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Emanuel Lasker
Lasker 
 
Number of games in database: 1,188
Years covered: 1889 to 1940

Overall record: +379 -83 =176 (73.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 550 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (189) 
    C68 C62 C66 C67 C65
 French Defense (86) 
    C11 C12 C01 C13 C10
 French (60) 
    C11 C12 C13 C10 C00
 King's Gambit Accepted (52) 
    C39 C33 C38 C37 C34
 Sicilian (47) 
    B45 B32 B40 B30 B44
 King's Gambit Declined (35) 
    C30 C31 C32
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (112) 
    C65 C67 C66 C77 C79
 Orthodox Defense (50) 
    D50 D63 D52 D60 D55
 Giuoco Piano (32) 
    C50 C53 C54
 Queen's Pawn Game (28) 
    D00 D05 D02 D04 A46
 Sicilian (27) 
    B32 B73 B45 B33 B83
 Four Knights (19) 
    C49 C47 C48
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Lasker vs J Bauer, 1889 1-0
   Lasker vs Capablanca, 1914 1-0
   Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1896 0-1
   Lasker vs W Napier, 1904 1-0
   Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 0-1
   Euwe vs Lasker, 1934 0-1
   Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 1-0
   Lasker vs Schlechter, 1910 1-0
   Lasker vs Capablanca, 1935 1-0
   Steinitz vs Lasker, 1896 0-1

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Steinitz World Championship (1894)
   Lasker - Steinitz World Championship Rematch (1896)
   Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907)
   Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908)
   Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910)
   Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910)
   Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Bird (1890)
   St. Petersburg 1895/96 (1895)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   Paris (1900)
   London (1899)
   St. Petersburg (1914)
   Lasker - Janowski (1909)
   Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923)
   New York (1924)
   St. Petersburg (1909)
   Moscow (1925)
   Hastings (1895)
   Cambridge Springs (1904)
   Zurich (1934)
   Nottingham (1936)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   -ER Lasker by fredthebear
   Emanuel Lasker Collection by hrannar
   Match Lasker! by amadeus
   The Lion King by chocobonbon
   Why Lasker Matters by Andrew Soltis by keypusher
   Veliki majstori saha 7 LASKER (Petrovic) by Chessdreamer
   Why Lasker Matters (Soltis) by Qindarka
   Why Lasker Matters by Andrew Soltis by Incremental
   lasker best games by brager
   Selected Lasker by LaBourdonnaisdeux
   John Nunn's Chess Course by Incremental
   John Nunn's Chess Course by vantheanh
   Lasker JNCC by chestofgold
   the informal Lasker by ughaibu

GAMES ANNOTATED BY LASKER: [what is this?]
   Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909
   Rubinstein vs Salwe, 1908
   Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1909
   Tartakower vs Schlechter, 1909
   Lasker vs Teichmann, 1909
   >> 81 GAMES ANNOTATED BY LASKER


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EMANUEL LASKER
(born Dec-24-1868, died Jan-11-1941, 72 years old) Germany

[what is this?]

Emanuel Lasker was the second official World Chess Champion, reigning for a record 27 years after he defeated the first World Champion, Wilhelm Steinitz, in 1894.

Statistician Jeff Sonas of Chessmetrics writes, "if you look across players' entire careers, there is a significant amount of statistical evidence to support the claim that Emanuel Lasker was, in fact, the most dominant player of all time." http://en.chessbase.com/post/the-gr... By Sonas' reckoning, Lasker was the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 24.3 years between 1890 and 1926.

Background

He was born (on the same date as Richard Teichmann) in what was then Berlinchen (literally "little Berlin") in Prussia, and which is now Barlinek in Poland. In 1880, he went to school in Berlin, where he lived with his older brother Berthold Lasker, who was studying medicine, and who taught him how to play chess. By Chessmetrics' analysis, Berthold was one of the world's top ten players in the early 1890s.

Tournaments

Soon after Lasker obtained his abitur in Landsberg an der Warthe, now a Polish town named Gorzow Wielkopolski, the teenager's first tournament success came when he won the Café Kaiserhof's annual Winter tournament 1888/89, winning all 20 games. Soon afterwards, he tied with Emil von Feyerfeil with 12/15 (+11 -2 =2) at the second division tournament of the sixth DSB Congress in Breslau, defeating von Feyerfeil in the one game play-off.* Also in 1889, he came second with 6/8 (+5 -1 =2) behind Amos Burn at the Amsterdam "A" (stronger) tournament, ahead of James Mason and Isidor Gunsberg, two of the strongest players of that time. In 1890 he finished third in Graz behind Gyula Makovetz and Johann Hermann Bauer, then shared first prize with his brother Berthold in a tournament in Berlin. In spring 1892, he won two tournaments in London, the second and stronger of these without losing a game. At New York 1893, he won all thirteen games, one of a small number of significant tournaments in history in which a player achieved a perfect score. Wikipedia article: List of world records in chess#Perfect tournament and match scores

After Lasker won the title, he answered his critics who considered that the title match was by an unproven player against an aging champion by being on the leader board in every tournament before World War I, including wins at St Petersburg in 1895-96, Nurenberg 1896, London 1899, Paris 1900 ahead of Harry Nelson Pillsbury (by two points with a score of +14 −1 =1), Trenton Falls 1906, and St Petersburg in 1914. He also came 3rd at Hastings 1895 (this relatively poor result possibly occurring during convalescence after nearly dying from typhoid fever), 2nd at Cambridge Springs in 1904, and =1st at the Chigorin Memorial tournament in St Petersburg in 1909. In 1918, a few months after the war, Lasker won a quadrangular tournament in Berlin against Akiba Rubinstein, Carl Schlechter and Siegbert Tarrasch.

After he lost the title in 1921, Lasker remained in the top rank of players, winning at Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923) ahead of Richard Reti, Ernst Gruenfeld, Alexey Sergeevich Selezniev, Savielly Tartakower, and Max Euwe. His last tournament win was at New York 1924, where he scored 80% and finished 1.5 points ahead of Jose Raul Capablanca, followed by Alexander Alekhine and Frank James Marshall. In 1925, he came 2nd at Moscow behind Efim Bogoljubov and ahead of Capablanca, Marshall, Tartakower, and Carlos Torre Repetto. There followed a long hiatus from chess caused by his intention to retire from the game, but he re-emerged in top-class chess in 1934, placing 5th in Zurich behind Alekhine, Euwe, Salomon Flohr and Bogoljubow and ahead of Ossip Bernstein, Aron Nimzowitsch, and Gideon Stahlberg. In Moscow in 1935, Lasker finished in an undefeated third place, a half point behind Mikhail Botvinnik and Flohr and ahead of Capablanca, Rudolf Spielmann, Ilia Abramovich Kan, Grigory Levenfish, Andre Lilienthal, and Viacheslav Ragozin. Reuben Fine hailed the 66-year-old Lasker's performance as "a biological miracle". In 1936, Lasker placed 6th in Moscow and finished his career later that year at Nottingham when he came =7th with 8.5/14 (+6 -3 =5), his last-round game being the following stylish win: Lasker vs C H Alexander, 1936.

Matches

Non-title matches 1889 saw his long career in match play commence, one which only ceased upon relinquishing his title in 1921. He won nearly of his matches, apart from a few drawn mini-matches, including a drawn one-game play-off match against his brother Berthold in Berlin in 1890, losing only exhibition matches with Mikhail Chigorin, Carl Schlechter and Marshall, and a knight-odds match against Nellie Showalter, Jackson Showalter's wife. In 1889, he defeated Curt von Bardeleben (+1 =2) and in 1889-90 he beat Jacques Mieses (+5 =3). In 1890, he defeated Henry Edward Bird (+7 -2 =3) and Nicholas Theodore Miniati (+3 =2 -0), and in 1891 he beat Francis Joseph Lee (+1 =1) and Berthold Englisch (+2 =3). 1892 and 1893 saw Lasker getting into his stride into the lead up to his title match with Steinitz, beating Bird a second time (5-0) Lasker - Bird (1892) , Joseph Henry Blackburne (+6 =4), Jackson Whipps Showalter (+6 -2 =2) and Celso Golmayo Zupide (+2 =1). In 1892, Lasker toured and played a series of mini-matches against leading players in the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Franklin Chess Clubs. At the Manhattan Chess Club, he played a series of three-game matches, defeating James Moore Hanham, Gustave Simonson, David Graham Baird, Charles B Isaacson, Albert Hodges, Eugene Delmar, John S Ryan and John Washington Baird of the 24 games he played against these players he won 21, losing one to Hodges and drawing one each with Simonson and Delmar. At the Brooklyn Chess Club, Lasker played two mini-matches of two games each, winning each game against Abel Edward Blackmar and William M De Visser, and drew the first game of an unfinished match against Philip Richardson. Lasker finished 1892 at the Franklin Chess Club by playing 5 mini-matches of two games each against its leading players, winning every game against Dionisio M Martinez, Alfred K Robinson, Gustavus Charles Reichhelm and Hermann G Voigt and drawing a match (+1 -1) with Walter Penn Shipley. Shipley offered cash bonuses if he could stipulate the openings and taking up the challenge, Lasker played the Two Knight's Defense and won in 38 moves, while in the second game, Shipley won as Black in 24 moves against Lasker playing the White end of a Vienna Gambit, Steinitz variation (Opening Explorer). Shipley, who counted both Lasker and Steinitz as his friends, was instrumental in arranging the Philadelphia leg of the Lasker-Steinitz match, that being games 9, 10 and 11. 29 years later, Shipley was also the referee of Lasker’s title match with Capablanca. In 1892-3, Lasker also played and won some other matches against lesser players including Andres Clemente Vazquez (3-0), A Ponce (first name Albert) (2-0) and Alfred K Ettlinger (5-0). Also in 1893, Mrs. Nellie Showalter, wife of Jackson Showalter and one of the leading women players in the USA, defeated Lasker 5-2 in a match receiving Knight odds.

These matches pushed Lasker to the forefront of chess, and after being refused a match by Tarrasch, he defeated Steinitz for the world title in 1894 after spreadeagling the field at New York 1893. While he was World Champion, Lasker played some non-title matches, the earliest of which was a six-game exhibition match against Chigorin in 1903 which he lost 2.5-3.5 (+1 -2 =3); the match was intended as a rigorous test of the Rice Gambit, which was the stipulated opening in each game. In the midst of his four title defenses that were held between 1907 and 1910, Lasker played and won what appears to have been a short training match against Abraham Speijer (+2 =1) in 1908. Also in 1908, he played another Rice Gambit-testing match, this time against Schlechter, again losing, this time by 1-4 (+0 =2 -3), apparently prompting a rethink of the Rice Gambit as a viable weapon.** In 1909 he drew a short match (2 wins 2 losses) against David Janowski and several months later they played a longer match that Lasker easily won (7 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss). Lasker accepted a return match and they played a title match in 1910 (details below). In 1914, he drew a 2 game exhibition match against Bernstein (+1 -1) and in 1916, he defeated Tarrasch in another, clearly non-title, match by 5.5-0.5. After Lasker lost his title in 1921, he is not known to have played another match until he lost a two-game exhibition match (=1 -1) against Marshall in 1940, a few months before he died. A match between Dr. Lasker and Dr. Vidmar had been planned for 1925, but it did not eventuate.***

World Championship matches The Lasker - Steinitz World Championship (1894) was played in New York, Philadelphia, and Montreal. Lasker won with 10 wins, 5 losses and 4 draws. Lasker also won the Lasker - Steinitz World Championship Rematch (1896), played in Moscow, with 10 wins, 2 losses, and 5 draws. At one stage when Rudolf Rezso Charousek ‘s star was in the ascendant, Lasker was convinced he would eventually play a title match with the Hungarian master; unfortunately, Charousek died from tuberculosis in 1900, aged 26, before this could happen. As it turned out, he did not play another World Championship for 11 years until the Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907), which was played in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, Memphis. Lasker won this easily, remaining undefeated with 8 wins and 7 draws.

After a prolonged period of somewhat strained relations due to Tarrasch’s refusal of Lasker’s offer for a match, Lasker accepted Tarrasch’s challenge for the title, and the Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908) was played in Düsseldorf and Munich, with Lasker winning with 8 wins 3 losses and five draws. In 1910, Lasker came close to losing his title when he was trailing by a full point at the tenth and last game of the Lasker - Schlechter World Championship Match (1910) (the match being played in Vienna and Berlin); Schlechter held the advantage and could have drawn the game with ease on several occasions, however, he pursued a win, ultimately blundering a Queen endgame to relinquish his match lead and allow Lasker to retain the title. Some months later, the Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910) - played in Berlin - was Lasker’s final successful defense of his title, winning with 8 wins and 3 draws.

In 1912 Lasker and Rubinstein, agreed to play a World Championship match in the fall of 1914 but the match was cancelled when World War I broke out. The war delayed all further title match negotiations until Lasker finally relinquished his title upon resigning from the Lasker - Capablanca World Championship Match (1921) in Havana while trailing by four games.

Life, legacy and testimonials

Lasker’s extended absences from chess were due to his pursuit of other activities, including mathematics and philosophy. He spent the last years of the 19th century writing his doctorate. Between 1902 and 1907, he played only at Cambridge Springs, using his time in the US. It was during this period that he introduced the notion of a primary ideal, which corresponds to an irreducible variety and plays a role similar to prime powers in the prime decomposition of an integer. He proved the primary decomposition theorem for an ideal of a polynomial ring in terms of primary ideals in a paper Zur Theorie der Moduln und Ideale published in volume 60 of Mathematische Annalen in 1905. A commutative ring R is now called a 'Lasker ring' if every ideal of R can be represented as an intersection of a finite number of primary ideals. Lasker's results on the decomposition of ideals into primary ideals was the foundation on which Emmy Noether built an abstract theory which developed ring theory into a major mathematical topic and provided the foundations of modern algebraic geometry. Noether's Idealtheorie in Ringbereichen (1921) was of fundamental importance in the development of modern algebra, generalising Lasker's results by giving the decomposition of ideals into intersections of primary ideals in any commutative ring with ascending chain condition.****

After Lasker lost his title, he spent a considerable amount of time playing bridge and intended to retire. However, he returned to chess in the mid-thirties as he needed to raise money after the Nazis had confiscated his properties and life savings. After the tournament in Moscow in 1936, the Laskers were encouraged to stay on and Emanuel accepted an invitation to become a member of the Moscow Academy of Science to pursue his mathematical studies, with both he and his wife, Martha, taking up permanent residence in Moscow. At this time, he also renounced his German citizenship and took on Soviet citizenship. Although Stalin's purges prompted the Laskers to migrate to the USA in 1937, it is unclear whether they ever renounced their Soviet citizenship.

Lasker was friends with Albert Einstein who wrote the introduction to the posthumous biography Emanuel Lasker, The Life of a Chess Master by Dr. Jacques Hannak (1952), writing: Emanuel Lasker was undoubtedly one of the most interesting people I came to know in my later years. We must be thankful to those who have penned the story of his life for this and succeeding generations. For there are few men who have had a warm interest in all the great human problems and at the same time kept their personality so uniquely independent.

Lasker published several chess books but as he was also a mathematician, games theorist, philosopher and even playwright, he published books in all these fields, except for the play which was performed on only one occasion. As a youth, his parents had recognised his potential and sent him to study in Berlin where he first learned to play serious chess. After he graduated from high school, he studied mathematics and philosophy at the universities in Berlin, Göttingen and Heidelberg. Lasker died in the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York in 1941, aged 72, and was buried in the Beth Olom Cemetery in Queens. He was survived by his wife and his sister, Lotta. On May 6, 2008, Dr. Lasker was among the first 40 German sportsmen to be elected into the "Hall of Fame des Deutschen Sports".

******

"It is not possible to learn much from him. One can only stand and wonder." - <Max Euwe> Euwe lost all three of his games against Lasker, the most lopsided result between any two world champions.

"My chess hero" - <Viktor Korchnoi>

"The greatest of the champions was, of course, Emanuel Lasker" - <Mikhail Tal>

"Lies and hypocrisy do not survive for long on the chessboard. The creative combination lies bare the presumption of a lie, while the merciless fact, culminating in a checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite." – <Emanuel Lasker>

*******

* E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker, 1889** http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/... *** User: Karpova: Emanuel Lasker (kibitz #1449) ****http://www.gap-system.org/~history/...

Sources: Article about Lasker by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson http://www.gap-system.org/~history/...; Obituary from the Times of London: http://www.gap-system.org/~history/...

Notes Lasker played on the following consultation chess teams Em. Lasker / MacDonnell, Lasker / Taubenhaus, Em. Lasker / Maroczy, Em. Lasker / I Rice, Em. Lasker / Barasz / Breyer, Lasker / Pillsbury, Lasker / Chigorin / Marshall / Teichmann, Emanuel Lasker / William Ward-Higgs, Emanuel Lasker / Heinrich Wolf, Emanuel Lasker / Hermann Keidanski & L Lasker Em / Lasek.

Wikipedia article: Emanuel Lasker
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail...

Last updated: 2017-05-31 19:52:26

 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,188  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J Mieses vs Lasker 0-1281889Berlin (Germany)A07 King's Indian Attack
2. Lasker vs Von Popiel 0-1211889Berlin gameC26 Vienna
3. A Reif vs Lasker 0-1131889Breslau Hauptturnier AA02 Bird's Opening
4. V Tietz vs Lasker 0-1401889Breslau Hauptturnier AC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
5. L Mabillis vs Lasker 0-1241889Hauptturnier Winners' GroupC60 Ruy Lopez
6. Lasker vs Lipke 1-0471889Hauptturnier Winners' GroupA07 King's Indian Attack
7. E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker 1-0421889Hauptturnier Winners' GroupC30 King's Gambit Declined
8. E von Feyerfeil vs Lasker 0-1471889Hauptturnier play-offD00 Queen's Pawn Game
9. Lasker vs J Bauer 1-0381889AmsterdamA03 Bird's Opening
10. Lasker vs A van Foreest 1-0501889AmsterdamA04 Reti Opening
11. Loman vs Lasker 0-1221889AmsterdamC79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
12. R Leather vs Lasker 0-1561889AmsterdamA07 King's Indian Attack
13. L Van Vliet vs Lasker 1-0241889AmsterdamC41 Philidor Defense
14. Gunsberg vs Lasker 0-1351889AmsterdamC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. Lasker vs J Mason ½-½381889AmsterdamC46 Three Knights
16. Lasker vs Burn ½-½151889AmsterdamC01 French, Exchange
17. Von Bardeleben vs Lasker ½-½271889Lasker - Bardeleben mD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Lasker vs Von Bardeleben 1-0471889Lasker - Bardeleben mB06 Robatsch
19. Von Bardeleben vs Lasker 1-0501889Lasker - Bardeleben mA07 King's Indian Attack
20. Lasker vs J Mieses 1-0371889Lasker - Mieses 1889/90A80 Dutch
21. J Mieses vs Lasker ½-½601889Lasker - Mieses 1889/90A07 King's Indian Attack
22. Lasker vs J Mieses ½-½701890Lasker - Mieses 1889/90D21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
23. J Mieses vs Lasker 0-1431890Lasker - Mieses 1889/90A07 King's Indian Attack
24. J Mieses vs Lasker ½-½331890Lasker - Mieses 1889/90A07 King's Indian Attack
25. Lasker vs J Mieses 1-0301890Lasker - Mieses 1889/90D02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,188  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Lasker wins | Lasker loses  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 91 OF 91 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-03-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <<sudoplatov> ... I'll look up some of the relative strengths at match time.>

http://www.edochess.ca/top.graphs/g...

Carlsen has a ways to go to match such extended dominance.

Dec-04-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi K.P.

Thanks for cherry-picking all the negatives I said about Lasker and not showing I think he was one of the greatest players ever. Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018) (kibitz #3081) a post sprinkled with (IMO).

I was following your lead Carlsen - Caruana World Championship Match (2018) (kibitz #3070) because I too thought they were getting just a bit carried away.

"Tarrasch was only six years older than Lasker."

Some players age better than others at Chess. Most find their powers wane, Lasker and Korchnoi are notable exceptions.

Tarrasch (another of my great heroes) At one time he was (OK self proclaimed) the tournament champion of the world. After the Lasker match he never won another tournament again. (that is where I got my past his prime from.).

He was still capable of producing the goods OTB from time to time.Capablanca vs Tarrasch, 1914 a win that enabled Lasker sole first place. (Lasker had stunned Capa the round before.)

However (IMO) I think even if Lasker had met Tarrasch a few years earlier Lasker would still have won. It would have been closer and without that horrible end Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1908 (nice posts there from you BTW.) but still a Lasker win.

"Karpov....and with the exception of Linares, 1994, tended not to perform well in very strong events." I cannot agree with you there...

USSR Championship (1976)

Montreal (1979)

Brussels World Cup (1988)

...but if that is your opinion then so be it.

***

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

It's OK K.P. I was thinking it was a bit unlike you, you argue and disagree, often with merit and just cause but you are usually fair.

***

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sally simpson>

<"Karpov....and with the exception of Linares, 1994, tended not to perform well in very strong events." I cannot agree with you there...

USSR Championship (1976)

Montreal (1979)

Brussels World Cup (1988)

...but if that is your opinion then so be it. >

That was actually <whatthefat>'s conclusion, and not his or my opinion. He looked at all of the great players' tournaments, broke them down into classes, and determined how the great players did in tournaments of each type. He found that in very strong tournaments ("over 12" to use his term) Karpov did not do as well as Kasparov or Lasker.

I suspect that for Karpov a lot of those very strong tournaments came after he was past his prime and Kasparov was in his. But I haven't verified my suspicion.

<whatthefat>'s full post:

<THE GREATEST TOURNAMENT PLAYERS>

I performed an analysis of the tournament results of great players. For each player, I listed their positions in world class tournaments (see my chessforum for the full lists), using the following criteria:

1) Each player's list starts in the the year they first entered the world top 10, and ends the year they last left the top 5, as determined by chessmetrics.

2) Only tournaments that feature at least one other top 10 player are listed. Opposition strength is calculated for each tournament using the following scoring method based on world rank (used previously by Sonas): #1-2 = 4; #3-4 = 3; #5-6 = 2; #6-10 = 1. The player of interest is not included in the tally.

Average finishing position (with number of tournaments in brackets) is assessed for each player in tournaments of different opposition strength: 1-6, 7-12, and 12. In cases of tied scores, the player with more tournaments takes the higher rank.

<LOW (1-6)>:

1. Lasker - 1.4 (4)
2. Capablanca - 1.5 (19)
3. Kasparov - 1.6 (18)
4. Botvinnik - 1.7 (11)
5. Alekhine - 1.8 (25)
6. Karpov - 2.0 (44)
7. Fischer - 3.2 (7)

<MEDIUM (7-12)>:

1. Lasker - 1.4 (7)
2. Kasparov - 1.8 (25)
3. Fischer - 1.8 (5)
4. Alekhine - 1.9 (9)
5. Capablanca - 2.1 (7)
6. Karpov - 2.5 (27)
7. Botvinnik - 3.3 (7)

<HIGH (over 12)>:

1. Kasparov - 1.5 (12)
2. Lasker - 1.5 (4)
3. Botvinnik - 1.8 (3)
4. Capablanca - 2.4 (7)
5. Karpov - 3.8 (7)
6. Alekhine - 4.3 (3)

Fischer - N/A (0)

<Some observations>:

* Surprisingly, Fischer never competed in a tournament of opposition strength higher than 12. Moreover, he only completed 12 world class tournaments during his top-flight career.

* While Alekhine had a very successful tournament career (including some outstanding individual events), he played many relatively weak events, including a large number with opposition strength of zero (i.e., no other players from the top 10).

* Lasker played only 15 world class tournaments during his top-flight career, but performed outstandingly, never finishing outside the top 3, and outright winning 9 of them.

* Karpov played 78 world class tournaments during his top-flight career, finishing outright first in 28 of these. Similar to Alekhine, he played a large number of relative weak events, and with the exception of Linares, 1994, tended not to perform well in very strong events.

* Kasparov achieved an unprecendented level of tournament dominance, exemplified by his performance in the face of strong opposition - in tournaments where the opposition strength exceeded 12, he placed outright 1st 8 out of 12 times."

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sally simpson> But you are right, what I did wasn't fair. At least I should have said something like <sally wrote a nice post about Lasker but said a few things I disagree with...>
Dec-05-18  AsosLight: It is always interesting to discuss who is the 2nd best player in history, behind this guy.
Dec-05-18  john barleycorn: < keypusher: ...

<Some observations>:

* Surprisingly, Fischer never competed in a tournament of opposition strength higher than 12. Moreover, he only completed 12 world class tournaments during his top-flight career. ...>

Some questions. Could Fischer at all have played an opposition of strength higher than 12? Kindly, name one. ( I mean a tournament that would comply with your assumption and pointing out out the feasibility of such one)

Could Fischer ever play a category 20 tournament in his time?

What exactly do you talk about?

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Qindarka: Modern style supertournaments where the field is packed with top 10 players were relatively rare in Fischer's day.

I knew that he never won a really strong tournament but I'm surprised that some tournaments such as Bled 1961 and Santa Monica 1966 still didn't fill the criteria for the highest strength. And the Candidates Tournaments in 1959 and 1962 (not sure if they are counted).

I can't think of many really strong tournaments in that era where Fischer didn't participate. Maybe the Moscow tournaments in 1967 and 1971 but I'm not sure they would have filled the criteria either.

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi K.P.

It's OK, I've let it go, harmless really.

Cannot agree with whatthefat findings.

For a start Karpov is being punished for playing in 44 tournaments.

If he done a Lasker and played in only 4 then add in USSR Championship (1976),Montreal (1979), Brussels World Cup (1988) to Linares, 1994 then the result would show Karpov near the top.

If he had used the top 4 tournaments from any of that list then we would probably get a 4 or 5 way tie.

It's like saying The Sex Pistols were better than the Beatles because they made four records which were great. The Beatles made 10 records that were great, but another 20 were not on par with the Sex Pistols four records...therefore the Sex Pistols are better than the Beatles because their four records are better than SOME of the Beatles records.

What a waste of time and effort. Still, I suppose it's better than running a machine over the games looking for the best player.

How do they program in tournament/match standings - a must win situation. The player takes risks or the player will knock back drawn positions to get it complicated.

You also have to tell the machine it must only look at the first 40 moves only (old games had adjournments) and the machine must complete it's analysis in 2 hours. Not giving it 3 minutes per move. (120/40) but spotting the part where a human will think longer than he will for a say a forced recapture.

You would also, amongst other things, have to lower the blunder threshold from moves 35-40 to take in time trouble.

Not every game will have time trouble but some will and since you cannot program time trouble into a machine you will have the blanket base it to catch every possibility.

***

Dec-05-18  john barleycorn: <Sally Simpson: ***

Hi K.P.

It's OK, I've let it go, harmless really.

Cannot agree with whatthefat findings.

For a start Karpov is being punished for playing in 44 tournaments.

If he done a Lasker and played in only 4 then add in USSR Championship (1976),Montreal (1979), Brussels World Cup (1988) to Linares, 1994 then the result would show Karpov near the top.

If he had used the top 4 tournaments from any of that list then we would probably get a 4 or 5 way tie.

It's like saying The Sex Pistols were better than the Beatles because they made four records which were great. The Beatles made 10 records that were great, but another 20 were not on par with the Sex Pistols four records...therefore the Sex Pistols are better than the Beatles because their four records are better than SOME of the Beatles records. ...>

oh man. let's start with ***** which have become stylish since the Goldsby days.

*****

<For a start Karpov is being punished for playing in 44 tournaments.> What was the punishment? How did all the other players get away without punishment?

*****

<It's like saying The Sex Pistols were better than the Beatles because they made four records which were great.> oh yes, a comparison that immediately comes to mind. Sorry, <Sally Simpson> but it is not witty to try to make a point at any rate.

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi J.B.

I used Kaprov because he was wrongly singled out:

"...and with the exception of Linares, 1994, tended not to perform well in very strong events."

The magic number is four, the number of tournaments Lasker was judged top of the list on.

So I added 3 more very strong tournaments Karpov won or tied first in.

I also brought in all the other players by saying: "If he had used the top 4 tournaments from any of that list then we would probably get a 4 or 5 way tie."

Keeping in mind the magic number is four.

The Sex Pistols made four great records. God Save the Queen, Anarchy, Pretty Vacant and Holidays in the Sun.

The Beatles made dozens of great records but a few of them are not as good as the Sex Pistols four.

Therefore, going by the lads criteria, the Sex Pistols are better than the Beatles because their four records are better than some of the Beatles records.

I liked Goldsby (surely he's back here in another guise.)

***

Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Lasker placed higher on average in world-class tournaments than Karpov did. That's it.
Dec-05-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Qindarka: By the way, what is the best site to find a list of players' tournament participation? Would it be Chessmetrics?
Dec-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Qindarka: By the way, what is the best site to find a list of players' tournament participation? Would it be Chessmetrics?>

Good question. I might venture to say 365chess (often used to patch <CG>, when needed patching gets patched), but would be interested in other suggestions.

(Probably <CB>'s MegaBase is the most complete...(?))

Dec-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: If you imagine Karpov playing in fewer tournaments, there's no guarantee, or even reason to think that you'd see all his best performances and none of his less spectacular ones.

I think the truth is that, despite being reknowned for winning record numbers of tournaments, Karpov was actually considerably better in match play than in tournament play. He would still win most of the tournaments he entered because he was so much better than anyone else until Kasparov came along, (except Korchnoi for a while, whom politics kept him away from outside of the WC,) but in matches, top ten opponents would get routinely crushed.

Dec-06-18  WorstPlayerEver: Karpov played his last serious tournament (Corus) in 2003, Kasparov retired in 2005. That's about a gap of ten years. As Karpov is about 12 years older.

So it's kind of logical Karpov's results are affected in a negative way by the fact his chess career was 10 years longer than Kasparov's.

Apples and oranges.

Dec-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi W.P.E.

"Lasker placed higher on average in world-class tournaments than Karpov did. That's it."

I agree with that.

Of all the great old masters before Botvinnik and 1948. If I had to pick only one who I thought would do well in todays pool it would be Lasker.

I'm thinking I'm on solid ground with that one. Lasker is here, amongst others to a lesser extent in the mix, in the shape of Carlsen.

***

Dec-06-18  nok: As WPE said, <Apples and oranges.>

These comparisons are flawed in many ways. The difference between world #5 and #20 in the 70s/80s was about 50 points. In the 1890s? Easily double that.

People should spend less effort on these elusive comparisons across eras and play some chess instead.

Dec-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Nok

I agree with that as well.

***

Dec-06-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < WorstPlayerEver: Karpov played his last serious tournament (Corus) in 2003, Kasparov retired in 2005. That's about a gap of ten years. As Karpov is about 12 years older. So it's kind of logical Karpov's results are affected in a negative way by the fact his chess career was 10 years longer than Kasparov's.

Apples and oranges.>

Karpov's overall success was hurt by Gary Kasparov showing up after Karpov had been on top for about a decade, and helped by the disappearance of Bobby Fischer near the beginning of his career. He's an all-time great either way. All comparisons are flawed; provided you keep their limitations in mind, they can still be interesting.

Dec-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: As I have posted numerous times across the years, during Karpov's reign as champion, he compiled a most impressive record in tournament play, becoming the first reigning champion since Alekhine to do so. As has been noted above, only the coming of Kasparov cast a shadow over this supernova.

In match play, Kasparov came out ahead of his great rival overall, but it took all he had to see his way home: I agree with <Lambda> that Karpov was an outstanding match player, formidable as he was in tournament play.

Dec-07-18  JimNorCal: We can hope that Car/Car generate a historical rivalry like the two Ks being discussed above.

The Challenger level is SO competitive right now, though, that Caruana has no lock on being Challenger next cycle. Indeed, he is unlikely to be even the favorite, IMO

Dec-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lambda: I think with Carlsen declining slightly, we're into a "first amongst equals champion" age. Caruana probably will be favourite to win the next candidates, since as well as his generally high rating, he's been somewhat overperforming in it so he seems good in that environment, but that "favourite" tag will still probably only mean about a 25% chance of victory, maximum. And if Carlsen weren't champion, he's probably only have similar chances nowadays.
Dec-07-18  john barleycorn: <nok: ...

People should spend less effort on these elusive comparisons across eras and play some chess instead.>

no truer words have been spoken here. Let them all get out a chess-set and play instead of being smart-ass by repeating some computer-analysis. Chess is a game of mind and understanding and played by 2 humans.

Dec-07-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

J.B.

I wholeheartedly agree with that as well..

They obviously have chess computers, if they have no friends they can knock it down to sap level and play it instead of using it for something it was not designed to do - determine the strengths of players by looking for what their computer calls a blunder.

The beauty of the idea behind a blunder is lost to them and how does a computer make sense of R Ortega vs E Etcheverry, 1963


click for larger view

Black played 38...Nd2+ A beautiful idea. A double-decoying tactic aimed at pulling pieces away from protecting the sensitive square f2 and g1.

39.Nxd2 Qg1 mate.
39.Bxd2 Qf2 mate

Except after 39.Bxd2 the Queen is pinned to the King. So the computer would give 38..Nd2+ ?? but White resigned. Which to me is a bigger blunder than 38...Nd2+ but the computer would have stopped analysing. (what is there to analyse) White would have got off scot free in a blunder check.

***

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