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The Top 5 Chess Players of All Time: Learn More about Some of the Greatest Chess Players in History!
0:00 – Introduction
0:08 – Anatoly Karpov
0:46 – Bobby Fischer
1:38 – Viswanathan Anand
2:17 – Garry Kasparov
3:03 – Magnus Carlsen
The game of chess has a large history, with many amazing players contributing to the game and its development. Some of the most famous chess players of all time include Paul Morphy, Viswanathan Anand, Alexander Alekhine, Adolf Anderssen, Pal Benko, Mikhail Botvinik, José Raúl Capablanca, Magnus Carlsen, Mikhial Chigorin, Reuben Fine, Bobby Fischer, Boris Gelfand, Sergey Karjakin, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Victor Korchnoi, Vladimir Kramnik, Bent Larson, Emanuel Lasker, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sam Palatnik, Judit Polgár, Ruslan Ponomariov, Ray Robson, Akiba Rubinstein, Sergei Shirov, Nigel Short, Jeremy Silman, Vasily Smyslov, Wesley So, Boris Spassky, Wilhelm Steinitz, Peter Svidler, Mikhail Tal, and many more.
Chess, thanks to the players listed above, has a very rich history. Chess can be traced back around 1400 years, and is commonly known to have originated in India. It went from India to Persia, and eventually found itself taking over the globe.
Where we really saw chess take off was in the 19th century. The Romantic, Scientific, Hypermodern, and New Dynamism eras soon took place. In the 19th century, chess had not yet seen its potential in terms of level of play. However, many chess players had a huge impact on the development of the game. Players include Lasker, Capablanca, Morphy, Alekhine, Silman, Philidor, Blackburne, Bird, Zuckertort, Chigorin, Reti, and many more. These players were not as good as the players we see current day, but they developed chess into a place that had never been seen before.
We soon saw players in the 20th century who brought chess to a new level. This led into players like Mikhail Botvinik, Vasily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, and eventually Garry Kasparov. I would say the largest shift we were starting to see as chess fans was an increase in opening theory. Before, chess endgames were played at a high level. The middlegame was studied vigilantly as well. Tactical and positional chess knowledge was very emphasized. However, it was not until this new era that openings started to dominate the preparation of the elite chess players. Chess competition was enjoying a new fanbase, as the game had become more global. A great example of this was the match between Bobby Fischer and Borris Spassky. It was a chess match, but it symbolized so much more than that as it took place during the cold war.
In the 21st century, the use of computers, especially in opening preparation, started to be utilized by Viswanathan Anand. Anand led the charge, and the world of chess has followed. Now opening preparation has been looked to almost to a fault. However, from this, we have seen many different styles of play. Anand, for example, memorizes thousands of opening lines, looking to beat opponents without even having to think. Magnus Carlsen, on the other hand, has looked to strive for positions that had not yet been reached before. Carlsen looks to reach positions never seen before, and because of this, we see two people playing chess. The mystery of chess has been lost a little bit, but thanks to players like Carlsen, we as chess fans can enjoy unfamiliar games with creative ideas utilized.
Above is the history of chess. Many great players have contributed to the game in different ways. However, the question we look to answer in this video who is “the top 5 chess players of all time.” I have decided to answer this question by looking at it through the lense of level of play. If we look at who is the most entertaining to watch, Mikhail Tal is number 1 in my mind. And if influental, then Paul Morphy is right up there. However, I decided to answer this question of “greatness” and have translated it to “best.” This is not meant to go against the older players! In fact, if anything, it honors them. Chess would not be where it is today if it weren’t for them. One of the greatest legacies a chess player can give is leaving the game better than when he/she left it.
In summary, the history of chess is long and rich. Many diverse styles, accomplishments, and performances have been shown. We hope you enjoy this video!
Many diverse styles, accomplishments, and contributions have led many great players to dominate the game of chess.