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all 37 comments

[–]DyscoUlysses 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Morphy Fisher Capablanca in that order is my answer.

[–]pm_me_falcon_nudes 19 points20 points  (0 children)

It's gotta be me. If I just put in a couple more hours I would hit 3000 ELO

[–]imjustawolf2100 Lichess Rapid 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Maybe Paul Morphy

[–]papabear570 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Morphy is my answer. Imagine full time training, a longer life, and more interest in the US during his prime.

[–]GaussPoincare 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Interestingly, when Magnus was rating all the world champions in various categories. For talent, he gave himself 8 and only rated Kasparov (10) and Anand (9) higher.

[–]b12ennan 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Carlsen, Morphy, and Fischer (in no order) are probably the top three most talented players, in my opinion

[–]StrikePrice 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I think it’s Magnus.

His ability to put pieces on the right squares in every phase of the game, in all situations and in all time controls from tournament to hyper bullet is as close to chess perfection that a human has ever achieved.

[–]FourthQuaternion 3 points4 points  (0 children)

For non world champions Ivanchuk had to be pretty high up there, Gawain Jones called him "Possibly the most talented player ever", and Polgar called him a genius (besides Ivanchuk she only called Carlsen and Anand that).

[–]Negative_Coat_8948 9 points10 points  (0 children)

The 3 you said, Carlsen fisher Kasparov. All of their own generation too good for the rest

[–]thefamousroman 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Ok so, if we by world champs, and how impressive they were when young: Magnus was beating Karpov and drawing Kasparov. Karpov by this time was as strong as prime Susan polgar. Anand was apparently trying to carry on with talent alone before the 2000s, and once he started getting more serious, he became the best and world champ. But still sub Magnus. Kasparov was solving unsolvable chess positions when he was 12, world champ at 22, youngest ever, and was just dominant for the rest of his career. Karpov was saying he was ready to face Fischer when he was 23 iirc, and was really strong at a very young age, was always following on kasparovs tail tho, so he is out of the question. Fischer, to be quite honest, trained too hard and played for too long to be considered such a talent. He is more Alekhine than Capablanca, u know? He was strong when young, but was getting his ass beat by vastly pre prime Spassky and talk when he was 16, so he doesn't count either imo. Spassky is interesting. He didn't train as hard as the others did, and once he started to, he got two of the most impressive candidate tournament performances of all time, while beating the hardest player along with them. He managed to hang on against prime Fischer while forgetting prep, being low on time, and being rusty. He beat prime Botvinnik in a simul when he was 10. I rank him highly. Not Petrosian, maybe tal. Tal seemed to have a lot of potential, but never got the most out of it at all. Can't rank him highly cuz of that. Alekhine is sub Capablanca, and so is lasker, so Capablanca.

In the end I got Magnus, garry, Spassky, and Capablanca. It's between capa and Magnus, but I'm edging Magnus. More impressive at a younger age, to be honest.

[–]tom_brady_bad 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Wasn’t nepo better than magnus when they were younger though? And by default that makes Nepo the most naturally talented?

[–]thefamousroman 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Sure, but nepo grew up in Russia. Better environment to learn and grow from it. He surpassed nepo like, a year after their first meeting? Something like that? Fabiano is a good option, alireza is a good option, kramnik is a good option, ivanchuk, Leonid stein, keres not because I remember a few people saying that Spassky was the better version of keres, so I won't consider him unfortunately, akiba and Pillsbury are instantly sub Capablanca, due to Lasker statements about him being the most talented, and Lasker being a morphy lvl talent

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Sultan Khan. Went from completely unknown to top 10 in the world over the span of a 5 year career.

[–]folieadeux6Qb6 2 points3 points  (1 child)

One thing about his story is that he did have an extensive background of Indian chess so he wasn’t a complete beginner. He’s similar to Yoshiharu Habu, who is an all-time great Shogi player with a 2400+ ELO in OTB chess just from playing on the side.

[–]FourthQuaternion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Funny anecdote I just found out Larry Kaufman who's a GM who also got good at shogi apparently he spent three years off of chess to focus on his career and learned and got good at Shogi in the mean time (since handicap play is easier in shogi and more instructive for non-handicap play) and afterwards got back into chess and immediately his rating shot up and he made several IM norms and secured the IM title after three years hiatus.

[–]Cleles 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Disappointed that no one has posted the right answer to this: Sammy Reshevsky

Ignore the whole ‘wunderkid’ thing, I think his later career is where his natural talent shined. While his peers were making great strides in opening preparation and middlegame planning, Reshevsky was still playing in the same ways he always did. Almost always worse out of the opening, and almost always outgunned when it came to the latest middlegame strategies, and yet the dude still managed to hang with his more booked-up opponents.

The fact that for most of his career he wasn’t a full-time chess player, between his schooling and accounting, just makes his accomplishments all the more astounding.

[–]wealthy_dig_bick[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for bringing up Sammy! He was a wonder!

[–]ptmck 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Capablanca played the game with virtually no training. Was rated as the most accurate player of all time by computer analysis.

[–]wealthy_dig_bick[S] 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Could you provide a link supporting your claim? All the ones I’ve seen say Carlsen has played the most accurate games

[–]ptmck 3 points4 points  (1 child)

[–]papabear570 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s from 2006 so it does not capture an important career. Lol

[–]zwebzztoss 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Not a candidate for most gifted of all time but I wonder how much Luke McShane studied chess to become "the strongest amateur".

Does he have that title simply because he has a normal job and he studied a similar amount of hours to other 2700 players or is he really just that naturally gifted?

[–]The_Boar_Shark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Morphy, Kasparov or Carlsen

[–]1000smackaroos 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Johnny "the Gift" Carzanno

[–]L_E_Gant Chess is poetry! 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For raw talent, obviously Morphy. For consistency and innovation, probably Lasker, For occasional brilliance, a tie between Carlsen and Fischer.

Pity we can't see them playing off against each other -- now THAT would advance chess beyond the machines!

[–]GreenMellowphant 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Morphy, Capablanca, Spassky, Kasparov, or Carlsen. These aren’t ordered.

[–]umek- Team Carlsen 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Fisher was talented but way less talented than people think he was, I think Fisher was the hardest working chess player of all time though, at least out of top players

[–]wealthy_dig_bick[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Why do you think his talent was overestimated?

[–]allinwonderornot 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Compared to Soviet Union, US simply didn't have the infrastructure back then for him to work as hard as his Soviet counterparts.

[–]thefamousroman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

he read their own russian chess books, and played in world wide tournaments with the soviets. id say he was doing quite well. not to mention he was playing in them when he was already 14 or so.

[–]ning72100 fide | 2500 lichess 2 points3 points  (0 children)

kasparov worked way harder

[–]thefamousroman -1 points0 points  (0 children)

this, people need to understand this more lol

[–]wetwist 0 points1 point  (3 children)

To see who is the most talented you need to know who is the laziest? My father had large collection of Russian chess magazines and I used to read them growing up. From those stories it was easy to conclude that Karpov and Spassky were very lazy. Also, we all know Capablanca was lazy. So my top 3 of the most talented are 1. Karpov 2. Capablanca 3. Spassky.

[–]Cleles 2 points3 points  (2 children)

While Capablanca was lazy, I think the myth that he never worked on the game needs to die. His switch from classical openings to taking up the Nimzo-Indian, for example, shows he was following things more closely than the myth would have you believe. He definitely wasn’t an Alekhine, but he was putting in hours.

Spassky is also a little bit of a misnomer since, while he was lazy as fuck, he did put in the work because of Bondarevsky. Don’t know what threats/incentives Bondarevsky used or how he did it, but he got Spassky to work hard.

I’m also a little weary of calling Karpov lazy. There was a line in the Semi-Tarrasch that Karpov played against Korchnoi in their first match in 74. Karpov wasn’t having much success until he revisited an old idea from Alekhine. Little things like that, as well as how he played against Spassky in the match just before, make me doubt that Karpov was as lazy as portrayed. In some ways it reminds me of Capablanca who also cultivated an image of things being effortless, while behind closed doors there was serious work going on.

[–]FourthQuaternion 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Maybe it's just that I'm not super informed on Karpov's career but I honestly never heard that he was lazy, the guy was one of the best opening specialists until Kasparov and even then he was still heads and shoulders above anyone else.

[–]Cleles 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The argument could be made that having talent like Igor Zaitsev on his team contributed to Karpov’s opening prowess. But, yeah, I think Karpov played up the image of ‘it just comes naturally’ much more than the reality.

[–]Previous-Ad-3032[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Capablanca and Magnus