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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time (Read 15608 times)
MNb
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #23 - 05/06/11 at 15:23:03
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 05/06/11 at 14:56:08:
I'm gonna stick with Smyslov.

That's your full right of course, but arguing it by comparing him with Spielmann is none too convincing, as I have dropped him since long from the list. My argument is that Smyslov should be dropped for similar reasons. That's being consistent, don't you think?

Btw in the first half of the Moscow 1925 game against Capa Spielmann was better; in the first New York 1927 game Spielmann could have preserved an edge with 24.Qd7. I don't see any advantage for Capa in the last game either. So your remark on Spielmann struggling is not quite true; also remind that he was out of shape in both tournaments.
  

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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #22 - 05/06/11 at 14:56:08
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MNb wrote on 05/03/11 at 13:19:27:
Smyslov_Fan wrote on 05/02/11 at 23:48:30:
MNb, if the previous posts are correct, Spielmann's to blame for everyone having to face it after him! How could he possibly fail to beat Capablanca when the Cuban played such a fishy first move?! Shocked


Then drop Fischer too for similar reasons: abysmal results against Keres, who wasn't even WCh.
Anand's credentials look better to me.

Of course Smyslov's results in the C-K against Botters aren't any better than Spielmann's against Capa. So scrap Smyslov too (I assume that S_F wants to be consistent  Kiss).

Kasparov
Tal
Anand
Grisjuk

and finally we have forgotten another important C-K basher, a WCh nonetheless:

...

Spielmann had three cracks at Capa's Caro. He managed draws in all three.

Smyslov faced Botter's Caro 5 times. He didn't do so well the first couple of times, but he completely shut it down in the last two. So yes, they each had 50% scores. But Spielmann struggled to draw against Capa while Smyslov effectively solved Botter's Caro problem. I'm gonna stick with Smyslov.

Your point about Fischer is certainly legit, but his losses to Keres were when he was quite young. It really is telling that Petrosian didn't even try the Caro-Kann against Fischer in their Candidates match, especially after the way Fischer dominated Caro in the ROW match.


  
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MNb
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #21 - 05/03/11 at 13:19:27
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 05/02/11 at 23:48:30:
MNb, if the previous posts are correct, Spielmann's to blame for everyone having to face it after him! How could he possibly fail to beat Capablanca when the Cuban played such a fishy first move?! Shocked


Then drop Fischer too for similar reasons: abysmal results against Keres, who wasn't even WCh.
Anand's credentials look better to me.

Of course Smyslov's results in the C-K against Botters aren't any better than Spielmann's against Capa. So scrap Smyslov too (I assume that S_F wants to be consistent  Kiss).

Kasparov
Tal
Anand
Grisjuk

and finally we have forgotten another important C-K basher, a WCh nonetheless:

Anatoly Evgenjevitsj has 28-16-3, two of which are from this Millennium - a simul and a rapid game. Only Kasparov did better as White ...
  

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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #20 - 05/03/11 at 13:19:28
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I agree about Spassky (iirc following the 1966 WC Match Petrosian-Spassky, Botvinnik beat him as Black in the same main line variation, in that same year!). Also one could argue that Tal was not that successful against the Caro in his WC Matches. In 1960, he scored rather well, but as he mentions himself somewhere in his book for the match, he objectively got a good position out of the opening in 1 out of 6 games (caveat: use the above statistics & comments with a grain of salt as I reproduced them from memory).

But my feeling is that Tal & Spassky were nevertheless sort of pioneers in trying out the attacking systems they chose against the Caro (Shirov also comes to mind). At least they pushed their opponents to the limits in these WC matches.

Now back on Fischer: well after a certain point Fischer was like a machine, I think he could overcome any resistance. But again my feeling is that the C-K posed him more difficulties than say the RL (for the White side of the RL or the Sozin, I would certainly say he was at a league of his own).

But I understand your point of view and respect it. In essence I have found Tal or Short more inspirational for the White side of the Caro and Fischer who is my favourite player much less.. Maybe that is contrary to statistics, but is still how I feel.  Smiley

Maybe if Petrosian had tried the C-K in the Candidates 1971 we would have had a definite answer. I don't think Fischer would have tried the exchange var. again and also Petrosian the fianchetto defence experiments vs. the Panov-Botvinnik.
  

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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #19 - 05/03/11 at 12:50:55
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chk wrote on 05/03/11 at 09:06:53:
Fischer may have been Anti-Caro based on his feelings, but his record is not so impressive against this opening (but of course I would have studied his games if I was to employ the Panov-Botvinnik Attack).

...


Fischer went 29-14-6 against the Caro-Kann. He lost three games in the 1959 Candidates tournament and once in a simul. Apart from that, almost nobody even tried it against him. He beat Petrosian in the ROW match. The Soviets didn't even try it in his Candidates matches in 1971. I think his credentials in the Caro-Kann are pretty solid.

Spassky's overall record was excellent, but in 1974 he had a losing score in the Caro-Kann against Karpov. I docked him for that performance. In fact, Karpov has a lifetime plus score against Spassky as Black in the Caro-Kann!
  
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chk
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #18 - 05/03/11 at 09:06:53
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Fischer may have been Anti-Caro based on his feelings, but his record is not so impressive against this opening (but of course I would have studied his games if I was to employ the Panov-Botvinnik Attack).

I think Smyslov, Tal & Spassky tried hard from the White side in their respective WC matches against Botvinnik and Petrosian and should deserve mention (despite the "not so great" results). For instance, iirc Spassky was the first to employ successfully the h4-h5 & Ne5 cramping plan in the main line (w Bf5).
  

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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #17 - 05/02/11 at 23:48:30
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MNb, if the previous posts are correct, Spielmann's to blame for everyone having to face it after him! How could he possibly fail to beat Capablanca when the Cuban played such a fishy first move?! Shocked

No. The great anti-Caro-Kann players must include
  • Smyslov
  • Tal (those amazing Rook sacs are priceless)
  • Fischer
  • Kasparov
  • Grischuk (Possibly another, but his record is impressive.)
  
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MNb
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #16 - 05/01/11 at 23:17:22
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Drop Carlsen, replace him by Rudolf Spielmann. Carlsen mainly has met the C-K in blitz and rapid. Spielmann has 60%; greats like Capablanca, Nimzowitsch, Tartakower and Alekhine have played it against him. This famous one reminds us of Tal:

Spielmann,R - Hönlinger,B [B15]
Wien m Wien (8), 1929

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Ng3 e6 6.Nf3 c5 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.a3 0-0 10.0-0 b6 11.b4 Be7 12.Bb2 Qc7 13.b5 Na5 14.Ne5 Bb7 15.Ng4 Qd8 16.Ne3 Nd5 17.Qh5 g6 18.Ng4 Bf6 19.Nxf6+ Nxf6 20.Qh6 Rc8 21.Rad1 Qe7 22.Rfe1 Ne8 23.Nf5 Qc5 24.Re5 Bd5 25.Ne7+ 1-0

It also should be noted that Spielmann played the Panov-Botvinnik around the same time as the great Russian himself: against that same Hönlinger in the Trebitsch Memorial of 1933.
Then again, Spielmann probably should be replaced by Tal.
  

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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #15 - 05/01/11 at 09:12:54
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Pantu wrote on 04/30/11 at 20:13:04:
My first thought was Capablanca as well.  That's partly because I know that 4...Bf5 is sometimes called the Capablanca variation!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caro-Kann_Defence#Classical_.2F_Capablanca_Variatio...

With a Smyslov/Karpov Variation, and Korchnoi-Larsen variation as well that's 5 just on names of the variations...

But Botvinnik has to be in there as well (Panov-Botvinnik is for white, but playing it in World Championships makes an impact)


Here's another question: Who were the five greatest Anti-Caro Players of all Time?

Here's my spontaneous list:

Kasparov
Carlsen
Shirov
Anand
Short
  

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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #14 - 04/30/11 at 20:13:04
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My first thought was Capablanca as well.  That's partly because I know that 4...Bf5 is sometimes called the Capablanca variation!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caro-Kann_Defence#Classical_.2F_Capablanca_Variatio...

With a Smyslov/Karpov Variation, and Korchnoi-Larsen variation as well that's 5 just on names of the variations...

But Botvinnik has to be in there as well (Panov-Botvinnik is for white, but playing it in World Championships makes an impact)
  
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #13 - 04/30/11 at 19:59:43
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But he introduced it into elite play, drawing three times against Rudolf Spielmann, when 1...c6 was still considered a ridiculous idea. 
  
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #12 - 04/30/11 at 19:45:09
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Capa played the Caro-Kann as Black only 10 times in tournament conditions as far as I can tell. Ok, he didn't play that many games anyway, but to be considered such an important Caro-Kann player with only a handful of games seems unfair to those great players who repeatedly used it at critical times.
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #11 - 04/30/11 at 19:39:51
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Markovich, there have been threads on the best French players in the French sections. This one's about the Caro-Kann. I don't see why it needs to be moved.

(I did move it to this section from the French section, and if it is moved to the general section, I won't move it back. I just think this is the best place for this discussion.)
  
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #10 - 04/30/11 at 17:48:25
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I suggest this be moved to General Chess.  It's not really about the Caro per se, just about who played it.
  

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ANDREW BRETT
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Re: Who were the 5 Greatest Caro Players of all Time
Reply #9 - 04/30/11 at 16:47:18
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5 greatest Caro- Karpov, Capablanca, Botvinnik, Petrosian and Larsen .  Only one of these didn't win the world title.
It's worth noting that Anand, Topalov, Seirawan, Bareev, Dreev have all made significant impact on this opening and Gary K wrote a very decent opening manual on 4.. bf5
  
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