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The most dominant world champions, preview version

From the stats on chessgames.com, I've compiled a table of how World Champions from Lasker to Kasparov fared against the leading players of their eras. The criteria for choosing 'leading players' were simple: all the World Champions, everyone who participated in World Championship match, everyone who made it to the top 5/8 of Candidates' Tournament or Candidates' matches quarterfinals (FIDE knockout included), and everyone who played at St. Petersburg 1914, New York 1927 and AVRO 1938 if not made it to the previous lists.

That's the results. Among the World Champions, I've included all the candidates up to Korchnoi and a couple of 'honourable mentions'.

Emanuel Lasker - 65.84% (+143-47=113) against 24 players

Garry Kasparov - 64.04% (+323-68=517) against 54 players

Jose Raul Capablanca - 60.00% (+77-22=176) against 23 players

Robert Fischer - 59.70% (+97-46=120) against 25 players

Alexander Alekhine - 59.13% (+150-72=205) against 22 players

Anatoly Karpov - 57.62% (+342-151=760) against 63 players

Akiba Rubinstein - 55.46% (+107-74=121) against 20 players

Mikhail Botvinnik - 54.31% (+112-76=230) against 33 players

Paul Keres - 52.97% (+120-88=330) against 38 players

Boris Spassky - 52.92% (+189-135=602) against 51 players

Tigran Petrosian - 52.87% (+143-100=505) against 39 players

Aron Nimzowitsch - 52.29% (+63-53=102) against 19 players

Mikhail Tal - 52.07% (+157-125=490) against 47 players

Viktor Korchnoi - 50.90% (+323-299=706) against 67 players

Carl Schechter - 50.63% (+74-70=175) against 18 players

Samuel Reshevsky - 50.55% (+74-70=218) against 44 players

Vasily Smyslov - 50.41% (+161-154=549) against 57 players

David Bronstein - 49.69% (+92-85=301) against 42 players

Efim Bogoljubov - 46.58% (+109-134=123) against 20 players

Max Euwe - 46.35% (+85-113=186) against 31 players

Siegbert Tarrasch - 45.91% (+87=114-129) against 20 players

Frank Marshall - 45.40% (+108-149=189) against 19 players

Dawid Janowski - 41.67% (+100-153=65) against 20 players

 

Viktor Korchnoi's longevity is exceptional, to say the least. He's even got a win against the current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen.



Komentarze


  • 9 miesięcy temu

    AngeloPardi

    Yes, but that means a lot of game when yo add it all nonetheless.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    @paullff

    I included every 'classical' game everyone played against each other. Korchnoi, for instance, has a very low score against the Anand-Kramnik generation and younger players (Anand beat him 8 to 0, Adams 8 to 1, Kramnik 6 to 0 etc.) I didn't exclude those games on the grounds that Korchnoi was too old and obviously not in his prime anymore.

    Besides, one loss cannot make a huge difference for a player who already played 300+ games on the highest level. It's fractions of percents.

    For the record, of the current strongest generation of players, only Leko and Svidler have small plus scores against Carlsen; Anand, Kramnik and Mamedyarov tie him currently, and almost everyone else, from Ivanchuk to Aronian, have minus scores, sometimes large (Carlsen has 8-1 against Radjabov, 7-1 against Adams, 8-3 against Topalov and Ivanchuk and 8-4 against Aronian). 0-1 against Korchnoi or Timman cannot tarnish such an impressive picture.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    paullff

    You included a game played by a 14 year old in your analysis? Carlsen was playing at a level then 2-300 points below his current level, so it does'nt seem relevant. Tal beat Fischer when he was 17 or 18 but never once he was 21 or over. And why not include the game when Carlsen beat Kasparov when he was 13?

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    AngeloPardi

    Did you include the game Carlsen-Korchnoi in your stats ?

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    ebobsterhelp

    Although Paul Morphy (and Stauton) were before Lasker, and Candidates system, but would be interesting to include, nonetheless.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    A bit of an update.

    Emanuel Lasker - 65.84% (+143-47=113) against 24 players

    Garry Kasparov - 64.09% (+325-68=519) against 55 players

    Jose Raul Capablanca - 60.00% (+77-22=176) against 23 players

    Robert Fischer - 59.70% (+97-46=120) against 25 players

    Alexander Alekhine - 59.13% (+150-72=205) against 22 players

    Magnus Carlsen - 57.63% (+93-42=199) against 33 players

    Anatoly Karpov - 57.52% (+342-153=762) against 64 players

    Viswanathan Anand - 57.26% (+271-126=602) against 53 players

    Vladimir Kramnik - 56.63% (+201-91=537) against 45 players

    Akiba Rubinstein - 55.46% (+107-74=121) against 20 players

    Mikhail Botvinnik - 54.31% (+112-76=230) against 33 players

    Paul Keres - 52.97% (+120-88=330) against 38 players

    Boris Spassky - 52.92% (+189-135=602) against 51 players

    Tigran Petrosian - 52.87% (+143-100=505) against 39 players

    Lev Polugaevsky - 52.78% (+132-98=381) against 52 players

    Aron Nimzowitsch - 52.29% (+63-53=102) against 19 players

    Mikhail Tal - 52.07% (+157-125=490) against 47 players

    Viktor Korchnoi - 50.86% (+326-303=711) against 68 players

    Efim Geller - 50.64% (+135-127=367) against 50 players

    Carl Schlechter - 50.63% (+74-70=175) against 18 players

    Samuel Reshevsky - 50.55% (+74-70=218) against 44 players

    Vasily Smyslov - 50.41% (+161-154=549) against 57 players

    ===================================================

    David Bronstein - 49.69% (+92-85=301) against 42 players

    Reuben Fine - 48.97% (+18-20=59) against 18 players

    Lajos Portisch - 48.64% (+178-204=575) against 56 players

    Milan Vidmar - 47.93% (+42-50=101) against 27 players

    Bent Larsen - 47.75% (+168-195=236) against 51 players

    Isaak Boleslavsky - 47.39% (+33-44=134) against 22 players

    Salomon Flohr - 46.99% (+35-50=164) against 29 players

    Robert Huebner - 46.97% (+98-135=378) against 59 players

    Efim Bogoljubov - 46.58% (+109-134=123) against 20 players

    Max Euwe - 46.35% (+85-113=186) against 31 players

    Siegbert Tarrasch - 45.91% (+87=114-129) against 20 players

    Frank Marshall - 45.40% (+108-149=189) against 19 players

    Svetozar Gligoric - 44.81% (+100-175=447) against 49 players

    Miguel Najdorf - 44.69% (+56-92=191) against 36 players

    Laszlo Szabo - 44.68% (+65-105=206) against 37 players

    Mark Taimanov - 44.20% (+70-120=241) against 47 players

    Rudolf Spielmann - 44.09% (+85-128=151) against 21 players

    Borislav Ivkov - 43.84% (+59-120=316) against 46 players

    Wolfgang Uhlmann - 43.08% (+48-92=178) against 47 players

    Dawid Janowski - 41.67% (+100-153=65) against 20 players

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    @alghul

    Aronian will be included as soon as I gather all the stats.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    alghul

    Should Aronian not be included?
    Carlsen will likely climb higher as his prime is still to come - provided he stays interested in chess.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    mcris

    Very good analysis, please complete with all contemporary World-Champions.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    @BlueKnightShade

    That's a preview. The results against Larsen are already included in the statistics, but I just haven't gathered all Larsen's results yet.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Pacific_Victory

    Based on this list, it looks like Kasparov simply dominates, if we take the number of games and number of opponents into consideration as well as the raw percentage. 

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    BlueKnightShade

    Spektrowski , you wrote that you included every chess player who at least reached Candidates' matches quarterfinals. Well in that case Bent Larsen should be included since he went further in that he reached semifinals 3 times.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bent_Larsen

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    @MSC157

    Magnus Carlsen - 57.63% (+93-42=199) against 33 players (between Alekhine and Karpov)

    Vishwanathan Anand - 57.26% (+271-126=602) against 53 players

    Vladimir Kramnik - 56.63% (+201-91=537) against 45 players (both between Karpov and Rubinstein).

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Kinghal

    Great article, Spektrowski.  Gives an insight into the relative strength of the various champions.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    MSC157

    I love your blog Spektrowski. Do you know the statistics for Carlsen and Kramnik too?

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    @Sadler I have nothing against Magnus and think of him as a very worthy world champion. It's just, as far as I know, Korchnoi is the only one to play, let alone defeat both Botvinnik and Carlsen, whose title reigns are 65 years apart.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Sadler

    FYI: Magnus lost on time because he had missed out a line in his scoresheet by mistake and therefore thought he had already made 40 moves. Age 14.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    AngeloPardi

    I perfectly agree.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    Spektrowski

    Yes, I know. Still, it shows relative strength of top players against each other, and I think nobody can disagree that Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov were dominating forces in chess in their prime.

  • 9 miesięcy temu

    AngeloPardi

    The problem with your method is that players like Rubinstein have a rather good record against top players, but were also able to blunder dozens of games against much weaker opponents.

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