I am only a butterfly dreaming of being Chuang Zhu, dreaming of being Tiggler.
Favorite WCs all time: Kasporov, Alekine, Botvinnik, Lasker, Capablanca.
Best of the rest: Nimzovitch, Rubinstein, Korchnoi, Keres.
Bring back the 24 game WC matches and 12+ game candidates matches so that we can have heroic champs and challengers again.
Kasparov, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Lasker, Capablanca, Steinitz, Nimzovitch, Tal, Morphy, Anand,
Karpov, Fischer, Rubinstein, Keres ....
Apart from actual chess, the two topics that keep me coming back to this site are the mysteries of the Elo and related ratings schemes, and the the even more strange oddities of chess search engines.
With respect to ratings, I don't mean the routine operation of the calculations, but the scale which these operations create, sui gerenis. What is the mathematical basis, and is it reduceable to a Haar measure? Is there any reality hiding behing the statistical artifact? Are there undiscovered truths about the distribution of ratings points, and do they regress to the mean?
Engines are a big mystery to us. Not so big a mystery to us as we to them, however. <DcGentle> has a zealous purpose to create an engine that understands positional chess. If he succeeds, he will also create an engine that might be mistaken for a human, and whose moves will be explicable. My interest is more prosaic: to understand the engines in their own terms. Why do they not seem to perform correct searches at the depth they advertise. Would a better search result in more "chessic truth"? They are designed to win at short(ish) time controls, and compromise their searches to do it. But CC players need the really best moves, not some practical compromise. They don't build engines for that, so how can we trick the engines that we do have into finding the best moves, and not just winning because their blunders are not awful?
These questions lack answers, so if you have the answers, please be so kind as to post them in my chessforum.
Since I first wrote my profile I have revised my all-time favorites hall-of-fame. As before, Fischer is struggling to keep a place in the top ten. The main change, of course, is to include Carlsen, who has now not only won the world title, but also defended it. I now rank him ~even with Anand, whom he has beaten twice, though Anand remains his strongest challenger (written 4/28/2015) after a very enduring career with two defenses of the uncontested title.
Here is my current list:
1. Garry Kasparov
2. Mikhael Botvinnik
3. Alexander Alekhine
4. Raoul Capablanca
5. Emmanuel Lasker
6. Anatoly Karpov
7. Wilhelm Steinitz
8/9. Vishwanath Anand/Magnus Carlsen
10-13. Robert Fischer/ Mikhail Tal/ Paul Keres/ Vasily Smyslov
14. Tigran Petrosian
15-18. Aron Nimzovitsch/ Akiba Rubinstein/ Viktor Korchnoi/ Boris Spassky
19/20. Vladimir Kramnik/ Max Euwe
The above list includes all the recognized World Champions, plus the four best who never achieved that honor. Notably absent are Morphy and Philidor, who are the claimants most difficult to classify. If I were to include Morphy, I think he might bump Fischer et al. from the top ten, and Fischer from the no 1 spot among US players.
Comments on the above are welcome, of course.