. A tournament permanently dedicated to remembering this great player. 

  10. I carefully annotated one of my favorite games ... of the great Paul Keres.  

(Max Euwe - Paul Keres; 5th Match Game. 1939.)

CB_E-K_20.bmp (416694 bytes)

(Position after White's 20th move.)


Max Euwe - Paul Keres;

5th Match game, 1939-1940.

1. d4,


2. c4,


3. Nc3,


4. Qc2,


5. Bg5,


6. Bh4,


7. e3,


8. Bd3?!,


9. d5?!,


10. dxc6,


11. Qxd3,


12. Qxd8,


13. Qd2, (Best)


14. Kxd2,


15. Ke2,


16. Rc1,


17. Bg3,


18. Nf3,


19. Rhd1,


20. Kxd1,


21. Ng1?,


22. Ke1,


23. f3,


24. fxe4,


25. Kd2,


26. Kxc1,


27. b3,


28. Bxc7,


29. Kd2,


30. Kc3,


31. a4,


32. Kc4,


33. a5,


34. Kxc5,


35. Kb5,


36. Kxa5,


37. Ka6,


38. e4,


39. hxg3,


40. g4,


White Resigns.


( If you are having trouble getting this file, then click  HERE.  This will take you to my "Chess Down-Loads page." There you will find this file ... and lots of other goodies for viewing and downloading. Look for the file, "Euwe vs," and click on it. )

Make sure you go to my "Best Short Games" Page, and check out the red-hot game:
Paul Keres - C.H.O.D. Alexander;  Margate, 1937.  (Thoroughly annotated for your enjoyment.) 


I used to have an entire website on Paul Keres. (Long story - it closed in 1998 or 1999 ... in the big "dot-com crash/fold-out.") Anyway, I get requests all the time, people say stuff like, "You have annotated everyone else's games, why not a game by Paul Keres?" (Actually, that's not accurate ... of the very first chess games that I did for this site was by this player - its in the table, just above.)  

Anyway, I have been studying this players' games for the last 2-3 years now. One thing I wanted to do was to come up with my own  list  of his  "Ten Best" games.  

One of his games that I always have been fond of is the following one:  
GM Max Euwe - GM Paul Keres;  The 9th Match Game, (m39-40) / Holland (NED); 1939.  
Without question, this must be one of Keres' best games, I first studied back in the early 1970's as a teenager - I immediately fell in love with this game, and have always thought it was a truly incredible {chess} masterpiece by this great player. So ...  check it out!   Wednesday; September 21st, 2005.  

Early September, 2002. I am sent an e-mail from a European web provider. (You can tell by the suffix what country it is from.) This e-mail is from a fan of my web-site, he states he is also an operative for the KGB. He sent me some copies of some documents. They were numbered in a very peculiar manner. 

I used to be in the U.S.A.F. Security Police. I have quite a few buddies that are still active in law enforcement. I contacted one, he put me in touch with a retired CIA agent. (I simply wanted an expert's opinion as if the documents were genuine or not.) According to my contact, these are - probably - genuine. (At least whoever generated them knew what KGB documents from that period looked like, and what the numbering system was.) You can translate the Russian, but the numbering system is absolutely unique.

Apparently, the KGB is in the process of destroying vast quantities of KGB documents. Much of this paperwork documents KGB operations from that period. 

The papers that were sent me have nothing to do with anything that would remotely concern anyone - except chess players. Apparently one is an agreement between the Russian Government, and one player of Estonian descent - namely one P. Keres. This paperwork seems to be an agreement for Keres to lose to Botvinnik in 1948. In return for his cooperation, Keres would have several of his relatives released from prison or work camps. It is nearly 20 pages long, and goes into some detail. It also lists crimes committed by Keres during the Nazi occupation of his homeland. For his continued cooperation with the Soviet Government and the designated representatives of the Ministry of Sport, Keres would be pardoned after a period of time. But that period of time is very vague. Apparently they (also) have an understanding that Keres could never be World Champion. 

I must stress that my first impulse was disbelief. Even after  'experts'  had verified the relative authenticity of these documents, I still find the whole thing a little unbelievable. But I have never experienced the ravages of war in my homeland - or its occupation by a very unfriendly and hostile foreign power. 

My second impulse was to have these documents scanned and published on the Internet - both the original versions, and the translated English versions - and place them on my web site for the whole world to see. But my source says this is not possible, it would compromise his position where he works. While I cannot believe that anyone today would care about something that happened so long ago, it is possible that it would jeopardize my source of information. And I promised him, prior to his sending me the paperwork, I would not do this. He said I could talk about Keres and the shameful fact that for over 15 years he was forced to throw games at the (FIDE) World Championship level. But to print the original documents ... or to reveal the source for the information - I could not do, as I gave my word in advance. This certainly is added proof of what many players have suspected for a very long time!  
(Published on my web page, October 21st, 2002.)  



 Keep watching this page. I will add a synopsis of many of my favorite players here.  

  A.J.'s List of "The Ten Greatest Players" (of all time)  

Without any further ado, I will give you  my  list  of the top ten players of all time.


1.  Paul Morphy(Many of his games are scattered throughout my website. GO to my  "Best Short Games"  page. Or click  HERE.) Morphy had the highest rating ever recorded, according to Sonas. He also had the highest winning percentage, according to Keene and Divinsky's book, "Warriors Of The Mind."  (Morphy also comes out on top of several of their other lists, although they only rank him as being # 11 overall.)  

Special Note:  Apparently Morphy has been demoted! (See this list, player # 56; also see player # 84 on this list.) All this is really only a way of stating that: "We don't really know how good Morphy was ... there simply isn't enough data to come to a positive conclusion." However, using the numbers given the CM website, I can make one interesting observation. Morphy was close to 300 points better than everyone else in his generation, Fischer was around 180 points better than his generation (at his peak), and Kasparov was 'only' 130 points better than the rest of his generation - at his peak. (And this is ONLY if you don't count Karpov ... who could be discounted as a statistical aberration.) But to say that Morphy is NOT even in the "Top 50" of the greatest players who ever lived?!? ... ... ... 
I consider this absurd  ...  to an extreme degree. - A.J. Goldsby I  (Saturday; August 26th, 2006.)  

2.  Robert J. ("Bobby") Fischer(GO to my "Best Short Games" page, to see several games by Bobby Fischer. Or click  HERE. Or here.) (According to Sonas, Fischer was the Number One player in the world from 1963 until 1975. Fischer's highest rating was nearly 2930 ... not even Garry Kasparov records such a high rating!) 


3.  Garry Kasparov(GO to my "Best Short Games" page, to see several games by Garry Kasparov. Or click  HERE.) 


4.  Anatoly Karpov(I plan on soon having a whole page devoted to this player ... plus many of his best games, annotated for you to enjoy. Go to my "Best Games" page, or my "Annotated Games" page.) 

One interesting factoid ... Karpov - as World Champion - won more top-flight tournaments than ANY World Champion who preceded him!!  


5.  Jose R. Capablanca(GO to my "Best Short Games" page, to see several games by J.R. Capablanca. Or click  HERE.  Or Here.) (According to SonasCapa  had the  HIGHEST  one-year, three-yearfive-year, and nine-year rating peak(s) of  ANY  player who ever lived!!! (Note: This was first written a number of years ago ... today, {Wednesday; April 11th, 2007}; Sonas has changed his database AND his formula!!)  When you combine this with the fact that he won a great number of Brilliancy Prizes, had a fairly high winning percentage, and had the absolutely   LOWEST   percentage of losses of any great chess master who ever lived  ...  well, this makes an extremely strong argument for the fact that Capablanca was one of the greatest players ever!!)  {I am sure Irving Chernev would happily agree!!!}  


6.  Alexander A. Alekhine(GO to my "Best Short Games" page, to see several games by Alexander Alekhine. Or click  HERE. Or here.)  {This was first written in Nov, 2004. Today ... I am happy that I have finally gotten around to posting a page on Alekhine. Note made on - April 11th, 2007.}  


7.  Emanuel LaskerI now have an entire page ... devoted to this player. I have collected about a dozen books, (I just got Soltis's book, "Why Lasker Matters."); and I have annotated about 50 of his games ... with about 15 games being {currently} available on the Internet.  
(Click  here  to see one game by this great player.) 


8.  Mikhail Tal  -   (GO to my "Best Short Games" page, to see several games by Mikhail Tal. Or click  HERE.  Or  here.) 


9.  Mikhail Botvinnik(GO to my "Best Short Games" page, to see several games by M. Botvinnik. Or click  HERE. Or here.) 


10.  Akiba  Rubinstein(I plan on soon having a whole page devoted to great player ... plus many of his best games, annotated for you to enjoy.) (Click  here  to see {maybe} Rubinstein's best game.)  


(Click  here  to see a web site dedicate to ratings.) 


I now have web pages on several of these players ... and many more may be coming soon. (April, 2006.)  

 Do you want a different perspective?  (January, 2003.) 
  (This was circa 2003, he has changed his info several times.)  


The Jeff Sonas  web site  gives a slightly different outlook than mine. 

  1. Jose R. Capablanca,  Five-year peak:  2898 
    Capa's highest rating was 2921! This leaves one astounded ... and you would  
      probably have to add at least fifty points to get a modern day equivalent!!)  

  2. Robert J. Fischer,  Five-year peak:  2892 

  3. Garry K. Kasparov,  Five-year peak:  2869  

  4. Emanuel Lasker,  Five-year peak:  2863   

  5. Viswanathan Anand,  Five-year peak:  2820  

  6. Mikhail M. Botvinnik,  Five-year peak:  2818  

  7. Alexander A. Alekhine,  Five-year peak:  2812  

  8. Vladimir Kramnik,  Five-year peak:  2811  

  9. Wilhelm Steinitz,  Five-year peak:  2809  
     (Steinitz is on many of the lists that deal with the best players of all time. 
      He once went close to 15 years without losing a game. His TEN-YEAR 
      peak ... no matter whose rating system you use! ... puts him in the top 10.) 

  10. Anatoly E. Karpov, Five-year peak:  2793.  

              (Poor Morphy is not even in the Top Ten here. But he is # 5 on the one-year peak list.) 


This is an interesting list from a solid statistician. But some of his results look VERY skewed to me. For instance, Capa's rating is over 150 points off what Elo, (and me!); have given for this player. And although I am a big fan of Anand, I hardly see him finishing better than players like Alekhine, or even Keres. And something is  VERY  wrong with Sonas's calculations if Tal is NOT in the top ten of one-year peak ratings. (According to the work I have done, Tal should be  # 1  or  # 2  for a 1-2 year peak average. He is like # 37 on the Sonas list for  1-year-peak ratings.)  {See the box .... just below this paragraph.}  And other players ... like Akiba Rubinstein ... the first and maybe ONLY player to win FIVE MAJOR International tournaments in a row ... is nowhere to be found on the Jeff Sonas list for 1 year peak ratings. (!!!!) 

UPDATE:   I have received dozens of e-mails about this ... (over a period of 2-3 years) ... 
According to the "Chess Metrics" website, the old "One Year Peak range" list was deleted. According to the new page for one year peak averages, Morphy is now # 66!!!  

That means that Paul C. Morphy went from # 3 on Sonas's very first list, and has slowly slid down ... over a period of several years ... a grand total of sixty three places! (And Paul Morphy is dead, and only a few games from that time period have been added to the database. This means that the only thing that has really changed is Mr. Sonas's formulas - and how he interprets his overall database.) 


Of course, on many of Sonas's old pages,  Alekhine was NOT even in the top 25 players of all time ... on ANY list! (Today, this problem has been - somehow - corrected, and now Alekhine occupies a spot near the top in just about all of Mr. Sonas's major lists.)  

And Mikhail Tal - one of the greatest players of all time - is currently # 17 on the one-year list, # 18 on the three-year list, and # 19 on the five-year list. Of course, you may not think that is not too bad, especially considering some of the other luminary names on that list. However, consider this ... Tal went from a nearly totally unknown player to WORLD CHAMPION in a span of about 2.5 years!!! I personally think that he had one of the greatest one-year spans of anyone who ever lived. IN ONE YEAR, he won the {old} Soviet Championships, A FIDE Interzonal, several international tournaments, etc. This would be equivalent of a player being a 2200-2300 today, and then becoming a near 2800 rated player in just a one-year span! In fact, Tal might be the ONLY player I know of who accomplished this trick ...   


Now back to {the topic of} Paul Morphy and the "Chess Metrics" website. It was Mark Twain who said that, "There are lies, damn lies ... and then there are statistics." (His point being that - if you care to try and manipulate the data enough - you can make the numbers say almost anything.) Now PLEASE let me be clear on one thing: I deeply respect Mr. Jeff Sonas, and I think that his body of work is perhaps the single most scholarly attempt to classify (and quantify) chess ratings that has ever been attempted. However, I think Mr. Sonas would be the first to admit ... that for some players, like Paul Morphy ... that there simply is NOT enough data to draw really valid conclusions. Also - it becomes obvious, when you have studied Mr. J. Sonas's work over a period of several years - as I have - that:  # 1.) He is continuing to process data and refine his formulas. (This means that the places of many players is not set, and I have seen several changes on his lists that are quite substantial.)  And, # 2.) That as you travel back in time, the ratings of the players get lower and lower. Does this mean that GM (and former World Champion) Tigran Petrosian was really inferior to ... say GM Vishy Anand or GM Vladimir Kramnik? (You could easily infer this ... just from looking at the five-year list of peak ratings.) That if Petrosian - at his peak - played Anand at his peak (on a completely level playing field) ... that Petrosian would really lose? Or is it simply an anomaly of the numbers? (Of course - unless someone invents time travel - we will never know the answer to such questions.) 

In the end, I think we can safely say that using just numbers alone may not be enough to really state ... with any degree of certainty ... who the best player of all time really was. And I think you could probably make a case for around 20 or 30 players ... that this one individual chess player might have been the greatest player of all time. 

And that folks ... is why you can still pick your own favorite and develop your case (and arguments) accordingly. Its also why being a fan is so much fun ... 

Go HERE to see another web-page, and see how much a few of Mr. Sonas's ratings and some of his lists have changed over time.  


(The info in this box was begun on Tuesday; April 10th, 2007. It was finished over the course of approximately 2-3 days.) The last update (to just this box) ... was on 04/12/2007.  


To go to the web page that has this complete list - and literally hundreds of links, click  here

  Click  HERE  to see a whole page dedicated to this topic - and an analysis of the lists.  


His latest statistical analysis has Garry Kasparov as Number One, Bobby Fischer as # 2, and the great Jose R. Capablanca as # 3. (Just a swap of his previous numbers, see this page for more details.)  July 25th, 2006. I think - after many weeks of thought, and also calculating a few tournaments with a simple ratings program - that I have much more confidence in these numbers, than in some of Mr. Sonas's previous work.  August 2nd, 2006.  

Click   HERE   to see one of Steinitz's best games. 

 Click  HERE   to see an article - and a game! - on A. Anderssen. 

I also plan on having a whole website devoted to GM V. Kramnik.
 And this will be the ONLY place to find the link. Watch for it! 
(Click  HERE  to see all of the games that Kramnik played versus Deep Fritz.)

The first three choices are not open to dispute. Mathematically and statistically, they are set in stone. (See below for a discussion of Paul Morphy.) Bobby Fischer is also a legend, and I will detail some of the facts of his career later on this page. (Click  HERE  to go to a page that has an interesting list. It shows BOBBY FISCHER is the most dominant player of all time!!!) Garry Kasparov is also one of the all-time greats. Garry's feat of winning or tying for first IN EVERY TOURNAMENT that he competed in for NEARLY A DECADE (9+ years) will never be equaled. (I.M.O.H.O.)  He dominates his generation like few other players have. (See my article in the Aug./Sept. issue of Georgia Chess for more discussion on this matter. Click HERE to go to the Georgia State Chess Association Web-site.)

The top three players, (Morphy, Fischer, and Kasparov); for the present time are fixed.  

 No others need apply.  

Many of you are already wondering how I can rate Paul Morphy as the greatest player of all time. The answer is very simple. He was. Quite simply using mathematical, statistical and scientific methods, Paul Morphy was in a class by himself. He was a giant of his era, towering head and shoulders above everyone else of his generation. (Bear in mind I bring an enormous amount of information to bear on this topic. My personal library is very large, {see my Resume page}; and I have close to a dozen books on Morphy.) Many of the pundits, most notably Reinfeld, have consistently criticized the way Morphy --- and his whole generation --- played chess. This has fooled many people into not seriously looking at  and critically examining the players of Morphy's generation. (I also imagine that many, many generations must have tired of hearing of Morphy's exploits! Few can even come close to him. Morphy was also special because he was the first true genius of the game.)

morphy-engr1.jpg(4922 bytes)

  (A reproduction of an engraving of Paul Morphy.)  

[Here are a few facts that are NOT commonly known about Paul Morphy.]

The greatest mathematical mind who ever approached the game of chess, at least in the last 75 years, was Arpad A. Elo. (I personally knew him.) Many of the historians of the game will acknowledge that the implementation of the rating system was one of the greatest things to ever happen to chess. (Read Don Schultz's book, ChessDon. Or visit Don's website by clicking here.) Elo stated on his excellent book, The Rating's of Chess Players, Past and Present, that the ONLY way to judge a player was by the standards of THAT generation. (See section 5.13 on page # 81.)


Since Paul Morphy  dominated  his generation like no other player, either before or later, ever did - it would stand to reason that he was easily the greatest player who ever lived.


"Prof. Elo’s historical estimates suggest that Paul Morphy may actually have been the most dominant player of all time. Morphy is estimated to have been 180 points better than the average top-ten player of 1858-1859." (Click here.) (J. Sonas, of


Did you know that Paul Morphy might have been one of the all-time greatest chess prodigies?  By the time he was 10 -12 years old, he had already played and defeated some of the very best players in the country. ( Judge Meek of AL, Judge McConnell of LA, [The very strong Masters] Louis Paulsen, and Johann J. Lowenthal. His uncle, Ernst Morphy. Eugene Rosseau. Also Generals John Tillson and Winfield Scott.  Gen. Scott was to remark in his memoirs that he met the [first? &] greatest chess genius of all time. )  All the players named were considered to be some of the best players in the whole country.  What other chess player can make this claim?




[I have to inject the following story. When I was very young, I used to tote "little, black notebooks" around. I was infamous for these. Players would see me coming and run the other way! But the point of the tale is that I had one notebook full of Morphy games and combinations. I tested many, many Masters on these difficult positions. MOST could not or did not find the best solution to these problems. One player was approximately 18 months away from winning the U.S. Championship!! Perhaps this will go a long way to dispel the myth that Morphy played inferior players, or his combinations were easy to find.]


Paul Morphy met and defeated ... in set matches ... every player who would play him. As an adult, during his nearly two-year tour of Britain and Europe, (1858 -1859); he met and easily defeated the very best players in the world. Some of the very best players in the world were to Morphy, as chaff before the flame. With the notable exception of Adolph Anderssen, no other player was even close to being in his class.


Paul Morphy also had one of the most phenomenal memories on record. It was said that he NEVER forgot a game of chess he had seen or he had played. (I once saw a newspaper account where a player, just a few years before Morphy's death, asked Morphy and his life-long friend [of Morphy's] about a game. It was reported that Morphy deftly showed the moves of the entire game -- without hesitation.) He also passed the Bar Exam for the State of Louisiana by committing THE ENTIRE CIVIL CODE OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA to memory!! He did not miss one single question on the Bar Exam!


Another facet that is often overlooked is that Morphy changed the very nature of the game!!!  You see, W. Steinitz is acknowledged by every knowledgeable player to be the Father of Positional and Scientific Chess.  (Many books have related the apocryphal tale of how Steinitz went into seclusion to study for nearly 3 years. One of the secrets he wanted to unravel was to study the games of Morphy to find out how he won. He wanted to discover if Morphy "knew some secret" or had discovered some new, heretofore undiscovered, laws of chess concerning the way the game should be played.) 


Where did Steinitz get his ideas?


This is an often overlooked fact of chess history.


Quite simply, we would NOT play the game the way we do today, without the impact of Paul Morphy. You don't believe me? Then study chess history. Study the life of Paul Morphy and Wilhelm Steinitz. (I have many, many books on both players.) But most of all study the games of chess. (The way EVERYBODY played before Paul Morphy.) Before Morphy, no one knew to develop their pieces. (Many writers have written that players knew of this prior to Morphy, but it just ain't so.) Most players [of that era] would bring out one or two pieces, and then launch a headlong attack against their opponent's King. Today, thanks mainly due to the writings of Steinitz, we know better. But BEFORE MORPHY, no one seemed to have a clue as to the correct way to play this game.



Think  about it!


(Click  HERE  to see maybe Paul Morphy's best game.)


 Would you like to see  THE  definitive web-page on Paul Morphy? 
Would you like to see a link to nearly EVERY WEB PAGE OR SITE 
GREAT player??? Do you want to be pleasantly surprised? 
Do you want to see a list of Paul Morphy's games? 
Want to see a few annotated games? 

 Then click  HERE  now!!!!! 

One other thought: While I am on the subject, guess what happens if you take today's ratings, {April, 2001.}; and play the "Substitution Game?" ?? (Take Morphy, and give him Kasparov's rating. Take Anderssen and give him Kramnik's rating. Take Harrwitz and give him Anand's rating. Take ... well, by now you should get the general idea.) This does NOT account for inflation, but if Garry Kasparov dominated his generation the way Morphy did his, Garry would be rated close to or OVER  3000 ELO!!!!  This means that a good comparison for Paul Morphy would be his  ELO rating  would be much higher than Fischer's or even Garry Kasparov's. A little bit of a 'tweaker,' isn't it?

Morphy ... is also on Bobby Fischer's list of the  "Ten Greatest Players" of all time. 
See the USCF Magazine, 'Chess Life.' Winter, (March?) 2004. Page # 09. (2004 Annual - page # 145.) 

Click  HERE  to go to my annotated game page and see some of Paul Morphy's games!!  


Click  HERE  to go to the U.S. Chess Center's "Chess HALL-OF-FAME"  and read about all the great American players that are listed there. (Esp. Paul Morphy & Bobby Fischer.) 

Just about every player in the world is familiar with the exploits of Bobby Fischer. Later I will have a section on him and what I consider to be the highlights of his very illustrious and brilliant career.

(I will also try to find a few of the better websites on Fischer and have links to them here. 
The best one I have seen [thus far] has got to be, 


 "The Bobby Fischer  Home Page." 


Many games, and tons of stuff on Bobby!!! 
 Click  HERE  to go there now!!)   (The old site, my favorite one.)  
  (The first week of July, 2004. Someone sent me an e-mail ... telling me that this site is off the air.)  


A recommendation? Go to  AMAZON.COM  and buy the chess book. {"My Sixty Memorable Games."} Then you can study the games. AND ... look at all the great commentary and variations by R.J. Fischer. AND ... read the introductions to the game by GM Larry Evans. (If you do a search on the Internet, you should be able to find a site where you can replay the games... without a chessboard.)  


(Note: I rate this in "The Ten Greatest Chess Books ever written." A real winner.)  

Right now I think the time is right to try and immortalize  (GM)  Garry Kasparov(Just after his defeat at the hands of Kramnik.)


He was a true chess prodigy. He was a World Junior Champion. He was a GM before he was out of his teens. He was the highest rated players ever in the History of chess. (Over 2850 at one point.) He won dozens of top-flight International Tournaments. He defended his title and was World Champion for over 15 years. He popularized the game like few  Champions before him.  And here is one point that is often overlooked: For nearly a decade Garry won or tied for first in every single chess tournament that he played in!!!  (Let's see Kramnik match that record!!)  

Garry also played some of the most beautiful chess of the 20th century!! Let us hope that he continues to delight us with his chess and his prowess well into the 21st century!

(I will be adding more highlights of Garry's fantastic and unique chess career at a later date.)

If you would like to see some info in the best players in the United States, go to the U.S. Chess Federation's Players' Gallery.   Click HERE  to go that site now!

 Keep watching this page as it grows and as I change it!! 


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright (©) A.J. Goldsby, 1985-2013.  
  Copyright © A.J. Goldsby, 2014. All rights reserved.  


   (Page last updated on: Thursday; June 25th, 2009.   Last edit/save on: 03/20/2014 .) 

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