< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 98 OF 98 ·
|Sep-15-17|| ||keypusher: <tamar: Conjecture on who is the greatest non-champion, but the greatest games played against a champion are Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1896 Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909>|
Glad that's settled! :-) I'm fond of Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966
How do you feel about this game from this past January?
Aronian vs Carlsen, 2017
Putting aside ranking the non-champs by their best games, how about ranking them by how they play when they're not in form? I wrote this a dozen years ago:
<Rubinstein and Korchnoi tend to show up at the top of lists of the strongest non-champs. I think if you were going to choose between them based on their best games you would prefer Rubinstein. The King's Gambit against Hromadka, the counterattack on Thomas at Hastings, the wins over Capablanca and Lasker, the classic against Rotlewi are among my favorite games ever played. But if you were trying to figure out who was stronger day in and day out, I am sure you would pick Korchnoi.>
In support of that, I said:
<Look at this game, from Rubinstein's annus mirabulus:
Rubinstein vs Spielmann, 1912
It's a fine game by Spielmann, but white is positionally dead by move 15 and resigns at move 32. I can't remember a game in which Capablanca or Lasker just gets over-run like that.
Here's a famous loss to Alekhine:
Rubinstein vs Alekhine, 1926
A wonderful combination by Alekhine, but again white is busted inside of 20 moves.
A lot of Rubinstein's losses were classics, but I think because he tended to play very rationally and logically, rather than because he was very hard to beat. He didn't have the "smell" for danger that Capablanca was famous for, and he didn't have the slipperiness and stubborness and sheer orneriness that made defeating Lasker or Capablanca such an ordeal. Reti said something like chess was an acquired language for Rubinstein (he learned it relatively late in life) while for Capablanca it was his mother tongue. I have the London 1922 tournament book, when Capa was at his absolute peak. He never seemed to get in the slightest trouble, except via his own carelessness (as against Morrison). Rubinstein played some fine games there, but he doesn't exude power like Capablanca does.
I think Rubinstein just had bad days (he was having visible mental problems as early as 1912), and I think he was also a fatalist -- he believed in the game more than in himself. If things started going badly he seemed to expect to lose.>
Does that make any sense?
|Sep-15-17|| ||moronovich: <Glad that's settled! :-) I'm fond of Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966>|
I am fund of it too,but Larsen himself,considered his win with the black pieces vs Petrosian for way better.
|Sep-15-17|| ||keypusher: <Premium Chessgames MemberSep-15-17 moronovich: <Glad that's settled! :-) I'm fond of Larsen vs Petrosian, 1966>
I am fund of it too,but Larsen himself,considered his win with the black pieces vs Petrosian for way better.>|
Poets are equally bad at identifying their best poems. :-)
|Sep-15-17|| ||tamar: <keypusher>I'm somehow prejudiced against Larsen because of his later failures. Even when I first got the Piatagorsky book, I could not believe he could crush Petrosian like that, and still not win the tournament.|
Aronian vs Carlsen, 2017 was a great game. I had not realized it at the time, probably for the same reasons I begrudged Larsen his due.
|Sep-15-17|| ||ughaibu: But let's not forget that Aronian will shortly be disqualified.|
|Sep-15-17|| ||SChesshevsky: Larsen did play well in that 1966 win over Petrosian but might lose some style points as that Sicilian variation of Petrosian is really awful.|
Much of the time, if you don't lose outright, you certainly suffer with trying to hold an ugly position. Probably a bad choice by Petrosian to play it at all but almost suicide against a clever aggressive player like Larsen.
|Sep-15-17|| ||SChesshevsky: Oh yeah, since this is a Korchnoi page. Korchnoi also beat Petrosian in the same line in one of their matches. Probably giving the Victor a lot of satisfaction.|
|Sep-15-17|| ||Howard: You didn't specify exactly which game this was, but presumably it was the last game of their, aborted, 1974 match. It was the ONLY Sicilian that was played in their three matches!|
|Sep-15-17|| ||Lambda: <One thing that might give guys like Pillsbury and Rubinstein extra credit is that they had decent records against their world champion peers but never had the chance to be world champion.>|
You have to be careful with that sort of measure, because it could easily just mean players who always made a special effort against the world champion, as opposed to players who put equal effort into all of their games in a tournament.
|Sep-15-17|| ||tamar: <keypusher:...
Glad that's settled! :-)>
No problem. I like to settle these age-old controversies in one fell swoop, so we are still not discussing this in 2027.
|Sep-15-17|| ||SChesshevsky: The idea that guys like Rubinstein and Pillsbury might be given extra consideration toward the top of the heap of non-champions is because unlike players like Tarrasch and Korchnoi who couldn't close the deal and others like Keres, Geller, Reshevsky who had opportunities to try for a title fight but failed in the prelims, Pillsbury and Rubinstein never got the opportunity.|
Most agree that of the players around at the time Pillsbury and Rubinstein deserved a title shot and their records against the champions seemed to indicate that a championship match would've been competitive.
Plus it appears Rubinstein had a match set but the war interrupted and I guess Pillsbury wanted one but Lasker never called him back.
So there was the potential, with odds that can certainly be debated, that either Pillsbury and/or Rubinstein could've been a world champion which would've automatically taken them out of this discussion and put them a level above.
So it seems a bit unfair that they were unlucky enough not to get a deserved shot at the champion but are also begrudged a little extra credit from their misfortune for a higher spot on the list of second bananas.
|Sep-16-17|| ||offramp: <Petrosianic: Just for grins, here are the 20 highest rated players on Chessmetrics (based on 1-year highs), who never became World Champion, with the number of months that they spent in the ChessMetrics #1 spot in parentheses). |
...Maroczy (30 months).>
That is a very interesting list. It is also the ONLY time I have ever heard Maroczy's name mentioned in any list of WWCs (Weren't World Champions).
If he is reading this from the quasi-celestial abode wherein he sometime dwelleth, I bet he does a simply colossal Spectral Hungarian James-Finlayson-style Double Take.
|Sep-16-17|| ||keypusher: <Plus it appears Rubinstein had a match set but the war interrupted and I guess Pillsbury wanted one but Lasker never called him back.>|
There was no voice mail in the 1890s. I'm not aware of Pillsbury ever challenging Lasker. But I'd love to know more, if there's more to know.
|Sep-16-17|| ||SChesshevsky: On Pillsbury's page here at chessgames, it mention's the desire to take on Lasker. I didn't bother to investigate it further.|
There was no voice mail when I graduated high school.
Speaking of Maroczy, it appears he also wanted a match with Lasker but that didn't happen either.
|Sep-16-17|| ||keypusher: <SChesshevsky: On Pillsbury's page here at chessgames, it mention's the desire to take on Lasker. I didn't bother to investigate it further.
There was no voice mail when I graduated high school.|
Speaking of Maroczy, it appears he also wanted a match with Lasker but that didn't happen either.>
As with many things, you don't get a world championship match by just wanting it.
Maroczy came a lot closer to getting one than Pillsbury. A Maroczy-Lasker match was scheduled to take place in 1906(?) in Havana but fell apart because of political disruption, I think. Then Maroczy stopped playing competitive chess for about 15 years, whether out of frustration with Lasker or for other reasons I can't say.
|Sep-16-17|| ||Howard: Tamar seems to be assuming that the North Koreans will not have wiped out the entire world before 2027, but I guess we'll have to wait to see what happens.|
|Sep-16-17|| ||keypusher: <Howard: Tamar seems to be assuming that the North Koreans will not have wiped out the entire world before 2027, but I guess we'll have to wait to see what happens.>|
Just in terms of capabilities, we here in the US of A are a much bigger threat than the North Koreans in that respect, Howard.
|Sep-16-17|| ||Howard: Of course! But, that doesn't necessarily mean that the ever-cordial North Koreans can't set up a nuclear holocaust.|
|Feb-07-18|| ||thegoodanarchist: Some interesting anecdotes here, some of them about Korchnoi.|
<Petrosianic> posted the link in one of the Korchnoi-Petrosian 1974 match games. I got it from him.
|Feb-07-18|| ||posoo: korchnoi likes 👘👟🎩🐶|
|Feb-08-18|| ||morfishine: While <Petrosianic>'s list is interesting, how can he include such players as Zukertort, Kamsky, Nimzovich, Janowsky???, Morozevich & Marshall, yet not include Super Nez??? Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov|
In any case, if I had to pick the one best player to never be World Champ (instead of creating an unwieldly list of also-rans) I'd choose Bronstein, absolutely no question
|Mar-23-18|| ||cunctatorg: There is not so fascinating chess player like Korchnoi nowadays, not even close!...|
There is not any citizen of the Kingdom of Chess like Korchnoi nowadays, not even close!...
At least we have the chance of these comparisons; that's some part of Korchnoi's legacy.
|Mar-23-18|| ||botvinnik64: Happy Birthday Victor the Terrible!!!
You have passed, but will never be forgotten. I remember our battles...
|Jul-21-18|| ||offramp: Sosonko has written a biography of Korchnoi. There sre excerpts and a review at |
<Korchnoi's escape to the West is a political humiliation and an insult for Soviet officials and they retaliate with all their power to punish the "Evil-Doer".>
And that is the title, "Evil-Doer".
<Sosonko's reflections, comments, background information, and his benevolent view of the strenghts and weaknesses of Korchnoi connect and unite these stories and turn Evil-Doer into a very readable and entertaining book.>
Evil-Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi
by Genna Sosonko
|Jul-22-18|| ||ChessHigherCat: Korchnoi looks like the brother of Richard Feynman in that photo.|
Can it be a pure coincidence that "evil-doer" is an anagram of both "doe-liver" and "red olive"?
Hint: the answer is "Yes"
Finally, Sosonko's book is expensive. I bought some of his e-books on Amazon for 9 or 10 clams.
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