Who is the greatest chess player of all time? | Hikaru Nakamura and Lex Fridman

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Hikaru Nakamura is a chess super grandmaster and is currently the #1 ranked blitz chess player in the world. He is also one of the top chess streamers on Twitch and YouTube.

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65 Comments

  1. Lex, please use a better shaving razor for your sideburns. Thanks.

  2. In martial arts, making complex tactical decisions quickly is called Sen no Sen. Malcolm Gladwell called it thin slicing in his book titled Blink. Wayne Gretzky said I don't skate to where the puck is I skate to where the puck is going to be.

    It is clear that with sufficient practice over time, the skill can be developed in any discipline. A testament to the Brilliance of the human mind.

  3. 3-4 yrs nah magnus will be num 1 for another decade

  4. i love how hikaru got here just to spit facts for 10 minutes

  5. we need a Hikaruxdanya vs andrew(tang)xmagnus tag team bullet match

  6. Like most sports it cant be decided, because you fall on your own grip. They are just soo good so they wont lose, wining only depends on the oponents misstakes.

  7. Kasparov, he's been on the top for decades and Magnus still has to prove that he can do the same, it's easier to reach the top than it is to stay on the top

  8. I think the game Bobby Fish played was one of a kind it went beyond just playing chess on the board he was playing cia mind games

  9. Hikaru is definitely one of my favorite chess players. The humility and admiration he shows for others in the sport is just refreshing. #TeamHIKARU

  10. As much as I find Kasparov to be an absolute asshole, in contrast to Magnus who's mostly been a great personality and pretty much the absolute perfect ambassador for chess, and as much as I don't doubt Magnus will be at the top longer than Kasparov was, I don't think I will ever appreciate Magnus as much as Kasparov. Kasparov's games accentuate the beauty in chess. GMs will likely always prefer Magnus' playstyle due to the sophistication, sheer accuracy, and how he methodically picks apart GMs, but Kasparov's 50th nicest game is more beautiful than Magnus' nicest. His masterpieces are easily among the greatest games ever played – and even extraordinarily difficult to figure out from afar (whereas many other games noted as the greatest often rely on objectively unsound speculative sacs or beautiful -7 move combinations which can be calculated relatively easily with a few nice variations), as well as quite often correct, and he played them at the top level, in the near modern era. He pioneered or popularized many huge ideas like the exchange sac on b7 in the Sicilian, the d5 pawn sac against the Maroczy Bind, the double bishop sac against Portisch (he didn't pioneer this but his game is certainly now one of the most famous examples of it), etc. Everything he learned about chess, was done before the advent of engines, and he was the final frontier engines crossed before officially becoming the human-destroying monstrositites they are today. And he even won his first match against Deep Blue! If we were to compare chess to sports, he is among the absolute greatest competitors to ever live – the likes of Jerry Rice, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo, and so on. Even if Magnus stays world no. 1 well into his 50s, Kasparov will still likely be my GOAT – unless Magnus' playstyle changes and he scores some games as nice as Kaspy's immortal against Topalov, for example.

  11. Still has the highest Blitz rating of all time, and is still #1- stays within the top 5 at all time.

  12. Fridman looks like he's in pain every time he asks questions.

  13. It's great that he's able to give the audience a peak into how he sees the game. Not everyone has the ability to do that.

  14. Greatest of all-time doesn't necessarily have to be the best player or highest rated of all time. When you consider what Bobby Fischer did, that being a lone warrior that was basically self-taught (before computers) going up against an entire state sponsored chess institution that bread champions for decades is by far the greatest accomplishment in chess and always will be. No one ever worked as hard at getting better than Fischer… not even close. He literally sacrificed his entire life to become champion. IMO, he is the GOAT.

  15. Bobby played some ridiculously accurate games in the pre-engine era… he’s in the conversation to be sure. But I like Magnus—he just is the best.

  16. Hikaru is a very good blitz player. One of the all-time greats -but he crumbles under pressure. When he is playing for fun, or in titled Tuesdays, and he isn't nervous, you can see how good he is.
    But Magnus is just another beast. Complete player -and like he says himself: He is the best in the world at evaluating games, knowing when he needs to find critical moves. And that is often what sets him apart.
    That, and of course how insanely good he is at endgames, making traps.

  17. Hikaru is a class act. Intelligent, humble, a good communicator.

  18. I think there actually is a case to be made for Naka as the best chess player of all time.

    Definitely not best classical player, but overall, generic " chess player"?

    When you say "chess player", I say you have to take into account; bullet, blitz,, rapid, classical, 960…

    Naka has been the clear best bullet player for a long time. Period.

    Nakamura has spent about a decade being the best Blitz player in the world, along with Magnus

    When you look at the combined overall rating, he has been trading first and second place with Magnus for years.

    He is also fighting Magnus for best online chess player to live. I know that online chess excludes so many great past players, but we can't ignore it exists, and that it is part of chess history now.

    Naka has been in the top 3 rapid players in the world for a decade or more.

    You add all of that up, as a total, complete, all around chess player? How is Naka not in the conversation?

  19. What's Blonder?
    Said so many times no idea what it's?

  20. Even Karpov is ahead of Fisher, people forget how good he was and how long he was world champion, also his games against Kasparov were always very very close, and most of the ones he lost were due to Kasparov's much better team. For me, Magnus is definitely the GOAT.

  21. gary would not have been champ if bobby wasnt dealing with bs politics that prevented him from playing. nobody has done what bobby did and went and defeated the soviet champs by himself and helped make chess much more popular here. bobbys accuracy was the best also. during bobbys era he was the greatest and during garys time bobby was the greatest. he just lost his mind. fine line between genius and insanity. even made fischer random.

  22. i think hikaru could hace bien snd be world champ

  23. Paul Keres was also considered by many chess historianas one of the greatest players in history, and the strongest player never to become world champion. He was among the world's top players from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, and narrowly missed a chance at a World Chess Championship match on five occasions. In 2000, Keres was elected the Estonian Sportsman of the Century. 🙂

  24. Fischer best by one standard deviation about 17% better than anyone ever. Fisher kept chess a game by playing different openings even in a world championship match. If you put Carlsen in Fisher's era , Fischer would at least tie the match and keep his title.

  25. Each generation has its own. Mikhail, Bobby, Gary, Magnus. Tough to say who was the greatest.

  26. At least Hikaru is the greatest data scientist of all time.

  27. Imagine the end of this conversation spoken by Hans Niemann. "It's all just feel."

  28. if you don't play chess, it's hard to comprehend just how high the skill ceiling is for this game and how good these top grandmasters are.

  29. Hikaru said he understands "piece play" or piece placement.

    That's the thing o

  30. I totally agree with the statement : you build upon the giants from the past.
    I am not sure, but I have a strong feeling that Magnus Carlsen on his peak (probably didn't reach it yet) would beat any prior champion on its peak, because he actually STUDIED them, and they could not possibly study him (not to mention the engines).
    I don't know if that's fair, but taking that into account, I don't care how many world championships someone prior to Magnus could have defended. For me, the best player would be the one that would win more times against each other, and we can have a strong case it would be Magnus.

  31. I'd love a game between a 19th centruy player vs a blitz player. It'd be so funny to see the 19th century player investing hours for a move and Nakamura just moving instantly after that, perplexing the opponent

  32. Hikaru is surely not in the race of the strongest player ever, but he could easily be the fastest. He can see a board and know in 1 second who is winning, what is going on, and see if there is a tactic ahead

  33. Intuition is some kinda trick of our fast system of recognition, where we by default and along with the time have been training, long-term memories helps short-term recognizes it's fault, but much more of a cache (related to computer science)

  34. I kinda hoped Lex would open topic of greatest speed chess player of all time. And maybe even bullet, blitz and rapid separately.

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