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  1. Standard member sonship
    the corrected one.
    24 Apr '13 15:45
    Was Bobby Fischer fair to describe Emmanual Lasker as an overrated grandmaster ? Coming from anyone else we might llisten. Coming from Fischer, maybe he was on to something.

    How much validity would you associate to Fischer's criticism of E. Lasker ?

    How much dare to correct Fischer on his criticism of Lasker ?
  2. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    24 Apr '13 16:54
    If he was talking about Edward Lasker maybe. Remember, Fischer also considered Staunton one of the strongest players ever.
  3. 24 Apr '13 20:01
    It's interesting to see Fischer's reasoning for his 'Top 10 Players'
    that excluded Lasker, who he called a coffee house player and Botvinnik.

    You can find the whole article here.

    http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischer4.html

    I've taken a few lines about each player from the above link to whet your appetite
    But you should read the full article.

    1. PAUL MORPHY. Perhaps the most accurate player who ever
    lived, he would beat anybody today in a set-match. He had
    complete sight of the board and seldom blundered even
    though he moved quite rapidly. I've played over hundreds of
    his games and am continually surprised and entertained by
    his ingenuity.

    2. HOWARD STAUNTON. His games are completely modern, but
    very few of them show brilliancies. He understood all the
    positional concepts we now hold so dear.

    3. WILHELM STEINITZ. He always sought completely original
    lines and didn't mind getting into cramped quarters if he
    thought that his position was essentially sound.

    4. SIEGBERT TARRASCH. Razor-sharp, he always followed his
    own rules. In spite of devotion to his own supposedly
    scientific method, his play was often witty and bright.

    5. MIKHAIL TCHIGORIN. The first great Russian player and one
    of the last of the Romantic School. At times he would continue
    playing a bad line even after it was refuted.

    6. ALEXANDER ALEKHINE. Never a hero of mine. His style
    worked for him, but it could scarcely work for anybody else.
    His conceptions were gigantic, full of outrageous and
    unprecedented ideas. It's hard to find mistakes in his
    games, but in a sense his whole method was a mistake.

    7. JOSE CAPABLANCA. He had the totally undeserved reputation
    of being the greatest living endgame player. His trick was
    to keep his openings simple and then play with such brilliance
    that it was decided in the middle game before reaching the
    ending -- even though his opponent didn't always know it.
    His almost complete lack of book knowledge forced him to
    push harder to squeeze the utmost out of every position.

    8. BORIS SPASSKY. He can blunder away a piece, and you are
    never sure whether it's a blunder or a fantastically deep
    sacrifice. He sits at the board with the same dead expression
    whether he's mating or being mated.

    9. MIKHAIL TAL. Even after losing four games in a row to him
    I still consider his play unsound. He is always on the
    lookout for some spectacular sacrifice, that one shot, that
    dramatic breakthrough to give him the win.

    10. SAMUEL RESHEVSKY. From 1946 to 1956 probably the best in
    the world, though his opening knowledge was less than any
    other leading player. Like a machine calculating every
    variation, he found moves over the board by a process of
    elimination and often got into fantastic time pressure.

    The above came from an article written in 1964 but in 1961 Bobby was asked:

    "Who is currently the strongest player?"

    Fischer answered.

    It’s difficult to say. Botvinnik and Tal are among the best; I also like Spassky,
    but I think Petrosian is better than all of them. His weakness is too many draws,
    even against players he could beat easily. Maybe he lacks self-confidence.’
  4. 24 Apr '13 21:04
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    It's interesting to see Fischer's reasoning for his 'Top 10 Players'
    that excluded Lasker, who he called a coffee house player and Botvinnik.

    You can find the whole article here.

    http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischer4.html

    I've taken a few lines about each player from the above link to whet your appetite
    But you should read the ful ...[text shortened]... raws,
    even against players he could beat easily. Maybe he lacks self-confidence.’
    I read that even in his own day Lasker was considered a weak player despite his prolonged success as world champion for like twenty years or something. Cannot say if it was deserved or not.
  5. Donation ketchuplover
    G.O.A.T.
    24 Apr '13 21:28
    He was strong enough for his time.
  6. Subscriber sundown316
    The Mighty Messenger
    24 Apr '13 22:02
    He held the title for 27 years, a record NOBODY will ever break, especially by the cookie-cutter GMs of today who trade the various, watered-down versions of the title amongst themselves practically every month. Fischer later amended his views about Lasker.
  7. Standard member sonship
    the corrected one.
    24 Apr '13 22:37
    Originally posted by sundown316
    He held the title for 27 years, a record NOBODY will ever break, especially by the cookie-cutter GMs of today who trade the various, watered-down versions of the title amongst themselves practically every month. Fischer later amended his views about Lasker.
    Was he too young to know better maybe?
  8. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    24 Apr '13 23:34
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I read that even in his own day Lasker was considered a weak player despite his prolonged success as world champion for like twenty years or something. Cannot say if it was deserved or not.
    Lasker spent a lot of time being a top flight mathematician rather than top flight chess player. That may have resulted in less time spent on chess and fewer tournaments and matches played. He could certainly turn it on when he needed to though.
  9. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    25 Apr '13 00:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    Was Bobby Fischer fair to describe Emmanual Lasker as an overrated grandmaster ? Coming from anyone else we might llisten. Coming from Fischer, maybe he was on to something.

    How much validity would you associate to Fischer's criticism of E. Lasker ?

    How much dare to correct Fischer on his criticism of Lasker ?
    Emanual Lasker was world champion and died before Fischer was born. Edward Lasker was U.S. Open Champion and was alive when Fischer was playing Chess. So it appears they were both good during their time. Maybe Fischer was actually referring to Edward instead of the World Champion, Emanual Lasker.
  10. Standard member woodypusher
    misanthrope
    25 Apr '13 03:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Emanual Lasker was world champion and died before Fischer was born. Edward Lasker was U.S. Open Champion and was alive when Fischer was playing Chess. So it appears they were both good during their time. Maybe Fischer was actually referring to Edward instead of the World Champion, Emanual Lasker.
    Of course he meant Emanuel. I was joking about Edward.
  11. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    25 Apr '13 04:47
    Originally posted by woodypusher
    Of course he meant Emanuel. I was joking about Edward.
    Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 – January 11, 1941) was a German chess player, mathematician, and philosopher who was World Chess Champion for 27 years (from 1894 to 1921). In his prime Lasker was one of the most dominant champions, and he is still generally regarded as one of the strongest players ever.

    His contemporaries used to say that Lasker used a "psychological" approach to the game, and even that he sometimes deliberately played inferior moves to confuse opponents. Recent analysis, however, indicates that he was ahead of his time and used a more flexible approach than his contemporaries, which mystified many of them. Lasker knew contemporary analyses of openings well but disagreed with many of them. He published chess magazines and five chess books, but later players and commentators found it difficult to draw lessons from his methods.


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

    Well, I really don't know what Fischer said, but if he said Emanuel Lasker was over-rated, then obviously he is wrong.
  12. Standard member sonship
    the corrected one.
    25 Apr '13 11:02
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Emanuel Lasker (December 24, 1868 – January 11, 1941) was a German chess player, mathematician, and philosopher who was World Chess Champion for 27 years (from 1894 to 1921). In his prime Lasker was one of the most dominant champions, and he is still generally regarded as one of the strongest players ever.

    His contemporaries used to say that Lasker used ...[text shortened]... what Fischer said, but if he said Emanuel Lasker was over-rated, then obviously he is wrong.
    I heard he was a defensive player. And I like one of his simple rules.

    When you spot a good move just take a moment to see if you see a better one.
  13. 25 Apr '13 11:58 / 2 edits
    Fischer was a very good player who is oft quoted as saying:
    "I don't believe in psychology, I believe in good moves."

    Playing over Lasker's games was not his cup of tea.
    It was his opinion (which changed from time to time as he got better).
    Lasker's games did not suit his style which was to look for the best move
    rather than an OK moves that set OTB problems.
    (which is not really Lasker but in some of Lasker's games Fischer would
    have seen better moves.)

    It's a matter of taste. Lasker was a hero of Korchnoi who produced some games
    I could never understand and I'm not alone here.

    Lasker's playing record and tournament wins speak for themself.
    I don't think he was overated as a player.

    His psychological approach is, the famous one being him adopting the exchange
    variation of the Lopez against Capablanca in St.Petersburg when Lasker needed a win.

    A few weeks prior to this game someone played an exchange lopez v Capa.
    Capa won but his opponents play could have been improved upon.
    Lasker did a bit of prep, Capa drifted into a bad game and lost.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    26 Apr '13 11:09
    In some ways Fischer's play was like Lasker's, in that he was content to "pass the ball around until there was a shot".

    I have a theory that Fischer did not respect Lasker as much because they were similar. We tend to value the exotic and discount the familiar, and that could be the case here for Fischer.
  15. 26 Apr '13 13:45
    Fischer and Lasker were opposites and perhaps niether of them could have fully appreciated the other. Many of us can early on sense the kind of game our opponent wants to play, either generally(style) or specifically (mood), but how many of us can relentlessly exploit that sense from first move to last? In that, Lasker stands alone, mowing down neo-romantics, "scientists", hypermoderns, founders of the "Soviet School" and many others...for decades and into his sixties. Lasker's longevity, his record and his games , speaks for itself. Recommended: A. Soltis' book WHY LASKER MATTERS and Dr. J Hannak's book, EMANUEL LASKER; THE LIFE OF A CHESS MASTER. Fischer's statement on Lasker is akin to the young lady who declared that The Matrix was the greatest film of all time and Citizen Kane was "boring". the answer is the same, it goes, "Dear, Citizen Kane (and Lasker) is for adults."