I’m doing something a little unusual for a chess player these days – I’m reading a chess book!   “Bobby Fischer goes to war” to be precise.  For the very young players who may not know what a book is, it’s sort of like an old-fashioned iPad made of paper.

Was Bobby Fischer the best chess player ever?  I had a vigorous debate with “CheckNorris” on Chess Kids On-line last night about how Fischer compares with Magnus Carlson, the highest rated player in the world at the moment.  Carlsen is rated at 2837 compared with Fischer’s best rating of 2785 in 1972.   Indeed there are four players in the world at the moment who are rated higher than Fischer ever was.   At 2788 we have someone named Teimour Radjabov, who I’ve never heard of, so basing standard solely on ratings would seem to be invalid.  The problem is that ratings have inflated over the years, probably by 100-120 points since 1972 so this would place Fischer well above Carlsen.   The Fischer book I’m reading notes also that, on his way to qualifying to play Spassky, Fischer won 20 games in a row against top class grandmasters like Taimanov, Larsen and Petrosian – an amazing record.

Carlsen is a great player, and playing standards may have risen particularly with the advent of chess computers to help players, but stronger than Bobby Fischer?   I doubt it.   By way of example here is how Fischer finished off Rueben Fine in 1963.   White to play and win.


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One Response to “Jammo’s Chess Puzzle #138”

  1. August 03, 2012 at 1:03 pm, junior master said:

    Teimour Radjabov beat Garry Kasparov at 16 years old. Kasparov had not lost as white in 8 years and didn’t lose another game as white until he retired.