Main
Date: 08 Jan 2009 10:23:14
From: samsloan
Subject: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?

The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
Ever?

It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.

The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?

The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
championship match games, their score was dead even.

Similarly, although Anand is now the undisputed World Champion,
Topalov is rated a bit higher and teenager Magnus Carlsen is catching
up fast.

By contract, Fischer was 100 points, or half a class, better than
Spassky. By that standard, the distance between the best player in the
world and the number two player in the world, Fischer was clearly the
greatest player ever.

Another factor is that nowadays the top players all use computerized
databases with millions of games to prepare for their opponents and
they train with computer chess programs such as Rybka. These programs
come up with moves and ideas that no human had ever thought of before.
It is said that the current world champion, Anand, plays like a
computer because he trains extensively with a computer.

However, the question remains unanswered: If Bobby Fischer were alive
today and playing at his peak, would he be able to defeat players like
Kasparov and Anand?

The 1992 rematch with Spassky proved that the Fischer of 1992 was not
the Fischer of 1972. Although Fischer stated that he =93played great
chess=94 in the second match, that was only partially true. Fischer's
best play came when he was trying to rescue himself from a bad or
nearly losing position. In 1992, Fischer found himself in the same
situation that he had been in the last games of the 1972 match, where
he had several bad positions and at one point Shelby Lyman announced
on his TV Show =93Fischer has lost the game=94. It turned out that Fischer
did not lose. He found a resource that saved the draw.

The advent of computer databases and computer playing chess programs
does not really answer the question. Having all these computers helps,
but one still needs a man to actually play the game. Also, getting the
opponent out of the book and into a situation the opponent could not
have prepared for is not that difficult.

A situation that occurred in Iceland while Fischer was living there as
a Fugitive from the George Bush Version of Justice occurred during a
game played on an Icelandic Television Broadcast on September 12,
2006. The game went:

Thorfinsson, Bragi - Gunnarson, Arnar [C50]
Icelandic TV, 09.12.2006

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6 4.d3 Be6 5.Bxe6 fxe6 6.c3 Qd7 7.0-0 Nf6
8.b4 a6 9.a4 Be7 10.Na3 0-0 11.Nc4 b5 12.axb5 axb5 13.Na5 d5 14.Bg5
Bd6 15.Re1 h6 16.Bh4 Nxa5 17.bxa5 b4 18.Qb3 Qb5 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.c4
dxc4 21.dxc4 Qc6 22.Nh4 Kh7 23.c5 Be7 24.Qxb4 Bxc5 25.Qb3 Bd4 26.Rac1
Qd7 27.Qa3 Qd6 28.Qf3 Rxa5 29.Qh5 Rg8 30.Qf7+? Rg7 31.Qxf6 Ra2? 32.Rf1
Re2 33.Qf3 Rd2 34.Qf6 Re2 35.h3? Rxe4 36.Rc6. Qxc6, 37.Nf5

Here, Black blundered and lost. As this game was played live on TV
with grandmaster commentators, everybody was surprised when the phone
rang. A mysterious voice was on the line, which the grandmasters
recognized. It was Bobby Fischer.

Fischer had seen a fantastic combination, that all the grandmasters on
the spot had missed. It went:

37...Rxg2+! 38.Kh1 (White cannot retake because of 38.Kxg2 Rg4++
39.Kh2 Qg2 mate) 38...Rh4!! 39.Qf7+ Rg7+ (discovered check!) 40.f3
Rxh3 mate.

The question is: Would any of today's top grandmasters, would
Kasparov, Anand, Topalov or Carlsen, have seen this fantastic
combination? If not, could they really have hoped to beat Fischer in
his prime?

Sam Sloan




 
Date: 14 Jan 2009 07:00:58
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 14, 8:40=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 14, 1:51=A0am, Poutnik <poutnikletspamisoutofa...@atlas.cz>
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > In article <81a61f88-ff08-4b3d-8b50-
> > 8aa64e9fb...@i24g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,
> > samhsl...@gmail.com says...>
>
> > Bobby Fisher showed what he showed.
> > What he did not, it is useless speculation.
>
> > Joking: Maybe because America does/did not have big chess players,
> > he is little pushed..... /Joking
>
> > When Philip the Macedonian ( father of Alexander the Great )
> > swallowed Greece and claimed his army can run through Sparta,
>
> > he got just a simple answer: "IF"
>
> > Macedonians did let Sparta be and went to conquer Persia. =A0
>
> =A0 I believe you may have garbled that story. The way I heard it was
> that Philip sent a letter to the Laconians, not the Spartans, saying
> something to the effect of "If I invade your country, I will lay waste
> to your lands, kill your men and enslave your women." The Laconians
> sent back the one-word reply "If."
> =A0 Today the word "laconian" signifies an extreme economy of words,
> saying much with little. Whether this story is the original basis for
> that usage, or if the story is even true, I can't say.

It looks like I must correct myself. I should have said "laconic"
rather than "laconian" (I actually knew that, but the morning coffee
hadn't kicked in yet). More to the point, it appears Laconia and
Sparta are more or less synonymous, Laconia being the region
surrounding the city of Sparta in ancient Greece:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laconic

So Mr. Poutnik's account was basically accurate. The Wikipedia
article gives many examples of laconic wit, including the "if"
response to King Philip.


 
Date: 14 Jan 2009 05:40:17
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 14, 1:51=A0am, Poutnik <poutnikletspamisoutofa...@atlas.cz >
wrote:
> In article <81a61f88-ff08-4b3d-8b50-
> 8aa64e9fb...@i24g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,
> samhsl...@gmail.com says...>
>
> Bobby Fisher showed what he showed.
> What he did not, it is useless speculation.
>
> Joking: Maybe because America does/did not have big chess players,
> he is little pushed..... /Joking
>
> When Philip the Macedonian ( father of Alexander the Great )
> swallowed Greece and claimed his army can run through Sparta,
>
> he got just a simple answer: "IF"
>
> Macedonians did let Sparta be and went to conquer Persia. =A0

I believe you may have garbled that story. The way I heard it was
that Philip sent a letter to the Laconians, not the Spartans, saying
something to the effect of "If I invade your country, I will lay waste
to your lands, kill your men and enslave your women." The Laconians
sent back the one-word reply "If."
Today the word "laconian" signifies an extreme economy of words,
saying much with little. Whether this story is the original basis for
that usage, or if the story is even true, I can't say.


 
Date: 14 Jan 2009 07:51:13
From: Poutnik
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
In article <81a61f88-ff08-4b3d-8b50-
8aa64e9fb2cc@i24g2000prf.googlegroups.com >,
samhsloan@gmail.com says... >

Bobby Fisher showed what he showed.
What he did not, it is useless speculation.

Joking: Maybe because America does/did not have big chess players,
he is little pushed..... /Joking

When Philip the Macedonian ( father of Alexander the Great )
swallowed Greece and claimed his army can run through Sparta,

he got just a simple answer: "IF"

Macedonians did let Sparta be and went to conquer Persia.


--
Poutnik


 
Date: 12 Jan 2009 12:08:53
From:
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 12, 10:05=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 12, 9:16=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > > =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> > > claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> > > that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> > > responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > > > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material=
,
> > > > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed=
it
> > > > as being an insufficient survey -
>
> > > =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> > > *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> > > conclusions about all the players of that era.
>
> > Just to put this back on track - is the Nunn reference about Morphy
> > the subject I address? If so, as I said before, there is no need to
> > refer to =A0Nunn's survey, since we already admit it exists.
>
> =A0 Um, most definitely *_no_*, Phil. Not a single person here, except
> you, has said that Nunn ever did any sort of survey asserting that
> "Morphy was a 2300 player."

Not a ingle person here has expressed interest in if Morphy was a 2300
player, and motive is big.

> I, and several others here, strongly doubt
> that any such survey by Nunn about Morphy exists.

Fine - what does that have to do with me?

> Since you claim it
> does exist, it's up to you to prove it exists. That is the subject I'm
> addressing.

What actually were you 'discussing' with the other people - the ones
disagreeing with you in the material I provided. Did you actually have
a topic.

You see, its doesn't seem to matter to you whether Morphy, as assessed
by Fritz was 2300, 2450 or 2700. So why do you ask so persistently,
when you already discarded the idea as worthless?

> > But that is not the issue here - as I said before, asking for the
> > source is without merit, since as we also see here - it is dismissed.
>
> =A0 When the alleged source apparently does not exist, it is very much
> *_with_* merit to ask for it, and =A0very much *_without_* merit to
> continue, falsely, to claim it exists.

What actually were you dismissing? I could have got it wrong - but
that I submit is not my problem since you are unable to say cogently
and to those who you discussed 'it' with, what your point may have
been.

> > As for 'general conclusions about the players of that era', where has
> > that come from?
>
> =A0 I'm not asking about that.

Quite? So why are you interrogating the subject?

> I'm asking about your claim that "GM Nunn
> was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player."

But that is an impertinence - I already, after at least a half dozen
questions from you on varieties of subjects, resolved that nothing
resolves on answering them - while you demand of others they do
research for which you are unable to state any interest.

The very example above introduces what you are /not / interested in,
which you introduced into a conversation with other commentators - and
which does not identify anything about your interest. Whereas it
bedraggles theirs to answer you. You have become more than a little
indulgent in this respect, no?


> > But let us take it seriously,
>
> =A0 By all means, you should start taking my question seriously.
> Otherwise you look like a fool or a liar, if not both.

Again you switch to your question, not my question - and this is your
eternal pattern. This is why you fall out with everyone who faisl to
find your questions interesting.

Instead you mock the source which would answer your question. Pfft!@ I
find my response no different than anyone else's.

> > and if 'we' including Wlod are actually
> > interested in that question, however well Nunn explicates it, then
> > instead of simply dismissing the survey, let us try and induce a
> > better one.
>
> =A0 First, how about you show us this alleged Morphy survey by Nunn?

No. Mr. Kingston. I will show you nothing since you are not interested
in what you ask about - not in this, nor in any subject. You merely
want to posture on usenet. I need no conditions from you to recommend
my own idea of study - and if you ain't interested in it, buizz off!

> > When I wrote about this - a 'Fritz' type analysis, or something along
> > the lines of Convekta's analysis module, it received no reply here -
> > so I simply assume that those people who have asked for the survey
> > which is already commented upon, have no shared interest with me in
> > exploring the actual playing strength of historical players.
>
> > For readers who might like to engage this subject, much of it has been
> > anticipated at Chessbase where a massive mailbag was received on this
> > topic - and where Dr. Nunn made some answers.
>
> > Since he is perhaps criticized for his views, I take his own answers
> > to be in the spirit of exploring the topic, and far from anything
> > definitive.
>
> > Phil Innes
>
> =A0 By his repeated evasions, our Phil admits, but only tacitly, that he
> was talking through the wrong end of his alimentary canal when he said
> "GM Nunn was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player."

So we see the usual and disgusting response from Taylor Kingston, who
assumes that his massive ego requires others to submit to his
conditions before they speak their minds.

If anyone, including Taylor Kingston, should like the remarkable
evidence of this, I could offer them his own e-mails.


> =A0 What exactly is Phil's problem, that over and over he (A) makes such
> unsupported claims, and then (B) when challenged, completely fails to
> to provide proof,

You are the problem. You assume I can't, whereas you are not reading I
will not.

Remember the graphology example from Fischer? You went ape then
demanding that people prove to you all sorts of stuff about
prediction. No-one had previously mentioned that subect and had talked
about forensic /analysis/.

If you want to join in anything at all, then I think you must do more
than demand that your conditions must be met, and actually state your
own interest:

To the point is: what if Nunn said nothing at all, what if he said
2300, 2500 etc. Why does Taylor Kingston want to know? Is he a total
waste of time?


> and when shown to be wrong he refuses to admit he
> was wrong? If only (A) happened, then we could chalk it up to habitual
> carelessness and/or dyslexia (inability to read). But the fact of (B),
> that he continues to insist on his claims when they are shown to be
> false or baseless, indicates serious, fundamental dishonesty.

When Taylor Kingston is not indulged - and why should I indulge such a
twit?

Phil Innes


 
Date: 12 Jan 2009 07:05:36
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 12, 9:16=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> > claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> > that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> > responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material,
> > > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed i=
t
> > > as being an insufficient survey -
>
> > =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> > *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> > conclusions about all the players of that era.
>
> Just to put this back on track - is the Nunn reference about Morphy
> the subject I address? If so, as I said before, there is no need to
> refer to =A0Nunn's survey, since we already admit it exists.

Um, most definitely *_no_*, Phil. Not a single person here, except
you, has said that Nunn ever did any sort of survey asserting that
"Morphy was a 2300 player." I, and several others here, strongly doubt
that any such survey by Nunn about Morphy exists. Since you claim it
does exist, it's up to you to prove it exists. That is the subject I'm
addressing.

> But that is not the issue here - as I said before, asking for the
> source is without merit, since as we also see here - it is dismissed.

When the alleged source apparently does not exist, it is very much
*_with_* merit to ask for it, and very much *_without_* merit to
continue, falsely, to claim it exists.

> As for 'general conclusions about the players of that era', where has
> that come from?

I'm not asking about that. I'm asking about your claim that "GM Nunn
was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player."

> But let us take it seriously,

By all means, you should start taking my question seriously.
Otherwise you look like a fool or a liar, if not both.

> and if 'we' including Wlod are actually
> interested in that question, however well Nunn explicates it, then
> instead of simply dismissing the survey, let us try and induce a
> better one.

First, how about you show us this alleged Morphy survey by Nunn?

> When I wrote about this - a 'Fritz' type analysis, or something along
> the lines of Convekta's analysis module, it received no reply here -
> so I simply assume that those people who have asked for the survey
> which is already commented upon, have no shared interest with me in
> exploring the actual playing strength of historical players.
>
> For readers who might like to engage this subject, much of it has been
> anticipated at Chessbase where a massive mailbag was received on this
> topic - and where Dr. Nunn made some answers.
>
> Since he is perhaps criticized for his views, I take his own answers
> to be in the spirit of exploring the topic, and far from anything
> definitive.
>
> Phil Innes

By his repeated evasions, our Phil admits, but only tacitly, that he
was talking through the wrong end of his alimentary canal when he said
"GM Nunn was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player."

What exactly is Phil's problem, that over and over he (A) makes such
unsupported claims, and then (B) when challenged, completely fails to
to provide proof, and when shown to be wrong he refuses to admit he
was wrong? If only (A) happened, then we could chalk it up to habitual
carelessness and/or dyslexia (inability to read). But the fact of (B),
that he continues to insist on his claims when they are shown to be
false or baseless, indicates serious, fundamental dishonesty.


 
Date: 12 Jan 2009 06:16:12
From:
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest

> =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material,
> > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed it
> > as being an insufficient survey -
>
> =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> conclusions about all the players of that era.

Just to put this back on track - is the Nunn reference about Morphy
the subject I address? If so, as I said before, there is no need to
refer to Nunn's survey, since we already admit it exists.

But that is not the issue here - as I said before, asking for the
source is without merit, since as we also see here - it is dismissed.

As for 'general conclusions about the players of that era', where has
that come from?

But let us take it seriously, and if 'we' including Wlod are actually
interested in that question, however well Nunn explicates it, then
instead of simply dismissing the survey, let us try and induce a
better one.

When I wrote about this - a 'Fritz' type analysis, or something along
the lines of Convekta's analysis module, it received no reply here -
so I simply assume that those people who have asked for the survey
which is already commented upon, have no shared interest with me in
exploring the actual playing strength of historical players.


For readers who might like to engage this subject, much of it has been
anticipated at Chessbase where a massive mailbag was received on this
topic - and where Dr. Nunn made some answers.

Since he is perhaps criticized for his views, I take his own answers
to be in the spirit of exploring the topic, and far from anything
definitive.

Phil Innes


> And certainly a few
> games by Hugo S=FCchting are no basis at all for a conclusion about
> Morphy.
>
> > now you wonder if the survey even
> > exists.
>
> =A0 Trying to sow confusion, as usual, aren't you, Phil. Let's keep
> things straight: I'm asking about your claim that "according to Nunn
> Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player." Where did Nunn ever
> say this?



  
Date: 12 Jan 2009 09:12:10
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?)
On Mon, 12 Jan 2009 06:16:12 -0800 (PST), onechess@comcast.net wrote:


>Just to put this back on track - is the Nunn reference about Morphy
>the subject I address? If so, as I said before, there is no need to
>refer to Nunn's survey, since we already admit it exists.

Nobody questioned that what you call Nunn's "survey" exists.

WE QUESTION THAT IT SAID WHAT YOU CLAIMED.

YOU SAID NUNN PUT MORPHY AT 2300.

Are you afraid to address this (or admit you were mistaken) ?




 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 14:16:45
From:
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 4:27=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 11, 3:43=A0pm, "jeremy.p.spin...@vanderbilt.edu"
>
> <jeremy.p.spin...@vanderbilt.edu> wrote:
> > On Jan 11, 12:22=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote=
:
>
> > > On Jan 11, 1:07=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > > ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
> > > > cited in the EDO survey.
>
> > > =A0 How about it, Jerry? Can you tell us if/when/where British GM Joh=
n
> > > Nunn ever said anything like "Fritz proves Morphy was a 2300-player"?
>
> > No such knowledge. All my Nunn books are full of good, careful,
> > analysis, but they don't deal that I recall with 19th century chess.
>
> =A0 Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk. Just not your day, Phil, is it?

LOOK I DO IT FOR YOU - AND YOU ALREADY CONTRIBUTED TO IT - AND
CHESSCAFE IS THE SOURCE!!@!!!'

BUT PERHAPS YOUR CURRENT ABUSE IS BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT THE ARTICLE
YOU YOURSELF CONTRIBUTE TO IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE


I ALREADY POSTED WHAT FOLLOWS - BUT AS I SAY, KINGSTON IS NOT REALLY
AKING ANYTHING - AND NOTHING DEPENDS ON IT

What I should like readers to note is that Kingston does know of what
I speak - and even decided he would be inept to comment on it.
Therefore he tries to bury the very topic to which he ask about - so
that he can continue to have fantasies that he is Paul Morphy, or
whatever fantasy he has. But serious comment on the worth of Morphy -
he ducks the very idea of objectifying it, and would rather fuck over
people who do ask for that, as he deliberately does in this series of
posts, proving simultaneously that he is insincere and prepared to lie
about it

----

I already posted this once today !!!!!!!!!!!

------------

You may be thinking of a puzzle book GM Nunn published in 1999. One >>
>chapter features an error-checking study he did of games played at>>
>Karlsbad 1911.

Thanks. That's exactly the source I was trying to remember.
Nunn's logic and conclusions were strongly criticized by IM
Richard >Forster in a May 1999 article at ChessCafe.com, "Jewels from
Carlsbad >1911." A sample quote:> "Nunn feels confident to state ...
that the average strength of the >tournament was a mere 2130 Elo. Now
some simple mathematics show that >this is quite ridiculous. If the
tournament's strength was 2130 then >[winner Richard] Teichmann's
score
of 18/25 (+11) corresponds to a >performance of about 2300. You can
have many reservations about the Elo >system and the calculation of
historical ratings, but something must be >very rotten in the state of
Denmark if Teichmann's performance in what >was undoubtedly the best
tournament of his life is 270 points below his >peak five-year
average." (Which Elo gives as 2570 in "The Rating of >Chessplayers
Past
and Present.")
It seems to me that Nunn was attempting, by Fritzing a set of games
from representative tournaments of two different eras, to do
something
Elo ratings can't: to compare the relative strengths of two disparate
sets of rated players. Having done this using blunder-ratio, he then
expressed, in today's Elo numbers, his estimate for the ratings of
several of these older players.
If my understanding of this is correct, it's a mistake to criticize,
as you report Forster did, Nunn's estimate (given in today's Elo) of
Teichmann's tournament performance rating relative to a lifetime Elo
gleaned from play in his own era.
From one I know of Nunn's article, he didn't dispute that "several
fine games" were played at Carlsbad, 1911. His claimed that the ratio
of blunders over the whole set of games was higher than in a modern
high-category tournament.
For either of us to get in the middle of this by analyzing the games
themselves would be like a couple of cats trying to intervene in a
battle between two elephants.
Forster goes on to challenge Nunn's contention that of the 325
games >played at Carlsbad 1911, only two were very good. Forster
presents >several fine games, and shows how the ideas and techniques
demonstrated >in them presaged modern GM games.> The article is, alas,
no longer in the ChessCafe archives, but can be >found in print form
in
the "Heroic Tales" anthology (Russell >Enterprise s, 2002).
Add comment
Ron 13 October 2005 02:57:29 [ permanent link ]
In article <1129156112.938851. 249...@o13g2000cwo.g
"Taylor Kingston" <tkingston@chittend en.com > wrote:
Forster presents > several fine games, and shows how the ideas and
techniques demonstrated > in them presaged modern GM games.
That's sort of a misdirection, though, isn't it?
I mean, nobody doubts that today's players are standing on the
shoulders
of giants.







> > It isn't relevant to the current topic, but while I am talking about
> > Morphy, I have found a few little new Morphy nuggets in my most recent
> > research. For example, I have the name of a player who is said to have
> > drawn Morphy in one of his New Orleans blindfold simuls, I couldn't
> > find his name in other Morphy sources. I also found a follow-up to the
> > "mysterious lady" playing Morphy story which is somewhat interesting.
>
> =A0 I remember that one from Lawson. She's supposed to have played quite
> well, as I recall. Probably better than nearly-an-IM level.



 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 13:47:21
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 4:39=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 11, 1:22=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 11, 1:07=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
> > > cited in the EDO survey.
>
> > =A0 How about it, Jerry? Can you tell us if/when/where British GM John
> > Nunn ever said anything like "Fritz proves Morphy was a 2300-player"?
>
> The EDO survey is different from Nunn - but how about it Jerry - you
> tell your editor what you know, and I'll see y'all later when you have
> something to base your opinions upon other than pure romance.

I think we now have definite proof that Phil simply can't read, or
rarely bothers to. He posts "how about it Jerry" after Spinrad has
already replied. Jerry having already shot him down, Phil proceeds to
shoot himself in the foot as well. As Larry Parr says, lovin' it.


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 13:39:30
From:
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 1:22=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 11, 1:07=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jan 11, 11:45=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote=
:
>
> > > On Jan 11, 11:01=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > > On Jan 11, 10:15=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> w=
rote:
>
> > > > > > As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> > > > > > to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.
>
> > > > > =A0 Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As =
I
> > > > > recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein i=
s
> > > > > "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
> > > > > book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, N=
unn
> > > > > concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCch=
ting at
> > > > > Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
> > > > > estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
> > > > > =A0 And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who=
, when,
> > > > > where?
>
> > > > > > This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who =
knows
> > > > > > how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that accor=
ding to
> > > > > > Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.
>
> > > > > =A0 If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track=
record
> > > > > inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
> > > > > place.
>
> > > > ROFL - your track record is that nothing whatever happens if people=
do
> > > > your research for you!

no answer!

> > > =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> > > claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> > > that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> > > responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > > > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material=
,
> > > > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed=
it
> > > > as being an insufficient survey -

no answer

> > > =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> > > *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> > > conclusions about all the players of that era. And certainly a few
> > > games by Hugo S=FCchting are no basis at all for a conclusion about
> > > Morphy.

actually they are *some* basis, but not an adequate basis

> > > > now you wonder if the survey even
> > > > exists.

no answer

> > > =A0 Trying to sow confusion, as usual, aren't you, Phil. Let's keep
> > > things straight: I'm asking about your claim that "according to Nunn
> > > Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player." Where did Nunn ever
> > > say this?
>
> > Kingston - I just provided rather a lot of sources.
>
> =A0 Not one of which had anything to with your claim that "according to
> Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player."

you mean that it was not specific to the quotes I presented - or 'had
nothing to do with' since I suggest that that was the very topic?

> > You couldn't wait
> > 10 minutes could you, to tranhj [sic] someone.
>
> =A0 Eh? What "tranhjing" may be, I don't know.

but this is why your commentaries are universally resented. since
evidently you don't understand a typo, hence it should be trash not
tranj


> =A0 But the plain fact, Phil, is that if you say "according to Nunn
> Fritz says [Morphy] was in his own time a 2300 player," you should
> have the relevant source and quote at your fingertips.

'should'

what's that?

I ask you what it would mean to do your own post hoc research for you,
so you could then tell us why you divert the issue into sone 'fritz'
determining if Morphy was 2300, 2400, or whatever number

you pass on the question, since it actually has no bearing on your
'inquiry' does it? you decided to fight the issue before you known
what fritz might say, because you prefer to believe things, rather
than actually measure them

> > I see BTW that you refer to it yourself,
>
> =A0 Phil, I find it difficult to refer to that which does not exist.

what you find difficult is to say why you argued with all the people I
mention, and what basis you had to do so

information will not change your attitude anymore than on previous
occasions with me, larry evans, or whoever you contest. you didn't
believe lasker came 8th, but Hooper said so, but then you said he was
wrong. you presented absolutely nothing to contradict Hooper.


> You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem there, even though you
> should.
>
> > ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
> > cited in the EDO survey.
>
> =A0 How about it, Jerry? Can you tell us if/when/where British GM John
> Nunn ever said anything like "Fritz proves Morphy was a 2300-player"?

The EDO survey is different from Nunn - but how about it Jerry - you
tell your editor what you know, and I'll see y'all later when you have
something to base your opinions upon other than pure romance.

But I won't see you here - I started a new thread on Morphy to which
you could contribute your no doubt valuable opinions.

Phil Innes


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 13:27:35
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 3:43=A0pm, "jeremy.p.spin...@vanderbilt.edu"
<jeremy.p.spin...@vanderbilt.edu > wrote:
> On Jan 11, 12:22=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 11, 1:07=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
> > > cited in the EDO survey.
>
> > =A0 How about it, Jerry? Can you tell us if/when/where British GM John
> > Nunn ever said anything like "Fritz proves Morphy was a 2300-player"?
>
> No such knowledge. All my Nunn books are full of good, careful,
> analysis, but they don't deal that I recall with 19th century chess.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk. Just not your day, Phil, is it?

> It isn't relevant to the current topic, but while I am talking about
> Morphy, I have found a few little new Morphy nuggets in my most recent
> research. For example, I have the name of a player who is said to have
> drawn Morphy in one of his New Orleans blindfold simuls, I couldn't
> find his name in other Morphy sources. I also found a follow-up to the
> "mysterious lady" playing Morphy story which is somewhat interesting.

I remember that one from Lawson. She's supposed to have played quite
well, as I recall. Probably better than nearly-an-IM level.


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 12:43:51
From: jeremy.p.spinrad@vanderbilt.edu
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 12:22=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 11, 1:07=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 11, 11:45=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote=
:
>
> > > On Jan 11, 11:01=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > > On Jan 11, 10:15=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> w=
rote:
>
> > > > > > As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> > > > > > to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.
>
> > > > > =A0 Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As =
I
> > > > > recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein i=
s
> > > > > "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
> > > > > book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, N=
unn
> > > > > concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCch=
ting at
> > > > > Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
> > > > > estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
> > > > > =A0 And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who=
, when,
> > > > > where?
>
> > > > > > This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who =
knows
> > > > > > how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that accor=
ding to
> > > > > > Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.
>
> > > > > =A0 If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track=
record
> > > > > inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
> > > > > place.
>
> > > > ROFL - your track record is that nothing whatever happens if people=
do
> > > > your research for you!
>
> > > =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> > > claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> > > that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> > > responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > > > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material=
,
> > > > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed=
it
> > > > as being an insufficient survey -
>
> > > =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> > > *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> > > conclusions about all the players of that era. And certainly a few
> > > games by Hugo S=FCchting are no basis at all for a conclusion about
> > > Morphy.
>
> > > > now you wonder if the survey even
> > > > exists.
>
> > > =A0 Trying to sow confusion, as usual, aren't you, Phil. Let's keep
> > > things straight: I'm asking about your claim that "according to Nunn
> > > Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player." Where did Nunn ever
> > > say this?
>
> > Kingston - I just provided rather a lot of sources.
>
> =A0 Not one of which had anything to with your claim that "according to
> Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player."
>
> > You couldn't wait
> > 10 minutes could you, to tranhj [sic] someone.
>
> =A0 Eh? What "tranhjing" may be, I don't know.
> =A0 But the plain fact, Phil, is that if you say "according to Nunn
> Fritz says [Morphy] was in his own time a 2300 player," you should
> have the relevant source and quote at your fingertips.
>
> > I see BTW that you refer to it yourself,
>
> =A0 Phil, I find it difficult to refer to that which does not exist.
> You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem there, even though you
> should.
>
> > ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
> > cited in the EDO survey.
>
> =A0 How about it, Jerry? Can you tell us if/when/where British GM John
> Nunn ever said anything like "Fritz proves Morphy was a 2300-player"?- Hi=
de quoted text -

No such knowledge. All my Nunn books are full of good, careful,
analysis, but they don't deal that I recall with 19th century chess. I
could have forgotten something, of course.

It isn't relevant to the current topic, but while I am talking about
Morphy, I have found a few little new Morphy nuggets in my most recent
research. For example, I have the name of a player who is said to have
drawn Morphy in one of his New Orleans blindfold simuls, I couldn't
find his name in other Morphy sources. I also found a follow-up to the
"mysterious lady" playing Morphy story which is somewhat interesting.
Have to figure out how to weave them into other articles somehow.

I also came up with a couple of 19th century US generals who were
actually good chess players; most generals who are claimed to be
strong players turn out to be quite weak by the standards of serious
chess players. Would anyone like to nominate a candidate for best
chess playing General (I will also allow equivalent top military
titles, eg French Marshalls). I think I will write an article on these
over the summer sometime.

Jerry Spinrad
>
> - Show quoted text -



 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 10:22:10
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 1:07=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 11, 11:45=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 11, 11:01=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > On Jan 11, 10:15=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wro=
te:
>
> > > > > As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> > > > > to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.
>
> > > > =A0 Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As I
> > > > recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein is
> > > > "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
> > > > book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, Nun=
n
> > > > concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCchti=
ng at
> > > > Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
> > > > estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
> > > > =A0 And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who, =
when,
> > > > where?
>
> > > > > This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who kn=
ows
> > > > > how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that accordi=
ng to
> > > > > Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.
>
> > > > =A0 If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track r=
ecord
> > > > inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
> > > > place.
>
> > > ROFL - your track record is that nothing whatever happens if people d=
o
> > > your research for you!
>
> > =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> > claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> > that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> > responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material,
> > > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed i=
t
> > > as being an insufficient survey -
>
> > =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> > *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> > conclusions about all the players of that era. And certainly a few
> > games by Hugo S=FCchting are no basis at all for a conclusion about
> > Morphy.
>
> > > now you wonder if the survey even
> > > exists.
>
> > =A0 Trying to sow confusion, as usual, aren't you, Phil. Let's keep
> > things straight: I'm asking about your claim that "according to Nunn
> > Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player." Where did Nunn ever
> > say this?
>
> Kingston - I just provided rather a lot of sources.

Not one of which had anything to with your claim that "according to
Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player."

> You couldn't wait
> 10 minutes could you, to tranhj [sic] someone.

Eh? What "tranhjing" may be, I don't know.
But the plain fact, Phil, is that if you say "according to Nunn
Fritz says [Morphy] was in his own time a 2300 player," you should
have the relevant source and quote at your fingertips.

> I see BTW that you refer to it yourself,

Phil, I find it difficult to refer to that which does not exist.
You, on the other hand, seem to have no problem there, even though you
should.

> ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
> cited in the EDO survey.

How about it, Jerry? Can you tell us if/when/where British GM John
Nunn ever said anything like "Fritz proves Morphy was a 2300-player"?


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 10:07:46
From:
Subject: Re: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 11, 11:45=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 11, 11:01=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jan 11, 10:15=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote=
:
>
> > > > As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> > > > to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.
>
> > > =A0 Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As I
> > > recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein is
> > > "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
> > > book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, Nunn
> > > concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCchting=
at
> > > Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
> > > estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
> > > =A0 And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who, wh=
en,
> > > where?
>
> > > > This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who know=
s
> > > > how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that according=
to
> > > > Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.
>
> > > =A0 If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track rec=
ord
> > > inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
> > > place.
>
> > ROFL - your track record is that nothing whatever happens if people do
> > your research for you!
>
> =A0 In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
> claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
> that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
> responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.
>
> > So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material,
> > what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed it
> > as being an insufficient survey -
>
> =A0 Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
> *_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
> conclusions about all the players of that era. And certainly a few
> games by Hugo S=FCchting are no basis at all for a conclusion about
> Morphy.
>
> > now you wonder if the survey even
> > exists.
>
> =A0 Trying to sow confusion, as usual, aren't you, Phil. Let's keep
> things straight: I'm asking about your claim that "according to Nunn
> Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player." Where did Nunn ever
> say this?

Kingston - I just provided rather a lot of sources. You couldn't wait
10 minutes could you, to tranhj someone.

I see BTW that you refer to it yourself, and that no other writer
quite takes to doing your work with you, Mr. Lightweight.

So - should I?

Maybe you should continue arguing it doesn't exist, and also wondering
if all other commentators are mad?

Do want you want, I don't care more than your other correspondents.
You won't change you mind anyway! Since you ALREADY said that Nunn's
information wasn't a large enough survey for you.

So piss off now, and come back when you get sick of the social
isolation, or content yourself with only abuse.

ps: Your buddy Jerry Spinrad knows where it is - and he is largely
cited in the EDO survey.

Phil Innes


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 08:45:15
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Innes Misrepresents Nunn? (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
On Jan 11, 11:01=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 11, 10:15=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > > As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> > > to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.
>
> > =A0 Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As I
> > recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein is
> > "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
> > book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, Nunn
> > concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCchting a=
t
> > Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
> > estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
> > =A0 And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who, when=
,
> > where?
>
> > > This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who knows
> > > how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that according t=
o
> > > Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.
>
> > =A0 If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track recor=
d
> > inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
> > place.
>
> ROFL - your track record is that nothing whatever happens if people do
> your research for you!

In other words, you cannot name a single source to back up either
claim? And why do you continue to make a fool of yourself, insisting
that it's other people's responsibility to research your claim? That
responsibility is *_entirely_* yours, but you continually shirk it.


> So - the question is, even if you fight your way to Nunn's material,
> what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed it
> as being an insufficient survey -

Yes, I dismissed Nunn's survey of just *_one player_* from just
*_one tournament_* as quite an inadequate basis for any general
conclusions about all the players of that era. And certainly a few
games by Hugo S=FCchting are no basis at all for a conclusion about
Morphy.

> now you wonder if the survey even
> exists.

Trying to sow confusion, as usual, aren't you, Phil. Let's keep
things straight: I'm asking about your claim that "according to Nunn
Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player." Where did Nunn ever
say this?



 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 08:01:49
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 11, 10:15=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 10, 4:13=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 10, 1:02=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > > =A0 Others, like Innes, just want to snatch Morphy from, say, 1851,
> > > plunk him down in 2009, and have him play today's GMs.
>
> > That is the hypothetical instance.
>
> > As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> > to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.
>
> =A0 Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As I
> recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein is
> "John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
> book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, Nunn
> concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCchting at
> Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
> estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
> =A0 And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who, when,
> where?
>
> > This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who knows
> > how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that according to
> > Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.
>
> =A0 If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track record
> inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
> place.

ROFL - your track record is that nothing whatever happens if people do
your research for you!

Famously you challenged me to Lasker's 8th place. You were vehement it
was joint 7th- 8th. So I offered you the source, and encyclopedia you
own, and then you challenged the source itself - stating it was wrong,
even as in the above, when you didn't have the tournament book in
question.

When you did obtain the tournament book, it did not explain either way
what Hooper said was true. I said I didn't know if Hooper was right or
wrong - but you knew he was wrong from the start.

So - the question is, evedn if you fight your way to Nunn's material,
what then? When it arose recently [by another poster] you dismissed it
as being an insufficient survey - now you wonder if the surey even
exists.


> > Perhaps you will take a look at what Anand says of Fischer, whicbh
> > does not speculate on an improved Fischer via computer - that is not
> > his point,
>
> =A0 Really? Looking here (http://tinyurl.com/7tfnr3), Anand most
> definitely speculates on an improved Fischer via computer:
>
> =93Well, I grew up with Bobby Fischer=92s games, and I stand on the
> foundation he has built,=94 Anand said. =93But then, Fischer wouldn=92t b=
e
> able to play today the way he did in 1972. He would need time to
> adjust against players, including me. Computer-based strategising
> would help him too.=94

Anand does not speculate he would be better, but that he would /need
to be better/ to compete today. That is the /main/ point.

> > not mine about Morphy - but it /is/ to point out that even
> > the 72 Ficher couldn't handle today's elite.
>
> =A0 As I pointed out yesterday, Phil, in the very article you cited
> (http://tinyurl.com/8ym4od) he said something quite different, as
> anyone can read here:
>
> "Would a character like Fischer have survived in a time like the
> present? Are the demands greater than in the 70s? 'It=92s hard to say a
> Bobby Fischer would not have survived even now.'

Of course its hard to say either way, no? Anand is doing an Elo-
specualtion - he is saying /if/ Fischer could absorb what is
necessary, then the equivocal comment.

"It=92s hard to say a
> Bobby Fischer would not have survived even now."

But selective quoting is not any contest with Anand's main headline.
That the 1972 Fischer would not be in the first tier, and that Fischer
was 'suspicious' of computers.

Please also note that I gave you this reference to Times of India
since I had already read it, reported it, and based my opinion on
that.

But you as usual already had your opinion, but no facts - and now you
quote bits and pieces which do not represent the features of Anand's
speech.

> Anand offered after a
> thought. 'I mean, most of modern chess is his offering.
>
> "'Myself and the rest had those moves ready for us when we started
> out, but it had to take someone to discover them first. Bobby Fischer
> was that person.

What is the point you are arguing?

> "'He was that person for entire generations of chess players. His was
> a singular life in that sense. He=92s made it easier for us today. So,
> to think he would have struggled... I don=92t think so.'"
>
> =A0 In other words, Phil, rather than being "crushed," as you have
> claimed, Anand is saying the Fischer of 1972 would hold his own
> today.

You are such a fabulous distorter that you don't mention Anand also
says this, nevermind the entire trend of the article:

"I found him still stuck in a mid-Seventies idea of chess," said
Anand,


Phil Innes


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 07:15:48
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 4:13=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 10, 1:02=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > =A0 Others, like Innes, just want to snatch Morphy from, say, 1851,
> > plunk him down in 2009, and have him play today's GMs.
>
> That is the hypothetical instance.
>
> As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
> to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.

Has Nunn actually made any such declaration about Morphy? As I
recall, the only Nunn source anyone here has cited in this vein is
"John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book" (Gambit, 1999). I don't have that
book, but as far as I know, it does not discuss Morphy. Rather, Nunn
concentrates only on games played by the minor master Hugo S=FCchting at
Carlsbad 1911 (long after Morphy died), and based on those, he
estimates S=FCchting at about 2100.
And has anyone actually used Fritz to rate Morphy? If so, who, when,
where?

> This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who knows
> how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that according to
> Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.

If it is true, please cite the relevant source(s). Your track record
inspires little confidence that what you claim has actually taken
place.

> Perhaps you will take a look at what Anand says of Fischer, whicbh
> does not speculate on an improved Fischer via computer - that is not
> his point,

Really? Looking here (http://tinyurl.com/7tfnr3), Anand most
definitely speculates on an improved Fischer via computer:

=93Well, I grew up with Bobby Fischer=92s games, and I stand on the
foundation he has built,=94 Anand said. =93But then, Fischer wouldn=92t be
able to play today the way he did in 1972. He would need time to
adjust against players, including me. Computer-based strategising
would help him too.=94

> not mine about Morphy - but it /is/ to point out that even
> the 72 Ficher couldn't handle today's elite.

As I pointed out yesterday, Phil, in the very article you cited
(http://tinyurl.com/8ym4od) he said something quite different, as
anyone can read here:

"Would a character like Fischer have survived in a time like the
present? Are the demands greater than in the 70s? 'It=92s hard to say a
Bobby Fischer would not have survived even now.' Anand offered after a
thought. 'I mean, most of modern chess is his offering.

"'Myself and the rest had those moves ready for us when we started
out, but it had to take someone to discover them first. Bobby Fischer
was that person.

"'He was that person for entire generations of chess players. His was
a singular life in that sense. He=92s made it easier for us today. So,
to think he would have struggled... I don=92t think so.'"

In other words, Phil, rather than being "crushed," as you have
claimed, Anand is saying the Fischer of 1972 would hold his own
today.


 
Date: 11 Jan 2009 00:20:24
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 1:49=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 10:37=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 9, 2:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> How many rating points does
>
> > "outclassed" mean? Surely these after-the-fact interpretations are
> > next to worthless.
>
> I'll take Kortchnoi's word for it.
>
> "I find it hard to give an exact description of Spassky as a player.
> The result of the match in itself indicates that I have not figured
> him out sufficiently. =A0Of one =A0thing I am certain, however, Spassky a=
t
> the present time is superior to all his contemporaries, and has proved
> this by his more than convincing victories over the strongest
> grandmasters in the world. =A0I do no doubt for a minute =A0that we are
> going to have a new champion".
> (interview in Shakmaty).
>
> Before the candidates started, on the other hand:
>
> "I consider that Geller has better chances, as I think Spassky is in
> poor form. =A0The previous qualifying cycle took a lot out of him, so
> drained his nervous energy that he didn't do himself justice in the
> match with Petrosian. =A0Spassky's results have shown a noticeable
> downward =A0trend in recent years ..."
>
> He doesn't specify these poor results, and unless shared first places
> and the 66 olympiad count, neither can I.
>
> Interesting to see Tal's prediction:
>
> "I am fully convinced of only one =A0thing - there won't be a the same
> sort of runaway score as there was when Geller and Spassky met in
> 1965. =A0One has the impression =A0that Spassky is not quite =A0the playe=
r
> he was then..."
>
> Of course the score was exactly the same. =A0So two Soviet GMs thought,
> at least, that 67
> was a poor year for Spassky, despite winning at Santa Monica in 66.


I think you are illustrating, rather clearly, why carefully selected
testimonials
don't make good evidence. The reason, of course, is that different
people have different opinions, the same people have different
opinions
at different times, etc. Picking out a claim or two proves just about
nothing.




> > What I am seeing is a string of very good performances and his rating
> > going up. Not weird at all.
>
> I don't see a string of good performances before the rating bump at
> all, that's the point.
>
> From mid to late 66 Fischer's rating rises well above the pack. Given
> that the Santa Monica result wasn't much, this can be due only to the
> olympiad result, which was pretty stellar at 15/17. =A0 I thought the k-
> factor in ratings made it unlikely for one event to have such an
> impact at that level, but it seems that it must be =A0the olympiad.

The chessmetrics ratings is not an Elo rating. It doesn't exactly
have a "k", although the effective "k" would be higher than FIDE
ratings - you are correct about that. Chessmetrics ratings looks
at recent results. By 1966, all of Fischer's results in the past few
years were excellent - at least by the standards of his
contemporaries.

But if you object to this method, you still have to deal with the fact
that even Fischer's FIDE rating passed Spassky's by 1970, according
to Taylor Kingston elsewhere in this thread.

>
> > Spassky had a good result as you've mentioned above, and then a number
> > of far less good results, which you've ignored.
>
> Could you mean first place or shared first place in seven
> international tournaments (not counting Santa Monica) from 1965-70?
> That's not much compared to Larsen or Kortchnoi, but those Petrosian
> matches did cut into his schedule a tad.
>
> He wasn't winning these by wide margins, in fact shared first a few
> times, but it's
> really not a set of bad results.
>
> In olympiads he didn't take a board prize in 66, scoring 10/15 on
> second board, =A0scored 71% in 68 and took first prize on board one (2
> Fischer, 3 Larsen) with 79%.
> In 1970 he scored only 1.5/1.5 vs Larsen, =A0who took first board for
> "the rest of the world" over Fischer's not too strenuous objections.

Never said they were "bad", and neither does Chessmetrics.
No better than many others, however,

> > that Fischer wasn't around for the cycle, he was deserving
> > of the World Champion title. He went through a gruelling process,
> > prevailed, and is in the history books. But in historical
> > terms, he was not that impressive,
>
> I disagree, strongly. =A0He won all his matches, bar one, and usually by
> strong margins, he won every tournament, generally by small margins,
> but he won. =A0To me that is very impressive indeed.
>
> The tournament results of Larsen and Kortchnoi in this time are also
> impressive. =A0But their match results, less so, and I am not referring
> here only to their losses vs Spassky.
>

Every GM is "impressive". They could beat me blindfolded and drunk.
The question is where he sits in history.

Depending on how you define "peak", Chessmetrics lists him as #27
for 1-yr peak, #20 for a 10-yr peak and #10 for 20-yr peak. Taylor
Kingston quoted some analyses placing him tied for 14-17, and
another at #7. While 7th seems ridiculous, I'm not going to make
a big deal over whether he's closer to 14th or 27th. Ultimately,
there is really no way to resolve it.

What can be said, though, is that most other WCs will be ahead
of him. Specifically two of his (and Fischer's) contemporaries,
Karpov and Kasparov will be far ahead. Korchnoi, too, based on
his later years, but he will always have the stigma of not having
made it to WC.




 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 17:13:40
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 9:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:

> By choice, Fischer chose not to face some of his contemporaries -
> including some of chess' all-time greatest. On what basis am I not
> free to include that in judging greatness?
>
> > - Show quoted text -

So, greatness is increased by what one does, and is diminished by what
one does not do. And you get to choose what Fischer should have done
with his life in order to impress you. I suggest that Fischer was not
intending to impress people other than his fellow grandmasters and
prospective sponsors.

David Ames


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 13:49:05
From: William Hyde
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 10:37=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:


How many rating points does
> "outclassed" mean? Surely these after-the-fact interpretations are
> next to worthless.

I'll take Kortchnoi's word for it.

"I find it hard to give an exact description of Spassky as a player.
The result of the match in itself indicates that I have not figured
him out sufficiently. Of one thing I am certain, however, Spassky at
the present time is superior to all his contemporaries, and has proved
this by his more than convincing victories over the strongest
grandmasters in the world. I do no doubt for a minute that we are
going to have a new champion".
(interview in Shakmaty).

Before the candidates started, on the other hand:

"I consider that Geller has better chances, as I think Spassky is in
poor form. The previous qualifying cycle took a lot out of him, so
drained his nervous energy that he didn't do himself justice in the
match with Petrosian. Spassky's results have shown a noticeable
downward trend in recent years ..."

He doesn't specify these poor results, and unless shared first places
and the 66 olympiad count, neither can I.

Interesting to see Tal's prediction:

"I am fully convinced of only one thing - there won't be a the same
sort of runaway score as there was when Geller and Spassky met in
1965. One has the impression that Spassky is not quite the player
he was then..."

Of course the score was exactly the same. So two Soviet GMs thought,
at least, that 67
was a poor year for Spassky, despite winning at Santa Monica in 66.


> What I am seeing is a string of very good performances and his rating
> going up. Not weird at all.

I don't see a string of good performances before the rating bump at
all, that's the point.

From mid to late 66 Fischer's rating rises well above the pack. Given
that the Santa Monica result wasn't much, this can be due only to the
olympiad result, which was pretty stellar at 15/17. I thought the k-
factor in ratings made it unlikely for one event to have such an
impact at that level, but it seems that it must be the olympiad.

> Spassky had a good result as you've mentioned above, and then a number
> of far less good results, which you've ignored.

Could you mean first place or shared first place in seven
international tournaments (not counting Santa Monica) from 1965-70?
That's not much compared to Larsen or Kortchnoi, but those Petrosian
matches did cut into his schedule a tad.

He wasn't winning these by wide margins, in fact shared first a few
times, but it's
really not a set of bad results.

In olympiads he didn't take a board prize in 66, scoring 10/15 on
second board, scored 71% in 68 and took first prize on board one (2
Fischer, 3 Larsen) with 79%.
In 1970 he scored only 1.5/1.5 vs Larsen, who took first board for
"the rest of the world" over Fischer's not too strenuous objections.


> While your points have some merit in isolation, combining them willy-
> nilly
> to discredit rating and exaggerate Spassky's achievements does not
> impress.

Neither willy nor nilly. You have a pretty complete record of
Spassky's results from
65 to 70 (probably we are missing soviet team games).

Exaggeration? He won the candidate's cycle twice, won his second
match vs Petrosian, won three category 15 tournaments and a number of
lesser tournaments, and did well in olympiads. with the possible
exception of 66.

> Fact is, if we look at Chessmetrics point of view, Spassky
> won 4 matches to become WC. He beat Geller (#11), Larsen (10),

The match took place in July 68. Chessmetrics has Larsen rated 7 in
the
previous month.

> Petrosian (6)

The world champion, as it happens. Note that both players in this
match had plus scores vs Fischer.

Petrosian started the year at 4 and only descended to 6 after the
match.

> and Korchnoi (2).

Also note that he beat Keres, Geller (around 8-9 in the world each) ,
and Tal (depending on the month, first or second in the world) .in
the previous cycle

And aside from the Petrosian matches and possibly the Keres match
these were not close results. Even against Tal he was +3.

As it was not Spassky's fault
> that Fischer wasn't around for the cycle, he was deserving
> of the World Champion title. He went through a gruelling process,
> prevailed, and is in the history books. But in historical
> terms, he was not that impressive,

I disagree, strongly. He won all his matches, bar one, and usually by
strong margins, he won every tournament, generally by small margins,
but he won. To me that is very impressive indeed.

The tournament results of Larsen and Kortchnoi in this time are also
impressive. But their match results, less so, and I am not referring
here only to their losses vs Spassky.

and Fischer's reputation
> must be affected by his decision not to play much stronger
> opposition out there.

Of course.

William Hyde



 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 13:46:47
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 4:13=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 10, 1:02=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 8, 1:54=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > I note that Anand recently remarked that the Fischer of the 1970s
> > > would get crushed by today's top players.

> > =A0 Can you supply a link to that, Phil? Or tell us where it appeared i=
n
> > print? I'd be interested in knowing Anand's reasons.
>
> I was stringing a Polgar blog and forgot source, but a google on Anand
> Fischer at Times India reveals:
>
> Fischer was suspicious of computers: Anand - News - Chess - The ...
> "It=92s hard to say a Bobby Fischer would not have survived even now."
> Anand
> offered after a thought. "I mean, most of modern chess is his
> offering. ...http://sports.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/374287=
8.cms-
> 46k- -Cached- Similar Pages

Actually, Phil, you seem to have misread Anand badly. I quote from
that brief article:

Would a character like Fischer have survived in a time like the
present? Are the demands greater than in the 70s? "It=92s hard to say a
Bobby Fischer would not have survived even now." Anand offered after a
thought. "I mean, most of modern chess is his offering.

"Myself and the rest had those moves ready for us when we started out,
but it had to take someone to discover them first. Bobby Fischer was
that person.

"He was that person for entire generations of chess players. His was a
singular life in that sense. He=92s made it easier for us today. So, to
think he would have struggled... I don=92t think so."

In other words, Anand is saying Fischer would do OK now. He would
*_not_* have to struggle to keep up in competitive chess today. Anand
doesn't think Fischer would dominate like he did in 1972, but neither
would he be crushed.
I realize you have problems with reading comprehension, and double
negatives _can_ be tricky, but this really isn't that hard to
understand.


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 13:13:35
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 1:02=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 1:54=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > I note that Anand recently remarked that the Fischer of the 1970s
> > would get crushed by today's top players.
>
> =A0 Can you supply a link to that, Phil? Or tell us where it appeared in
> print? I'd be interested in knowing Anand's reasons.

I was stringing a Polgar blog and forgot source, but a google on Anand
Fischer at Times India reveals:

Fischer was suspicious of computers: Anand - News - Chess - The ...
"It=92s hard to say a Bobby Fischer would not have survived even now."
Anand
offered after a thought. "I mean, most of modern chess is his
offering. ...
http://sports.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/3742878.cms-
46k- -Cached- Similar Pages

> > Therefore, though I am in some sympathy with Anand, I see what a mess
> > we all got into here where there was a discussion of Morphy
> > [incidentally, Fischer's own choice of the greatest player] and where
> > another GM, Nunn, was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player.
>
> > I think you already have Anand's opinion that if the 1972 Fischer
> > showed up, he would get swallowed whole.
>
> =A0 As I have stressed before, all these discussions depend on the
> fantasy scenario involved. Some, like me, feel the real test involves
> a clone of Morphy (or whoever) growing up in today's world, with all
> of today's chess literature and learning aids available to him as it
> is to current GMs. That, in my opinion, would test Morphy's innate
> chess ability fairly.

It would test his aptitude to attend on such things - we already know
Capablanca would /not/ do so. He eschewed even Alekhine's non-computer
approach.

> =A0 Others, like Innes, just want to snatch Morphy from, say, 1851,
> plunk him down in 2009, and have him play today's GMs.

That is the hypothetical instance.

> This would test
> the historical Morphy's knowledge and quality of play against today's.

Yes.

> =A0 I just don't hink the latter scenario is fair.

No, its not 'fair' but it is to take Morphy as he was, and see how
that would score these days.

> To make a somewhat
> extreme analogy for the sake of clarity,

This is why I and vague-bot attend your posts with keen interest...

> suppose we were debating "Who
> was the greatest military field commander of all time?" Nominees might
> include Hannibal, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan,
> Napoleon, Lee, Rommel, MacArthur, etc. But it would hardly be fair to
> settle the question by insisting that each general fight with only the
> weapons of his own time. We'd have ridiculous mismatches like
> Hannibal's elephants against Rommel's Panzers, Caesar's swords or
> Charlemagne's archers against Napoleon's muskets, Khan's cavalry
> against MacArthur's air power.

And Patton would beat em all individually and collectively. But it is
not any analogy I seek - it is the actual level of play demonstrated
by Morphy. As readers already took in Elo projected an improved Morphy
to be 26xx, whereas Nunn/Fritz say 2300.

This is not an argument between one thing and another, and who knows
how Morphy would be these days. But equally its true that according to
Nunn Fritz says he was in his own time a 2300 player.


> =A0 By the same token, it would hardly be fair to make Morphy play Anand
> armed only with the chess knowledge of 1850. You would not be deciding
> which was the better player; you would only be illustrating that more
> is known about chess today than was then.

Yes - this question of 'fairness' is rather like what computer
programmers proclaim for their offspring. It has nothing to do with
the level of chess actually played by Morphy - which to believe Fritz
is 2300. To then speculate that Morphy would play stronger these days
is to project Elo's supposition on the scene on the basis of
extrapolated factors which can be measured. This is not a strong case
all on its own, and all I say of Morphy is that according to Nunn/
Fritz he is objectively 2300, and according to Elo's idea he is high
26xx.

Perhaps you will take a look at what Anand says of Fischer, whicbh
does not speculate on an improved Fischer via computer - that is not
his point, not mine about Morphy - but it /is/ to point out that even
the 72 Ficher couldn't handle today's elite.


Phil Innes


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 12:14:20
From: William Hyde
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:31=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Chessmetrics, unlike Elo ratings, have a time component. Generally
> this makes it more meaningful in snapshot comparisons. So if you are
> idle, your rating starts declining. That's likely what is going on
> with
> Fischer.

I do find this weird. It was after these eighteen months away, after
all, that he came back to play better than ever. This time taking on
the best and beating them.

>
> I do know that Spassky's only Chessmetrics Top100
> performance is his Candidates win over Korchnoi
> (#96). i.e. #3 defeating #2. To me, that's more evidence of
> Spassky really not belonging with the big names.

He won two candidates cycles. only Kortchnoi, and Smyslov have done
that (Karpov was seeded late in his second win). That's not just big,
it's enormous.

>
> Korchnoi is often overlooked, but he didn't come
> out of nowhere in the late 70s.

Quite true. He was a candidate as far back as 62, after all, and had
won the Soviet championship three times in the 1960s. He won
tournaments by such wide margins that someone proposed he be called
the "tournament champion", a title that was also proposed for Larsen.


William Hyde


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 12:02:10
From: William Hyde
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:09=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
> > should be obvious.
>
> =A0 OK, Bill, I'll bite. It's not obvious to me. Please explain? :-)

I was not being entirely serious, but Neil Brennan has guessed it.
Because
he won the world championship as an amateur. Yes, Botvinnik had a
real carreer
also, but also state support and copious time off if he needed it.

William Hyde


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 11:41:16
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 7:56=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 4:48=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 9, 12:43=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > It seems like your estimates of Spassky's strength have
> > more to do with his place in the political hierarchy than
> > with how he played.
>
> =A0 I have no idea where you get that idea, Dave. Historically, the two
> GMs most obviously helped by political connections were Botvinnik and
> Karpov, not Spassky. In Spassky's case the "help" he got may actually
> have hurt him in 1972, as he was given contradictory advice and, if I
> recall correctly, some assistants he found uncongenial were forced on
> him.

It seemed that you interjected politics in a discussion of playing
strength -
favoring Spassky over Karpov because the latter supposedly got more
state
support.

That seemed to explain why, in my mind, you were abandoning
your usual objectivity in order to pump up Spassky.


>
>
>
> > > =A0 Well, if you are going to claim that Fischer is not among the all=
-
> > > time greats, you will be in a very small minority.
>
> > His WC run, plus a few other feats, certainly gets him in the top 10.
>
> =A0 Fischer only in the top 10? Well, we will have to agree to differ on
> that. But thank you for a stimulating discussion.

I didn't say where in the top 10. Probably around #6. I guess I just
have a
hard time comparing his record to the giants who competed at a
high level for 20+ years.


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 10:02:09
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 1:54=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> I note that Anand recently remarked that the Fischer of the 1970s
> would get crushed by today's top players.

Can you supply a link to that, Phil? Or tell us where it appeared in
print? I'd be interested in knowing Anand's reasons.

> Therefore, though I am in some sympathy with Anand, I see what a mess
> we all got into here where there was a discussion of Morphy
> [incidentally, Fischer's own choice of the greatest player] and where
> another GM, Nunn, was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player.
>
> I think you already have Anand's opinion that if the 1972 Fischer
> showed up, he would get swallowed whole.

As I have stressed before, all these discussions depend on the
fantasy scenario involved. Some, like me, feel the real test involves
a clone of Morphy (or whoever) growing up in today's world, with all
of today's chess literature and learning aids available to him as it
is to current GMs. That, in my opinion, would test Morphy's innate
chess ability fairly.
Others, like Innes, just want to snatch Morphy from, say, 1851,
plunk him down in 2009, and have him play today's GMs. This would test
the historical Morphy's knowledge and quality of play against today's.
I just don't hink the latter scenario is fair. To make a somewhat
extreme analogy for the sake of clarity, suppose we were debating "Who
was the greatest military field commander of all time?" Nominees might
include Hannibal, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan,
Napoleon, Lee, Rommel, MacArthur, etc. But it would hardly be fair to
settle the question by insisting that each general fight with only the
weapons of his own time. We'd have ridiculous mismatches like
Hannibal's elephants against Rommel's Panzers, Caesar's swords or
Charlemagne's archers against Napoleon's muskets, Khan's cavalry
against MacArthur's air power.
By the same token, it would hardly be fair to make Morphy play Anand
armed only with the chess knowledge of 1850. You would not be deciding
which was the better player; you would only be illustrating that more
is known about chess today than was then.


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 07:56:54
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 4:48=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 12:43=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> It seems like your estimates of Spassky's strength have
> more to do with his place in the political hierarchy than
> with how he played.

I have no idea where you get that idea, Dave. Historically, the two
GMs most obviously helped by political connections were Botvinnik and
Karpov, not Spassky. In Spassky's case the "help" he got may actually
have hurt him in 1972, as he was given contradictory advice and, if I
recall correctly, some assistants he found uncongenial were forced on
him.

>
> > =A0 Well, if you are going to claim that Fischer is not among the all-
> > time greats, you will be in a very small minority.
>
> His WC run, plus a few other feats, certainly gets him in the top 10.

Fischer only in the top 10? Well, we will have to agree to differ on
that. But thank you for a stimulating discussion.


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 07:26:21
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?

> > Cordially, Phil Innes
> > The Frozen Ct Valley
> > Deep North, etc
>
> Here. =A0Let me throw this log on the fire. =A0:)
>
> The greatest player ever was and is Rybka. =A0Let the human ghosts rest
> in peace!
>
> Rev J.D. Walker

Actually, throwing a log at the wood fire just makes the thing clang.
But its good heat if you can get it insider the box - and reassuring
to still see 4 cords of woods I stacked this summer, which should last
until Spring or June, whichever comes...

But I think Neil Brennen won the contest with Max-the-amateur, that
is, if we discount Botvinnik who, we are asked to believe had a full
time engineering job.

As for humor, it is not permitted Oct-May, unless addressing
flatlanders in SUVs [89% of flatlanders drive SUVs, and 1% of them
have actually taken their vehicle 'off-road', and 50% of that 1% did
it on purpose] when the usual facetiousness is actually mandatory...
but I digress - why Euwe? It can't be that unlike Tal and Alekhine for
examples he won the W CH while sober? No, my guess, a pretty certain
guess now that I've mulled it over, is that the answer as something to
do with herrings.

Cordially, Phil Innes



 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 06:22:23
From: The Historian
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 8:53=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:09=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 9, 5:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
> > > should be obvious.
>
> > =A0 OK, Bill, I'll bite. It's not obvious to me. Please explain? :-)

Perhaps because Euwe was NOT a chess professional?

> Can I bite too? We can't think here because its so cold,

What excuse do you use the other 364 days?

and thought
> itself freezes and cracks as soon it occurs. There is some relief in
> sight, since I note that at 8:50 am the temperature has already soared
> to 1 degree F.
>
> Fortunately the 5-10 inches snow due tonight should raise temperatures
> sufficiently for though to occur and survive for minutes at a time.
>
> Thank you for considering our plight.
>
> Cordially, Phil Innes
> The Frozen Ct Valley
> Deep North, etc



 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 06:00:57
From: Rev. J.D. Walker
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 10, 5:53=A0am, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:09=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > On Jan 9, 5:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
> > > should be obvious.
>
> > =A0 OK, Bill, I'll bite. It's not obvious to me. Please explain? :-)
>
> Can I bite too? We can't think here because its so cold, and thought
> itself freezes and cracks as soon it occurs. There is some relief in
> sight, since I note that at 8:50 am the temperature has already soared
> to 1 degree F.
>
> Fortunately the 5-10 inches snow due tonight should raise temperatures
> sufficiently for though to occur and survive for minutes at a time.
>
> Thank you for considering our plight.
>
> Cordially, Phil Innes
> The Frozen Ct Valley
> Deep North, etc

Here. Let me throw this log on the fire. :)

The greatest player ever was and is Rybka. Let the human ghosts rest
in peace!

Rev J.D. Walker


 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 05:53:31
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:09=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
> > should be obvious.
>
> =A0 OK, Bill, I'll bite. It's not obvious to me. Please explain? :-)

Can I bite too? We can't think here because its so cold, and thought
itself freezes and cracks as soon it occurs. There is some relief in
sight, since I note that at 8:50 am the temperature has already soared
to 1 degree F.

Fortunately the 5-10 inches snow due tonight should raise temperatures
sufficiently for though to occur and survive for minutes at a time.

Thank you for considering our plight.

Cordially, Phil Innes
The Frozen Ct Valley
Deep North, etc


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 19:37:51
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 2:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 3:37=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 9, 11:13=A0am, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hmmm. Chessmetrics shows Spassky normally
> > 3rd or 4th in the world during the period 1965-70.
> > (Spassky is 1st for half a year.) Fischer is mostly,
> > but not consistently, 1st.
>
> > This could be a case of Chessmetrics weirdness,
>
> Chessmetrics has Fischer's rating changing throughout the eighteen
> months (basically 69 and part of 68/70) in which he played only one
> game. =A0Weirdness? =A0I think so.
>

Weird only if you view Elo rating as the holy writ.
The failure to include time is a fairly obvious defect of the Elo
method.
Chessmetrics compares its accuracy vs. those of Elo and finds
not only that it is generally superior, it is specifically superior
for
Spassky, Korchnoi, and Karpov,
http://db.chessmetrics.com/Documents/FIDECM.htm

Unfortunately, Fischer is not included since his total number of games
isn't
that high.


> It has Kortchnoi ranking ahead of Spassky, who beat him 6.5-3.5 in a
> match at this time.

And you will surely note that Kortchnoi had much better tournament
results than Spassky. Spassky's victory over Kortchnoi was the
very best result of his career. Kortchnoi's loss was abnormally
poor during that period.

Of course, I'm not unsympathetic in general to the argument that
match games count more and therefore should count more when rating.
But the default approach is to treat all games equally.

> And really, the games were not close, Spassky simply outclassed him,
> as Kortchnoi said at the time.
>

Funny then, that no other chessplayers (besides Fischer) were
running
up tournament numbers like Kortchnoi. How many rating points does
"outclassed" mean? Surely these after-the-fact interpretations are
next to worthless.


> Fischer's big jump comes in 1966, when his only international events
> were finishing second (behind Spassky) at the Piatagorsky cup, and
> doing well (second best score) on board one in the olympiad, after
> which his wins of 1967 don't seem to do much.
> Weirdness? =A0Yes indeed.

What I am seeing is a string of very good performances and his rating
going up. Not weird at all.

Spassky had a good result as you've mentioned above, and then a number
of far less good results, which you've ignored.




>
> I appreciate and enjoy the Chessmetrics site. =A0It is a treasure
> trove. =A0But not holy writ.
>
> but
>
> > my first inclination is that you are letting subjective factors
> > (such and such events are "important", others aren't)
>
> It isn't subjective if Spassky wins a category 15 vs Fischer winning a
> category 12. =A0It is a real difference. =A0Then comes the question of wh=
o
> is stronger, the one who wins by a small margin vs the best in the
> world, or the one who kills the most rabbits? =A0(Of course, not all
> Fischer's opponents were "mere" IMs, and Spassky did win events by
> wide margins fairly often).
>
> > get in the way of the cold hard data.
>
> In the first place it is a mistake to think that the rating formula is
> "cold hard data". =A0It isn't. It is a very good piece of work by Dr
> Elo, but not perfect.
>
> And it measures results, not strength. =A0Anyone (except Tal and
> Kortchnoi) who plays a hundred games a year against strong oppositions
> will play worse than if they were restricted to sixty games or so. =A0At
> the very least, draws will be offered to weaker players where fatigue
> makes this prudent. =A0Fischer was famous for playing on when others
> would have conceded the draw. =A0This can be good for the rating, but it
> is easier to do when you are only playing 40 games a year.
>
> Larsen (also known for not drawing often) commented that there is a
> difference in playing to win a tournament, as opposed to playing to
> win a game. =A0If you can lock in first place by offering a draw to a
> weaker opponent, you do so, despite the rating loss.
> It doesn't mean you are a weaker player.

In fact, as one of my anti-draw crusades in this newsgroup, I once
proposed that draws should not be rateable events, for the reasons
you mentioned. (i.e. Draws aren't always the result of a real contest)

While your points have some merit in isolation, combining them willy-
nilly
to discredit rating and exaggerate Spassky's achievements does not
impress.
Fact is, if we look at Chessmetrics point of view, Spassky
won 4 matches to become WC. He beat Geller (#11), Larsen (10),
Petrosian (6) and Korchnoi (2). As it was not Spassky's fault
that Fischer wasn't around for the cycle, he was deserving
of the World Champion title. He went through a gruelling process,
prevailed, and is in the history books. But in historical
terms, he was not that impressive, and Fischer's reputation
must be affected by his decision not to play much stronger
opposition out there.


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 14:31:46
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 2:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 3:37=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 9, 11:13=A0am, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hmmm. Chessmetrics shows Spassky normally
> > 3rd or 4th in the world during the period 1965-70.
> > (Spassky is 1st for half a year.) Fischer is mostly,
> > but not consistently, 1st.
>
> > This could be a case of Chessmetrics weirdness,
>
> Chessmetrics has Fischer's rating changing throughout the eighteen
> months (basically 69 and part of 68/70) in which he played only one
> game. =A0Weirdness? =A0I think so.

Chessmetrics, unlike Elo ratings, have a time component. Generally
this makes it more meaningful in snapshot comparisons. So if you are
idle, your rating starts declining. That's likely what is going on
with
Fischer.

>
> It has Kortchnoi ranking ahead of Spassky, who beat him 6.5-3.5 in a
> match at this time.
> And really, the games were not close, Spassky simply outclassed him,
> as Kortchnoi said at the time.
>
> Fischer's big jump comes in 1966, when his only international events
> were finishing second (behind Spassky) at the Piatagorsky cup, and
> doing well (second best score) on board one in the olympiad, after
> which his wins of 1967 don't seem to do much.
> Weirdness? =A0Yes indeed.
>
> I appreciate and enjoy the Chessmetrics site. =A0It is a treasure
> trove. =A0But not holy writ.

I'll try to look into it. Sometimes the "time window" aspect
gives ratings that are counterintuitive to those used to
Elo ratings. For example, as you get further away from a
past bad result due to the passage of time, the rating rises
etc.

By the way, I don't believe Chessmetrics uses FIDE
ratings. It generates its own ratings along modified Elo
principles.

I do know that Spassky's only Chessmetrics Top100
performance is his Candidates win over Korchnoi
(#96). i.e. #3 defeating #2. To me, that's more evidence of
Spassky really not belonging with the big names.

Korchnoi is often overlooked, but he didn't come
out of nowhere in the late 70s.

>
> but
>
> > my first inclination is that you are letting subjective factors
> > (such and such events are "important", others aren't)
>
> It isn't subjective if Spassky wins a category 15 vs Fischer winning a
> category 12. =A0It is a real difference. =A0Then comes the question of wh=
o
> is stronger, the one who wins by a small margin vs the best in the
> world, or the one who kills the most rabbits? =A0(Of course, not all
> Fischer's opponents were "mere" IMs, and Spassky did win events by
> wide margins fairly often).
>
> > get in the way of the cold hard data.
>
> In the first place it is a mistake to think that the rating formula is
> "cold hard data". =A0It isn't. It is a very good piece of work by Dr
> Elo, but not perfect.
>
> And it measures results, not strength. =A0Anyone (except Tal and
> Kortchnoi) who plays a hundred games a year against strong oppositions
> will play worse than if they were restricted to sixty games or so. =A0At
> the very least, draws will be offered to weaker players where fatigue
> makes this prudent. =A0Fischer was famous for playing on when others
> would have conceded the draw. =A0This can be good for the rating, but it
> is easier to do when you are only playing 40 games a year.
>
> Larsen (also known for not drawing often) commented that there is a
> difference in playing to win a tournament, as opposed to playing to
> win a game. =A0If you can lock in first place by offering a draw to a
> weaker opponent, you do so, despite the rating loss.
> It doesn't mean you are a weaker player.
>
> > In any case, it's tangential (actually supportive) to my
> > original point - namely that Fischer's historical legacy
> > is heavily weighted to his 72 conquest of the world
> > championship.
>
> Yes indeed. =A0If Fischer had gone on over the next decade or so,
> winning strong tournaments and successfully defending his title a
> couple of times, =A0I would at least think of him as possibly the
> greatest player ever. =A0As it is, I put Lasker and Kasparov as
> incontestably far ahead of him and, come to think of it, Tal as well.
>
> The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
> should be obvious.
>
> William Hyde



 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 14:09:14
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:04=A0pm, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com > wrote:
>
> The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
> should be obvious.

OK, Bill, I'll bite. It's not obvious to me. Please explain? :-)


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 14:04:04
From: William Hyde
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 3:37=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 11:13=A0am, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>

>
> Hmmm. Chessmetrics shows Spassky normally
> 3rd or 4th in the world during the period 1965-70.
> (Spassky is 1st for half a year.) Fischer is mostly,
> but not consistently, 1st.
>
> This could be a case of Chessmetrics weirdness,

Chessmetrics has Fischer's rating changing throughout the eighteen
months (basically 69 and part of 68/70) in which he played only one
game. Weirdness? I think so.

It has Kortchnoi ranking ahead of Spassky, who beat him 6.5-3.5 in a
match at this time.
And really, the games were not close, Spassky simply outclassed him,
as Kortchnoi said at the time.

Fischer's big jump comes in 1966, when his only international events
were finishing second (behind Spassky) at the Piatagorsky cup, and
doing well (second best score) on board one in the olympiad, after
which his wins of 1967 don't seem to do much.
Weirdness? Yes indeed.

I appreciate and enjoy the Chessmetrics site. It is a treasure
trove. But not holy writ.

but
> my first inclination is that you are letting subjective factors
> (such and such events are "important", others aren't)

It isn't subjective if Spassky wins a category 15 vs Fischer winning a
category 12. It is a real difference. Then comes the question of who
is stronger, the one who wins by a small margin vs the best in the
world, or the one who kills the most rabbits? (Of course, not all
Fischer's opponents were "mere" IMs, and Spassky did win events by
wide margins fairly often).


> get in the way of the cold hard data.

In the first place it is a mistake to think that the rating formula is
"cold hard data". It isn't. It is a very good piece of work by Dr
Elo, but not perfect.

And it measures results, not strength. Anyone (except Tal and
Kortchnoi) who plays a hundred games a year against strong oppositions
will play worse than if they were restricted to sixty games or so. At
the very least, draws will be offered to weaker players where fatigue
makes this prudent. Fischer was famous for playing on when others
would have conceded the draw. This can be good for the rating, but it
is easier to do when you are only playing 40 games a year.

Larsen (also known for not drawing often) commented that there is a
difference in playing to win a tournament, as opposed to playing to
win a game. If you can lock in first place by offering a draw to a
weaker opponent, you do so, despite the rating loss.
It doesn't mean you are a weaker player.

> In any case, it's tangential (actually supportive) to my
> original point - namely that Fischer's historical legacy
> is heavily weighted to his 72 conquest of the world
> championship.

Yes indeed. If Fischer had gone on over the next decade or so,
winning strong tournaments and successfully defending his title a
couple of times, I would at least think of him as possibly the
greatest player ever. As it is, I put Lasker and Kasparov as
incontestably far ahead of him and, come to think of it, Tal as well.

The greatest player ever, of course, was Euwe, for reasons which
should be obvious.


William Hyde



 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 13:48:42
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 12:43=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 2:19=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 9, 7:13=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jan 8, 9:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > > On Jan 8, 5:30=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wro=
te:
>
> > > > > =A0 =A0And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'=
d refer
> > > > > to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.
>
> > > > Exactly. A discussion of Fischer's "greatness" largely stems from h=
is
> > > > WC run. I don't deny there are some other highlights, which no doub=
t
> > > > you'll list arguing against some position I haven't taken.
>
> > > =A0 My apologies if I have misinterpreted your position. I don't want=
to
> > > seem overly argumentative here. I basically agree with you that
> > > Kasparov's career record is more impressive than Fischer's. It just
> > > seems to me that you underrate what Fischer did, and offer some
> > > invalid arguments in support of that view, such as that "By 1972, whe=
n
> > > he lost to Fischer, [Spassky] was probably already surpassed by
> > > Karpov," and that "Spassky doesn't match up that well to others who'v=
e
> > > been world champion." Neither fits the facts.
>
> > Chessmetrics gives historical rankings for "x" year peaks, and you can
> > change x. For x =3D 1, Fischer is right at the top and I can't argue
> > with that.
> > For anything bigger than 1, he's not at the top, and for 20-year peak,
> > he's
> > not even on the list. For a value like 3-years, Fischer comes in at
> > number two
> > (behind Kasparov)
> > and Spassky comes at #26, well behind most world
> > champions, and even behind several non-champions. So that supports my
> > claim concerning Spassky's historical prowess.
>
> =A0 Well, Jeff Sonas of Chessmetrics is not the only mathematician to
> take a stab at this. Others' conclusions differ from his. For example,
> Nathan Divinsky's table of "Best Ten-Year Strengths" on page 309 of
> "Life Maps of the Great Chess Masters" (1994) has Kasparov #1, Fischer
> #2, Karpov #3, and Spassky #7, behind Capablanca, Botvinnik and
> Lasker. The Fischer-era champ who comes out worst there is Tal, at
> #21. Another surprising low rank there is Alekhine at #19. Divinsky's
> top 1-year rating goes to Morphy.
> =A0 Englishman Sir Richard Clarke, a BCF ratings expert, tried Elo-style
> retroactive grading, but I don't have an unadulterated table of his
> results. Fox & James give a combined/averaged Clarke/Elo table, with
> FIDE ratings of later players mixed in, on pages 119-121 of "The Even
> More Complete Chess Addict" (1993). It's not clear what it uses for a
> peak period; I'd guess 5 years (as Elo did). It has Fischer and
> Kasparov tied at #1, followed by Capablanca, Lasker, Alekhine,
> Botvinnik & Karpov (tie), Ivanchuk & Tal (tie), Smyslov, Morphy &
> Petrosian (tie), Keres, and then finally Spassky in a tie for
> 14th-17th with Gelfand, Korchnoi and Reshevsky.
>
> =A0 From this I'd draw two conclusions, no, more like caveats: (1) these
> mathematical estimates can produce highly varying results, and (2)
> Chessmetrics seems to underrate both Spassky and Fischer compared to
> the others.
>
> > As far as Karpov being
> > better than Spassky in 1972, I have less ammunition. Their
> > chessmetrics ratings
> > are nearly the same. But can any sane person really feel that the 72
> > Spassky
> > was a more dangerous opponent than Karpov, knowing that Karpov
> > achieved
> > much higher heights than Spassky ever had, a few years later?
>
> =A0 The issue I addressed was your claim that by 1972 Karpov had already
> surpassed Spassky. What Karpov did a few years later does not bear on
> that. Certainly they were getting close in 1972, but it's hard to make
> a case that Karpov was clearly better _then_, either in terms of Elo
> rating or practical results. Their head-to-head record thru 1972 was
> +1 -0 =3D1 in Spassky's favor. Karpov did co-win a big tournament at
> Moscow in December 1971, where he and Stein tied 1=BD points ahead of
> Spassky, who came =3D6th with Tal, but at that time Spassky was more
> concerned with preparing for Fischer.
> =A0 As of late 1973, Spassky was still rated slightly above Karpov, 2665
> to 2660, after winning the very strong 41st USSR Ch ahead of Karpov.
> Ironically, by doing so he may have assured Karpov's future. The
> Soviet bureaucrats, particularly Baturinsky, were very upset that
> Spassky won, because to them he symbolized their greatest failure.
> They wanted new blood, and so withdrew from Spassky whatever support
> he still had and threw everything behind Karpov as their new Golden
> Boy (see "The Soviet Championships" by Cafferty & Taimanov). From that
> point on, it becomes hard to determine how much of Karpov's success
> was due to his ability and how much to political support.
>

It seems like your estimates of Spassky's strength have
more to do with his place in the political hierarchy than
with how he played. I'll grant that Spassky generally comes
across as a nice guy (classy when Fischer was classless),
he played by the rules and got to the top, etc. I certainly
wish there were more Spasskys in the chess world.

But he's not in the same league as either Karpov or
Fischer when it comes to over-the-board results.



> > For that matter, I don't recall anyone arguing that Spassky actually
> > played well in the 72 match.
>
> =A0 It's an oddity that World Championship matches often show the
> players performing at less than their best. Something to do with the
> strain and pressure, it's said.
>
>
>
>
>
> > BTW, I am not suggesting that Chessmetrics is without flaws. (Have
> > posted
> > on them myself) However, for discussions of things like "all-time
> > greatness"
> > it has *far* fewer flaws than FIDE ratings.
>
> > > > > > His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as=
that
> > > > > > was,
> > > > > > the number of games involved wasn't that high.
>
> > > > > =A0 Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
> > > > > championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
> > > > > player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Che=
cking
> > > > > FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fisch=
er, I
> > > > > see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.
>
> > > > Exactly my point. Neither Fischer nor anyone else has an achievemen=
t
> > > > like that.
>
> > > =A0 Eh? Fischer had no achievement like what Fischer did? I'm sorry, =
I
> > > have trouble understanding that.
>
> > Fischer's performance was not "typical" Fischer. It was
> > extraordinary FOR HIM. Suggesting that it was representative
> > of his career is just plain wrong.
>
> =A0 I never suggested that it was representative of his career. I was
> (A) questioning your nonsensical (to be fair, probably hastily
> written) statement that even Fischer did not do what Fischer did,

Fischer had not done what Fischer did.

> (B) pointing out that no one else ever had a remotely comparable
> achievement in the Candidates cycle.

With which I agree. I said it first in fact.

>
> > So the question becomes whether winning one tournament and
> > 4 matches, even by ridiculous margins, is enough to qualify
> > for all-time greatness?
>
> =A0 Well, if you are going to claim that Fischer is not among the all-
> time greats, you will be in a very small minority.
>

His WC run, plus a few other feats, certainly gets him in the top 10.


>
> > > > > =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achieveme=
nt. I
> > > > > suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping hi=
s
> > > > > arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain." I certainly a=
gree
> > > > > with you that Kasparov accomplished more over his career, but I c=
annot
> > > > > share your low regard for what Fischer did.- Hide quoted text -
>
> > > > It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote. I am in awe of
> > > > that Candidates run as any. But it is not like winning impressively
> > > > year after year - against all comers. Surely you don't deny that
> > > > it's reasonable for a discussions of "greatness" to include longevi=
ty?
>
> > > =A0 Again, my apologies if I have misinterpreted you. And I certainly
> > > agree with your last two sentences. However, Fischer did "win
> > > impressively year after year against all comers" for a pretty good
> > > span. In nine international tournaments 1965-70 he came 1st seven
> > > times, 2nd twice. The two 2nd-place finishes were only =BD-point behi=
nd
> > > the winner (Smyslov at Havana 1965 and Spassky at Santa Monica 1966).
> > > In the nine tournaments, he outdistanced the likes of Petrosian,
> > > Larsen, Portisch, Smyslov, Geller, Kholmov, Unzicker, Gligoric,
> > > Matulovic, Hort, Gheorghiu, Ivkov, Tukmakov, Panno, Najdorf,
> > > Reshevsky, H=FCbner, Taimanov, Uhlmann, Polugaevsky and other greats.
> > > All this before his Candidates/WCh run where he demolished everyone.
> > > =A0 It is a tragedy for chess that Fischer stopped playing when proba=
bly
> > > a decade or more of comparable accomplishment lay before him. I quite
> > > agree that on the basis of longevity alone Kasparov, and perhaps
> > > Karpov, must rank above Fischer on the all-time great list. What I
> > > respecfully disagree with is that you seem to downgrade Fischer's
> > > achievement based on faulty arguments about Spassky's supposed
> > > weakness.
>
> > My argument did not hinge on Spassky's absolute "weakness", though
> > I do think that Spassky's best chess was behind him in 1972. His
> > relative weakness to much stronger opponents post-1972 is the issue
> > at hand.
>
> =A0 As late as 1977 Spassky was still winning Candidate Matches. Had he
> beaten Korchnoi in the final match, he would have played Karpov for
> the title in 1978. As late as 1983 he was still winning top-rank
> tournaments, such as Linares 1983, ahead of (guess who?) Karpov,
> Andersson, Yusupov, Miles, Timman, Geller, Hort, Seirawan and Larsen.
> As late as 1984 he was still in the FIDE top 10. I would be delighted
> to be afflicted with that level of "relative weakness."
> =A0 I will readily concede that overall Karpov's record is greater than
> Spassky's, but I feel you are underrating Spassky based on
> insufficient data.- Hide quoted text -


This would be great evidence to refute a claim such as
"After 1972, Spassky (a wonderful nice guy non-communist!)
was unable to play chess at all. He was a complete
patzer, and may have forgotten how to castle."

Let me know if somebody makes such a claim.

Meanwhile his relative weakness to the K's
(Karpov, Korchnoi, Kasparov) goes unrefuted.


>
> - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -



 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 12:43:54
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 2:19=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 9, 7:13=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 8, 9:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > On Jan 8, 5:30=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote=
:
>
> > > > =A0 =A0And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'd =
refer
> > > > to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.
>
> > > Exactly. A discussion of Fischer's "greatness" largely stems from his
> > > WC run. I don't deny there are some other highlights, which no doubt
> > > you'll list arguing against some position I haven't taken.
>
> > =A0 My apologies if I have misinterpreted your position. I don't want t=
o
> > seem overly argumentative here. I basically agree with you that
> > Kasparov's career record is more impressive than Fischer's. It just
> > seems to me that you underrate what Fischer did, and offer some
> > invalid arguments in support of that view, such as that "By 1972, when
> > he lost to Fischer, [Spassky] was probably already surpassed by
> > Karpov," and that "Spassky doesn't match up that well to others who've
> > been world champion." Neither fits the facts.
>
> Chessmetrics gives historical rankings for "x" year peaks, and you can
> change x. For x =3D 1, Fischer is right at the top and I can't argue
> with that.
> For anything bigger than 1, he's not at the top, and for 20-year peak,
> he's
> not even on the list. For a value like 3-years, Fischer comes in at
> number two
> (behind Kasparov)
> and Spassky comes at #26, well behind most world
> champions, and even behind several non-champions. So that supports my
> claim concerning Spassky's historical prowess.

Well, Jeff Sonas of Chessmetrics is not the only mathematician to
take a stab at this. Others' conclusions differ from his. For example,
Nathan Divinsky's table of "Best Ten-Year Strengths" on page 309 of
"Life Maps of the Great Chess Masters" (1994) has Kasparov #1, Fischer
#2, Karpov #3, and Spassky #7, behind Capablanca, Botvinnik and
Lasker. The Fischer-era champ who comes out worst there is Tal, at
#21. Another surprising low rank there is Alekhine at #19. Divinsky's
top 1-year rating goes to Morphy.
Englishman Sir Richard Clarke, a BCF ratings expert, tried Elo-style
retroactive grading, but I don't have an unadulterated table of his
results. Fox & James give a combined/averaged Clarke/Elo table, with
FIDE ratings of later players mixed in, on pages 119-121 of "The Even
More Complete Chess Addict" (1993). It's not clear what it uses for a
peak period; I'd guess 5 years (as Elo did). It has Fischer and
Kasparov tied at #1, followed by Capablanca, Lasker, Alekhine,
Botvinnik & Karpov (tie), Ivanchuk & Tal (tie), Smyslov, Morphy &
Petrosian (tie), Keres, and then finally Spassky in a tie for
14th-17th with Gelfand, Korchnoi and Reshevsky.

From this I'd draw two conclusions, no, more like caveats: (1) these
mathematical estimates can produce highly varying results, and (2)
Chessmetrics seems to underrate both Spassky and Fischer compared to
the others.

> As far as Karpov being
> better than Spassky in 1972, I have less ammunition. Their
> chessmetrics ratings
> are nearly the same. But can any sane person really feel that the 72
> Spassky
> was a more dangerous opponent than Karpov, knowing that Karpov
> achieved
> much higher heights than Spassky ever had, a few years later?

The issue I addressed was your claim that by 1972 Karpov had already
surpassed Spassky. What Karpov did a few years later does not bear on
that. Certainly they were getting close in 1972, but it's hard to make
a case that Karpov was clearly better _then_, either in terms of Elo
rating or practical results. Their head-to-head record thru 1972 was
+1 -0 =3D1 in Spassky's favor. Karpov did co-win a big tournament at
Moscow in December 1971, where he and Stein tied 1=BD points ahead of
Spassky, who came =3D6th with Tal, but at that time Spassky was more
concerned with preparing for Fischer.
As of late 1973, Spassky was still rated slightly above Karpov, 2665
to 2660, after winning the very strong 41st USSR Ch ahead of Karpov.
Ironically, by doing so he may have assured Karpov's future. The
Soviet bureaucrats, particularly Baturinsky, were very upset that
Spassky won, because to them he symbolized their greatest failure.
They wanted new blood, and so withdrew from Spassky whatever support
he still had and threw everything behind Karpov as their new Golden
Boy (see "The Soviet Championships" by Cafferty & Taimanov). From that
point on, it becomes hard to determine how much of Karpov's success
was due to his ability and how much to political support.

> For that matter, I don't recall anyone arguing that Spassky actually
> played well in the 72 match.

It's an oddity that World Championship matches often show the
players performing at less than their best. Something to do with the
strain and pressure, it's said.

> BTW, I am not suggesting that Chessmetrics is without flaws. (Have
> posted
> on them myself) However, for discussions of things like "all-time
> greatness"
> it has *far* fewer flaws than FIDE ratings.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > > > > His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as t=
hat
> > > > > was,
> > > > > the number of games involved wasn't that high.
>
> > > > =A0 Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
> > > > championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
> > > > player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Check=
ing
> > > > FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fischer=
, I
> > > > see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.
>
> > > Exactly my point. Neither Fischer nor anyone else has an achievement
> > > like that.
>
> > =A0 Eh? Fischer had no achievement like what Fischer did? I'm sorry, I
> > have trouble understanding that.
>
> Fischer's performance was not "typical" Fischer. It was
> extraordinary FOR HIM. Suggesting that it was representative
> of his career is just plain wrong.

I never suggested that it was representative of his career. I was
(A) questioning your nonsensical (to be fair, probably hastily
written) statement that even Fischer did not do what Fischer did, and
(B) pointing out that no one else ever had a remotely comparable
achievement in the Candidates cycle.

> So the question becomes whether winning one tournament and
> 4 matches, even by ridiculous margins, is enough to qualify
> for all-time greatness?

Well, if you are going to claim that Fischer is not among the all-
time greats, you will be in a very small minority.

> > > > =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement=
. I
> > > > suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
> > > > arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain." I certainly agr=
ee
> > > > with you that Kasparov accomplished more over his career, but I can=
not
> > > > share your low regard for what Fischer did.- Hide quoted text -
>
> > > It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote. I am in awe of
> > > that Candidates run as any. But it is not like winning impressively
> > > year after year - against all comers. Surely you don't deny that
> > > it's reasonable for a discussions of "greatness" to include longevity=
?
>
> > =A0 Again, my apologies if I have misinterpreted you. And I certainly
> > agree with your last two sentences. However, Fischer did "win
> > impressively year after year against all comers" for a pretty good
> > span. In nine international tournaments 1965-70 he came 1st seven
> > times, 2nd twice. The two 2nd-place finishes were only =BD-point behind
> > the winner (Smyslov at Havana 1965 and Spassky at Santa Monica 1966).
> > In the nine tournaments, he outdistanced the likes of Petrosian,
> > Larsen, Portisch, Smyslov, Geller, Kholmov, Unzicker, Gligoric,
> > Matulovic, Hort, Gheorghiu, Ivkov, Tukmakov, Panno, Najdorf,
> > Reshevsky, H=FCbner, Taimanov, Uhlmann, Polugaevsky and other greats.
> > All this before his Candidates/WCh run where he demolished everyone.
> > =A0 It is a tragedy for chess that Fischer stopped playing when probabl=
y
> > a decade or more of comparable accomplishment lay before him. I quite
> > agree that on the basis of longevity alone Kasparov, and perhaps
> > Karpov, must rank above Fischer on the all-time great list. What I
> > respecfully disagree with is that you seem to downgrade Fischer's
> > achievement based on faulty arguments about Spassky's supposed
> > weakness.
>
> My argument did not hinge on Spassky's absolute "weakness", though
> I do think that Spassky's best chess was behind him in 1972. His
> relative weakness to much stronger opponents post-1972 is the issue
> at hand.

As late as 1977 Spassky was still winning Candidate Matches. Had he
beaten Korchnoi in the final match, he would have played Karpov for
the title in 1978. As late as 1983 he was still winning top-rank
tournaments, such as Linares 1983, ahead of (guess who?) Karpov,
Andersson, Yusupov, Miles, Timman, Geller, Hort, Seirawan and Larsen.
As late as 1984 he was still in the FIDE top 10. I would be delighted
to be afflicted with that level of "relative weakness."
I will readily concede that overall Karpov's record is greater than
Spassky's, but I feel you are underrating Spassky based on
insufficient data.


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 12:37:19
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 11:13=A0am, William Hyde <wthyde1...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 6:53=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > Sure, from about 1967-70, Fischer had results which made him the best
> > player in the world.
>
> I disagree. =A0He wasn't playing the best in the world at that time.
> For half of that time he wasn't playing at all.
>
> In the second half of the 60s Spassky beat, convincingly, Geller
> (twice) Larsen, Keres, Tal, and Kortchnoi in matches. =A0He lost one
> match to Petrosian, won the next.
>
> By 1970 he had won three category 15 tournaments (the highest rating
> of the time). Fischer never won a category 15 tournament (he finished
> second to Spassky in Santa Monica, 1966).
>
> In 67-68 Fischer won a strong but small tournament in Monaco, and won
> a number of weaker events decisively (and also was winning the
> interzonal when he withdrew). =A0 But this was nothing new, Fischer had
> long since shown he could dominate a cat 10 or 12 event. =A0He didn't
> play at all in 1969, except one league game in New York.
>
> There is no comparison between the kind of results Spassky was getting
> and the kind that Fischer was getting. =A0Spassky was playing the best
> in the world, Fischer was not.
>
> William Hyde

Hmmm. Chessmetrics shows Spassky normally
3rd or 4th in the world during the period 1965-70.
(Spassky is 1st for half a year.) Fischer is mostly,
but not consistently, 1st.

This could be a case of Chessmetrics weirdness, but
my first inclination is that you are letting subjective factors
(such and such events are "important", others aren't)
get in the way of the cold hard data.

In any case, it's tangential (actually supportive) to my
original point - namely that Fischer's historical legacy
is heavily weighted to his 72 conquest of the world
championship.



 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 11:19:10
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 7:13=A0am, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 9:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 8, 5:30=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > > =A0 =A0And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'd re=
fer
> > > to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.
>
> > Exactly. A discussion of Fischer's "greatness" largely stems from his
> > WC run. I don't deny there are some other highlights, which no doubt
> > you'll list arguing against some position I haven't taken.
>
> =A0 My apologies if I have misinterpreted your position. I don't want to
> seem overly argumentative here. I basically agree with you that
> Kasparov's career record is more impressive than Fischer's. It just
> seems to me that you underrate what Fischer did, and offer some
> invalid arguments in support of that view, such as that "By 1972, when
> he lost to Fischer, [Spassky] was probably already surpassed by
> Karpov," and that "Spassky doesn't match up that well to others who've
> been world champion." Neither fits the facts.

Chessmetrics gives historical rankings for "x" year peaks, and you can
change x. For x =3D 1, Fischer is right at the top and I can't argue
with that.
For anything bigger than 1, he's not at the top, and for 20-year peak,
he's
not even on the list. For a value like 3-years, Fischer comes in at
number two
(behind Kasparov) and Spassky comes at #26, well behind most world
champions, and even behind several non-champions. So that supports my
claim concerning Spassky's historical prowess. As far as Karpov being
better than Spassky in 1972, I have less ammunition. Their
chessmetrics ratings
are nearly the same. But can any sane person really feel that the 72
Spassky
was a more dangerous opponent than Karpov, knowing that Karpov
achieved
much higher heights than Spassky ever had, a few years later?
For that matter, I don't recall anyone arguing that Spassky actually
played well in the 72 match.

BTW, I am not suggesting that Chessmetrics is without flaws. (Have
posted
on them myself) However, for discussions of things like "all-time
greatness"
it has *far* fewer flaws than FIDE ratings.

>
> > > > His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as tha=
t
> > > > was,
> > > > the number of games involved wasn't that high.
>
> > > =A0 Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
> > > championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
> > > player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Checkin=
g
> > > FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fischer, =
I
> > > see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.
>
> > Exactly my point. Neither Fischer nor anyone else has an achievement
> > like that.
>
> =A0 Eh? Fischer had no achievement like what Fischer did? I'm sorry, I
> have trouble understanding that.

Fischer's performance was not "typical" Fischer. It was
extraordinary FOR HIM. Suggesting that it was representative
of his career is just plain wrong.

So the question becomes whether winning one tournament and
4 matches, even by ridiculous margins, is enough to qualify
for all-time greatness?


>
> > > =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement. =
I
> > > suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
> > > arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain." I certainly agree
> > > with you that Kasparov accomplished more over his career, but I canno=
t
> > > share your low regard for what Fischer did.- Hide quoted text -
>
> > It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote. I am in awe of
> > that Candidates run as any. But it is not like winning impressively
> > year after year - against all comers. Surely you don't deny that
> > it's reasonable for a discussions of "greatness" to include longevity?
>
> =A0 Again, my apologies if I have misinterpreted you. And I certainly
> agree with your last two sentences. However, Fischer did "win
> impressively year after year against all comers" for a pretty good
> span. In nine international tournaments 1965-70 he came 1st seven
> times, 2nd twice. The two 2nd-place finishes were only =BD-point behind
> the winner (Smyslov at Havana 1965 and Spassky at Santa Monica 1966).
> In the nine tournaments, he outdistanced the likes of Petrosian,
> Larsen, Portisch, Smyslov, Geller, Kholmov, Unzicker, Gligoric,
> Matulovic, Hort, Gheorghiu, Ivkov, Tukmakov, Panno, Najdorf,
> Reshevsky, H=FCbner, Taimanov, Uhlmann, Polugaevsky and other greats.
> All this before his Candidates/WCh run where he demolished everyone.
> =A0 It is a tragedy for chess that Fischer stopped playing when probably
> a decade or more of comparable accomplishment lay before him. I quite
> agree that on the basis of longevity alone Kasparov, and perhaps
> Karpov, must rank above Fischer on the all-time great list. What I
> respecfully disagree with is that you seem to downgrade Fischer's
> achievement based on faulty arguments about Spassky's supposed
> weakness.


My argument did not hinge on Spassky's absolute "weakness", though
I do think that Spassky's best chess was behind him in 1972. His
relative weakness to much stronger opponents post-1972 is the issue
at hand.


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 11:13:22
From: William Hyde
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 6:53=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:

> Sure, from about 1967-70, Fischer had results which made him the best
> player in the world.

I disagree. He wasn't playing the best in the world at that time.
For half of that time he wasn't playing at all.

In the second half of the 60s Spassky beat, convincingly, Geller
(twice) Larsen, Keres, Tal, and Kortchnoi in matches. He lost one
match to Petrosian, won the next.

By 1970 he had won three category 15 tournaments (the highest rating
of the time). Fischer never won a category 15 tournament (he finished
second to Spassky in Santa Monica, 1966).

In 67-68 Fischer won a strong but small tournament in Monaco, and won
a number of weaker events decisively (and also was winning the
interzonal when he withdrew). But this was nothing new, Fischer had
long since shown he could dominate a cat 10 or 12 event. He didn't
play at all in 1969, except one league game in New York.

There is no comparison between the kind of results Spassky was getting
and the kind that Fischer was getting. Spassky was playing the best
in the world, Fischer was not.

William Hyde




 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 07:13:19
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 9:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 8, 5:30=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > =A0 =A0And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'd refe=
r
> > to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.
>
> Exactly. A discussion of Fischer's "greatness" largely stems from his
> WC run. I don't deny there are some other highlights, which no doubt
> you'll list arguing against some position I haven't taken.

My apologies if I have misinterpreted your position. I don't want to
seem overly argumentative here. I basically agree with you that
Kasparov's career record is more impressive than Fischer's. It just
seems to me that you underrate what Fischer did, and offer some
invalid arguments in support of that view, such as that "By 1972, when
he lost to Fischer, [Spassky] was probably already surpassed by
Karpov," and that "Spassky doesn't match up that well to others who've
been world champion." Neither fits the facts.

> > > His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as that
> > > was,
> > > the number of games involved wasn't that high.
>
> > =A0 Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
> > championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
> > player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Checking
> > FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fischer, I
> > see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.
>
> Exactly my point. Neither Fischer nor anyone else has an achievement
> like that.

Eh? Fischer had no achievement like what Fischer did? I'm sorry, I
have trouble understanding that.

> > =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement. I
> > suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
> > arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain." I certainly agree
> > with you that Kasparov accomplished more over his career, but I cannot
> > share your low regard for what Fischer did.- Hide quoted text -
>
> It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote. I am in awe of
> that Candidates run as any. But it is not like winning impressively
> year after year - against all comers. Surely you don't deny that
> it's reasonable for a discussions of "greatness" to include longevity?

Again, my apologies if I have misinterpreted you. And I certainly
agree with your last two sentences. However, Fischer did "win
impressively year after year against all comers" for a pretty good
span. In nine international tournaments 1965-70 he came 1st seven
times, 2nd twice. The two 2nd-place finishes were only =BD-point behind
the winner (Smyslov at Havana 1965 and Spassky at Santa Monica 1966).
In the nine tournaments, he outdistanced the likes of Petrosian,
Larsen, Portisch, Smyslov, Geller, Kholmov, Unzicker, Gligoric,
Matulovic, Hort, Gheorghiu, Ivkov, Tukmakov, Panno, Najdorf,
Reshevsky, H=FCbner, Taimanov, Uhlmann, Polugaevsky and other greats.
All this before his Candidates/WCh run where he demolished everyone.
It is a tragedy for chess that Fischer stopped playing when probably
a decade or more of comparable accomplishment lay before him. I quite
agree that on the basis of longevity alone Kasparov, and perhaps
Karpov, must rank above Fischer on the all-time great list. What I
respecfully disagree with is that you seem to downgrade Fischer's
achievement based on faulty arguments about Spassky's supposed
weakness.



 
Date: 10 Jan 2009 02:05:24
From: madams
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
jefk wrote:
.
> Nobody knows.
> Anyway Rybka beats them all,
> Iq zero btw,
> :)

;)


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 07:07:48
From: Rob
Subject: Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player From 1970-1972?
On Jan 8, 12:54=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 8, 1:23=A0pm, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
>
> > The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
> > Ever?
>
> > It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
> > including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
> > Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
> > greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
> > slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
> > Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
> > with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.
>
> > The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
> > Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?
>
> I note that Anand recently remarked that the Fischer of the 1970s
> would get crushed by today's top players.
>
> As usual in these different period comparisons we have to assess if
> the player could temperamentally adjust to current conditions - rather
> notably Anand has just got himself a super-computer, but before this
> time he really didn't seem to rely on chess computing.
>
> Therefore, though I am in some sympathy with Anand, I see what a mess
> we all got into here where there was a discussion of Morphy
> [incidentally, Fischer's own choice of the greatest player] and where
> another GM, Nunn, was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player.
>
> > The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
> > only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
> > championship match games, their score was dead even.
>
> Yes - there is a difference in match play than modern-style all-play
> all tournaments. In that scenario Kasparov was clearly superior.
>
> > Similarly, although Anand is now the undisputed World Champion,
> > Topalov is rated a bit higher and teenager Magnus Carlsen is catching
> > up fast.
>
> > By contract, Fischer was 100 points, or half a class, better than
> > Spassky. By that standard, the distance between the best player in the
> > world and the number two player in the world, Fischer was clearly the
> > greatest player ever.
>
> Here you lose ground - my sense is that Morphy was far better than 100
> points over Staunton. The comparison you attempt is the degree of
> dominance in any time period, and was Fischer more dominant than
> anyone else. Other contenders in their times have to Capablanca and
> Lasker.
>
> > Another factor is that nowadays the top players all use computerized
> > databases with millions of games to prepare for their opponents and
> > they train with computer chess programs such as Rybka. These programs
> > come up with moves and ideas that no human had ever thought of before.
> > It is said that the current world champion, Anand, plays like a
> > computer because he trains extensively with a computer.
>
> > However, the question remains unanswered: If Bobby Fischer were alive
> > today and playing at his peak, would he be able to defeat players like
> > Kasparov and Anand?
>
> If he could train like Anand, I think he would have a chance -
> although we would have to make him same age too. In terms of computer
> usage you must also note where GMs say they are deceptive - not just
> GMs, but mere masters armed with sufficient knowledge, such as the
> recent MAMS II title.
>
> > The 1992 rematch with Spassky proved that the Fischer of 1992 was not
> > the Fischer of 1972. Although Fischer stated that he =93played great
> > chess=94 in the second match, that was only partially true. Fischer's
> > best play came when he was trying to rescue himself from a bad or
> > nearly losing position. In 1992, Fischer found himself in the same
> > situation that he had been in the last games of the 1972 match, where
> > he had several bad positions and at one point Shelby Lyman announced
> > on his TV Show =93Fischer has lost the game=94. It turned out that Fisc=
her
> > did not lose. He found a resource that saved the draw.
>
> Somewhat lose analysis. You see, what are you really asking? The
> Fischer who played the second match against Spassky was a joke upon
> the first FIscher who went those 20 games against top players without
> sharing a point!
>
>
>
>
>
> > The advent of computer databases and computer playing chess programs
> > does not really answer the question. Having all these computers helps,
> > but one still needs a man to actually play the game. Also, getting the
> > opponent out of the book and into a situation the opponent could not
> > have prepared for is not that difficult.
>
> > A situation that occurred in Iceland while Fischer was living there as
> > a Fugitive from the George Bush Version of Justice occurred during a
> > game played on an Icelandic Television Broadcast on September 12,
> > 2006. The game went:
>
> > Thorfinsson, Bragi - Gunnarson, Arnar [C50]
> > Icelandic TV, 09.12.2006
>
> > 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6 4.d3 Be6 5.Bxe6 fxe6 6.c3 Qd7 7.0-0 Nf6
> > 8.b4 a6 9.a4 Be7 10.Na3 0-0 11.Nc4 b5 12.axb5 axb5 13.Na5 d5 14.Bg5
> > Bd6 15.Re1 h6 16.Bh4 Nxa5 17.bxa5 b4 18.Qb3 Qb5 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.c4
> > dxc4 21.dxc4 Qc6 22.Nh4 Kh7 23.c5 Be7 24.Qxb4 Bxc5 25.Qb3 Bd4 26.Rac1
> > Qd7 27.Qa3 Qd6 28.Qf3 Rxa5 29.Qh5 Rg8 30.Qf7+? Rg7 31.Qxf6 Ra2? 32.Rf1
> > Re2 33.Qf3 Rd2 34.Qf6 Re2 35.h3? Rxe4 =A036.Rc6. Qxc6, =A037.Nf5
>
> > Here, Black blundered and lost. As this game was played live on TV
> > with grandmaster commentators, everybody was surprised when the phone
> > rang. A mysterious voice was on the line, which the grandmasters
> > recognized. It was Bobby Fischer.
>
> > Fischer had seen a fantastic combination, that all the grandmasters on
> > the spot had missed. It went:
>
> > 37...Rxg2+! 38.Kh1 (White cannot retake because of 38.Kxg2 Rg4++
> > 39.Kh2 Qg2 mate) 38...Rh4!! 39.Qf7+ Rg7+ (discovered check!) 40.f3
> > Rxh3 mate.
>
> > The question is: Would any of today's top grandmasters, would
> > Kasparov, Anand, Topalov or Carlsen, have seen this fantastic
> > combination? If not, could they really have hoped to beat Fischer in
> > his prime?
>
> I think you already have Anand's opinion that if the 1972 Fischer
> showed up, he would get swallowed whole. Whether Fischer would have
> the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
> a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in this
> current era.
>
> Phil Innes
>
>
>
> > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0=
=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Sam Sloan- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

This is a more defensible position: he was the best from 1970-1972.

Some players do much better in head to head contests. Others do better
in play all tournaments. Ratings are nothing more that a handicapping
measurement on what the potential outcome may be in head to head play.
Nothing more. and that is handicapping is based on past performance.


 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 03:54:46
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?

> =A0 Here the intellectually-dishonest Mr. Kingston
> arbitrarily decides to exclude pre-FIDE champions,
> such as Mr. Steinitz, who swept about twenty title
> matches in-a-row as compared to Mr. Fischer's
> paltry one-in-a-row.
>
> > > =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement. =
I
> > > suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
> > > arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain."
>
> =A0 =A0Always quick with some random analogy, Mr.
> Kingston seem to be unaware that this is not
> physically possible; a man's arms would need
> to flap at a rate which would sever them in a
> milisecond.
>
> > It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote.
>
> =A0 Actually, it's typical; all the sophists here do it
> when caught out on a weak limb.
>
> ---
>
> =A0 It seems to me that any discussion of "who was
> the greatest" cannot rationally begin by thrusting
> one particular name under our noses, as the
> nitwitted Mr. Sloan has done.

The real contention is proposed by Elo - whose 'ratings' were not
actually measurements, but 'if' statements - projections from the past
upon the future, if the player was still active today, and given the
same opportunity, etc., then says Elo they would be such and such.

But as we see with Fischer, and to make better use of Taylor
Kingston's analogy than he did himself - after solo-ing Everest,
Fischer never set foot on the mountain again. True, he played Spassky
once more - but quite evidently a Spassky not in the top tier of
players.

Dr Elo's analysis or rather projection's need to be taken with this
caveat - the historical ratings are not actual measurements. For
Taylor Kingston to continue to take up cudgels on this matter means
that he must also tackle GM Dr. Nunn, who used Fritz to evaluate
Morphy not as a 2600 player [Elo], but as a 2300 player.

Therefore we got 2 flaws in evaluating Fischer - and the first one is
to forget that actual people play chess and from an internal
motivation - and whether they will like what it takes to be as
dominant now, as they were in their own era, is a very open question
indeed. Regardless of chess skill, it is evident that Fischer would
not be a top player these days, since I rather feel that he didn't
want to lose after becoming W CH, more than wanting to win - his
motivation for being at the top had vanished.

Secondly, the proposal has no objective standard, or benchmark at all,
unless we assess actual games of Fischer using 'Fritz'.

Thirdly, you cannot respectable argue projections of ratings with
actual measurements of ratings, without at last the 'intellectual
honesty' to admit that one of them is a projection a-la-Elo.

Fourthly - there is the evident romance of claiming someone best ever
from other than chess reasons - ie, nationality, not rationality.

Fifthly - Fischer's was a great achievement - and /maybe/ that run up
to, and the W Ch games itself, the best ever achieved by any player -
certainly Fischer is the #1 contender for that honor. But that is /
not/ to say that Fischer would perform well today, or even that he
could do it twice, which unfortunately puts him at the bottom of
another list of the people least likely to perform well at chess, post
Iceland - and in that specific sense Fischer was the weakest of all W
CHs.

Phil Innes



> =A0 Instead, it ought to begin by carefully defining
> the term "greatness", and only then comparing
> each and every candidate in as objective a
> manner as possible. =A0 (Unfortunately, this
> approach leaves many rgc hacks out of the loop;
> they would not be able to participate at all, by
> their very nature.)
>
> =A0 -- help bot



 
Date: 09 Jan 2009 00:23:46
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 2:51=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 13:12:55 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> >But who needs speculation when there is a record of anything? Fischer
> >her picked for the second match when he could have played Karpov - a
> >player considerably stronger than Spassky then. SO what did Fischer
> >prove other than he was not up to modern chess...
> >If Fischer was really the best, he didn't behave that way - he chose a
> >safe opponent in the semi-retired Spassky, and avoided contest with
> >Karpov in his own time. That is what actually happened, and no
> >projection on his skill. Fischer had simply no ability to take on
> >current challenges at a certain age.
>
> When Fischer played the second match with Spassky, he proved that
> after twenty years of no official play, he could beat someone who had
> been moderately active during that period time by about the same
> margin as he beat him the first time. =A0

Most people understand that Fischer-Spassky II was about cashing
in on celebrity and collecting a fat paycheck. Interestingly, the
Chessmetrics website lists the strongest matches in history.
Not surprisingly, the top 5 are the Kasparov-Karpov duels.
According tot that site, the strongest chess match in history was
Kasparov-Karpov V in 1990, just two years before
FS II. The real world championship match was a class higher
than the Fischer exhibition. (FYI, FS I comes in at #39)


>
> Your comments, that this proved "he was not up to modern chess" above
> are highly speculative, with no basis in fact -- ironic from someone
> who claimed no need for speculation when there was a record.
>
> Imputing fear on the part of Fischer may or may not be correct -- it's
> certainly speculative. =A0Over his lifetime, he made many decisions most
> of us would consider self-destructive and bizarre. =A0He turned down
> millions of dollars in endorsements when he could have pocketed the
> money with no risk or effort. =A0He pullout out of an Interzonal when he
> had a virtual =A0lock =A0on first place. Fear? Proof that he wasn't up to
> the competition in the remaining games? =A0Nonsense.
>
> Over the years, He turned down many other potentially lucrative offers
> to play opponents of his *own* generation -- Korchnoi, I believe, and
> Mecking, as well as some lesser GMs.. =A0Do you think he was afraid of
> losing to Mecking?

The point was that his legacy would not have been enhanced by
playing Mecking etc. In fact, his 70-72 results were so exceptional
that Fischer no doubt knew he could never come close to duplicating
them. The only way for Fischer to enhance his legacy was to
try to prevail for a long time. Fischer probably had enough self
awareness to know that he was not cut out for that kind of challenge.
So, the decision to retire in 72 was really a rational one, given a
concern with his place in history.


>
> His choice of Spassky for a second match may have been to reaffirm his
> own claim to the title during the intervening years by granting his
> opponent a rematch. =A0Who can claim to understand Fischer's reasoning?
> He rarely compromised on anything.
>
> At any rate, his failure to challenge (or accept a challenge) from
> Karpov as his first opponent after a twenty-year hiatus indicates some
> level of rationality on his part -- you don't take on your strongest
> opponent without some warm-up events.

This implies that the match was part of a comeback. I have never
seen any evidence to suggest that it was anything but a quick
payday - possibly Fischer also enjoyed enhancing what he
saw as his "rebel" credentials by playing the match in an
outlaw state in violation of international and US law.




  
Date: 31 Jan 2009 08:24:18
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Sloan as Co-author? Riiiight. (was: Was Bobby Fischer the
On Jan 31, 10:50=A0am, taylor.kings...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 31, 10:11=A0am, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com> wrote:
>
> > On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 05:46:45 -0800 (PST), samsloan
>
> > <samhsl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >This book has been reprinted now with 100 new pages added, including
> > >the moves with diagrams of all 25 games between Fischer and Spassky.
> > >Order it now at barnesandnoble.com
> > >http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=3D0923=
8...
> > >http://www.amazon.com/dp/0923891412
>
> > Sam, you've added yourself as co-author to all these books by dead
> > people (Fischer, Godel, Elo, Watson, et.al.)
>
> > My prediction: =A0You'll be the first guy lynched after the
> > Resurrection.
>
> =A0 And apparently all he's done is to write a foreword! Heck, by that
> logic, I should be listed as a co-author for the algebraic edition of
> Lasker's Manual of Chess (http://uscfsales.com/item.asp?PID=3D840).
> Besides translating the notation to algebraic, I wrote a preface, a
> section on how to read algebraic, a series of biographical highlights,
> and a 24-page appendix of analytical notes, plus added many diagrams
> and photos. But my name is not on the cover, nor on any web-page
> selling the book, nor should it be, nor did I want it to be. It's
> Lasker's book.
> =A0 Frankly, adding "foreword by Sam Sloan" to a good book is like a
> gourmet restaurant adding "served with stale potato chips" to their
> filet mignon or lobster newburgh. At least with the Lasker book we
> have a foreword by Mark Dvoretsky.

My name is not listed on the cover of any of the books I am reprinting
(with a few exceptions).

In this case I have added 100 pages of new material so my name goes on
the copyright page as author of the foreword so that I have a
copyright on the new material I have added.

It is Amazon who lists me that way. I have no control over the way
that Amazon chooses to list books on their website. In a number of
instances Amazon has made a mistake on their website with regard to my
books and I have never been able to correct them. Examples are listing
Charles Goren as author of "Invitation to Bridge" when Harkness wrote
the book, or putting the wrong cover on "Outline of Contract Bridge"
or a mis-aligned cover on "Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present"
by Elo.

I have a lot of complaints about Amazon, so if you have a complaint,
write to them, not to me.

Sam Sloan


  
Date: 31 Jan 2009 07:50:12
From:
Subject: Sloan as Co-author? Riiiight. (was: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest
On Jan 31, 10:11=A0am, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 05:46:45 -0800 (PST), samsloan
>
> <samhsl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >This book has been reprinted now with 100 new pages added, including
> >the moves with diagrams of all 25 games between Fischer and Spassky.
> >Order it now at barnesandnoble.com
> >http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=3D09238.=
..
> >http://www.amazon.com/dp/0923891412
>
> Sam, you've added yourself as co-author to all these books by dead
> people (Fischer, Godel, Elo, Watson, et.al.)
>
> My prediction: =A0You'll be the first guy lynched after the
> Resurrection.

And apparently all he's done is to write a foreword! Heck, by that
logic, I should be listed as a co-author for the algebraic edition of
Lasker's Manual of Chess (http://uscfsales.com/item.asp?PID=3D840).
Besides translating the notation to algebraic, I wrote a preface, a
section on how to read algebraic, a series of biographical highlights,
and a 24-page appendix of analytical notes, plus added many diagrams
and photos. But my name is not on the cover, nor on any web-page
selling the book, nor should it be, nor did I want it to be. It's
Lasker's book.
Frankly, adding "foreword by Sam Sloan" to a good book is like a
gourmet restaurant adding "served with stale potato chips" to their
filet mignon or lobster newburgh. At least with the Lasker book we
have a foreword by Mark Dvoretsky.


  
Date: 09 Jan 2009 00:58:38
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 00:23:46 -0800 (PST), davidekane@comcast.net wrote:


>> At any rate, his failure to challenge (or accept a challenge) from
>> Karpov as his first opponent after a twenty-year hiatus indicates some
>> level of rationality on his part -- you don't take on your strongest
>> opponent without some warm-up events.

>This implies that the match was part of a comeback. I have never
>seen any evidence to suggest that it was anything but a quick
>payday - possibly Fischer also enjoyed enhancing what he
>saw as his "rebel" credentials by playing the match in an
>outlaw state in violation of international and US law.


We really don't know how he envisioned it. He'd passed up other
opportunities for a quick payday. Possibly, the match convinced him
he was too rusty. Possibly, he envisioned follow-on matches and it
just never happened. My point, contra Phil, was, *any* statements
about Fischer's reasoning, goals, or state of mind are speculative.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 20:05:25
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
Mr. Kingston, in a proud display of his intellectual
virtuosity, explains that a large, arid depression is,
so he tells us, called a "basin":


> > =A0 =A0And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'd refe=
r
> > to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.


In reality, that would be called a low-lying desert.


> > =A0 Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
> > championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
> > player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Checking
> > FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fischer, I
> > see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.


Here the intellectually-dishonest Mr. Kingston
arbitrarily decides to exclude pre-FIDE champions,
such as Mr. Steinitz, who swept about twenty title
matches in-a-row as compared to Mr. Fischer's
paltry one-in-a-row.


> > =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement. I
> > suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
> > arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain."


Always quick with some random analogy, Mr.
Kingston seem to be unaware that this is not
physically possible; a man's arms would need
to flap at a rate which would sever them in a
milisecond.


> It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote.


Actually, it's typical; all the sophists here do it
when caught out on a weak limb.

---


It seems to me that any discussion of "who was
the greatest" cannot rationally begin by thrusting
one particular name under our noses, as the
nitwitted Mr. Sloan has done.

Instead, it ought to begin by carefully defining
the term "greatness", and only then comparing
each and every candidate in as objective a
manner as possible. (Unfortunately, this
approach leaves many rgc hacks out of the loop;
they would not be able to participate at all, by
their very nature.)


-- help bot



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 18:39:49
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 5:30=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 6:53=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 8, 2:31=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jan 8, 4:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > > Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
> > > > lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov.
>
> > > =A0 Hmmm. Spassky won the 1973 Soviet Championship, ahead of Karpov, =
not
> > > to mention Korchnoi, Kuzmin, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Geller,
> > > Grigorian, Keres, Savon, Taimanov, Tal and other greats. That doesn't
> > > quite jibe with being "already surpassed." If you mean 1974, then I
> > > would agree with you, their Candidates Match being the proof.
>
> > > > =A0See chessmetrics.
>
> > > =A0 I prefer to look at actual results, when they are available.
>
> > Chessmetrics is based on results.
>
> =A0 Yes and no. Mr. Sonas makes various debatable assumptions, and has
> produced some ratings that make little or no sense. If I recall
> correctly, for example, Chessmetrics shows Alekhine's rating rising in
> the 1940s. I'd say it needs more work.


Just as Elo ratings would need "more work" if one were discussing
all time greatness.


>
> > The point is that Spassky doesn't
> > match
> > up that well to others who've been world champion.
>
> =A0 Really? Thru 1994, he had lifetime plus scores against Smyslov,
> Petrosian, and Tal, an even score against Kasparov, and minus scores
> against Botvinnik, Fischer, and Karpov. In other words, he held his
> own against more than half the world champions he's played.
>
> > In 1972, he was on
> > the decline
> > and just an ordinary "top rank GM"
>
> =A0 Being a regular here, I'm used to hyperbole, but this is a bit much
> even by rgc standards.
>
> > > > The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that th=
ere
> > > > just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion. Certainl=
y,
> > > > his run up to the 1972 title was an extraordinary chess performance=
.
> > > > Whether
> > > > that few games qualifies someone for "all time greatness" is anothe=
r
> > > > matter.
>
> > > =A0 You think it's valid to ignore all the rest of Fischer's career? =
He
> > > already had the world's highest Elo rating by 1970.
>
> > Sure, from about 1967-70, Fischer had results which made him the best
> > player in the world. But had
> > Fischer retired before the interzonal, nobody would seriously consider
> > him "best ever".
>
> =A0 =A0And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'd refer
> to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.

Exactly. A discussion of Fischer's "greatness" largely stems from his
WC run. I don't deny there are some other highlights, which no doubt
you'll
list arguing against some position I haven't taken.

>
> > His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as that
> > was,
> > the number of games involved wasn't that high.
>
> =A0 Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
> championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
> player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Checking
> FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fischer, I
> see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.


Exactly my point. Neither Fischer nor anyone else has an achievement
like that.

> =A0 =A0You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement. I
> suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
> arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain." I certainly agree
> with you that Kasparov accomplished more over his career, but I cannot
> share your low regard for what Fischer did.- Hide quoted text -

It's odd that you have so misread what I wrote. I am in awe of
that Candidates run as any. But it is not like winning impressively
year after year - against all comers. Surely you don't deny that
it's reasonable for a discussions of "greatness" to include longevity?

By choice, Fischer chose not to face some of his contemporaries -
including some of chess' all-time greatest. On what basis am I not
free to include that in judging greatness?



>
> - Show quoted text -



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 17:56:02
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 8:30=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:


Take a gander at the following SWEEPING claim:

> > > > Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
> > > > lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov.


Now have a look at what Mr. Kingston does:


> > > =A0 Hmmm. Spassky won the 1973 Soviet Championship, ahead of Karpov, =
not
> > > to mention Korchnoi, Kuzmin, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Geller,
> > > Grigorian, Keres, Savon, Taimanov, Tal and other greats. That doesn't
> > > quite jibe with being "already surpassed."


A single event -- from the wrong year in fact --
is presented in an effort to refute the sweeping
claim regarding Mr. Spassky's strength, by
the year /1972/.

Now then, wouldn't it make a whole lot more
sense to just look up Mr. Spassky's ratings,
and compare them to the actual ratings of the
other contenders, instead of this side-show?
If Mr. Kingston rejects the ratings at the
chessmetrics Web site, it looks like that
leaves the official FIDE ratings-- so where's
the problem?


> =A0 Yes and no. Mr. Sonas makes various debatable assumptions, and has
> produced some ratings that make little or no sense. If I recall
> correctly, for example, Chessmetrics shows Alekhine's rating rising in
> the 1940s. I'd say it needs more work.


Any problems with Mr. Spassky's ratings
on that site?


> > The point is that Spassky doesn't
> > match up that well to others who've been world champion.


> =A0 Really? Thru 1994, he had lifetime plus scores


Once again, Mr. Kingston carefully avoids the
issue of ratings, in favor of cherry-picking only
the results he wants to see.


> > > > The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that th=
ere
> > > > just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion.


Now the other chap goes brain-dead. The
*obvious* problem with the question is the
fact that it is phrased so as to point to a
particular individual, thus leading us to the
"desired answer".

A more intelligent approach would leave
out any mention of specific players, and
ask "who was/is the greatest chess player
of all time?"; and it would of course define
the key term, greatness, precisely.


-- help bot


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 17:30:12
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 6:53=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 8, 2:31=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 8, 4:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > > Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
> > > lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov.
>
> > =A0 Hmmm. Spassky won the 1973 Soviet Championship, ahead of Karpov, no=
t
> > to mention Korchnoi, Kuzmin, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Geller,
> > Grigorian, Keres, Savon, Taimanov, Tal and other greats. That doesn't
> > quite jibe with being "already surpassed." If you mean 1974, then I
> > would agree with you, their Candidates Match being the proof.
>
> > > =A0See chessmetrics.
>
> > =A0 I prefer to look at actual results, when they are available.
>
> Chessmetrics is based on results.

Yes and no. Mr. Sonas makes various debatable assumptions, and has
produced some ratings that make little or no sense. If I recall
correctly, for example, Chessmetrics shows Alekhine's rating rising in
the 1940s. I'd say it needs more work.

> The point is that Spassky doesn't
> match
> up that well to others who've been world champion.

Really? Thru 1994, he had lifetime plus scores against Smyslov,
Petrosian, and Tal, an even score against Kasparov, and minus scores
against Botvinnik, Fischer, and Karpov. In other words, he held his
own against more than half the world champions he's played.

> In 1972, he was on
> the decline
> and just an ordinary "top rank GM"

Being a regular here, I'm used to hyperbole, but this is a bit much
even by rgc standards.

> > > The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that ther=
e
> > > just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion. Certainly,
> > > his run up to the 1972 title was an extraordinary chess performance.
> > > Whether
> > > that few games qualifies someone for "all time greatness" is another
> > > matter.
>
> > =A0 You think it's valid to ignore all the rest of Fischer's career? He
> > already had the world's highest Elo rating by 1970.
>
> Sure, from about 1967-70, Fischer had results which made him the best
> player in the world. But had
> Fischer retired before the interzonal, nobody would seriously consider
> him "best ever".

And if there were no water between Europe and America, we'd refer
to the Atlantic as a basin instead of an ocean.

> His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as that
> was,
> the number of games involved wasn't that high.

Please tell us how many games you require before a "world
championship run" becomes impressive in your eyes. And what other
player's world championship run you consider more impressive. Checking
FIDE Interzonal and Candidate results both before and after Fischer, I
see nothing comparable to what Fischer did.
You are amazingly casually dismissive of a great achievement. I
suppose if a man flew to the peak of Mount Everest by flapping his
arms, you would belittle it as "just one mountain." I certainly agree
with you that Kasparov accomplished more over his career, but I cannot
share your low regard for what Fischer did.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 16:43:25
From: jefk
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
lots of humbug;
Fischer had a high regard for pawns, so does Rybka;
Rybka 4 will be better btw than Rybka 3; and Nakamura..
and computers still become faster; in the end the
will just play drawn games but thats another subject;
IQ if Fischer?
well there a different scales to measure that, Wechsler
Cattell, etc., but worse than that, there's an age correction
which sometimes for young ted kids can give exaggerated
figures; have a look at supposedly the highest IQ
alive currenty, a certain Marylin Vos Savant (IQ 220 ?)
She just did a test at age 8, or so, scored 110,
multiplied with two, and bingo, Iq 220.
A similar thing probably happened with the Fischer test;
Kasparov (IQ measured at 135) isnt more stupid than
Fischer, he just did another test, and at another age.
Besides that, his mental capabilities, memory,
general education, maturity, etc, are higher
than that of Fischer, even when Fisher did manage
to beat Spassky; would he have beaten Karpov
as well in 1972? Nobody knows.
Anyway Rybka beats them all,
Iq zero btw,
:)
jef


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 16:06:46
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 6:09=A0pm, The Historian <neil.thehistor...@gmail.com > wrote:

> On Jan 8, 4:18=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > Look - I found things in GM games that players never played - but they
> > have a time control, and I have days months years.
>
> Based on the little analysis from you I've seen, there's probably a
> good reason GMs don't play the moves you find.


Pro bono.


-- help bot


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:53:58
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 2:31=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 4:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>
>
> > Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
> > lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov.
>
> =A0 Hmmm. Spassky won the 1973 Soviet Championship, ahead of Karpov, not
> to mention Korchnoi, Kuzmin, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Geller,
> Grigorian, Keres, Savon, Taimanov, Tal and other greats. That doesn't
> quite jibe with being "already surpassed." If you mean 1974, then I
> would agree with you, their Candidates Match being the proof.
>
> > =A0See chessmetrics.
>
> =A0 I prefer to look at actual results, when they are available.
>

Chessmetrics is based on results. The point is that Spassky doesn't
match
up that well to others who've been world champion. In 1972, he was on
the decline
and just an ordinary "top rank GM"

> > The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that there
> > just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion. Certainly,
> > his run up to the 1972 title was an extraordinary chess performance.
> > Whether
> > that few games qualifies someone for "all time greatness" is another
> > matter.
>
> =A0 You think it's valid to ignore all the rest of Fischer's career? He
> already had the world's highest Elo rating by 1970.

Sure, from about 1967-70, Fischer had results which made him the best
player in the world. But had
Fischer retired before the interzonal, nobody would seriously consider
him "best ever".
His legacy comes from his World championship run. As amazing as that
was,
the number of games involved wasn't that high.





>
> > I think the Fischer question is best answered by Fischer's own
> > behavior. In 1975
> > he refused to play Karpov.
> > In contrast, Kasparov had the guts to prove over the board that he was
> > "slightly better than
> > Karpov". That merits the "best ever" title.
>
> =A0 Agree with you 100% there.



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:45:05
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 6:13=A0pm, The Historian <neil.thehistor...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 5:04=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:

> > =A0 Well, heck, we can go onto your tangent if you like, Rev. Did
> > Fischer have any interests besides chess, or later, anti-Semitism? I
> > don't recall ever reading that he cared much for any subject in
> > school. Supposedly he had a very high IQ, but he never applied it to
> > anything other than chess.
>
> What is the basis for this "very high IQ" claim? I've seen the
> statement appear in Brady's biography, and then copied by other
> writers.

The main (perhaps only) source is Brady. I don't know if the claim
is valid, hence my use of the word "supposedly." The subject has come
up in Winter's column several times recently, e.g.

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/winter53.html

which cites Brady's foreword to Burger's "The Chess of Bobby Fischer":

"In previous writings I have cited Fischer=92s IQ as in the range of
180, a very high genius. My source of information is impeccable: a
highly regarded political scientist who coincidentally happened to be
working in the grade adviser=92s office at Erasmus Hall =96 Bobby
Fischer=92s high school in Brooklyn =96 at the time Fischer was a student
there. He had the opportunity to study Fischer=92s personal records and
there is no reason to believe his figure is inaccurate. Some critics
have claimed that other teachers at Erasmus Hall at that time remember
the figure to be much lower; but who the teachers are and what figures
they remember have never been made clear."

That is all Winter gives. Checking the book, I see that Brady goes
on:

"It is probably a reflection of the 'chess champion paradox' that
the 180 figure is considered unrealistic. Fischer's apparent lack of
intellectual attainments, in contrast to the champions of the past,
would seem to make a high IQ unbelieveable. He is considered by some
to be almost an idiot savant. Perhaps some of the following anecdotes
will dispel the doubts of the unbelieving."

Brady then tells several stories illustrating Fischer's astounding
memory, mainly involving chess games, but one about a conversation in
Icelandic which Fischer (who did not speak that language) was able to
repeat verbatim. Whether this is evidence of a high IQ, I can't say.
Certainly Fischer's intellectual attainments outside of chess are
small compared to, say, those of Lasker, Euwe, Botvinnik and other
better-rounded greats.



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:42:44
From: The Historian
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 6:28=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 15:13:14 -0800 (PST), The Historian
>
> <neil.thehistor...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >On Jan 8, 5:04=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
> >What is the basis for this "very high IQ" claim? I've seen the
> >statement appear in Brady's biography, and then copied by other
> >writers.
>
> I think I remember reading it was based on a test given in his high
> school. =A0So, I'd guess the test was somewhat superficial.

Wasn't that the story in Brady? P.22 of the Dover reprint cites a
person who "worked in the Grade Advisor's Office at Eramus Hall."
According to this unnamed source, Fischer's IQ was in the 180s.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:13:14
From: The Historian
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 5:04=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 4:28=A0pm, "Rev. J.D. Walker" <j.d.wal...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Jan 8, 12:26=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com> wrote:
>
> > > > On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote=
:
> > > > > Whether Fischer would have
> > > > >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers=
is
> > > > >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in=
this
> > > > >current era.
>
> > > > Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> > > > order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capaci=
ty
> > > > for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> > > > computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more=
*
> > > > effective.
>
> > > =A0 I quite agree with Mr. Murray. Fischer's appetite for chess work =
was
> > > insatiable and voracious, and his speed and capacity for absorbing
> > > information were phenomenal. For example I've read that he could
> > > memorize large parts of MCO just by reading through it, without a
> > > board.
> > > =A0 There is every reason to think that had he been born in, say, 198=
3
> > > rather than 1943, and if this latter version of RJF was as interested
> > > in chess as the old one, he would today be using every chess-related
> > > electronic tool available, just as avidly and productively as he
> > > utilized the chess literature of his time. Whether he'd be better tha=
n
> > > Anand, Topalov, Carlsen et al I can't say, but I would be very
> > > reluctant to bet against him.
>
> > If Fischer got a second shot at life, hopefully he would find
> > something more productive and rewarding to do with his life than to
> > obsess over chess again. =A0Imagine a happy Fischer with a Nobel prize
> > in biochemistry or some such... =A0
>
> =A0 I agree that might be a better outcome. However, the OP's question
> was not "How might Fischer have better spent his life?"
>
> > But, back to your what if amusement...
>
> =A0 Well, heck, we can go onto your tangent if you like, Rev. Did
> Fischer have any interests besides chess, or later, anti-Semitism? I
> don't recall ever reading that he cared much for any subject in
> school. Supposedly he had a very high IQ, but he never applied it to
> anything other than chess.

What is the basis for this "very high IQ" claim? I've seen the
statement appear in Brady's biography, and then copied by other
writers.

How might he have been diverted to
> biochemistry or some such scientific pursuit?



  
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:28:37
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 15:13:14 -0800 (PST), The Historian
<neil.thehistorian@gmail.com > wrote:

>On Jan 8, 5:04 pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:

>What is the basis for this "very high IQ" claim? I've seen the
>statement appear in Brady's biography, and then copied by other
>writers.

I think I remember reading it was based on a test given in his high
school. So, I'd guess the test was somewhat superficial.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:11:50
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
It's always tough to compare across decades. However, the play of
Lasker in the 1930s and Ossip Bernstein (tied a match with Alekhine
in the 1930s) so that some players can play rather well after a
hiatus. I was told (by someone, but I don't remember who) at one of
the computer tournaments, that the "consensus" of various grandmasters
after the 1992 match with Spassky was that Fischer was clearly in the
top ten and that with some study and practice, he "coulda been a
contender."


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 15:09:38
From: The Historian
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 4:18=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:

> Look - I found things in GM games that players never played - but they
> have a time control, and I have days months years.

Based on the little analysis from you I've seen, there's probably a
good reason GMs don't play the moves you find.




 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 14:31:26
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 4:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
> lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov.

Hmmm. Spassky won the 1973 Soviet Championship, ahead of Karpov, not
to mention Korchnoi, Kuzmin, Petrosian, Polugaevsky, Geller,
Grigorian, Keres, Savon, Taimanov, Tal and other greats. That doesn't
quite jibe with being "already surpassed." If you mean 1974, then I
would agree with you, their Candidates Match being the proof.

> See chessmetrics.

I prefer to look at actual results, when they are available.

> The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that there
> just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion. Certainly,
> his run up to the 1972 title was an extraordinary chess performance.
> Whether
> that few games qualifies someone for "all time greatness" is another
> matter.

You think it's valid to ignore all the rest of Fischer's career? He
already had the world's highest Elo rating by 1970.

> I think the Fischer question is best answered by Fischer's own
> behavior. In 1975
> he refused to play Karpov.
> In contrast, Kasparov had the guts to prove over the board that he was
> "slightly better than
> Karpov". That merits the "best ever" title.

Agree with you 100% there.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 14:06:41
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 4:39=A0pm, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 8, 10:23=A0am, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
>
> > The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
> > Ever?
>
> > It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
> > including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
> > Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
> > greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
> > slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
> > Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
> > with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.
>
> > The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
> > Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?
>
> > The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
> > only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
> > championship match games, their score was dead even.
>
> > Similarly, although Anand is now the undisputed World Champion,
> > Topalov is rated a bit higher and teenager Magnus Carlsen is catching
> > up fast.
>
> > By contract, Fischer was 100 points, or half a class, better than
> > Spassky. By that standard, the distance between the best player in the
> > world and the number two player in the world, Fischer was clearly the
> > greatest player ever.
>
> Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
> lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov. See
> chessmetrics.
>
> The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that there
> just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion. Certainly,
> his run up to the 1972 title was an extraordinary chess performance.
> Whether
> that few games qualifies someone for "all time greatness" is another
> matter.
>
> I think the Fischer question is best answered by Fischer's own
> behavior. In 1975
> he refused to play Karpov. Fischer no doubt knew, correctly I think,
> that even though he
> might have won, he would not have crushed Karpov. He would have been,
> at best,
> slightly better than Karpov. While retaining the World championship
> might be a worthy achievement to most, it was not enough for Fischer's
> fragile psyche,
> and in his mind would have diminished his reputation.
>
> In contrast, Kasparov had the guts to prove over the board that he was
> "slightly better than
> Karpov". That merits the "best ever" title.

Yes, all this is about the size of it. Whatever else there is is
speculation alone, and a speculation that Fischer himself declined to
engage in actual performance.

More words do not make Fischer equal or superior, in his own terms,
pawns would have.

Phil Innes


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 14:04:01
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 4:28=A0pm, "Rev. J.D. Walker" <j.d.wal...@comcast.net > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 12:26=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > > > Whether Fischer would have
> > > >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers i=
s
> > > >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in t=
his
> > > >current era.
>
> > > Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> > > order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
> > > for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> > > computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
> > > effective.
>
> > =A0 I quite agree with Mr. Murray. Fischer's appetite for chess work wa=
s
> > insatiable and voracious, and his speed and capacity for absorbing
> > information were phenomenal. For example I've read that he could
> > memorize large parts of MCO just by reading through it, without a
> > board.
> > =A0 There is every reason to think that had he been born in, say, 1983
> > rather than 1943, and if this latter version of RJF was as interested
> > in chess as the old one, he would today be using every chess-related
> > electronic tool available, just as avidly and productively as he
> > utilized the chess literature of his time. Whether he'd be better than
> > Anand, Topalov, Carlsen et al I can't say, but I would be very
> > reluctant to bet against him.
>
> If Fischer got a second shot at life, hopefully he would find
> something more productive and rewarding to do with his life than to
> obsess over chess again. =A0Imagine a happy Fischer with a Nobel prize
> in biochemistry or some such... =A0

I agree that might be a better outcome. However, the OP's question
was not "How might Fischer have better spent his life?"

> But, back to your what if amusement...

Well, heck, we can go onto your tangent if you like, Rev. Did
Fischer have any interests besides chess, or later, anti-Semitism? I
don't recall ever reading that he cared much for any subject in
school. Supposedly he had a very high IQ, but he never applied it to
anything other than chess. How might he have been diverted to
biochemistry or some such scientific pursuit?


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 13:39:52
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 10:23=A0am, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
>
> The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
> Ever?
>
> It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
> including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
> Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
> greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
> slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
> Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
> with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.
>
> The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
> Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?
>
> The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
> only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
> championship match games, their score was dead even.
>
> Similarly, although Anand is now the undisputed World Champion,
> Topalov is rated a bit higher and teenager Magnus Carlsen is catching
> up fast.
>
> By contract, Fischer was 100 points, or half a class, better than
> Spassky. By that standard, the distance between the best player in the
> world and the number two player in the world, Fischer was clearly the
> greatest player ever.

Spassky was by no means an outstanding champion. By 1972, when he
lost to Fischer, he was probably already surpassed by Karpov. See
chessmetrics.

The problem with the "Is Fischer the Greatest?" question is that there
just isn't that much data upon which to draw a conclusion. Certainly,
his run up to the 1972 title was an extraordinary chess performance.
Whether
that few games qualifies someone for "all time greatness" is another
matter.

I think the Fischer question is best answered by Fischer's own
behavior. In 1975
he refused to play Karpov. Fischer no doubt knew, correctly I think,
that even though he
might have won, he would not have crushed Karpov. He would have been,
at best,
slightly better than Karpov. While retaining the World championship
might be a worthy achievement to most, it was not enough for Fischer's
fragile psyche,
and in his mind would have diminished his reputation.

In contrast, Kasparov had the guts to prove over the board that he was
"slightly better than
Karpov". That merits the "best ever" title.






 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 13:28:14
From: Rev. J.D. Walker
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 12:26=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > > Whether Fischer would have
> > >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
> > >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in thi=
s
> > >current era.
>
> > Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> > order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
> > for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> > computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
> > effective.
>
> =A0 I quite agree with Mr. Murray. Fischer's appetite for chess work was
> insatiable and voracious, and his speed and capacity for absorbing
> information were phenomenal. For example I've read that he could
> memorize large parts of MCO just by reading through it, without a
> board.
> =A0 There is every reason to think that had he been born in, say, 1983
> rather than 1943, and if this latter version of RJF was as interested
> in chess as the old one, he would today be using every chess-related
> electronic tool available, just as avidly and productively as he
> utilized the chess literature of his time. Whether he'd be better than
> Anand, Topalov, Carlsen et al I can't say, but I would be very
> reluctant to bet against him.

If Fischer got a second shot at life, hopefully he would find
something more productive and rewarding to do with his life than to
obsess over chess again. Imagine a happy Fischer with a Nobel prize
in biochemistry or some such... But, back to your what if amusement...


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 13:18:16
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 3:36=A0pm, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> All of you are just assuming that, in old age and near death, Fischer
> did not use these things.
>
> However, my information is that Fischer did keep up with the latest
> developments in chess.
>
> He certainly had studied all the Kasparov-Karpov games and found some
> things that he showed to others, although it is doubtful that any of
> it will ever be published.
>
> Sam Sloan

I challenged Fischer on behave of Taimanov about their game 3. While
'your information' may or may not exist - for sure, Fischer had
nothing to say to Taimanov.

Look - I found things in GM games that players never played - but they
have a time control, and I have days months years.

If Fischer was so good he needed to prove it, not make excuses for
ducking Karpov, and settling for the 2600 Spassky. That is no measure
of if you are best. Its a measure that you can't play a 2700 opponent.

All the rest of it is in Fischer's head- and as he said himself, he
didn't believe in psychology, he believed in pawns. But he just
couldn't do what he believed in even in his own time when he and
Karpov had equal access to the same material.

Phil Innes


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 13:12:55
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 3:34=A0pm, Taylor Kingston <tkings...@chittenden.com > wrote:
> On Jan 8, 3:24=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com> wrote:
>
> > > On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > > > Whether Fischer would have
> > > >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers i=
s
> > > >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in t=
his
> > > >current era.
>
> > > Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> > > order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
> > > for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> > > computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
> > > effective.
>
> > Its always a matter of speculation.
>
> =A0 And I would say Mr. Murray's speculations are considerably more fact-
> based than most people's here.

But who needs speculation when there is a record of anything? Fischer
her picked for the second match when he could have played Karpov - a
player considerably stronger than Spassky then. SO what did Fischer
prove other than he was not up to modern chess.

This is the gigantic flaw in Elo's reckoning - his ratings assume that
a player, given current conditions would perform - therefore Elo's own
retrograde ratings are never measurements. We see the lie as pointed
out by an objective source, and arbitrated by a GM. Nunn said Morphy
was just 2300.

Capablanca famously couldn't deal with 'modern chess analysis' as
Alekhine played it.

If Fischer was really the best, he didn't behave that way - he chose a
safe opponent in the semi-retired Spassky, and avoided contest with
Karpov in his own time. That is what actually happened, and no
projection on his skill. Fischer had simply no ability to take on
current challenges at a certain age.


> > Possibly depends on the age of the
> > player, Fischer became rather fixed as he grew older, indifferent to
> > any objective opinion such as a computer may offer him.
>
> > Even so... I do not deride the argument that he could not, but as with
> > Morphy, say that an unimproved Fischer according to Anand would stand
> > a dog's chance.
>
> =A0 Perhaps, and if we put the Jesse Owens of 1936 in today's Olympics,
> he'd probably come last in every race. So what?

So Ficher would come last in a modern first tier tourny, is what.

> Does that mean he was
> not a great runner?

No.

> Of course not.

So why speak of what is obvious?

> But if you took a young clone of
> Owens and let him train with today's methods, he would probably be a
> record-setter.

You say 'probably'.

Fischer was afraid of losing to Karpov, and they both had the same
opportunities to research wherever they may. Fischer chose a safge
opponent.

Hardly best ever player.

Fischer was severely screwed up, and after his one gigantic leap to
the top, could do no more. No speculations there. I agree with Anand
from another perspective. Its difficult to talk of these things since
people glamorize players - though offer nothing to substantiate that
other than 'being sure' and so on.

I should not take Anand's oinion so lightly, neither what Fischer
actually did, which was to take a light opponent instead of Karpov.

In the end Fischer chickened out. This is not a judgement on him, he
already did plenty - but it is a plain honest and obvious fact to
anyone with the slightest psychological nous.

Phil Innes



  
Date: 10 Jan 2009 11:55:59
From: Marlon
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
I always thought that it would've made more sense for Fischer to have faced
Karpov in '92 rather than Spassky. If it was really a 1975 defending for the
world title. He beat Spassky in '72, and Karpov was the next challenger.
What sense did it make to face Spassky again in '92 unless Spassky defeated
Karpov in the '74 qualifing match?

Just a quick opinion from someone who reads chess info every now and then,
I'd say that Fischer was not afraid to face Karpov in '75, he was just way
too obnoxious to be reasoned with that he left. But in 1992, I think he was
afraid to face Karpov, so he went back to his comfort zone against Spassky.




  
Date: 08 Jan 2009 14:51:14
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 13:12:55 -0800 (PST), onechess@comcast.net wrote:


>But who needs speculation when there is a record of anything? Fischer
>her picked for the second match when he could have played Karpov - a
>player considerably stronger than Spassky then. SO what did Fischer
>prove other than he was not up to modern chess...

>If Fischer was really the best, he didn't behave that way - he chose a
>safe opponent in the semi-retired Spassky, and avoided contest with
>Karpov in his own time. That is what actually happened, and no
>projection on his skill. Fischer had simply no ability to take on
>current challenges at a certain age.

When Fischer played the second match with Spassky, he proved that
after twenty years of no official play, he could beat someone who had
been moderately active during that period time by about the same
margin as he beat him the first time.

Your comments, that this proved "he was not up to modern chess" above
are highly speculative, with no basis in fact -- ironic from someone
who claimed no need for speculation when there was a record.

Imputing fear on the part of Fischer may or may not be correct -- it's
certainly speculative. Over his lifetime, he made many decisions most
of us would consider self-destructive and bizarre. He turned down
millions of dollars in endorsements when he could have pocketed the
money with no risk or effort. He pullout out of an Interzonal when he
had a virtual lock on first place. Fear? Proof that he wasn't up to
the competition in the remaining games? Nonsense.

Over the years, He turned down many other potentially lucrative offers
to play opponents of his *own* generation -- Korchnoi, I believe, and
Mecking, as well as some lesser GMs.. Do you think he was afraid of
losing to Mecking?

His choice of Spassky for a second match may have been to reaffirm his
own claim to the title during the intervening years by granting his
opponent a rematch. Who can claim to understand Fischer's reasoning?
He rarely compromised on anything.

At any rate, his failure to challenge (or accept a challenge) from
Karpov as his first opponent after a twenty-year hiatus indicates some
level of rationality on his part -- you don't take on your strongest
opponent without some warm-up events.



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 12:36:28
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
All of you are just assuming that, in old age and near death, Fischer
did not use these things.

However, my information is that Fischer did keep up with the latest
developments in chess.

He certainly had studied all the Kasparov-Karpov games and found some
things that he showed to others, although it is doubtful that any of
it will ever be published.

Sam Sloan



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 12:34:50
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 3:24=A0pm, onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com> wrote:
>
> > On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > > Whether Fischer would have
> > >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
> > >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in thi=
s
> > >current era.
>
> > Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> > order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
> > for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> > computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
> > effective.
>
> Its always a matter of speculation.

And I would say Mr. Murray's speculations are considerably more fact-
based than most people's here.

> Possibly depends on the age of the
> player, Fischer became rather fixed as he grew older, indifferent to
> any objective opinion such as a computer may offer him.
>
> Even so... I do not deride the argument that he could not, but as with
> Morphy, say that an unimproved Fischer according to Anand would stand
> a dog's chance.

Perhaps, and if we put the Jesse Owens of 1936 in today's Olympics,
he'd probably come last in every race. So what? Does that mean he was
not a great runner? Of course not. But if you took a young clone of
Owens and let him train with today's methods, he would probably be a
record-setter.



  
Date: 31 Jan 2009 05:46:45
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
This book has been reprinted now with 100 new pages added, including
the moves with diagrams of all 25 games between Fischer and Spassky.

Order it now at barnesandnoble.com

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=3D092389141=
2
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0923891412

Sam Sloan

On Jan 9, 5:30=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 11:14:23 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> >> >What we all find ourselves in here is projection,
> >> Is this why Phil always accuses people who disagree with him of
> >> "McCarthyism" ?
> >Always? I seem to restrict that descriptor to such as Sloan's wanton
> >'questions' - every one of which are actually accusations or
> >insinuations.
> >But speak on, vaguely aspersive one =A0;)
>
> OK, since you asked. =A0You're lying, Phil. =A0Your epithet of McCarthyis=
m
> is hardly restricted to Sloan, as a simple Google search will reveal.
> You need to remember when you lie about Usenet posts, we will check.
>
> >[give us another analogy if you can - I like the Everest one, but
> >friend Kennedy here already shot it down]
>
> Pray, tell me where I made an analogy to Everest. =A0Since one of Phil's
> "techniques" is to make mountains out of molehills. perhaps he's
> projecting again.
>
> >> >FischerSpassky II was a preparation for nothing, except a very
> >> >hypotheticalFischerSpassky III
>
> Speculation again. =A0You have no way of knowing that. =A0All you know is
> no further matches happened. =A0You have no insight into his state of
> mind or his intentions.
>
> >> >As for reasoning and state of mind, I would think the C21stFischer
> >> >incapable of attending sufficiently to GM level chess - he was far
> >> >more interested in the 'blood-lines' of even journalists and camera
> >> >crews - as well as attending on his Great Excuse for not risking his
> >> >Elo, or more centrally, his ego!
>
> Can Phil state any concerns thatFischerexpressed about Elo? =A0I
> remember a lot about match conditions and money.
>
> >> Phil engages in speculation, but speculation of a very poor quality.
> >Would this be a general, an basically vague commentary?
>
> It's more in the nature of an evaluation.
>
> >> In this thread, Phil continually conflates two issues: =A0(1)Fischer's
> >> ranking in the pantheon ofworldchampions and (2)Fischer'smindset
> >> at various points in his career. =A0My posts in this thread have
> >> addressed only the latter -- something that Phil (and evidently, the
> >> Bot) seems not to have understood.
> >True, since me, Kelp-not and the original poster were talking more
> >liberally than your point. Do you require our apology?
>
> Weeping and lamentation will due nicely, thanks. =A0No need for a formal
> apology.
>
> But even though I didn't address your opinions on the first of these
> issues, I believe your opinions there to be just as questionable. =A0
>
> In response to the question "How wouldFischerdo against Kasparov".
> Canadian GM, Duncan Suttles stated shortly after the 1992 match,
> "Well, I think right now it would be pretty close, but ifFischer
> plays himself back into form, I thinkFischerwould beat him". =A0
>
> >> Whatever afflictedFischer'smind, it caused him to do many things
> >> over the course of his life that were obviously contrary to his own
> >> self interest.
> >'many', ok, go on...
>
> Does Phil dispute "many"? =A0What's the point of this snarky little
> comment? =A0Does Phil believe he gets some sort of points for responding
> at all? =A0
>
> >> =A0He passed up millions of dollars in risk and
> >> effort-free endorsements. =A0He alienated many friends and associates
> >> who virtually worshiped the ground on walked on. =A0He dumped a fortun=
e
> >> donating to crock religious sect. =A0He lived as a street person for
> >> many years. =A0He neglected his health. =A0Call this set of acts "Fisc=
her
> >> 1".
> >This would be to continue your own point, wouldn't it? Let me just
> >remember what that was...
>
> You should take notes, Phil. =A0You wouldn't contradict yourself so
> often. =A0Oh, and be sure to note the authorship -- you'll be less
> likely to start arguing with yourself again.
>
> > I never said 'orchestrated'
> >whatever that means, but directly impunnedFischer'spsyche. He opted
> >out, and his ego was at least as big as all other things put together
> >- so he created the conditions by which he was unable to play.
>
> Phil hazards a guess as toFischer'spossible motivation. =A0It's one
> possible speculation among many.
>
> > What does rationality have to do with behavior
>
> Yes, this *would* be a significant question for Phil Innes. =A0Hard to
> answer for humanity in general. =A0For Warren Buffett, quite a bit. =A0Fo=
r
> Phil andFischer, maybe not so much.



   
Date: 31 Jan 2009 07:11:49
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Sat, 31 Jan 2009 05:46:45 -0800 (PST), samsloan
<samhsloan@gmail.com > wrote:

>This book has been reprinted now with 100 new pages added, including
>the moves with diagrams of all 25 games between Fischer and Spassky.

>Order it now at barnesandnoble.com

>http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=0923891412
>http://www.amazon.com/dp/0923891412

Sam, you've added yourself as co-author to all these books by dead
people (Fischer, Godel, Elo, Watson, et.al.)

My prediction: You'll be the first guy lynched after the
Resurrection.


    
Date: 31 Jan 2009 07:46:01
From: Senica
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
Definition of greatness? Garry Kasparov


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 12:26:44
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > Whether Fischer would have
> >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
> >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in this
> >current era.
>
> Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
> for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
> effective.

I quite agree with Mr. Murray. Fischer's appetite for chess work was
insatiable and voracious, and his speed and capacity for absorbing
information were phenomenal. For example I've read that he could
memorize large parts of MCO just by reading through it, without a
board.
There is every reason to think that had he been born in, say, 1983
rather than 1943, and if this latter version of RJF was as interested
in chess as the old one, he would today be using every chess-related
electronic tool available, just as avidly and productively as he
utilized the chess literature of his time. Whether he'd be better than
Anand, Topalov, Carlsen et al I can't say, but I would be very
reluctant to bet against him.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 12:24:24
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 2:22=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> > Whether Fischer would have
> >the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
> >a fair one. On the whole I think he would not =A0have done well in this
> >current era.
>
> Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
> order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
> for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
> computers? =A0Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
> effective.

Its always a matter of speculation. Possibly depends on the age of the
player, Fischer became rather fixed as he grew older, indifferent to
any objective opinion such as a computer may offer him.

Even so... I do not deride the argument that he could not, but as with
Morphy, say that an unimproved Fischer according to Anand would stand
a dog's chance.

I think I wrote before on this general idea representing Petersburg GM
opinion.

Phil Innes


  
Date: 09 Jan 2009 11:14:23
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 1:11=A0pm, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 04:24:29 -0800 (PST), onech...@comcast.net wrote:
> >THE ART OF PROJECTION
> >What we all find ourselves in here is projection,
>
> Is this why Phil always accuses people who disagree with him of
> "McCarthyism" ?

Always? I seem to restrict that descriptor to such as Sloan's wanton
'questions' - every one of which are actually accusations or
insinuations.

But speak on, vaguely aspersive one ;)

[give us another analogy if you can - I like the Everest one, but
friend Kennedy here already shot it down]

> >Fischer Spassky II was a preparation for nothing, except a very
> >hypothetical Fischer Spassky III. Obviously, despite all the FIDE
> >shenanigans, Fischer ducked the strongest player of the time, W CH
> >Karpov.
> >As for reasoning and state of mind, I would think the C21st Fischer
> >incapable of attending sufficiently to GM level chess - he was far
> >more interested in the 'blood-lines' of even journalists and camera
> >crews - as well as attending on his Great Excuse for not risking his
> >Elo, or more centrally, his ego!
> >And we know His Great Excuse or self-diversiont was to do with
> >creating the condition by which he fell out with everyone, including
> >his own country collectively.
>
> Phil engages in speculation, but speculation of a very poor quality.

Would this be a general, an basically vague commentary?

> In this thread, Phil continually conflates two issues: =A0(1) Fischer's
> ranking in the pantheon of world champions and (2) Fischer's mindset
> at various points in his career. =A0My posts in this thread have
> addressed only the latter -- something that Phil (and evidently, the
> Bot) seems not to have understood.

True, since me, Kelp-not and the original poster were talking more
liberally than your point. Do you require our apology?

> Whatever afflicted Fischer's mind, it caused him to do many things
> over the course of his life that were obviously contrary to his own
> self interest.

'many', ok, go on...

> =A0He passed up millions of dollars in risk and
> effort-free endorsements. =A0He alienated many friends and associates
> who virtually worshiped the ground on walked on. =A0He dumped a fortune
> donating to crock religious sect. =A0He lived as a street person for
> many years. =A0He neglected his health. =A0Call this set of acts "Fischer
> 1".

This would be to continue your own point, wouldn't it? Let me just
remember what that was...

Its either (1) Fischer's ranking in the pantheon of world champions
and (2) Fischer's mindset
at various points in his career.

And by such review I see you refer to your own #2.

> He also failed to defend his World Championship against Karpov.

But wouldn't that revert to what the rest of us are talking about, ie,
your #1? Of all the potential pantheonists, Fischer ducked out.

> =A0And
> in his 1992 comeback,

Come on! In his safe 'B' movie. Hardly the big stuff any more.

> he chose an opponent long past his prime. =A0He
> needlessly made remarks in 2001 that put him on the radar screen of a
> vindictive U.S. administration. =A0Call this set of acts "Fischer 2".

Yes sir!

> Of all the counter-productive actions in Fischer's life, Phil imputes
> a twisted rationality to those in "Fischer 2", claiming they were
> orchestrated to provide an excuse to avoid playing top opposition. =A0

A paraphrase, but a fair one! Though I never said 'orchestrated'
whatever that means, but directly impunned Fischer's psyche. He opted
out, and his ego was at least as big as all other things put together
- so he created the conditions by which he was unable to play.

If that is 'orchestrated', then so be it, but I think that word is far
too conscious, and Fischer was, to use a psychological term, already
nuts.

> My point:

Yes indeed, your point - after all, it is your own post, and why not
make one?

> why assume these "Fischer 2" acts were any more rational
> than the others?

The others? And 'rational'? Sorry... Is this a point like one of those
joke pencils, which is actually a black rubber pencil?

> =A0It's pure speculation.

What is?

> =A0It's like primitive man,

Cool! an analogy!

> looking for angry gods to explain the thunder.

Very cool! A handsome image [borrowed?] and only betrayed by being
completely incomprehensibly presented. What is all this about
'rationality' [whose?] and speculation [by others?] as an explanation
for Fischer's behavior? What does rationality have to do with behavior
in either (a) all people's behaviors, and (b) the already ranting on
unresolved paradoxes in the mind of RJ Fischer?

Phil Innes

> >Hardly the best W Ch ever. Only the demonstrably best W Ch of his own
> >era, and evidently Fischer had just that one shot in him. Those things
> >are not speculations - those things actually happened.
>
> >Phil Innes



   
Date: 09 Jan 2009 14:30:07
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 11:14:23 -0800 (PST), onechess@comcast.net wrote:


>> >What we all find ourselves in here is projection,

>> Is this why Phil always accuses people who disagree with him of
>> "McCarthyism" ?

>Always? I seem to restrict that descriptor to such as Sloan's wanton
>'questions' - every one of which are actually accusations or
>insinuations.

>But speak on, vaguely aspersive one ;)

OK, since you asked. You're lying, Phil. Your epithet of McCarthyism
is hardly restricted to Sloan, as a simple Google search will reveal.
You need to remember when you lie about Usenet posts, we will check.

>[give us another analogy if you can - I like the Everest one, but
>friend Kennedy here already shot it down]

Pray, tell me where I made an analogy to Everest. Since one of Phil's
"techniques" is to make mountains out of molehills. perhaps he's
projecting again.

>> >Fischer Spassky II was a preparation for nothing, except a very
>> >hypothetical Fischer Spassky III

Speculation again. You have no way of knowing that. All you know is
no further matches happened. You have no insight into his state of
mind or his intentions.

>> >As for reasoning and state of mind, I would think the C21st Fischer
>> >incapable of attending sufficiently to GM level chess - he was far
>> >more interested in the 'blood-lines' of even journalists and camera
>> >crews - as well as attending on his Great Excuse for not risking his
>> >Elo, or more centrally, his ego!

Can Phil state any concerns that Fischer expressed about Elo? I
remember a lot about match conditions and money.

>> Phil engages in speculation, but speculation of a very poor quality.

>Would this be a general, an basically vague commentary?

It's more in the nature of an evaluation.

>> In this thread, Phil continually conflates two issues:  (1) Fischer's
>> ranking in the pantheon of world champions and (2) Fischer's mindset
>> at various points in his career.  My posts in this thread have
>> addressed only the latter -- something that Phil (and evidently, the
>> Bot) seems not to have understood.

>True, since me, Kelp-not and the original poster were talking more
>liberally than your point. Do you require our apology?

Weeping and lamentation will due nicely, thanks. No need for a formal
apology.

But even though I didn't address your opinions on the first of these
issues, I believe your opinions there to be just as questionable.

In response to the question "How would Fischer do against Kasparov".
Canadian GM, Duncan Suttles stated shortly after the 1992 match,
"Well, I think right now it would be pretty close, but if Fischer
plays himself back into form, I think Fischer would beat him".

>> Whatever afflicted Fischer's mind, it caused him to do many things
>> over the course of his life that were obviously contrary to his own
>> self interest.

>'many', ok, go on...

Does Phil dispute "many"? What's the point of this snarky little
comment? Does Phil believe he gets some sort of points for responding
at all?

>>  He passed up millions of dollars in risk and
>> effort-free endorsements.  He alienated many friends and associates
>> who virtually worshiped the ground on walked on.  He dumped a fortune
>> donating to crock religious sect.  He lived as a street person for
>> many years.  He neglected his health.  Call this set of acts "Fischer
>> 1".

>This would be to continue your own point, wouldn't it? Let me just
>remember what that was...

You should take notes, Phil. You wouldn't contradict yourself so
often. Oh, and be sure to note the authorship -- you'll be less
likely to start arguing with yourself again.

> I never said 'orchestrated'
>whatever that means, but directly impunned Fischer's psyche. He opted
>out, and his ego was at least as big as all other things put together
>- so he created the conditions by which he was unable to play.

Phil hazards a guess as to Fischer's possible motivation. It's one
possible speculation among many.

> What does rationality have to do with behavior

Yes, this *would* be a significant question for Phil Innes. Hard to
answer for humanity in general. For Warren Buffett, quite a bit. For
Phil and Fischer, maybe not so much.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 11:35:41
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?

Reposting to correct a typographical error with GK's career record
vs. AK:

On Jan 8, 1:23 pm, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
>
> The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
> Ever?
>
> It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
> including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
> Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
> greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
> slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
> Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
> with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.

No, Elo put Alekhine's 5-year peak at 2690, not 2680. And it's not
at all clear that Elo's historical ratings directly measure
"greatness," whatever that may be. Some historians consider both
Lasker and Alekhine greater players than Capablanca, despite Capa
having a higher historical Elo.
Currently Ivanchuk has a slightly higher rating than Kramnik. Is he
therefore "greater" than Kramnik, who has held the world title, while
Ivanchuk has not?

> The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
> Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?
>
> The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
> only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
> championship match games, their score was dead even.

No, the total score was +21 -19 =3D94 in Kasparov's favor, The
breakdown:

1984-5: +3 -5 =3D30
1985: +5 -3 =3D16
1986: +5 -4 =3D16
1987: +4 -4 =3D16
1990: +4 -3 =3D17

If we add in tournament results, Kasparov's edge increases. I don't
have stats for their full careers, but through 2004 CB Megabase
indicates a +31 -23 =3D125 edge for GK.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 11:32:49
From: Taylor Kingston
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 1:23=A0pm, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
>
> The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
> Ever?
>
> It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
> including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
> Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
> greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
> slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
> Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
> with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.

No, Elo put Alekhine's 5-year peak at 2690, not 2680. And it's not
at all clear that Elo's historical ratings directly measure
"greatness," whatever that may be. Some historians consider both
Lasker and Alekhine greater players than Capablanca, despite Capa
having a higher historical Elo.
Currently Ivanchuk has a slightly higher rating than Kramnik. Is he
therefore "greater" than Kramnik, who has held the world title, while
Ivanchuk has not?

> The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
> Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?
>
> The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
> only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
> championship match games, their score was dead even.

No, the total score was +21 -19 =3D94 in Kasparov's favor, The
breakdown:

1984-5: +3 -5 =3D30
1985: +5 -3 =3D16
1986: +5 -4 =3D16
1987: +4 -4 =3D16
1990: +4 -3 =3D17

If add in tournament results, Kasparov's edge increases. I don't
have stats for their full careers, but through 2004 CB Megabase
indicates a +21 -23 =3D125 edge for GK.


 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 10:54:34
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 8, 1:23=A0pm, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
>
> The question often asked is: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player
> Ever?
>
> It is clear that Fischer was better than any player who proceeded him,
> including Capablanca who, according to Professor Elo in his book =93The
> Rating of Chess Players, Past and Present=94 ISBN 0923891277, was the
> greatest player prior to Fischer. However, Capablanca was only
> slightly better overall than his contemporaries, Lasker and Alekhine.
> Elo rated Capablanca at 2725 followed by Lasker and Botvinnik tied
> with 2720 and then Alekhine at 2680.
>
> The question now is: Was Fischer better than his successors, Garry
> Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Anand and Topalov?

I note that Anand recently remarked that the Fischer of the 1970s
would get crushed by today's top players.

As usual in these different period comparisons we have to assess if
the player could temperamentally adjust to current conditions - rather
notably Anand has just got himself a super-computer, but before this
time he really didn't seem to rely on chess computing.

Therefore, though I am in some sympathy with Anand, I see what a mess
we all got into here where there was a discussion of Morphy
[incidentally, Fischer's own choice of the greatest player] and where
another GM, Nunn, was seen to say that Morphy was a 2300 player.

> The answer usually given is that there in no comparison. Kasparov was
> only slightly better than Karpov. In fact, over their world
> championship match games, their score was dead even.

Yes - there is a difference in match play than modern-style all-play
all tournaments. In that scenario Kasparov was clearly superior.

> Similarly, although Anand is now the undisputed World Champion,
> Topalov is rated a bit higher and teenager Magnus Carlsen is catching
> up fast.
>
> By contract, Fischer was 100 points, or half a class, better than
> Spassky. By that standard, the distance between the best player in the
> world and the number two player in the world, Fischer was clearly the
> greatest player ever.

Here you lose ground - my sense is that Morphy was far better than 100
points over Staunton. The comparison you attempt is the degree of
dominance in any time period, and was Fischer more dominant than
anyone else. Other contenders in their times have to Capablanca and
Lasker.

> Another factor is that nowadays the top players all use computerized
> databases with millions of games to prepare for their opponents and
> they train with computer chess programs such as Rybka. These programs
> come up with moves and ideas that no human had ever thought of before.
> It is said that the current world champion, Anand, plays like a
> computer because he trains extensively with a computer.
>
> However, the question remains unanswered: If Bobby Fischer were alive
> today and playing at his peak, would he be able to defeat players like
> Kasparov and Anand?

If he could train like Anand, I think he would have a chance -
although we would have to make him same age too. In terms of computer
usage you must also note where GMs say they are deceptive - not just
GMs, but mere masters armed with sufficient knowledge, such as the
recent MAMS II title.


> The 1992 rematch with Spassky proved that the Fischer of 1992 was not
> the Fischer of 1972. Although Fischer stated that he =93played great
> chess=94 in the second match, that was only partially true. Fischer's
> best play came when he was trying to rescue himself from a bad or
> nearly losing position. In 1992, Fischer found himself in the same
> situation that he had been in the last games of the 1972 match, where
> he had several bad positions and at one point Shelby Lyman announced
> on his TV Show =93Fischer has lost the game=94. It turned out that Fische=
r
> did not lose. He found a resource that saved the draw.

Somewhat lose analysis. You see, what are you really asking? The
Fischer who played the second match against Spassky was a joke upon
the first FIscher who went those 20 games against top players without
sharing a point!

> The advent of computer databases and computer playing chess programs
> does not really answer the question. Having all these computers helps,
> but one still needs a man to actually play the game. Also, getting the
> opponent out of the book and into a situation the opponent could not
> have prepared for is not that difficult.
>
> A situation that occurred in Iceland while Fischer was living there as
> a Fugitive from the George Bush Version of Justice occurred during a
> game played on an Icelandic Television Broadcast on September 12,
> 2006. The game went:
>
> Thorfinsson, Bragi - Gunnarson, Arnar [C50]
> Icelandic TV, 09.12.2006
>
> 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 d6 4.d3 Be6 5.Bxe6 fxe6 6.c3 Qd7 7.0-0 Nf6
> 8.b4 a6 9.a4 Be7 10.Na3 0-0 11.Nc4 b5 12.axb5 axb5 13.Na5 d5 14.Bg5
> Bd6 15.Re1 h6 16.Bh4 Nxa5 17.bxa5 b4 18.Qb3 Qb5 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.c4
> dxc4 21.dxc4 Qc6 22.Nh4 Kh7 23.c5 Be7 24.Qxb4 Bxc5 25.Qb3 Bd4 26.Rac1
> Qd7 27.Qa3 Qd6 28.Qf3 Rxa5 29.Qh5 Rg8 30.Qf7+? Rg7 31.Qxf6 Ra2? 32.Rf1
> Re2 33.Qf3 Rd2 34.Qf6 Re2 35.h3? Rxe4 =A036.Rc6. Qxc6, =A037.Nf5
>
> Here, Black blundered and lost. As this game was played live on TV
> with grandmaster commentators, everybody was surprised when the phone
> rang. A mysterious voice was on the line, which the grandmasters
> recognized. It was Bobby Fischer.
>
> Fischer had seen a fantastic combination, that all the grandmasters on
> the spot had missed. It went:
>
> 37...Rxg2+! 38.Kh1 (White cannot retake because of 38.Kxg2 Rg4++
> 39.Kh2 Qg2 mate) 38...Rh4!! 39.Qf7+ Rg7+ (discovered check!) 40.f3
> Rxh3 mate.
>
> The question is: Would any of today's top grandmasters, would
> Kasparov, Anand, Topalov or Carlsen, have seen this fantastic
> combination? If not, could they really have hoped to beat Fischer in
> his prime?

I think you already have Anand's opinion that if the 1972 Fischer
showed up, he would get swallowed whole. Whether Fischer would have
the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
a fair one. On the whole I think he would not have done well in this
current era.

Phil Innes


> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =
=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Sam Sloan



  
Date: 14 Jan 2009 02:49:54
From: help bot
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 11, 5:33=A0am, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:

An irrelevant ad hominist wrote:

> > Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
> > statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
> > those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
> > that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.


Mr. Sloan -- a man once believed to be fairly
intelligent by the naive Mr. Wlod -- replied:


> Most of your statements in this thread are so ridiculous that there is
> no point in responding to them.
>
> You seem to feel that Fischer's score of 18 1/2 - 2 1/2 in the three
> candidates matches leading up to the match against Spassky and his 21
> game winning streak are of little significance.
>
> Would you kindly tell us by name who these "strongest competitors"
> were that Fischer refused to play?


There you have it-- further proof -- as if any
were reall needed -- of the lack of intelligence
of Mr. Sloan. The discussion has clearly
indicated that people were talking about two
specific players: Mr. Karpov and Mr. Kasparov.

In fact, I had to "remind" one poor chap that
in 1992, it was no longer Mr. Karpov but Mr.
Kasparov who was the man to beat. All this
not only escaped the notice of Mr. Sloan, but
he was also unable to figure it out just from
the fact that Mr. Fischer did not duck anyone
else (apart from chickening out of backing up
his offer to give "any woman in the world"
Knight odds). The key terms, "strongest"
and "competitors", ought to have helped, but
it seems that Mr. Sloan is a man who cannot
quite put two and two together.

Unfortunately, the pathetic ad hominist has
forgotten about the numerous claims tossed
out by Mr. Sloan in support, and has it that
there was but one such claim-- the gap; in
reality, there were so many of these wild-
eyed, sweeping claims that I decided not to
even bother listing and refuting each of them.
A bit later, even Mr. Murray went ga-ga
over Bobby Fischer, and I did the same
thing.

As we now know, it is Rybka who deserves
all this swooning over and heart-throbbing;
her amazing chess skills dwarf those of all
those "other" players-- the wannabees and
pretenders. In seconds, she refutes their
moves (or confirms their soundness); in a
single human heart-beat, she easily finds
combinations that we humans struggle to
even comprehend! She is already giving
odds of pawns and move, and soon she
may be ready to take up Mr. Fischer's
challenge-- that of /giving him/ Knight odds.


-- help bot










  
Date: 11 Jan 2009 07:45:08
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 11, 5:33=A0am, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:01=A0am, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
> > statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
> > those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
> > that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.
>
> Most of your statements in this thread are so ridiculous that there is
> no point in responding to them.

The ridiculous statements you chose to quote are (a) one in agreement
with yourself, and (b) that the W Ch ducked Karpov, and settled for
Spasky alone and that some years later. Those aren't even
interpretations of anything, they are plain as day facts.

> You seem to feel that Fischer's score of 18 1/2 - 2 1/2 in the three
> candidates matches leading up to the match against Spassky and his 21
> game winning streak are of little significance.

Significance to what? Not to Elo ratings, which is where the
conversation has progressed as a measure of Fischer's achievement.
Match play lacks sufficient 'k' to have that sort of measurement be
statistical valid. Stating this in no way reduces [unequalled?]
Fischer's achievement.


> Would you kindly tell us by name who these "strongest competitors"

Since you have so far misunderstood all the items you here comment
upon - I think you should stick to basics, since if you did understand
as much as the rest of us, you wouldn't need to ask.

Essentially, we are addressing the post 1972 period where Fischer had
become world champion - and assessing the strength of those around
him, post 1972.

Phil Innes

> Sam Sloan



  
Date: 11 Jan 2009 02:33:29
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:01=A0am, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:

> Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
> statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
> those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
> that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.

Most of your statements in this thread are so ridiculous that there is
no point in responding to them.

You seem to feel that Fischer's score of 18 1/2 - 2 1/2 in the three
candidates matches leading up to the match against Spassky and his 21
game winning streak are of little significance.

Would you kindly tell us by name who these "strongest competitors"
were that Fischer refused to play?

Sam Sloan


   
Date: 15 Jan 2009 16:50:53
From: Kenneth Sloan
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
samsloan wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:01 am, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
>> Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
>> statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
>> those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
>> that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.
>
> Most of your statements in this thread are so ridiculous that there is
> no point in responding to them.
>
> You seem to feel that Fischer's score of 18 1/2 - 2 1/2 in the three
> candidates matches leading up to the match against Spassky and his 21
> game winning streak are of little significance.
>
> Would you kindly tell us by name who these "strongest competitors"
> were that Fischer refused to play?
>
> Sam Sloan

0) Karpov

--
Kenneth Sloan KennethRSloan@gmail.com
Computer and Information Sciences +1-205-932-2213
University of Alabama at Birmingham FAX +1-205-934-5473
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170 http://KennethRSloan.com/


  
Date: 09 Jan 2009 04:24:29
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 3:58=A0am, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 00:23:46 -0800 (PST), davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> >> At any rate, his failure to challenge (or accept a challenge) from
> >> Karpov as his first opponent after a twenty-year hiatus indicates some
> >> level of rationality on his part -- you don't take on your strongest
> >> opponent without some warm-up events.
> >This implies that the match was part of a comeback. I have never
> >seen any evidence to suggest that it was anything but a quick
> >payday - possibly Fischer also enjoyed enhancing what he
> >saw as his "rebel" credentials by playing the match in an
> >outlaw state in violation of international and US law.
>
> We really don't know how he envisioned it. =A0He'd passed up other
> opportunities for a quick payday. =A0Possibly, the match convinced him
> he was too rusty. =A0Possibly, he envisioned follow-on matches and it
> just never happened. =A0My point, =A0contra Phil, was, *any* statements
> about Fischer's =A0reasoning, goals, or state of mind are speculative.

Mike Murray - the one-issue poster- 'everyone else is wrong,
especially Truong', here speculates on what other people can
understand, calling that speculation.

It may be for him, but he is speaking for the rest of us, so to speak,
not himself. Actual result of contact with Fischer and 'his state of
mind' does not seem to impress Mike Murray as other than speculation.
As usual there isn't really any engagement of the subject that is not
entirely dismissed by those who instead declare only their own views
magnificent!

THE ART OF PROJECTION

What we all find ourselves in here is projection, and what if anything
is convincing about projections is the degree of character and
qualification that can be brought to support it. In terms of
commentators we have conscious projectors who use know factors
relating to the actual Fischer to support their point of view - and we
have unconscious projectors who argue no such content themselves, and
dismiss the content of others.

Contrast Sloan's original romantic proclamation and his obvious
rejection of anything put before him - so that he ignores what people
are saying about Fischer after 1972, to only concede by 1992 they may
have a point.

Fischer Spassky II was a preparation for nothing, except a very
hypothetical Fischer Spassky III. Obviously, despite all the FIDE
shenanigans, Fischer ducked the strongest player of the time, W CH
Karpov.

As for reasoning and state of mind, I would think the C21st Fischer
incapable of attending sufficiently to GM level chess - he was far
more interested in the 'blood-lines' of even journalists and camera
crews - as well as attending on his Great Excuse for not risking his
Elo, or more centrally, his ego!

And we know His Great Excuse or self-diversiont was to do with
creating the condition by which he fell out with everyone, including
his own country collectively.

Hardly the best W Ch ever. Only the demonstrably best W Ch of his own
era, and evidently Fischer had just that one shot in him. Those things
are not speculations - those things actually happened.

Phil Innes


   
Date: 09 Jan 2009 10:11:42
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 04:24:29 -0800 (PST), onechess@comcast.net wrote:


>THE ART OF PROJECTION

>What we all find ourselves in here is projection,

Is this why Phil always accuses people who disagree with him of
"McCarthyism" ?

>Fischer Spassky II was a preparation for nothing, except a very
>hypothetical Fischer Spassky III. Obviously, despite all the FIDE
>shenanigans, Fischer ducked the strongest player of the time, W CH
>Karpov.

>As for reasoning and state of mind, I would think the C21st Fischer
>incapable of attending sufficiently to GM level chess - he was far
>more interested in the 'blood-lines' of even journalists and camera
>crews - as well as attending on his Great Excuse for not risking his
>Elo, or more centrally, his ego!

>And we know His Great Excuse or self-diversiont was to do with
>creating the condition by which he fell out with everyone, including
>his own country collectively.

Phil engages in speculation, but speculation of a very poor quality.
In this thread, Phil continually conflates two issues: (1) Fischer's
ranking in the pantheon of world champions and (2) Fischer's mindset
at various points in his career. My posts in this thread have
addressed only the latter -- something that Phil (and evidently, the
Bot) seems not to have understood.

Whatever afflicted Fischer's mind, it caused him to do many things
over the course of his life that were obviously contrary to his own
self interest. He passed up millions of dollars in risk and
effort-free endorsements. He alienated many friends and associates
who virtually worshiped the ground on walked on. He dumped a fortune
donating to crock religious sect. He lived as a street person for
many years. He neglected his health. Call this set of acts "Fischer
1".

He also failed to defend his World Championship against Karpov. And
in his 1992 comeback, he chose an opponent long past his prime. He
needlessly made remarks in 2001 that put him on the radar screen of a
vindictive U.S. administration. Call this set of acts "Fischer 2".

Of all the counter-productive actions in Fischer's life, Phil imputes
a twisted rationality to those in "Fischer 2", claiming they were
orchestrated to provide an excuse to avoid playing top opposition.

My point: why assume these "Fischer 2" acts were any more rational
than the others? It's pure speculation. It's like primitive man,
looking for angry gods to explain the thunder.

>Hardly the best W Ch ever. Only the demonstrably best W Ch of his own
>era, and evidently Fischer had just that one shot in him. Those things
>are not speculations - those things actually happened.
>
>Phil Innes


  
Date: 09 Jan 2009 04:02:21
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:38=A0am, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Jan 9, 5:01=A0am, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
>
> > Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
> > statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
> > those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
> > that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.
>
> Wait a second!
>
> On his way to the world championship in 1972, Fischer played and
> defeated all of the strongest players in the world.

Your correspondent is not arguing that point, but that after 1972 [not
in 1992] Fischer was through. Against all speculation was the actual
fact that Fischer didn't play more public chess at high levels.

Fischer's achievement isn't contested. That this one run of
incredible play makes him top W Ch ever is not a definition of 'top W
CH' that anyone here seems to like.

For that title, we would have to award Kasparov the crown - since he
stayed in the game and played all the tough young kiddies at chess.

Phil Innes

> Spassky, Petrosian and Larsen were without doubt the strongest players
> in the world and prior to that he had wiped out all the players in the
> Interzonal.
>
> It is only true that in 1992 by playing Spassky again, he was not
> playing one of the strongest players in the world.
>
> Sam Sloan



  
Date: 09 Jan 2009 02:38:29
From: samsloan
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 5:01=A0am, davidek...@comcast.net wrote:

> Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
> statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
> those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
> that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.

Wait a second!

On his way to the world championship in 1972, Fischer played and
defeated all of the strongest players in the world.

Spassky, Petrosian and Larsen were without doubt the strongest players
in the world and prior to that he had wiped out all the players in the
Interzonal.

It is only true that in 1992 by playing Spassky again, he was not
playing one of the strongest players in the world.

Sam Sloan


  
Date: 09 Jan 2009 02:01:10
From:
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Jan 9, 12:58=A0am, Mike Murray <mikemur...@despammed.com > wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Jan 2009 00:23:46 -0800 (PST), davidek...@comcast.net wrote:
> >> At any rate, his failure to challenge (or accept a challenge) from
> >> Karpov as his first opponent after a twenty-year hiatus indicates some
> >> level of rationality on his part -- you don't take on your strongest
> >> opponent without some warm-up events.
> >This implies that the match was part of a comeback. I have never
> >seen any evidence to suggest that it was anything but a quick
> >payday - possibly Fischer also enjoyed enhancing what he
> >saw as his "rebel" credentials by playing the match in an
> >outlaw state in violation of international and US law.
>
> We really don't know how he envisioned it. =A0He'd passed up other
> opportunities for a quick payday. =A0Possibly, the match convinced him
> he was too rusty. =A0Possibly, he envisioned follow-on matches and it
> just never happened. =A0My point, =A0contra Phil, was, *any* statements
> about Fischer's =A0reasoning, goals, or state of mind are speculative.

First, there are quite reasonable speculations about Fischer's state
of mind which are consistent with his actual behavior.

More important, Fischer's actual behavior is important in the
assessment of his "greatness" no matter whether we have
speculated correctly on his state of mind.

Bottom line - he didn't face his challengers and that means
something.

Sloan's original argument was based on the basically correct
statement that there was a gap between Fischer and
those he played. Of course, what Sloan failed to note was
that Fischer refused to play his strongest competitors.



  
Date: 08 Jan 2009 11:22:42
From: Mike Murray
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
On Thu, 8 Jan 2009 10:54:34 -0800 (PST), onechess@comcast.net wrote:

> Whether Fischer would have
>the temperament to actually utilize modern databases and computers is
>a fair one. On the whole I think he would not have done well in this
>current era.

Why would someone who taught himself Russian and other languages in
order to study chess literature, someone who had an enormous capacity
for work, lack the temperament to master the use of databases and
computers? Seems like these tools would only have made him *more*
effective.



 
Date: 08 Jan 2009 10:49:05
From: Offramp
Subject: Re: Was Bobby Fischer the Greatest Player Ever?
> If not, could they really have hoped to beat Fischer in
> his prime?

"Mm-mmm! You got yerself some prime chess-player there boy. (Prods
Fischer's Butt-arks)
I is gonna give that the Sam Sloan Seal Of Succulence!"
There's a hissing sound as Fischer's butt-arks are singed with the
phrase "100% Prime Chess player."