chess against computer

Chess Against Computer

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zdrak 204 ( +1 | -1 )
Who are those players ? Here are descriptions of some of the well-known chess players of history. For each description, your mission, should you accept it, is to guess which player it refers to.

The person who wrote those descriptions is a well-known chess-player and chess-writer himself. So we can at least assume he knows what he's talking about.

1. His aim is always to sieze the initiative. A remarkably deep combination player who can think out and compare long sequences of moves. But also an excellent position player, a good defender and a master of the endgame .... It is no exaggeration to call him the most versatile champion in the history of chess. Only in excessively tedious and dull positions was he vulnerable.

2. He never concerned himself with any particularly deep planning. In the opening all he asked for was a decent position; a shade the better, a shade the worse, this mattered little to him. Only with the arrival of middlegame complications and dangers did his genius truly awaken.

3. His play was sound and his style was primarily positional. In addition he had tactical talent which came into its own especially when the opponent had been outplayed strategically. His weak point lay in his optimism and lack of objectivity.

4. His play exhibits on one hand the combinative richness of Alekhine, with a bias towards adventurousness, and on the other hand the solid positional basis of Smyslov and Petrosyan. Since he is the master of so many attacking weapons he is also well qualified to appraise the attacks of his opponents with great accuracy.

5. He's one of the most accomplished strategists in the history of chess,but in contrast to his collegues, he scores most of his positional victories not by intuition but by precise calculation. He is at home in all sorts of positions. He can conduct an attack well, and has registered many successes by mating attacks after the queens had gone. Equally he's a past master of defense, which he manages in active style.

Good luck! Awaiting your guesses ...

PS: If you know the source this is taken from, please do not ruin the quiz for everyone else by posting something like "nya nya I know the answers" ....
More: Chess
gambitnut 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Number two ... ... sounds like Lasker.
zepelin 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Number one.. Kasparov I think... but if there isn't a computer in the other side :).

Nice post, zdrak
myway316 8 ( +1 | -1 )
#3 sounds like Nimzovich,and #5 could be Reshevsky(?).The others I don't know,could be almost anybody.
mikhail_tal 7 ( +1 | -1 )
number 2... sounds like my namesake. number 3 sounds like Petrosion.
tovmauzer 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Probably... 1. Kasparov
2. Capablanca
4. Shirov
zdrak 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry, I should have mentioned that these descriptions were written in the late 1960's. Those who nominated Kasparov and Shirov get a 2nd chance ....
gambitnut 1 ( +1 | -1 )
If number one isn't Kasparov ... ... is it Morphy?
tovmauzer 2 ( +1 | -1 )
2nd guess...:) 1. Alekhine
4. Spassky
aggropolis 3 ( +1 | -1 )
My guesses 1. Tal
2. Capablanca
3. Nimzowitsch
4. ?
5. Botvinnik
tulkos 1 ( +1 | -1 )
NUMBER 2!! The answer is TAL!
tonlesu 19 ( +1 | -1 )
quiz Good one zdrak
1. number one sounds very much like Fischer but since Fischer had not won the championship at this time (late 60's) I'll say LASKER.
tonlesu 6 ( +1 | -1 )
On second thought
1. Spassky
5. Botvinnik
brankort 5 ( +1 | -1 )
my guesses 1- Capablanca

tovmauzer 8 ( +1 | -1 )
If it's not late... I would add 5. Botvinnik.

However I have no idea about 3 - definition is not too distinctive:)
tonlesu 25 ( +1 | -1 )
clarification Are we talking official world champions here or are some unofficial champions or just strong Gm's?
I mention this because in number one the writer says "...most versatile champion" and I'm assuming all his thumbnail descriptions are of of official world champions.
dorisia 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Maybe... 1. Lasker
2. Capablanca
3. Euwe
4. Spassky
5. Botwinnik

2 and 5 seem certain, the others are not so clear.
zdrak 40 ( +1 | -1 )

We are talking about players who are very prominent grandmasters, some of them world champions.

You're right, #3 is a bit too vague, so I'll give a hint: His lack of objectivity was almost legendary. He was known for saying: "When I'm white, I win because I'm white. When I'm black, I win because I'm <name>"

Other than that, I'll supply no further hints ;-)

Some very interesting guesses so far.
tovmauzer 1 ( +1 | -1 )
Helpful hint:) 3. Bogolubov.
tonlesu 1 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks 3 Bogolubov!
gambitnut 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Zdrak It's nice to hear you find our guesses interesting! Are any of them right?
zdrak 27 ( +1 | -1 )
gambitnut et. al.

I think I'll give this quiz one more day to run....

- nobody got #1 and #4. Come on, those are very well known players.
- #4 was never world champ, but was one of world's best for quite a long time.
- #3 is indeed Bogoliubov. The quote was too much of a giveaway ;-)

atrifix 5 ( +1 | -1 )
My guess 1) Fischer
2) Lasker
3) Bogolyubov
4) Kortschnoi
5) Botvinnik.
gambitnut 16 ( +1 | -1 )
So, we also have gotten numbers two and five? For number two, we have guessed Lasker, Tal and Capablanca, which is it?

For number five, it's between Reshevsky, Botvinnik and Petrosian, again, which is it?

Is number one Stenitz?
tovmauzer 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Gambitnut Let us guess for one more day:) It is really interesting quiz.
atrifix 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Ah Rereading the thread now, I see that #1 does indeed say "champion" and Fischer was not yet champion in the late 60s (even though this is a remarkably accurate description of Fischer), so I'll have to change my guess to Alekhine.
gambitnut 3 ( +1 | -1 )
I also don't know i f ... ... Kortschnoi was well known by the 60's.
tovmauzer 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Atrifix Alekhine was my guess as well, but from Zdrak's post follows that nobody got #1 and #4. So #1 is not Alekhine. I'm still thinking about #4, but almost gave up on #1, though number of possible solutions is very small for it:)
tonlesu 2 ( +1 | -1 )
1, Botvinnik
4. Keres
atrifix 30 ( +1 | -1 )
Revision Kortschnoi was well known--and one of the world's top players--by the late 60s, although at that point he was still young and had not yet had a shot at the world title. I almost went with Geller here, but I think it's a more accurate description of Kortschnoi.

#1-Steinitz? I liked my original answer of Fischer better :)
aggropolis 27 ( +1 | -1 )
But I think I have read about Tal hating dull positions, sometimes accusing opponents to create them only to bore him out? His endgame was great, which he showed against Botvinnik and he was a positional player as well although mostly a tactic player.
mikhail_tal 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Tal For everyone thinking Tal was a great endgame player have not read The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal. Another player called him an ordinary master at endgames!
atrifix 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Botvinnik won the rematch with Tal precisely by exploiting his weak endgames, although Tal's health was not in very good shape for much of the match.
tovmauzer 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Well I don't know...:)
Probably Tonlesu last guess is true (especially #4)

In this case I would say that #5 could be Reti.
tonlesu 60 ( +1 | -1 )
I think We should start working as a team. What do you think of either Smyslov or Botvinnik for one? The description says he was the most versatile champion in history. I'm taking that to mean great in openings, great in middlegames and great in the endings. I'm sure there are other interpretations for versatile, for instance, I consider Lasker versatile in that he was a classical player for the first half of his life and came back after a layoff to win the 1924 NY tournament when hypermodernism was all the rage. Thats versatile.
Korchnoi or Keres could fit 4. Intuitively, I like Keres better but it could be either or neither.
tovmauzer 28 ( +1 | -1 )
About #1 I think it is definitely neither Smyslov, nor Euwe. Then only two options left (excluding wrong answers): Steinitz and Botvinnik. Botvinnik fits better in the description. Though not as good as Alekhine, Fischer and Kasparov:)

If #1 is Botvinnik, what would be your guess for #5?
tovmauzer 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Logical approach. I'm slow today:) If #1 is Botvinnik, then #5 is Petrosyan - Zdrak said that nobody got #1 and #4, so there was right answer for #5 (we had only two guesses: Botvinnik and Petrosyan).

Though I feel that Botvinnik fits better for #5...

I think it is time for more hints probably:)
tonlesu 11 ( +1 | -1 )
tov Didn't zdrak say someone got #5? But you're right, if we know #5 that would help a lot.Petrosian was mentioned, he seems to fit ok.
tonlesu 4 ( +1 | -1 )
sorry didn't see your last message
tonlesu 10 ( +1 | -1 )
tov how about 1. Botvinnik
2. Capablanca
3. Bogolubov
4. Keres
5. Petrosian

Of course 2 could be either Lasker or Capablanca.
tovmauzer 6 ( +1 | -1 )
The one... I'm almost sure about is #2 - it's Capablanca.
So let's try to go with this.
tonlesu 0 ( +1 | -1 )
zdrak 16 ( +1 | -1 )

1. Botvinnik
2. Lasker
3. Bogoliubov
4. Keres
5. Petrosian

Source: Max Euwe, "The development of Chess style"

Hope you enjoyed this little quiz !
tovmauzer 36 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you, Zdrak for this quiz! Though it looks like I have different point of view compare to Euwe, I enjoyed this thread a lot:) And sorry about Capa and Lasker, Tonlesu:)

We had very good chess trivia thread ~year ago. As I remember Sarah Tran & Tonlesu were the best there. Probably we could revive the tradition...:)
aggropolis 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Well thank you Zdrak and even if I do not agree with Euwe, I still think it was a good quiz.
tonlesu 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks Good, tough, entertaining and informative quiz!
tulkos 3 ( +1 | -1 )
darn--- I was sure that two was Tal. It all fits him to a T!
tonlesu 28 ( +1 | -1 )
Well Tal was playing in big tournaments as a young teen and never strayed far from the chessboard. He was always up to date on the openings.

Lasker,on the other hand, left chess on several occasions, for years at a time. He often went into tournaments with little opening preparation.
tulkos 19 ( +1 | -1 )
yes, but--- Tal wrote that he would more probably take a draw in the opening, when the fight was still in the offing, then in the middlegame.and his genius only fully awakened in the middlegame!
atrifix 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, two keys gave me Lasker rather than Capablanca :)

"Only with the arrival of middlegame complications and dangers did his genius truly awaken. "

The key word being dangers--Lasker often found himself in very bad positions of the opening and somehow made an active fight of defending out of it, whereas Capa was more inclined to solid play, even though he was never much into openings. And:

"He never concerned himself with any particularly deep planning."

This really sounds a lot more like Lasker. Capa had some incredibly deep and great planning, especially in the endgames, whereas Lasker was much more of a tactical and combinative player.
zdrak 38 ( +1 | -1 )
One curious point about #1: even Botvinnik himself said that combinative ability was his weakness - while Euwe noted this ability as Botvinnik's main strength! Just shows you how difficult it is to properly evaluate a chess player, even one that has been under GMs scrutiny for decades!

By the way, thanks to all who took the time to participate in this quiz!