I always thought it was interesting that chess players had openings named after them. The game of chess has only been popular and organized for about 150 years, yet all the most popular openings and most of their sub-variations have already been named, many after players from the 19th or early 20th centuries. In five hundred years, will all these basic openings still be named after Morphy, Steinitz, Capablanca, and Lasker? But I digress.
Which player has had the most openings or opening variations named after him? My guesses would be Botvinnik or Aljechin (Alekhine).
I'm way late to the party here, but would nevertheless like to mention the contributions of the seventh world champion (and my favorite player) Vasily Smyslov. Here are some of his many eponymous systems and variations in major openings:
The Smyslov system in the Grünfeld Defense: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4Bg4, intending to follow up with ... Nfd7 and ... Nb6.
The Smyslov-Karpov variation in the Caro-Kann Defense: 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4Nd7.
The Smyslov system against the King's Indian Defense: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 d6 5.Bg5.
The Smyslov system in the English Two Knights: 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3Bb4.
The Smyslov defense in the mainline closed Ruy Lopez: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d6 9. h3h6, intending to continue with ... Re8 and ... Bf8, where the inclusion of ... h6 prevents a Bg5 pin.
Another Smyslov defense to the Ruy Lopez, featuring an early fianchetto: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5g6.
The Smyslov variation in the Queen's Gambit Accepted: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3g6.
The Smyslov variation in the Slav Defense: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4Na6 6. e4 Bg4.
The Reti-Smyslov variation of the King's Indian Attack: 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3.b4.
Notes: Simon Winawer played the "Winawer Variation" of the French Defense once in his entire career; why it's named after him instead of Nimzovitch who really popularized it is a mystery (to me at least). And no, Winawer does not deserve the credit for playing it first (if he even did that) many openings are named after the masters who hammered out the theory of them and/or made them popular. Ergo the "Advance Variation" of the French Defense should also be named after Nimzovitch!