3. Jose Capablanca (1888-1942)
[alert-note] Peak ELO Rating: 2725. Chessmetrics Rating: 2921 [/alert-note]
Jose Capablanca, also known as the ‘Chess Machine’ for his seemingly simply yet systematic methods which he mastered was a natural chess player and is regarded as the epitome of a completely ‘Pure positional’ player. A Cuban Chess player, Capablanca with his logical and direct development in the clarity of position, he always seemed to avoid any sort of complications in the game and obtain tiny advantages to convert the game in his side which no one could equal even today. In his entire career of 10 years at World Championship, he lost only once against Emanuel Lasker from 1914 to 1924. Capablanca is known for his distinction of having a minimum loss than any Grand Master in the world history.
2. Bobby Fischer (1943-2008)
[alert-note] Peak FIDE rating: 2785, Peak USCF rating: 2810, Chessmetric Rating: 2914 [/alert-note]
American born chess prodigy, Bobby Fischer was one of the finest master strategist in chess who was never afraid of complications in the game of chess. A special opening master, Fischer always wanted to win and refused draws. A king of position, his tactics could be read by opponents but were unstoppable for which he was widely popular. He became US Chess Champion just at a tender age of 14 and also became the Grand Master at 15, a record which is still not broken. 8 times US Chess Champion Fischer went on to win the 1962 US championship without any losses and the 1963 Championships with all wins. His amazing moves saw him win against Petrosian in the 1970, USSR vs Rest of the World competition. Fischer went on to a self imposed exile for 20 years and played a match in 1992 in the Sveti Stefan which he won against Boris Spassky, his old foe with 10 wins, 5 losses and 15 draws.
1. Gary Kasparov (1963- present)
[alert-note] Peak ELO Rating: 2850, Chessmetric Rating : 2895 [/alert-note]
A brilliant attacking minded tactician of the royal game, Gary Kasparov is one of the most aggressively dynamic players of all times belonging to Russia. Kasparov could make sophisticated generalization of the competition and emerge with an art that coincides with the reality which are all about defense. His name has been synonymous to chess because of his unmatched talents and contributions to several chess theories. He became the World Junior Champion in 1980 and from December 1981 to February 1991, he became invincible without losing even a single game for nearly ten years.
He has been in the number 1 spot since 1985 to even today: 18 years in the same position. After being the youngest chess champion at the age of 22, he remained in the same spot since 1985 to 2000. One of his greatest challengers was Karpov who he lost in 1984 and defended the title for three consecutive years after 1985 with very small margins. Kasparov retired from the game in 2005.
There can be numerous methods to rank Chess legends in the list with regard to their dominance or greatness by seeing their statistics, results, records and performance ratings. With the adpotion of the Elo’s system by FIDE in 1970, comparison between the players was made easy and which saw 90 chess players in history break the 2700 mark with six exceeding 2800. This article does not make any attempt to belittle the accomplishments of other chess players who have been regarded best in the world, but is just an indication that the one’s listed here were on higher grounds.