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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Best d4 players (Read 721 times)
ErictheRed
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #16 - yesterday at 15:55:33
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Also while certainly not a top-10 player of all time, Krasenkow is perhaps my favorite Catalan player.  I've modeled a lot of my repertoire after his games.  For instance, he has an incredible score after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Na3!?

  
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MNb
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #15 - 08/16/19 at 17:04:45
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LeeRoth wrote on 08/16/19 at 12:07:13:
Was anyone really playing the QGD as White before Pillsbury came along?

Greco, De la Bourdonnais, Von Heydebrand, Cochrane.
Blackburne played the QGD with 5.Bf4, Englisch with 4.Bg5.
So the correct answer is: several players.
  

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LeeRoth
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #14 - 08/16/19 at 12:07:13
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From 1895-1904, Pillsbury was one of the top players in the world.  He had an even record against Lasker, and there are those who think that, if Pillsbury had not contracted syphilis early in his career, he could have become world champion.  But it’s his contributions to the QGD that makes him one of the best 1.d4 players.  Was anyone really playing the QGD as White before Pillsbury came along?  Most of the top players played 1.e4 — e.g., Morphy, Anderssen, Steinitz, Lasker, Tarrasch, Chigorin.  Zuckertort was perhaps the exception, as he played 1.d4, but he liked to develop the dark-squared Bishop on b2.  Steinitz had sometimes played the QGD and tried Bg5 against Anderssen and Lasker, but I believe it was Pillsbury who really popularized 4.Bg5 and showed how dangerous it could be.

  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #13 - 08/15/19 at 13:51:09
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Exchanging on d4, then posting a knight on e5, followed by f2-f4 and a kingside assault, is still known as the Pillsbury attack; his contemporaries referred to his victories in this line as "Pillsburials."
« Last Edit: 08/15/19 at 19:47:07 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #12 - 08/15/19 at 10:06:47
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I think maybe Pillsbury makes that list because of the minority attack?
  
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #11 - 08/14/19 at 21:43:38
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one player who has been faithful to d4 and played it at a high level is Matthew Sadler. not a world champion, but undoubtedly extremely strong. as a closed game player, i enjoy playing through his games.

edit: just noticed EricTheRed beat me to the Sadler recommendation by some margin.
  
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #10 - 08/14/19 at 10:39:37
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I like everything that I have read that Sokolov writes, especially the Spanish books and Rubinstein Nimzo.
  
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #9 - 08/14/19 at 06:52:00
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I think Kramnik more or less set the agenda for 1.d4 for many years. Mamedyarov has a really good 1.d4 repertoire, and before him Ivan Sokolov.
  
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #8 - 08/13/19 at 22:17:41
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i always sort of considered Kasparov as "ambidextrous" though he was mostly d4/c4 as a younger man. Same with Magnus. I didn't think of Gligoric though he surely was mostly a d4 player. Geller won some nice games with d4 but I think of him more as an e4 player.
  
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Stigma
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #7 - 08/13/19 at 21:23:50
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Hard to argue with those mentioned already, though Carlsen has been far from a consistent 1.d4 player.

Of recent top players, Gelfand deserves a mention too.
  

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LeeRoth
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #6 - 08/13/19 at 18:33:40
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Keene was trying to pick "1.d4 players" -- those who relied heavily on 1.d4 -- and exclude players who used both 1.d4 and 1.e4. 
IIRC, Keene included Alekhine on the ground that Alekhine used 1.d4 in important competitions and matches, and excluded Capa and Lasker as players who were equally comfortable with 1.e4.

At the time of Keene's list, Kasparov was still young and  a 1.d4 player.  Karpov was 1.e4 all the way.  Later, they reversed. 
Funnily enough, in their respective 1.d4 days, both were known for being especially deadly on the White side of the Queens Indian, although for completely different reasons.

Rubinstein was the quintessential 1.d4 player.  To the point where they invented the Budapest just to play against him.  Botvinnik too, of course, although also for 1.c4.  He reportedly avoided 1.e4 for fear of meeting his favorite French defense. 
In addition to those on Keene's list, one could also mention Frank Marshall, Lev Polugaevsky, and Mark Taimanov.  More recently, Kramnik and Aronian stand out.   



    


  
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Pawnpusher
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #5 - 08/13/19 at 17:28:09
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I remember being very impressed by Knaak as well, I guess the travel ban must have affected him badly. Botvinnik seems to have been the most influential d4 player for most of the Soviet era. Funny the Spassky games , outside of the Fischer matches, that I remember best are his King's Gambit games. I thought Polugaevsky was a pretty good d4 player. I guess out of the more current guys Kramnik sort of stands out.
  
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MNb
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #4 - 08/13/19 at 16:48:53
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Pawnpusher wrote on 08/13/19 at 14:53:01:
Capablanca and Rubinstein were the two best d4 players.

Of their time yes. Plus Lasker.
Overall: Carlsen, Kramnik, Kasparov, Karpov and pick your favourite non-WCh of the last 20 years. I mean, since Spassky no top player specialized in 1.d4, though Karpov largely gave up 1.e4 after Kasparov neutralized it with the Najdorf.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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ErictheRed
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #3 - 08/13/19 at 15:56:27
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kylemeister wrote on 08/13/19 at 15:43:20:
Reminds me of Raymond Keene's top 10 in a book from 35 years ago:  Kasparov ("My own feeling is that Kasparov's interpretation of 1. d4 blends icy efficiency and almost balletic artistry in a way that excels the achievements of his mighty antecedents"), Alekhine, Botvinnik, Pillsbury, Petrosian, Korchnoi, Portisch, Reshevsky, Rubinstein, Gligoric.


It's hard to argue against that, though Pillsbury is a little surprising to me.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Best d4 players
Reply #2 - 08/13/19 at 15:43:20
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Reminds me of Raymond Keene's top 10 in a book from 35 years ago:  Kasparov ("My own feeling is that Kasparov's interpretation of 1. d4 blends icy efficiency and almost balletic artistry in a way that excels the achievements of his mighty antecedents"), Alekhine, Botvinnik, Pillsbury, Petrosian, Korchnoi, Portisch, Reshevsky, Rubinstein, Gligoric.
  
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