The Best Chess Players Over Time (Estimated By Accuracy)

Take a journey through the history of chess and see the best chess players over time. The X-axis represents the year and Y-axis represents Elo estimated by accuracy as calculated by Chess.com/analysis.

This visual representation allows you to see when players like Bobby Fisher, Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, and Jose Capablanca performed across history.

Data and Methodology:

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175 Comments

  1. This visualization does NOT use FIDE Elo ratings which only came into use in 1970. This visualization is created from calculating accuracy (computed in chess.com/analysis) for each player's classical games and converting each player's accuracy to an estimated Elo rating. Our method is described in full here: https://www.chess.com/article/view/the-best-chess-players-over-timeAbacaba has a beautiful video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2DHpW79w0Y) which shows Elo, CMR, and Edo, three different systems which are not comparable across time. By comparing all players to the same standard (computer accuracy), our method provides more comparable estimates of performance for players who played in different eras.

  2. Facts

    Some Fischer facts

    Born: March 9, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois

    Died: January 17, 2008 in Reykjavik, Iceland

    Learned the rules of chess at age 6!: 1949

    First recorded tournament game: July 1955

    International Grandmaster title: 1958

    U.S. Champion eight times in eight attempts!: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966

    Winner of: every tournament and match in which he participated from December, 1962 through World Championship match 1972 with the exceptions of Capablanca Memorial, 1965, (2nd place – ½ point behind Smyslov), and Piatigorsky Cup, 1966, (2nd place – ½ point behind Spassky).

    Bobby Fischer’s tournament and match results: 415 wins, 248 draws and 85 losses out of 748 games played from 1955 through 1992 for a performance average of .721 or 72.1%

    Fischer’s highest achieved rating: 2785 ELO.

  3. judith polgar is the only woman to enter this list impressive!!

  4. Capablanca playing at a 2780 in the early 1900’s is what stood out to me.

  5. Fischer with today's resources would demolish every single player

  6. Women and black people don't like chess, evidently

  7. 1. Fischer
    2. Kasparov
    3. Carlson
    4. Casablanca
    5. Morphy

    Honourable mentions goes to Kramnik and of course Anand. His longevity is frankly amazing, and the fact he can play to this high standard even in his 50s is just admirable.

  8. And they say Fischer was crazy.. how sad.. one of the brightest minds of the century.. NPCs call him crazy… hahaha.. insane

  9. if they stop that mean's they died “creepy”

  10. Take nothing away from the others, but Bobby Fischer is the greatest talent to ever play chess

  11. Kasumpa sumpa kang PAMILYA ka hayup ka hayup ka hayup ka kidnapper rapist demon hayup ka puts ka hayup ka sa ginawa NYo sa BUHAY nmin yawa KA

  12. 0:20 Lmao I thought Morphy suddenly became so good he went off the chart and never came back down, then I realized he probably died.

  13. Bobby Fischer surfed the chart way above everyone else for the long time . He was still at the throne when he stopped playing. What a legend. .. imo he has played some of the best unexpected moves ever.

  14. My respect to Nakamura and So.

  15. I come here for Hans Niemann, so disappointed.

  16. Magnus Carlsen competed in an era where everyone has access to chess engines. Thats way a harder competition.

  17. Per se Carlsen would be the GOAT, but if Fischer was in this time he might've been the GOAT, who knows tbh.

  18. i checked how many elo points they were above the second best at their peak, yes ik its not a perfect metric because there could just be another legend at the same time, but yeah
    morphy: 500
    fischer: 250
    kasparov: 200

    steinitz: 200
    lasker: 200
    capablance: almost 200
    kramnik: almost 150
    smyslov: 100

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