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tulkos 1 ( +1 | -1 )
the greatest player never to be world champion! I say korchnoi.
death_by_pawns 0 ( +1 | -1 )
i say me. duh.
v_glorioso12 25 ( +1 | -1 )
ummmmmmmm i say paul morphy. he was declared world champion by the president's son when he came back from europe to challenge the best players there. but until a couple of years later, there wasn't an official world championship match
brunetti 54 ( +1 | -1 )
Paul Keres faced an amazingly strong opposition and never suceeded in becoming the challenger.
His life scores are positive with world champions Capablanca, Euwe, Smyslow and Tal, and with other top-notch champions like Bogoljubow, Fine, Boleslavski, Geller and Korchnoi. They're even with the other world champions Petrosjan, Fischer and Karpov; he lost out only to Alekhine, Botvinnik, Bronstein and Spassky.
According to Botvinnik he was psychologically unstable, and to became world champion you should have a strong character too.

Alex
zdrak 57 ( +1 | -1 )
Some candidates I divide my candidates for the post of "greatest player never to be world champion" into three groups:

A. Players from before the time the World Champion title was established
- Laburdonnais
- Philidor
- Anderssen
- Morphy

B. Players who _just_ failed to climb the summit
- Tarrash
- Bronstein (12-12 draw with Botvinnik!)
- Keres
- Korchnoi

C. Players who hold/held some kind of "world champion" title, but due to the split in the chess-world this title is not "complete" - so you cannot call the "proper" world champions.
- Anand
- Kramnik

Those are my top 10 ...
the_opposition 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Keres was good ...so was Rueben Fine and Michail Tchigorin...and you can't forget Gata Kamsky
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sr_ajedrez 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Bronstein was Co-World champion. i dont care what the rules
made out to favor Botvinik were.

They tied and to me that made him World champion as Botvinik.

regardz
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cairo 33 ( +1 | -1 )
I would say that Aaron Nimzowich was one those who should have been World Champion. When he played at his very top, he was an outstanding player. The way he totally disallowed his opponents to do nothing, is a wittness of a enormeous understanding of the game!

Best wishes
Cairo
zdrak 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh, and also I forgot Akiba Rubinstein! He should have gotten a shot at the world title, but some financial problems, plus the World War, prevented him from challenging Lasker.
dragon-wolf 2 ( +1 | -1 )
Answer Akiba Rubinstein.
philaretus 53 ( +1 | -1 )
Carl Schlechter.... ......came as near to winning the World Championship as you can without actually winning it. With only one game left to play in his match with Lasker, the score was 1-0 in Schlechter's favour, all the other games having been drawn. Schlechter was such a sportsman that he didn't want to win the title because of a single mistake by Lasker, so in the last game he played for a win when he could easily have drawn it. Unfortunately, as a result, he lost the game, and the match being now drawn, Lasker retained the title.
zdrak 31 ( +1 | -1 )
According to ... ... the story I read, the rules of that match were such that the challenger had to win by a margin of at least two victories to become world champion - that explains Schlechter's adventurous play in the last game.

Can anyone point to a source that either proves or disproves this version ?
brunetti 27 ( +1 | -1 )
My source says "All he had to do was to draw game ten to win the match. There has been much debate about whether S. would have become world champion if he had won the match. It seems fairy clear that he would have." - N. Divinsky, The Batsford Chess Encyclopedia

Alex
philaretus 39 ( +1 | -1 )
zdrak In his book "Kings of Chess" (about the history of the World title), William Winter states that Schlechter would have won the title if he had drawn the last game. As the match was limited to 10 games, the demand for a winning margin of two games sounds per se unlikely.

BTW, Winter also remarks that the games were of a very high quality, and deserve to be better-known.
macheide 10 ( +1 | -1 )
My 4 candidates Akiba Rubinstein
Paul Keres
David Bronstein
Viktor Korchnoi

Best wishes.
macheide 23 ( +1 | -1 )
Another couldbe... Carlos Torre Repetto who, in his 21st birthay, defeated Dr. Emmanuel Lasker in Moscow 1925. In this same tournament he played among the strongest opposition in the world (a draw with Capa, by the way) and finished in 5th. place.
brunetti 32 ( +1 | -1 )
Carlos Torre Dear Macheide, I respect your admiration for your countryman, but I can hardly believe he's " the greatest player never to be world champion".
His all-time best international result was the aforementioned 5th place, and he was only an IM (getting the honorary GM title in old age).

Alex
death_by_pawns 11 ( +1 | -1 )
hmmm Tal Shaked. yeah. best player ever.

well, ok, maybe not, but he does live in the same town as me.
cosanostra 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmm... I'd say Nimzowitsch and I think Cairo put it pretty good. Studying his games pretty much every day since december and he still blows me out of my mind, 100 year after almost. Aaron that is, not cairo.

Best player, according to me (that'd be enough ;)), is Botvinnik. I have dloaded all his games and play through a couple a day. Terrific.
tulkos 4 ( +1 | -1 )
I think botvinnik was the best positional player ever.
macheide 62 ( +1 | -1 )
Alex Dear friend,

I agree with you in the sense that it seems a little bit out of place to put Torre in my list, but just consider:

1. He was just 21 when he done this, in an epoch of no prefabricated prodigies.

2. He had to leave chess and play no more (proffesionaly) because of a nervous breakdown.

3. Some of the players in my previous list had a much more modest debut.

Right, maybe I should put him in another list:

"The best players died or retired prematurely that most people agree they could be World Chess Champions"

And add to this list the names of:

Junge
de Vries
etc.

Best wishes.
the_opposition 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Has anyone mentioned ...Pillsbury was an outstanding player and I agree Rubenstein deserves mention. Sammy Reshevsky was strong and so was the little guy who sat inside the "Turk".
the_opposition 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Nimzovich was a great writer and teacher but didn't fare well against the top players.
the_opposition 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Chessmetics.com this site has calculated ratings for every year since Paul Morphy. It doesn't answer this question but it is entertaining reading.
macheide 45 ( +1 | -1 )
the_opposition Dear friend,

Harry Nelson Pillsbury!, add him to my list, please. And one of the best (for me the best one) blindfold players of all time. One of his specialties was to play 8 chess games and 6 checkers games, blinfold, while he was playing whist with some of his comrades.
By the way, his blindfold exhibitions motivated the great Alekhine to become one of the "monsters" of this modality of chess.
His use of the QGD in the Hastings Tournament of 1895 (wich he won), put this opening in the chess scenario.

Best regards.
the_opposition 17 ( +1 | -1 )
One last one... I read that Lennox Lewis is an avid player, often playing and upsetting his trainers during training. I have a feeling he doesn't lose often...
__mda__ 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Geller was another very strong Soviet player; he has won the Soviet Championship and was always a top contender in tournaments in the 60's, and has plus score against many former world champs and the world's best.

macheide 27 ( +1 | -1 )
__mda__ Dear friend,

You aren`t wrong. Effim Geller was (if my memory don`t betray me) one of the fewest men over the face of this earth with a plus score against one of my idols: R. J. Fischer. Geller`s Sicilians were particulary difficult to Fischer.

Best regards.
vietnamese_girl_18 94 ( +1 | -1 )
more agreement... I know these names have already been mentioned, and they're usually the obvious names to choose, but I feel the need to also cast my vote for Keres and Korchnoi, two players whose games I've enjoyed and admired (well, Keres would be my first choice- a choice based on sentiment because of my love of his writings). I would also agree with the choice of Rubinstein, a name too often neglected, being overshadowed by the coming of Capablanca and the strange path of his career. Bronstein, I have to admit, is a player whose games I've not yet ever really looked at, mostly knowing him by reputation and through games he played against those players I have studied. Kamsky was mentioned above; and although I think he was a great player, he just did not have enough years to prove himself (as I see it). Hmm... and talk about a traitor: giving up chess for a stable career as a doctor!

Sarah Tran
dragon-wolf 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Rubinstein My choice is Rubinstein because Fine considered his endgame play even better than Capablanca's and that's really saying something.

Chow,
John
frodan 13 ( +1 | -1 )
....akiba.. .Rubinstein, my 2 cents worth .No ,Akiba was certainly worth much more ,i only refer to my contribution to this thread...
macheide 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Only one It is very difficult to decide the best of all, but if I have to decide only one,..., Rubinstein. If someone are interested in Rubinstein's games I recommend: "Rubinstein's Chess Masterpieces" by Hans Kmoch.

Best wishes
tonlesu 121 ( +1 | -1 )
1910 championship match Oxford companion to chess---In 1910 schlecter challenged Lasker to a match for the world title. Thirty games were proposed, whittled down to ten games for lack of funds. The conditions were not published and it is not known whether the title was at stake ( Lasker would have been justified in declining to play such a short match for the championship.) After nine games schlecter led +1=8 and made a great effort to win the last game. He lost, and the match was drawn. Meanwhile the public had decided that it was a championship match, de facto if not de jure; and the referee, perhaps bowing to this view, declared that Lasker had retained his title. The games of the match, full of fight, are unusually interesting.

I've read both pro and con over the years about the conditions of the match. I personally feel that when the match shrunk to ten games, Lasker put in the two game margin. He wasn't about to let the championship go to schlecter on a fluke win. The championship had allowed Lasker to lead a life of leisure. He could write a book or give a lecture. He would be invited to tournaments and would put his campionship on the line when he needed quick cash. His match with Capablanca was immensely profitable.
tonlesu 87 ( +1 | -1 )
An addendum to the above Grandmasters Of Chess by Schonberg on page 127---" Lasker took advantage of Schlechter's placidity, he worked up a set of conditions that threw everything in his favor. (some researchers, however, suggest that the match conditions have never been clearly established; the full story of the Lasker-Schlechter match remains to be told.) The match would be declared a draw and Lasker would retain the title unless Schlechter had a clear majority of two points. And if Schlechter was able to overcome this handicap and win, Lasker would still be considered the champion until a rematch was played. One wonders why schlechter agreed to play at all under these absurd conditions. But that was the kind of man he was. In the tenth game Schlechter had an easy draw in hand but had to go for the win, the match conditions called for him to win by two points. Poor Schlechter died of starvation shortly after the end of World War I."