The 5 Best Chess Players of All-Time

The 5 Best Chess Players of All Time blog image

Many people enjoy debating who is the best chess player in the world or even all time. Let us know how close we got to your list in the comments section below our selection.

Who is the Best Chess Player Ever?

The 5 best chess chess players of all time are:

Magnus Carlsen: Reigning World Champion from 2013

Garry Kasparov: World Champion from 1985 – 2000

Bobby Fischer: World Champion in 1972

Anatoly Karpov: World Champion from 1975 – 1985

Vishy Anand: World Champion from 2007 – 2013

The World Chess Championship as we know it today is a lot different from how it looked in the past. Although Magnus Carlsen has dominated the world chess championship in recent years the most dominant world chess champion ever has got to be Emmanuel Lasker, who held the title for 27 years.

Take a look at Lasker’s brilliancy against Pillsbury. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of why he dominated the chess world for so long. There is much we can learn from the past masters even in today’s technological age.

How Do You Define the Best?

Magnus Carlsen is currently the best chess player in the world. He is the reigning world chess champion and has been since 2013. But is he also the strongest chess player in history? This is always a controversial topic.

Many prominent players and chess writers have offered their own rankings and opinions of the greatest players. Of course, there can only exist a subjective list for the question of who is the best chess player ever.

Obviously, we don’t have a time machine that would allow us to bring all the chess giants from history together for a decisive super-tournament.

For example, Garry Kasparov would play Bobby Fischer. Magnus Carlsen would play Mikhail Tal. Vishy Anand would play José Raúl Capablanca. Anatoly Karpov would play Paul Morphy and Vladimir Kramnik would play Emanuel Lasker. Although a tournament like this would catch a lot of attention (not only in the chess world), it can’t happen.

Still, it is interesting to compare all these legendary chess players throughout history in order to find out who is the best chess player of all time.

Why The Elo System Does Not Help

Who Is The Best Chess Player Ever?

Due to the fact that it has always been a basic human need to compare each other because everybody wants to be better than others, there is also a rating system in chess.

The most common rating system today is the Elo system which was invented by Arpad Elo. At first glance, it seems logical to compare players of different eras by comparing their Elo ratings.

So let’s take a look at the table of the Top 10 chess players of all time according to Elo:

It turns out that except for Garry Kasparov, who retired from professional chess in 2005 after 20 years as the world’s top-ranked player, all of the players in the list are still actively participating in professional chess.

Former World Chess Champions like Anatoly Karpov, Bobby Fischer or José Raúl Capablanca are not featured in the list. The reason for this is that the average Elo rating of top players has risen over time. This rating inflation makes it impossible to compare players of different eras.

While Anatoly Karpov, for instance, was the world’s number 1 chess player with an ELO rating of 2725 in 1980, having this Elo rating today, he would not even make it to the Top 25 club.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the greatest chess player of all time?

Because he is the highest-rated chess player of all time, it is fair to call Magnus Carlsen the greatest chess player of all time. Of course, what defines greatness is is a very personal thing and can lead to many heated discussions.

Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov are regarded as legendary figures in chess history. Many would consider either of them as the greatest chess player of all time.

Who is the #1 chess player in the world?

Magnus Carlsen is both the current world chess champion and the highest-rated chess player in the world today.

Who has beaten Magnus Carlsen?

When it comes to naming the players who have beaten Magnus Carlsen recently, unsurprisingly, you mention the very best players in the world today. Chess greats like Aronian, Maxime Vachier Lagrave, Dubov, Nakamura, Nepomniachtchi, and So.

Does chess increase IQ?

Yes, playing chess has been shown to improve your IQ.

Is Hikaru better than Magnus?

No, Hikaru is not better than Magnus, but neither is anybody else.

Who is the richest chess player?

Determining the richest chess player is almost impossible without gaining access to their bank records and a list of their assets. Another consideration is basing their wealth purely on chess winnings, including marketing deals, sponsorship, and business earnings.

However, no matter how you assess wealth, it is fair to say Kasparov, Carlsen, Caruana, and Nakamura are among the wealthiest chess players ever.

Is Magnus still the best?

Magnus Carlsen is the highest-rated chess player in the world and the current world championship. Two factors that would convince most people he is still the best chess player in the world today.

About The 5 Best Chess Players Ever

#1: Magnus Carlsen 

Magnus Carlsen’s chess career is full of great achievements. He was only 13 years old when he earned his grandmaster title in 2004.

In 2009, Magnus Carlsen reached an impressive Elo rating of over 2800 and just one year later, he became the world’s No. 1 in the FIDE rankings.

Three years later, Carlsen defeated the reigning World Chess Champion Vishy Anand in a match of twelve games (Carlsen even ended the match after 10 games) and became the new World Chess Champion.

In the following year, he retained his title in a rematch against Vishy Anand and won the 2014 World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship.

Later that year, in May 2014, he reached a peak rating of 2882 – the highest rating in the history of chess. In the year 2016, he successfully defended his title a second time against the Russian Super-GM Sergey Karjakin.

What makes Magnus the best in the world is that he seems to have no weaknesses. He plays strategic and positional chess, but he also rarely misses tactical opportunities. And once he gets a small advantage, he knows how to convert it into a win.

Viswanathan Anand – Magnus Carlsen, 2013.11.21, 0-1, Anand – Carlsen World Championship Match Round 9, Chennai IND

#2: Garry Kasparov 

list of the best chess players ever

Garry started his training at the age of 10 at Mikhail Botvinnik’s chess school. In 1979, he was accidentally entered into a professional tournament, which he won. In 1984, he challenged for the World Title but lost to Anatoly Karpov in a 48 game match. But the following year he won the title.

He lost his title to Kramnik only many years later in 2000. In 2005, he announced his retirement after winning the prestigious Linares tournament for the ninth time. Garry Kasparov retired from professional chess in 2005 after 20 years as the world’s top-ranked player.

Today, many chess fans hope that Garry Kasparov returns to professional chess in order to see how he would perform against today’s young chess giants like Caruana, Karjakin, and Carlsen.

Garry Kasparov – Veselin Topalov, 1999.01.20, 1-0, Hoogovens Group A Round 4, Wijk aan Zee NED

#3: Bobby Fischer

Despite his troubled career, there is no denying the chess genius of Bobby Fischer. Take a look at how he absolutely crushes the Scandinavian!

Many chess fans consider Bobby Fischer to be the best chess player ever. In 1970 he won 20 consecutive matches in “1970 Interzonal”. He became World Chess Champion in 1972 after beating Boris Spassky in a match in Reykjavik.

Who Is The Best Chess Player Ever?

Three years later, Bobby Fischer refused to defend his title against a new challenger, Anatoly Karpov, because he was unhappy with the format of the World Chess Championship. From 1972 on, Bobby Fischer stopped playing serious chess. Read all about Bobby Fischer’s chess career in a nutshell.

Also, you might be interested in:

Robert James Fischer – Mikhail Tal, 1961.09.04, 1-0, Bled Round 2, Bled YUG

#4: Anatoly Karpov

Anatoly Karpov was a junior chess champion in 1969, defeated Korchnoi and Spassky in 1974, and challenged Fischer for the World Title. Fischer, however, didn’t agree to the playing conditions, and Karpov became the Champion by default. Reigning from 1975-1985, he lost his title to Gary Kasparov in 1985 after defending it successfully just a year before.

He won the 1995 Linares tournament which is considered to be the strongest tournament in history. Anatoly Karpov is known for his positional style. It looked like he effortlessly placed his pieces on the best squares before starting an attack against the tiniest weaknesses in his opponent’s camp with relentless pressure.

You can compare his playing style to the style of Capablanca and Magnus Carlsen who also like to obtain microscopic advantages and to squeeze their opponent’s until they collapse under the constant pressure. His achievements and skills qualify Karpov to be among the greatest players in history.

Enjoy the following video as Anatoly Karpov himself takes you through one of his best games.

Anatoly Karpov – Boris Spassky, 1974.05.03, 1-0, Karpov – Spassky Candidates Semifinal, Round 9, Leningrad URS

#5: Vishy Anand 

Who Is The Best Chess Player Ever?

When we talk about the best chess players of all time, we often cite Magnus Carlsen, Bobby Fischer, or Garry Kasparov and compare their weaknesses and strengths.

But Vishy Anand from India, the undisputed World Champion from 2007 to 2013, also must be considered.

Although today Vishy Anand lives in the shadow of Magnus Carlsen, we should not forget that Anand has won almost every title a professional chess player could wish to win.

Moreover, it is important to note that, with a FIDE rating close to 2800 Vishy Anand is still very much among the top chess players in the world today as evidenced by his recent title in December 2017 as rapid chess world champion. And his longevity as a chess great is also indisputable – Vishy became India’s first ever grandmaster when he was 18 years old.

He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007. He defended his title successfully against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008, in 2010 against Veselin Topalov, and again in 2012 against Boris Gelfand. Today, Anand is 48 years old, but still a constant member of the Top 10 chess players due to Elo rating.

Viswanathan Anand – Viktor Antonovich Bologan, 2003.08.07, 1-0, Dortmund Sparkassen Round 7, Dortmund GER

Learning from The Greatest Chess Players of All Time

Players often raise the question of who is the best chess player of all time. As we’ve seen, it is tough to make a definite conclusion on this question. As Siegbert Tarrasch correctly said, “Many have become chess masters, no one has become the master of chess.”

There have been, and there are now, many outstanding chess giants from whom we can learn plenty of key concepts today.

It’s very difficult to compare the play of completely different players from different periods. Of course, there is no doubt that the chess giants presented in this article are among the best players in the history of chess.

Still, there are many more great chess players like Capablanca, Lasker, Tal or Kramnik who would also deserve it to be in the Top 5 list of the best chess players ever.

If you want to make your own judgment by watching some masterpieces by some of the best chess players of all time, click here to get a special discount (50%!) on “Legendary Chess Players – DVD Bundle” by GM Damian Lemos.

The 5 Best Chess Players of All Time -

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84 comments on “The 5 Best Chess Players of All-Time

  1. Bent Larsen says:

    Top 5 ever? Capablanca, Fischer, Botvinnik, Kasparov, Carlsen.

  2. Steve says:

    Ivanchuck won Linares 1995 no? Karpov came in second.

  3. Guilherme says:

    ThThe real discussion here is who was the second best player of all time. Because the real one was Jose Raul Capablanca. He could beat even a engine nowadays. The real brain that born to play chess, and he no even had a chessboard at his house.e real discussion is who was the second best player of all time. Because the real one was Jose Raul Capablanca. He could beat even a engine nowadays. The real brain that born to play chess, and he no even got a chessboard at his house.

  4. Kenyt says:

    Carlsen left to have the greatest longevity on the TOP 1 by ELO !
    You can see it on this video showing the evolution of the ELO of the TOP 5 Best Chess Player from 2000 to 2020:

  5. DEADMAN says:

    Carlsen and mikhail tal are best ever chess player born on earth. They cannot be compared with others.

  6. Joe H says:

    I relate Bobby Fischer to Tiger Woods. Stay with me… both became larger than the game and became an intimidating force. This intimidation has a profound impact the psyche of the others they competed against.

    Their celebrity became a separate force that worked to their advantage. I understand one is an athlete and one is a mental athlete, but their drive and killer instinct is what made them dangerous.

    Who knows how far Bobby could have gone if he had continued to play, but he did finish on top. He truly was a master, not only in the game of chess, but in the media circus that surrounded him.

  7. M N Nazim says:

    How come only a handful have mentioned Alexander Alekhine! He was one of the best combinational players ever! Why is there chess world treating him like a pariah! If anyone can be compared to that genius Bobby Fischer, it can only be Alekhine.

  8. Burton davidson says:

    And the winner is deep blue !

  9. ROBERT FREE says:

    Carlsen. kasparov ,karpov murphy,one could have won 20 strait games against the Best Russian players and other countries as Bobby Fisher did, an if you really watch all the games and i did,Fisher was far ahead in moves of any player i ever saw. If he wasnt somewhat crazy an kept playing,you would have to throw out the record books. He won 72% of his games an MOST of his losses were when he was only 15 years old in 1958 is first year in Russia. He lost 4 strait to TAL who was World Champ year before an 4 strait tp Boris Spaasky who gave kasparov and karpov trouble.After age 16 he whooped TAL 4 strait 2 of them Blitz games.and we know what he did vs Spassky. in 1970 -72 he was as the Russians said using Black magic cause he beat the hell out of them.made moves not even the engines saw at that time.

  10. eric weiss says:

    Paul Morphy won 79% of his games and drew 8%. No other chess player, from any time period, even comes close. I know chess is all about rating. But, how can you ignore the win/loss/draw ratio of Paul Morphy??

    1. Fred R. says:

      And in many of Paul Morphy’s games, he was blindfolded! He’s the best ever!

  11. Joshua says:

    Many have become chess masters but ….none has become a master of chess

  12. Ferdz Elpedes says:

    Before Altibox 2019 tournament, Magnus Carlsen studied the games of AlphaZero & was assisted by Dubov in his preparation.

  13. Bill Ridgway says:

    Fischer’s 20 straight wins in the Interzonal in 1970 is a record that NONE have come close to matching. He beat ANYONE who would play him.

    Of course, socially, he was a disaster, but this is a thread about chess, and 20-0? No one even comes close.

  14. DS says:

    3 questions in 1. 1. Who was most naturally talented player of all time? 2. Who was the strongest in a set game? 3. Who was most dominant over his contemporaries? My own answers would be: 1. Jose Capablanca. 2. (Toughest question) but I’ll say Magnus Carlsen. 3. Bobby Fischer from 1970 – 1972

  15. GH says:

    I was the Tournament Director for the first Asian Zone (Zone 10 at that time) Rapid Chess Tournament. Anand was never near the time limit, unlike everybody else in the tournament. He was a breeze. Totally relaxed, never a frown. Certainly one of the better players the world has seen.

  16. Steve says:

    Alexander Alekhine. During their 1927 World Championship match Capablanca stated “there can hardly be a stronger player in the world than the Slav master.” Now that is a world class endorsement. While he had many character flaws, suffering from alcoholism to lose the match to Max Euwe, tarnishing his reputation during WWII, and marrying older women with money, I still considered his the greatest chess player of all time.

  17. Alfred says:

    Methinks that the GREATEST CHESS PLAYER title should not be bestowed to a single individual. Names like Morphy, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinik, Tal, Petrosian, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, and Carlsen became World champions because they showed preternatural abilities that earned them a niche in chessdom. I guess it is not really easy to measure each player’s capability thru a methodology that was invented way after some of the names mentioned above have already played and displayed their ingenuity. Mr. Arpad Elo, I believe, had the best intention to help categorize a player’s style of play thru his strengths and weaknesses and distinguish him from the rest so he can be correctly classified (incidentally, I heard that a Filipino actuarial engineer wrote him and pointed out something that resulted in a minor rectification in his formula. I’m not really sure if it’s true or not). That being said, I think we should all be thankful we’re able to witness the great games of these great minds….

  18. mike says:

    Murphy was paul morphys great grandfathers original last name before he changed it so morphy used to be murphy!!! Not saying this to be funny i read some kind of history thing about his family tree.

  19. Sukh Nahar says:

    This is a great thread.

    I have come to the conclusion that there is no best chess player of all time. There are our personal favourite chess players. To give a football analogy, Pele, George Best, Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, and (younger people may not have heard of him), Puskas. Who is the best out of that lot. To me Pele, but it could equally be any of the others. My favourite chess player is Bobby Fischer. I’d hate to have him as a dinner guest but his chess play is breathtaking. Fischer’s favourite was Paul Morphy. I believe Fischer was a reincarnation of Morphy, (discuss), and I daresay some of the other current greats are also reincarnations of past geniuses, (discuss).

    1. Joseph Harder says:

      Speaking of Pele, In the 1972 World Cup Semifinals against England, he made a seemingly perfect “header” into the Goal. The opposing goalie, Gordon Banks, was -inexplicably- out of position. Banks made a seemingly impossible back flip, and brushed the ball away. “That was the greatest save by the greatest goalie I have ever seen”-Pele
      The question is, what chess move is equivalent to Banks’ save/ ( Or Havlicek’s steal against the 76er’s , or Tiger Woods ‘ chip shot, or-to pluck two examples from college football, Billy Cannons punt return that Halloween night in 1959 or Terry Baker’s 99 yard Liberty Bowl run? was it Shirov’s bishop sacrifice against Topolov? Fischer exchanging his active bishop for Petrosian seemingly passive Bishop in the seventh game in 1971? Marshall queen sacrifice against Levitsky? Tartakover’s rook sac against Maroczy at Toeplitz Schoenau?

  20. Rjay San Juan says:

    we can not get the best player at all time because they are Champion at there time we need not to argue that there are sunrise and there are sunset we can not compare it

  21. william says:

    to say magnus as a teen can beat fisher in his prime is at best uneducated ,at worst immature…..

    1. Sukh Nahar says:

      Well it’s all speculation and a matter of opinion. I dare say everyone posting here and giving their opinion is pretty unqualified to really judge between Fischer and Carlsen, including (with respect) your good self. Different eras, different personalities, different strengths, so who knows??? They were, and are supreme geniuses, along with Kasparov, Karpov, Morphy, Capablanca. Picking either Fischer or Carlsen as better than the other is NOT uneducated. I would say that to label as ‘uneducated’ the opinion that Carlsen would have beaten Fischer is actually ‘uneducated’. (Just my opinion). The only way to find out would be if they lived in the same time period and played a series of games (like Fischer and Spassky). Before their match Fischer had never beaten Spassky and public opinion was divided, mainly depending in which part of the world you came from. At the time Spassy seemed unbeatable. Fischer proved who was the best over the board, coming back from 2 games down, and by the sporting Boris Spassky standing up and applauding after losing game 6, but NOT through public opinion.

      As a matter of fact my favourite of all time is Fischer, however, who am I to say whether he would beat Carlsen in a series or not. I would say even Grandmasters and chess computers cannot truly judge. OK?

    2. Sukh Nahar says:

      I’ve seen the post to which you refer:

      ‘Magnus as a teen could beat Fischer in his prime easily’. I agree with you somewhat. I don’t think many people would agree with the word ‘easily’. Who would beat who? who knows?

  22. ahdevil says:

    Hmm, or it does. Who can say? It is totally true that it is impossible to let a past chess play in a present tournament to assess his strength against current top players. It is probably true that the quality of chess play has advanced because of the bigger learning base and the better research tools and – lets not forget – the vast increase in number of chess players pushing more brilliant players to the top.

  23. Joe P says:

    Because it happened at the turn of the century and he is not American or Russian, few give real credit to the undisputed king of chess with fewer losses than any in history. The Cuban born Jose Capablanca! End of discussion.

    1. Sam Smith says:

      Agreed. Learned to play chess at 4 years of age after just watching 2 games of chess played by his father and another man (both weak players). No instruction, just watching! Was unbeatable at speed chess. Beat Dr. Lasker in a speed chess match, at San Sebastian in 1911 gave odds of 5 minutes to 1 minute to every player (best in world were there except for Lasker) and beat them all, Reuben Fine (known as a speed chess whiz) said that on a good day he could ALMOST hold his own against Alekhine but Capablanca would crush him. Dr. Lasker’s famous quote that he had known many chess players but only one chess genius – Capablanca. Botvinnik (only 3-time World Champion) had an awed respect for Capablanca’s ability. His winning % in simuls is unbelievable. Both Lasker and Alekhine ducked playing him for years. And finally…..he did all this while hardly ever studying or practicing the game!

  24. fan says:

    what are the differences between greatest champions and chess era.

  25. Kevin says:

    I would love to see Paul Morphy play everyone on the list, and I believe he deserves a place on it. said that, I agree that Magnus Carlson deserves to be number 1. What an absolutely extraordinary player.

  26. Aasmund says:

    I think Magnus is the best Chess player of all time. Its hard to compare though because the game evolves. Its like comparing Messi (Carlsen) to Pele (Kasparov) and Maradona(Fischer). Fischer has one championship title while Magnus has four and Kasparov numerous. For now I would say Kasparov is the greatest, but Magnus can overtake him by continuing to be number one for ten more years. The guys that Are mentioning Anand in the same sentence as Carlsen are insane. Anand couldnt tie his laces.

  27. Delyforde says:

    James Robert Fischer has been the greatest of all time.

    1. Kevin says:

      Yes, he has been.

  28. Wijaya says:

    I like Fischer, Kasparov and Alekhine.

  29. Ajit S. says:

    All are forgetting Alexander Alekhine, ONE of the greatest Chess players in the HIstory.
    Alekhine became world champion by defeating Great J.S. Capablanca and held the title for very long time.
    The players before computer analysis were really the Great ones because all analysis the did was the only human intellect without any external aid.
    1. Capablanca ( minimum losses in history) and Alekhine ( most brilliant games) 2. Kasparov and Fisher 3. Carlson and V. Anand

    1. Tom says:

      Mike Manson: Agreed. Obviously Murphy was a guy who invented some law !

    2. Rakesh kumar says:

      I think Anand is not far behind all time grrats

  30. MarcinP says:

    The real question is which player had the most powerful brain and the answer to that is decidedly Bobby Fischer (then Tal or Paul Morphy [in Fischer’s view the best player in history apart from him] or Capablanca, which is really hard to decide) – all of the mentioned child prodigies, with astonishing memory and really deep game analyses.
    Fischer’s play is often compared to that of a computer. As later studies of his games proved, his style was almost devoid of weaknesses. I’m sure Fischer wouldn’t lose to Deep Blue as Kasparov did when at the height of his career.
    Fischer once said an interesting thing. I can’t remember the exact words, but the meaning was that for him chess offered simply too few solutions. That was one of the reasons why he invented his chess variations (chess960)

    1. Niholas Perry-Mason says:

      Seems obvious to me and games I’ve looked over many years that Bobby Fisher was the best of all time. I say this, not because of his reputation, but I say it because, in my limited opinion, the beauty of his games that I have looked at, compared with other champion’s games, simply speak for themselves. I should that I have compared Fishe’s games to that of as many as I could find, but it is, only my opinion, and I am no one special really.

  31. DavidG says:

    The only way to compare chess players is how they impacted upon their own epoch. Nobody has had a bigger impact upon chess and outside chess than Robert James Fischer. I mention Kasparov’s name to people who don’t play chess and they’ve never heard of him. I mention Bobby Fischer and nearly everyone has heard of Bobby. Carlsen maybe big in Norway, but again he’s virtually unknown outside the chess bubble.

    Also imagine a 28 year old Fischer with access to the latest engines and internet. Just a scary thought !

    1. Tim says:

      Never played chess and live in the US and I know who Carlson is

      1. Luxor says:

        Fair enough, but Fischer was far more famous.

  32. glúmur baldvinsson says:

    This sentence shows the fallacy of the writer:
    It turns out that except for Garry Kasparov, who retired from professional chess in 2005 after 20 years as the world’s top-ranked player, all of the players in the list are still actively participating in professional chess.

    No Sir: The best of them all is not playing at all, since he is dead and buried in Iceland. Why in Iceland? Doesn´t matter. He was the best. And you blatantly tell us the top players are still actively playing? You are a pawn sacrifice.

    1. Michael Thain says:

      Read more carefully. He said top-ranked, not best, and was specifically referring to the list of rankings, which does not include Fischer.

  33. arjun says:

    vishy anand is the best player.. if u compare his age with others..

  34. Benny says:

    Morphy was the best great player of his time!

  35. Dr. Scanlon says:

    Randall P. McMurphy… One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

  36. Ronald P says:

    😂😂😂 Nice!

  37. Murphy says:

    The champ is here

    1. Rafael says:

      Nice move!

  38. Ronald P says:

    Murphy was the best I ever saw and only Fischer and Kasparov come close to him. Carlson has more in common with Karpov and Petrosian and I don’t care for that style at all. I like Murphy best of all because he did it by himself without a machine behind him, Soviet or computer.

  39. Mirsad says:

    I think that Murphy would beat anyone named Manson. Especially Charles.

  40. Michael David Manson says:

    Why are people being such idiots about the Murphy/Morphy confusion? Get real.

  41. Justin Jeremiah says:

    Fischer is the greatest chess player and the reason why has nothing to do with his actual abilities. He became a legend as his name and story leaked into popular consciousness. His name became synonymous with the Romantic notion of the troubled, solitary genius, whose personal flaws are no longer understood in a moral way, but rather as ingredients in a part of a larger story. People are fascinated by troubled genius. They gravitate to Fischer, Glenn Gould, Tesla, Beethoven, Kafka, Van Gogh etc.

    Fischer won the title of greatest of all time for simply living a highly unorthodox life and possessing charisma.

  42. Ronald P says:

    I think Murphy is the best. Fischer second.

  43. Lilbobby says:

    Dale Murphy. Atlanta Braves.

  44. Toto says:

    Tom “Murph” Murphy maybe?

  45. osman says:

    chess players on present days have more rating than those of the past , but with the new computer chess advancement they get better , but i belief if there were not machines then those of the past are greater chess players , lets be honest who can compare bobby with magnus ? that is disgrace to the game of chess ,

    1. Fernando iChess says:

      Don’t forget rating inflation! Today with 2700 you are at the most a Top 50 while a few years ago you would have been a Top 10 player, that doesn’t mean #50 today is a better player than a #10 in the year 2000.

  46. Nate R says:

    Where did you see Fischer?

  47. Mike R says:

    Yeah who is Murphy?

    1. Fernando @iChess says:

      I’m 100% sure he meant Paul Morphy!

    2. Mahesh K says:

      Good article… in my opinion; the best way to decide is to go back to the basics and see who amongst all these players have lost minimum of their entire professional games played.
      Personally i feel that strongest is Magnus Carlsen, player with highest wisdom is Kasparov, resilient is Anand, tactical of all time is Bobby Fischer and Capablanca

  48. Andre says:

    Magnus never used or trained with a computer or machine. The only time he even plays a computer is when he is playing against his own Magnus app. And that’s extremely rare, and he posts those videos on YouTube. Just because you don’t like his style doesn’t make Fischer better. I’d argue that Magnus as a teen could beat Fischer in his prime easily.

    1. Enis says:

      Yeah hahahah magnus eas called the computer boy search it on web

    2. Michael Shaune says:

      Carlson as a teen could beat Fischer in his prime? What color is the sky in your world?

      1. ROBERT FREE says:

        exactly -give Bobby a Computer an forget about it.Bobby would crush carlsen he would beat him without a computer.Bobby won 72% of his games Carlson only 62% + Bobby crushed em all in blitz games.Best Ever

    3. Angprobinsyano70 says:

      You don’t seem to understand chess and its history. May I remind of two 6-0 victories by Fischer. If you do not know their names go to the computer just like your hero.

  49. P Griggs says:

    Fischer was the best I ever saw and only Murphy and Kasparov come close to him. Carlson has more in common with Karpov and Petrosian and I don’t care for that style at all. I like Fischer best of all because he did it by himself without a machine behind him, Soviet or computer.

    1. Clyde says:

      Who’s Murphy?

      1. R. says:

        I’m sure he means Morphy, as there’s no “Murphy” to even be considered.

      2. Adrian lucas says:

        Karpov never successfully defended his title in 1984 against Kasparov, the match was aborted in strange circumstances, with Karpov leading Kasparov by 1 point, but unable to score the last point needed to secure the win. Kasparov was catching up, but then, in rather obscure circumstances, the match was stopped and sceduled to be started from scratch and with new rules in 1985.

      3. Geoffrey Perks says:

        LOL – Murphy was the great Irish MG

    2. Jim says:

      Who’s Murphy?

      1. Al says:

        Eddie Murphy

    3. RobinsonR says:


    4. gery says:


    5. R Lakshmanan says:

      The real question is which one of those posting could remotely approach the abilities of any of the top ten players … And thusly how ludicrous all these heated appraisals truly are in the end. Those who can do. Those who can’t teach. Those who are totally without talent waste everyone’s time debating and even insulting sporting heroes who’ve actually achieved great things. We humans are such a sad species.

      1. Sukh Nahar says:

        You are partly right in your comment, who can approach the abilities of any of these present and past Grand Masters and geniuses?

        However, think about it. We look at great cricketers, Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Kapil Dev, Sir Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Sunil Gavaskar and others. None of us can approach their abilities but it is NOT sad to speculate who is the best. It IS sad to get into heated arguments instead of friendly debate. We don’t have to be great players to have favourites and give our reasons. Of course, there is no definitive answer to who is the best.The same with football actors, musicians, athletes etc. Everyone has their favourites and it can be interesting to get people’s opinions on a forum. WE HUMANS ARE NOT SUCH A SAD SPECIES. Every human is different. The sad ones are those who harm other people. As a species we range from Mahatma Gandhi and to Adolph Hitler and every stop in between.

        1. Praveen Chandra Joshi says:

          The best thing I have read in A while.

    6. Derpinton says:

      I saw a documentary about Carlsen and how he won the title against Anand. He wanted to put Anand in a position where he is thinking for himself and not from computers’ suggestion. Now, that’s a player who is not behind a computer.

    7. Arvind R says:

      Having computer doesn’t necessarily always increase playing capability, and may even reduce the capability. The combination of Human intelligence with Artificial Intelligence assumes a perfect coordination between the two, which may or may not be the case. If there is a misfit, the player will be a digital ape and not super-human.
      It’s like having Google to know all answers without making the effort to think out an answer – can there be survival if Google suddenly stops giving directions? The neurons don’t fire as much although the results would be there.
      This doesn’t mean that computer is bad – it is an evolution of the game which one has to adapt to. Once the digital technology becomes fully integrated with human life, there will be very little difference between human brain and computer chip. But till then, the jump between human and artificial intelligence will be bumpy.
      There is another criteria for judging the all-time great chess champion which is not mentioned: resilience. In the world championship between Kasparov and Anand, during the initial phase of the game, both of them drew the games unwilling to take risks. On the 9th game, Anand gave a stunning defeat. Since both had drawn games for almost half of the tournament, all Anand had to do was draw the remaining number of games. But Kasparov came back immediately with wins in the next 2 games after which Anand didn’t quite recover. Lately, Anand also has proved his resilience by winning a shorter-format world tournament. If there is an all-time great “genial” chess champion, then many champions will mutually agree that Anand is the best villain amongst them.

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