chess puzzles

Chess Puzzles

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xerox 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Vote Who do you think was/is the best player ever?
mlazar 2 ( +1 | -1 )
my choice is Barry Bonds
myway316 4 ( +1 | -1 )
No contest Emmanuel Lasker,hands down!
axedrez 1 ( +1 | -1 )
A computer.
brobishkin 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Let me think... Alexander Alekhine... with Bobby Fischer a fraction of an inch behind...

king312 2 ( +1 | -1 )
I'd say... ...Garry Kasparov.
tulkos 5 ( +1 | -1 )
by 'best player' do you mean most good sport or best at his profession?
xerox 1 ( +1 | -1 )
a mix of both
craigaosborne 22 ( +1 | -1 )
depends on what you mean really if you mean best by record then Capablanca has one of the best records in terms of games won drew and lost. whereas Alekhine invented the openings and variations for openings. Kasparov, however is the best in the world at the moment.
lorddreyfuss 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Best ever... ... Alekhine or Kasparov!

My favourite is Lasker, by the way... :)
atrifix 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Fischer had the best record ever, I believe (~72.5% winning percentage). He had a few more losses than Capablanca but also far fewer draws and more wins. Capa had the lowest losing percentage, barely trailed by Fischer (about 8% to 9%). For those wondering, Capa's overall record was 68% and Kasparov's is around 69%. A record of more than 60% is usually considered extremely good and world-chapmion calibre.
lhunter 62 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix Could you refer us to the source of the statistics you gave us?

I checked but they list rankings and ratings (their own- not FIDE) instead of winning %. doesn't have a complete database of games so their winning %'s are only accurate for the number of games they have on record. Interestingly, I found the following:

Alekhine 72.8% wins in 2073 games
Fischer 72.4% wins in 973 games
Capa 68% wins in 469 games

My candidate is based on a high % of wins; sheer number of games played; and the most number of brilliancy prizes (according to Chernev)....

IMHO- there can only be one: Alekhine

atrifix 30 ( +1 | -1 )
Not sure the statistics are from my own memory, practically the only ones I remember :) They may be off a little (slightly--not much) but seems to agree almost exactly. I doubt you'll find any complete statistics without a lot of work. Interesting that Alekhine had such a high winning percentage, I was unaware of it.
lhunter 48 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix Not only did Alekhine have such a high winning %, but also a high number of games (2073!) which that % was based on (which makes the winning % even more amazing). It is not a conclusive statistic, but nonetheless, impressive.

It would have been interesting if gave a breakdown to their findings (i.e., total number / % of winning games on record) considering how much effort went into creating the stats they have.

werwolf 20 ( +1 | -1 )
My vote is Petrosjan. Dont forget that in time when lived Capa and Alehin there wasn't so much strong chessplayers. To play as combinator is easy but to play positional isn't so simple
skipwallace555 4 ( +1 | -1 )
one unknown here is the strength of the competition at the time.
dorisia 104 ( +1 | -1 )
Alekhine played only about 900 serious games between 1909 and 1939; the rest of those 2000+ games in the database mentioned here, are doubtless games played in his youth, during WWII mostly against very inferior opposition, as well as simultaneous (and blindfold) games. Alekhine's winning percentage comes nowhere near 72.8 %.

According to Elo, who calculated ratings of historis players, Alekhine's rating during his best five years was 269; this places him well behind Capablanca, Lasker, Botwinnik and other historic players (*). If he were to play in a tournament against the ten best players of today, he might be expected to take an undivided eleventh place.

(*) Morphy and Tal. Elo compiled his list in 1963, but it is easy to see that other "historic" players are/were stronger than Alekhine as well: Portisch, Spassky, Petrosjan, Korchnoi, Fischer, Karpov etc.

The best player of all time is of course Kasparov. But in my opinion the most chess-erudite, the most complete, chessplayer of all tine is Korchnoi.
dorisia 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Correction Alekhine 269 must be: 2690.
lhunter 15 ( +1 | -1 )
dorisia Your findings are most interesting. Could you share with us the link to historic ELO ratings? I couldn't find it. Thanks in advance.


premium_steve 17 ( +1 | -1 )
i vote for me :D because i'm the only person i know who plays all my favorite openings. i am also the only player i know who plays the rest of the game just how i would play it!!!
dorisia 99 ( +1 | -1 )
Historical ratings Elo's list of historical ratings can be found at:
This list is based on a book published by Elo in 1978. My own source (Evgeni Gik, Shachmaty i matematika) gives an older version of Elo's list, which he compiled in 1963, and which runs as follows:

2720: Lasker, Capablanca, Botwinnik
2700: Tal
2690: Morphy (only 3 years active)
2680: Alekhine, Smyslow
2670: Bronstein, Keres
2660: Reshevsky, Fine
2650: Steinitz, Boleslawski, Najdorf
2640: Rubinstein, Euwe, Gligoric
2620: Flohr, Kotov
2610: Tarrasch, Maroczy, Nimzowitsch, Bogolyubow
2600: A. Anderssen, Pillsbury, Vidmar, Stahlberg, Szabo.

These rating estimates were based on the players best five years of play.

The list published on the internet has slightly different ratings from the above (e.g. Capablanca is rated 2725 there), and it lists 476 players.