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  1. 1. Paul Morphy
    "A popularly held theory about Paul Morphy is that if he returned to the chess world today and played our best contemporary players, he would come out the loser. Nothing is further from the truth. In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today... Morphy was perhaps the most accurate chess player who ever lived. He had complete sight of the board and never blundered, in spite of the fact that he played quite rapidly, rarely taking more than five minutes to decide a move. Perhaps his only weakness was in closed games like the Dutch Defense. But even then, he was usually victorious because of his resourcefulness." - Bobby Fischer
    20 games, 1849-1866

  2. 2. Garry Kasparov
    "Sometimes Kasparov does things that no other chess player is able to do, things that are so stunning that colleagues and spectators ask themselves in astounded admiration how for heaven's sake it is possible that a human being can invent them." – Hans Ree
    19 games, 1978-2005

  3. 3. Robert Fischer
    "Bobby is the finest chess player this country ever produced. His memory for the moves, his brilliance in dreaming up combinations, and his fierce determination to win are uncanny. Not only will I predict his triumph over Botvinnik, but I'll go further and say that he'll probably be the greatest chess player that ever lived." – John Collins
    20 games, 1956-1992

  4. 4. Jose Capablanca
    "We can compare Capablanca with Mozart, whose charming music appeared to have been a smooth flow. I get the impression that Capablanca did not even know why he preferred this or that move, he just moved the pieces with his hand. If he had worked a lot on chess, he might have played worse because he would have started to try to comprehend things. But Capablanca did not have to comprehend anything, he just had to move the pieces!" - Vladimir Kramnik
    20 games, 1901-1929

  5. 5. Wilhelm Steinitz
    "This was undoubtably a chess genius, one of the greatest who has ever lived. And, which I respect in him most, he rated chess highly as an art. The struggle with him forced me to endure both minutes of intense pleasure , and periods of despondency." - Mikhail Chigorin
    20 games, 1860-1895

  6. 6. Siegbert Tarrasch
    "Razor-sharp, he always followed his own rules. In spite of devotion to his own supposedly scientific method, his play was often witty and bright." - Robert Fischer
    20 games, 1885-1923

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