Chess enthusiasts seem to have a never ending delight in discussing and ranking who are the best chess players ever. The methodologies, strategies and even personalities of top chess players are examined and even rated. The contributions of each player are discussed and evaluated. Numerous lists have surfaced that rate important chess players and deem one player more important to the game than another. And while many of these lists have stressed the contributions of one player over another most do come to some kind of consensus on chess players who have contributed to the game. Here are 2 of the most important and historical figures in chess-
1. Garry Kasparov-Garry Kasparov was born Gary Weinstein in Baku, Azerbaijan, USSR in 1963. Kasparov learned to play chess early from his father who later died in a road accident when he was 7 years old. He subsequently changed his name to Kasparov, a version of his mother’s maiden name. In 1975 at the age of 12 he became the youngest ever player to win the USSR Junior Championship. He achieved the title of Grandmaster on his 17th birthday. He challenged the current reigning World Champion, Anatoly Karpov in 1984 for the title. This match was a hard fought battle which lasted for 6 months, (the longest in the history of chess). It was finally stopped by the president of FIDE and a rematch ordered. Kasparov won the rematch against Karpov in November 1985 and became the youngest World Champion at the age of 22 years. After becoming dissatisfied with the FIDE, Kasparov set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association (PCA) and arranged a World Championship match in 1993. At the same time the FIDE held their official Championship match between former World Champion, Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman with Karpov winning easily. It was then that both Kasparov and Karpov claim the title of World Champion. Kasparov also competed in a six game match against an IBM computer called Deep Blue in 1996. Kasparov was able to win with a score of 4 games to 2 games. The following year, he competed against an improved computer version called Deeper Blue and he was defeated 3.5 games to 2.5 games. It was a shocking defeat considering it was the first time a Grandmaster had lost a series of games to a computer. He is currently considered to be the highest rated player there has ever been in the history of chess.
2. Bobby Fischer-Robert James Fischer is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time. He was born in Chicago, in 1943 and grew up in Brooklyn where his mother moved after she was divorced in 1945. He learned to play chess at the early age of 6 and soon became deeply absorbed in the game saying “All I want to do, ever, is play chess.” By the age of 13 he had become the youngest national junior chess champion in the United States and at the age of 14 he became the youngest senior US Champion. In 1958, at the young age of 15, he became the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess. Fischer broke the Soviet domination of the World Championship when he became the first American to win the title after defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972. In 1975 the FIDE refused to meet Fischer’s conditions (a large paycheck being one of them) for a World Championship match with the Soviet Anatoly Karpov and Fischer then refused to play. Consequently FIDE then awarded the title of World Champion to Karpov and Fischer left the world of mainstream competitive chess.