31

I would say the main reason here is the low proportion of black players. If you look at statistics from the 20th century, you will find very few top players from Asia. But as chess became more popular in countries like China, now there are plenty of Asian super GMs. I guess something similar will happen to still underrepresented races


31

The number of players was already mentioned. But lets go one level deeper than that. There are two driving factors in the chance that a player becomes a top player: Talent Education And once you know the chance that someone becomes a top player, you can multiply this with the number of players. Which depends on the population and chance of someone playing....


21

Carlsen is 21 years young and is currently the highest-rated player in the world. He scored a win against Karpov and a draw against Kasparov at the tender age of 13 (Reykjavik Rapid 2004), and was the second youngest player to become a grandmaster (at the time he did it). Things like that are enough to brew confidence, garner world championship expectations, ...


13

first of all see here. here is a quote Asked how many moves ahead he can think, Kasparov replied that it depended on the positions of the pieces. "Normally, I would calculate three to five moves," he said. "You don't need more.... But I can go much deeper if it is required." For example, in a position involving forced moves, it's possible to look ...


12

I just wanted to add a bit more to Ed Dean's Answer. These are some fun facts: In October 2005 he took first place at the Arnold Eikrem Memorial in Gausdal with eight out of nine points and a performance rating of 2792 at the age of 14. When Carlsen was 18 years old, he became one of the few people in history to have an Elo rating over 2800. Carlsen ...


10

No, it's not racist; it's just a convention. Or like the famous chess saying goes: "White begins, Black wins". There are other board games like Go where Black begins, or games where it depends on which variation you play. The main problem with changing who moves first (or alternating it) is that many diagrams which have been printed (especially in opening ...


9

I can think of several reasons: The players will want to know how many moves have been played in the game (as you often get extra time after moves 40 and 60), how many moves have been played before the last pawn move or capture etc. Currently the players may not consult any other material than the score sheets during a game, but even if the rule was changed,...


9

This is an ill defined question, similar to: what is my girlfriend thinking about when we ... ? But to stab at an answer, it would be completely dependent on the position. If the position has many tactical variations possible, the answer will probably be very far, 5, 6 or more moves ahead. If the position is very closed, and positional strategy matters, ...


7

Note: I'm an average player, who learnt chess about 2 years ago, maybe I'm not the right guy to answer such question but I will try. I wanted to ask a similar question, maybe I will today or tomorrow. As for your question. Top level players do make mistakes, maybe they underestimate the opponent, maybe under time pressure, maybe they just don't see the ...


7

Well, all you mentioned are probably the reasons for some players. I would also add 'lack of time' as one of the reasons. When you get older you may need to go to a college/university (chess don't bring much money, unless you are at the top), then family life/kids (chess players have to travel regularly a lot) makes travel harder... So, many people 'switch' ...


7

Is it racist that white moves first? No. According to MoveForEquality.com: The rule was originally developed to make annotation easier, and has never been considered in the context of prejudice. The goal of this movement was never to permanently change the rules of chess. The reversal of the rule for who goes first was simply a way "to inspire a ...


6

As I see it, at that level they have two options, if they suspect their opponent prepared a trap: They trust their preparation, and their knowledge, go on as usual, and just make the best moves, and hope for the best. In the Sinquefield cup last year, or the year before, there was a game MVL-Carlsen, when this happened exactly, Carlsen was caught by MVL-s ...


6

How about this benefit? It is probably well known that Magnus Carlsen is sponsored by Arctic Securities. Being well known is the benefit. One minute ago I had not even heard about arctic securities. And now I know, as well as may be thousand of other people watching/reading about the game. Why Vodaphone or whatever is sponsoring football? Do they care, ...


5

Players such as Anand and Carlsen can play top-level blindfold chess.  I assume this means that the number of moves ahead such players can "see" is essentially unlimited: at the board they can presumably visualize a continuation of the game to its conclusion.  But a single very deep search down a single branch of an enormous game tree, though ...


5

Just thought to add the famous story (likely apocryphal): During a tournament in the 1920s a newspaper reporter asked Richard Reti how many moves ahead he could read. Reti replied "I only see one move ahead: The right one."


5

I don't know about the practical reasons that you suggest, but I imagine retirement is a way to tell your fans and the world "stop bugging me!". :-) Super-GMs probably retire when they feel they are past their peak and would rather retire at the top of their game than have the world see them decline. That said, retirement is not irreversible! For example ...


4

How far ahead a strong player like Anand sees depends on the position. On move 1 he doesn't see any moves ahead because he doesn't know which of several perfectly good replies his opponent will play. In the endgame there might be a forced line which is 15 or 20 moves long which he will see and so, by the way, will many weaker players. The two significant ...


4

Carlsen is popular, young, and a semi public figure. He plays at the Internet Chess Club which generates a lot of fans. A turning point for my view towards Carlsen was his success in this tournament which had a lot of bragging rights to it. The World Blitz Championship from 2010 where Carlsen took out Hikaru Nakamura (who is by far my current favorite chess ...


4

This is more a comment than an answer. The attached fragment is Mikhail Tal commenting his blindfold simul against 10 first category (approximately 1800-2000 Elo) players - as the match goes, board by board. The fragment is a part of 1968 documentary on limits of human mental abilities. The movie is in Russian; if there is an interest, I may try to ...


4

I'm not sure I understand the question properly. Are you suggesting electronic boards to print out the list of moves once the game is finished, so the players can sign it and save the time and effort to fill the scoresheets themselves during the game? If you are proposing just to remove the scoresheet because there's an electronic register of the game, then ...


4

Almost by definition, the advantage needed to win gets smaller and smaller, the higher level the players get. Between two rank beginners, the loss of a pawn or even a piece means very little, because such players will lose pawns and pieces to each other almost at random. One of them wins after the the other has made several mistakes, and gotten several ...


3

I think a team of GMs are not significantly stronger than a single GM. My reasoning is: Thinking is fast while communicating is slow and error-prone. It takes dramatically more time to explain an assessment to another GM and while trying to explain some things will be omitted/forgetted. In the end a team of GMs will spend considerably more time to produce a ...


3

Simply, at the top-level, a player has enough technique to exploit every little advantage. That's not always true at lower levels. Thus, losing a pawn without compensation may be a little blunder in a match between two beginners, since the opponent could make a bigger blunder on the next moves, and lose the advantage. In a match between 2 pros, a blunder ...


3

The goal of chess players is, ultimately, to create a threat that cannot be stopped. But chess is a famously balanced game. There is no way to create an unstoppable threat unless one of the players errs. In the simple case, one player moves, the other counters, etc. No one makes any headway. At the higher levels, players drop material so rarely that it ...


3

The blatantly obvious answer would be Magnus Carlsen who is also the No.1 player in the world, his ability to squeeze out wins from drawn endings is unsurpassed (with a few exceptions, e.g Andersson and Smyslov). Other than that I would naturally consider Vladimir Kramnik, although it is very hard to draw the lines between the various stages of the game ...


3

Well, of course in very short time controls one cannot assess all the details prescribed in the answers of that good post. Grandmasters rely mostly on their vast experience, as much as it happens in other fields. But we can say that pattern recognition for tactics and mate threats play a major role. And they also learn to polish their intuition. They can ...


2

The simple answer is because it is required by the FIDE competition rules. The more complicated reason is that you cannot easily enforce other laws if you do not have your own written record. For instance: It is a requirement to record all draw offers by writing "=" against the move when a draw offer is made. It is illegal to disturb your opponent by ...


2

There is insufficient data to answer objectively. However, there are a few things that can be said with confidence: a player's bullet rating should always be less than or equal to his standard rating, because more time allows for deeper middlegame calculations you can't accurately predict a player's bullet rating by his standard rating and vice-versa some ...


2

There was a public exhibition with a very similar scenario to what you describe. It was called "Carlsen vs The World" and took place in 2010. The world was represented by internet viewers, who could vote on moves proposed by Nakamura, Polgar and Vachier-Lagrave. In that scenario having three top GMs provide moves proved a handicap, as there was no ...


2

All the reasons you (and others) mentioned are very valid, however they don't explain the trend that top players become increasingly younger. I do believe that this has a lot to do with how chess is learned. In the past this was much harder: You had to find a coach, analyze openings by hand and gradually gain experience through many games. All of this took ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible