The Best Chess Players Over Time (Estimated By Accuracy)

Take a journey through the history of chess and see the best chess players over time. The X-axis represents the year and Y-axis represents Elo estimated by accuracy as calculated by Chess.com/analysis.

This visual representation allows you to see when players like Bobby Fisher, Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, and Jose Capablanca performed across history.

Data and Methodology:

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80 Comments

  1. This was a great visual of how clearly Fischer was in a league of his own. No one else was that far beyond their competition. Amazing

  2. Karpov and Perrosjan are completely underestimated, i can't believe it…………………

  3. Morphy, Capablanca, Alekhine, Fischer, Kasparov, and Carlsen. Amazing.

  4. Great, fantastic and immortal Bobby Fischer!!! Respect forever!!!

  5. Pillsbury made Number 1 for a little bit there, nice. Not bad for someone who learned the game at sixteen years old. And didn't know Capablanca had such a resurgence in late 30s also nice. I noticed two champs hardly spent any time at the top of this list, Karpov and Alekhine.

  6. Guess who has been sleeping on Wilhelm Steinitz? (I have.) Long stretches of superiority from 1866-1878, and then again from 1884-1891. Clearly the most dominant player in the second half of the nineteenth century. Why do I never hear him mentioned?

  7. I wonder if the greatness of Capablanca causes us to undervalue the prior greatness of Lasker.

  8. 3:19 — Fischer appears like a kite in the sky and finally exits 'screen-frame north' at 3:40. One of a kind.

  9. Simply as a friendly conversation piece, my top ten all-time:
    1) Magnus Carlsen
    2) Garry Kasparov
    3) Bobby Fischer
    4) Anatoly Karpov
    5) Paul Morphy
    6) José Raúl Capablanca
    7) Emanuel Lasker
    8) Viswanathan Anand
    9) Mikhail Botvinnik
    10) Vladimir Kramnik

  10. Imagine your Olympiad team with magnus Vishy garry kramnik and Bobby😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲😲

  11. Maybe might be an argument but my fav
    1.Paul Morphy Super genius no engine
    2.B.Fischer
    3.G.Kasparov
    4.M.Carlsen
    5.R.Capablanca
    6.M.Tal
    7.A.Alekhine
    8.V.Anand
    9.A.Karpov
    10.E.Lasker
    The rest honorable mention

  12. Mir Sultan Khan deserves a spot in this list.

  13. Kasparov was the player who informed me existence of a game named chess after his games againts AI Deepblue. But Tal, Fisher and Nezhmetdinov are the players who provided me to love chess.

  14. Such a retard game. Learning from engines to compete with humans and the winner who can remember the best move. Ridiculous !

  15. What would the rating of stockfish NNUE be based on this method? Infinite? 😅

  16. Jose capablanca is like unstoppable.🔥🔥

  17. I have a feeling this graph underestimates positional geniuses like Karpov, since the engine used for estimation isn't capable of understanding the subtleties that made them great.

  18. capablanca was up there for so long till death :/

  19. The year is 1919 and in a land full of 2300 to 2600 players — which are also considered "world-class", mind you! — you are the sole, bona-fide SuperGM on a 2750+ level. Your name is José Raúl Capablanca.

    OK, so this is not FIDE ELO, but you get the idea.

  20. Don't forget Judit Polgar guys, the only woman here, she's such a role model and inspiration, she proved that women can hang with the best !

  21. Nobody compares with Robert James Fischer

  22. Cheating CHESS, Sabotage gas pipeline, making money with supporting inhumanly ruthlessly TERRORISM in PAKISTAN against INDIA
    colonisation, aggrasions r the source of getting RICH = USA

  23. My boy Tal reached 2700+ at his peak. Always my favourite chess player ever.

  24. accuracy means play like a machine i guess??

  25. Everyone talking about "Fischer was different without engines and books look what he did bla bla" what you don't understand is that in Fischer's time no one had engines and books, and today every super gm has books and engines , so it don't matter , Magnus Carlsen is without a question the best chess player of all time, it's easy to understand, Carlsen uses engines to practice but the others top gms ALSO uses it. And he still can be #1 for 10 years, and the best player in the 3 different
    rhythms.

  26. The most amazing thing isvthis video is Lev Polugaevsky. Lev who? How many people never heard of him? 😁

  27. There is a report that Fischer had used the stockfish engine at the time. It is unfair…

  28. Need to add Hans Smoke Nieman to the list

  29. This visualization does NOT use FIDE Elo ratings which only came into use in 1970. This visualization is created from calculating accuracy (computed in chess.com/analysis) for each player's classical games and converting each player's accuracy to an estimated Elo rating. Our method is described in full here: https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-best-chess-players-over-time

    Abacaba has a beautiful video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2DHpW79w0Y) which shows Elo, CMR, and Edo, three different systems which are not comparable across time. By comparing all players to the same standard (computer accuracy), our method provides more comparable estimates of performance for players who played in different eras.

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