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Chess Informant's Chess Is Chess
The greats and the near greats

The world champions

A popular game among chess history enthusiasts is to name the strongest world champion, the weakest, and the strongest player who never became world champion. Let's consider this game in a new way.

Chess Informant has identified the '200 greatest tournaments in history'. These are invitational events not including world championship qualifiers like interzonals and candidate tournaments. The 200 events cover 18406 games contested by 535 different players.

Let's compute some statistics based on the results of the games played in these 200 events. We can limit our statistics to include only those games where a past, present, or future world champion -- not necessarily the reigning titleholder -- played White or Black. Of course, we'll also include games where world champions played each other, like the many Kasparov - Karpov tournament encounters of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Our 200 tournaments give us 4778 games with a world champion playing either White or Black. First, here's a count of events in which the champions participated, followed by their scores against all opponents.

Events

Plyr Ct
Karpov, An 65
Anand, V. 43
Kasparov, G. 41
Spassky, B. 38
Kramnik, V. 32
Petrosian, T. 32
Smyslov, V. 28
Tal, M. 26
Alekhine, A. 20
Lasker, Em 15
Botvinnik, M. 14
Capablanca, J. 14
Khalifman, A. 10
Euwe, M. 9
Fischer, R. 6
Steinitz, W. 5

The world champions against all opponents

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Lasker, Em W +78-9=40 B +66-19=42 185.0 254 72.83%
Kasparov, G. W +124-9=96 B +89-17=137 329.5 472 69.81%
Alekhine, A. W +81-19=59 B +71-15=68 215.5 313 68.85%
Capablanca, J. W +55-4=48 B +42-12=55 148.5 216 68.75%
Botvinnik, M. W +55-9=46 B +44-13=48 146.0 215 67.91%
Fischer, R. W +23-4=18 B +15-7=25 59.5 92 64.67%
Karpov, An W +175-18=179 B +87-40=249 476.0 748 63.64%
Kramnik, V. W +68-6=92 B +32-21=104 198.0 323 61.30%
Petrosian, T. W +93-12=140 B +51-30=159 293.5 485 60.52%
Anand, V. W +83-13=84 B +31-30=112 212.0 353 60.06%
Tal, M. W +62-15=103 B +40-29=115 211.0 365 57.81%
Euwe, M. W +25-12=31 B +24-18=26 77.5 136 56.99%
Spassky, B. W +91-18=162 B +48-46=174 307.0 539 56.96%
Steinitz, W. W +25-17=18 B +28-20=11 67.5 119 56.72%
Smyslov, V. W +71-24=110 B +36-33=134 229.0 408 56.13%
Khalifman, A. W +14-8=32 B +9-10=33 55.5 106 52.36%

The names at the top of the list are candidates for the strongest world champion of all time; the names at the bottom of the list are candidates for the weakest.

Using the same games, here's how the challengers fared against the champs.

The challengers against the champions

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Schlechter, C. W +2-4=3 B +2-1=3 7.0 15 46.67%
Keres, P. W +5-6=16 B +3-6=20 26.0 56 46.43%
Reshevsky, S. W +1-0=10 B +3-6=6 12.0 26 46.15%
Bronstein, D. W +2-4=15 B +0-7=15 17.0 43 39.53%
Korchnoi, V. W +5-16=20 B +6-15=26 34.0 88 38.64%
Kamsky, G. W +4-2=10 B +1-11=7 13.5 35 38.57%
Short, N. W +7-7=23 B +1-18=17 28.0 73 38.36%
Tarrasch, S. W +3-7=6 B +2-5=3 9.5 26 36.54%
Timman, J. W +7-15=40 B +3-30=33 46.5 128 36.33%
Chigorin, M. W +3-5=2 B +3-8=3 8.5 24 35.42%
Janowsky, D. W +3-6=2 B +3-7=2 8.0 23 34.78%
Bogoljubov, E. W +1-6=9 B +1-9=7 10.0 33 30.30%
Marshall, F. W +1-8=10 B +0-11=6 9.0 36 25.00%
Gunsberg, I. W +0-3=0 B +0-2=0 0.0 5 0.00%

This table gives us an idea who were the strongest and weakest challengers. Zukertort is missing because he had no games in our sample. Keres and Reshevsky are listed as challengers because of their participation in the 1948 title tournament.

Now let's restrict the games to those where world champions played both White and Black. This is a total of 366 games in 119 events where at least two world champions participated.

Events with four or more world champions

Year Site Ct Players
1971 Moscow 5 Karpov, Smyslov, Petrosian, Spassky, Tal
1973 USSR (ch) 5 Spassky, Karpov, Petrosian, Tal, Smyslov
1936 Nottingham 5 Botvinnik, Capablanca, Euwe, Alekhine, Lasker
1967 Moscow 4
1981 Moscow 4
1976 USSR (ch) 4
1988 USSR (ch) 4
1991/92 Reggio Emilia 4
1996 Las Palmas 4
1983 Niksic 4
1938 Amsterdam 4
2000 Linares 4
1993 Linares 4
1994 Linares 4
1955 USSR (ch) 4

The champions against each other

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Lasker, Em W +8-1=9 B +5-3=6 20.5 32 64.06%
Fischer, R. W +3-0=3 B +1-1=5 8.0 13 61.54%
Kasparov, G. W +18-6=23 B +4-4=26 46.5 81 57.41%
Capablanca, J. W +4-0=13 B +5-5=8 19.5 35 55.71%
Botvinnik, M. W +4-1=7 B +3-3=13 17.0 31 54.84%
Tal, M. W +4-2=20 B +3-3=18 26.0 50 52.00%
Kramnik, V. W +8-2=24 B +2-6=21 32.5 63 51.59%
Karpov, An W +13-3=32 B +3-10=37 50.5 98 51.53%
Anand, V. W +9-3=17 B +5-12=25 35.0 71 49.30%
Petrosian, T. W +5-2=23 B +3-8=25 32.0 66 48.48%
Smyslov, V. W +5-4=18 B +1-5=19 24.5 52 47.12%
Alekhine, A. W +4-4=6 B +0-4=9 11.5 27 42.59%
Spassky, B. W +1-5=31 B +3-10=16 27.5 66 41.67%
Khalifman, A. W +1-1=6 B +0-6=5 6.5 19 34.21%
Euwe, M. W +2-1=5 B +0-7=3 6.0 18 33.33%
Steinitz, W. W +1-3=1 B +0-3=2 2.5 10 25.00%

How about games by other players against the champs?

Top ten by number of games

Plyr Ct
Timman, J. 128
Ljubojevic, Lj 99
Portisch, L. 95
Ivanchuk, V. 94
Korchnoi, V. 88
Topalov, V. 73
Short, N. 73
Beliavsky, A. 73
Gelfand, B. 68
Shirov, A. 67

Scored >50% over >5 games

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Fine, R. W +3-1=4 B +2-1=4 9.0 15 60.00%
Bagirov, V. W +0-0=2 B +1-0=3 3.5 6 58.33%
Christiansen, L. W +1-0=3 B +1-1=1 4.0 7 57.14%
Stein, L. W +2-0=8 B +0-0=5 8.5 15 56.67%
Pillsbury, H. W +6-3=3 B +3-5=4 12.5 24 52.08%
Polugaevsky, L. W +5-2=15 B +2-4=23 26.0 51 50.98%

The most active

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Portisch, L. W +8-11=33 B +3-10=30 42.5 95 44.74%
Ivanchuk, V. W +10-9=27 B +3-15=30 41.5 94 44.15%
Gelfand, B. W +6-5=23 B +1-11=22 29.5 68 43.38%
Topalov, V. W +6-10=22 B +2-11=22 30.0 73 41.10%
Ljubojevic, Lj W +7-18=33 B +4-13=24 39.5 99 39.90%
Korchnoi, V. W +5-16=20 B +6-15=26 34.0 88 38.64%
Short, N. W +7-7=23 B +1-18=17 28.0 73 38.36%
Shirov, A. W +3-11=22 B +3-11=17 25.5 67 38.06%
Timman, J. W +7-15=40 B +3-30=33 46.5 128 36.33%
Beliavsky, A. W +7-16=14 B +3-21=12 23.0 73 31.51%

Players who challenged the world champions

Now let's go back to the 200 greatest tournaments and consider all games where one or both players was a challenger who never became world champion. This is a total of 3895 games for which we can compute the same kind of statistics as for the champions.

Events

Plyr Ct
Timman, J. 60
Korchnoi, V. 46
Short, N. 37
Keres, P. 20
Bronstein, D. 18
Bogoljubov, E. 16
Marshall, F. 16
Kamsky, G. 15
Tarrasch, S. 15
Janowsky, D. 12
Schlechter, C. 12
Chigorin, M. 10
Reshevsky, S. 7
Gunsberg, I. 2
Zukertort, J. 1

World championship challengers against all opponents

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Zukertort, J. W +3-3=2 B +6-0=2 11.0 16 68.75%
Keres, P. W +64-16=76 B +43-28=83 186.5 310 60.16%
Bogoljubov, E. W +63-30=34 B +56-38=32 152.0 253 60.08%
Schlechter, C. W +55-20=53 B +38-24=58 148.5 248 59.88%
Reshevsky, S. W +17-3=31 B +17-12=19 59.0 99 59.60%
Tarrasch, S. W +53-22=45 B +38-34=49 138.0 241 57.26%
Bronstein, D. W +58-18=78 B +30-33=92 173.0 309 55.99%
Marshall, F. W +51-26=56 B +43-41=54 149.0 271 54.98%
Janowsky, D. W +56-36=22 B +50-50=19 126.5 233 54.29%
Korchnoi, V. W +110-69=132 B +93-80=146 342.0 630 54.29%
Chigorin, M. W +45-40=16 B +42-42=22 106.0 207 51.21%
Timman, J. W +116-55=189 B +62-107=185 365.0 714 51.12%
Kamsky, G. W +28-11=43 B +15-30=38 83.5 165 50.61%
Short, N. W +61-46=90 B +37-68=97 191.5 399 47.99%
Gunsberg, I. W +4-9=3 B +3-9=3 10.0 31 32.26%

The world champions against the challengers

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Lasker, Em W +18-2=5 B +13-4=8 37.5 50 75.00%
Capablanca, J. W +12-1=8 B +8-1=8 28.0 38 73.68%
Kasparov, G. W +19-0=11 B +14-3=21 49.0 68 72.06%
Alekhine, A. W +11-2=11 B +11-0=12 33.5 47 71.28%
Anand, V. W +16-1=7 B +2-3=6 24.5 35 70.00%
Karpov, An W +22-2=23 B +15-6=22 59.5 90 66.11%
Kramnik, V. W +8-0=5 B +4-2=13 21.0 32 65.63%
Fischer, R. W +2-0=4 B +0-0=1 4.5 7 64.29%
Botvinnik, M. W +2-0=5 B +6-3=5 13.0 21 61.90%
Petrosian, T. W +2-0=19 B +2-0=18 22.5 41 54.88%
Spassky, B. W +6-1=22 B +4-5=19 30.5 57 53.51%
Euwe, M. W +1-2=4 B +3-1=7 9.5 18 52.78%
Tal, M. W +6-5=12 B +1-2=10 18.0 36 50.00%
Khalifman, A. W +1-1=1 B +0-0=1 2.0 4 50.00%
Smyslov, V. W +6-4=8 B +1-6=13 17.5 38 46.05%
Steinitz, W. W +4-7=3 B +5-8=2 11.5 29 39.66%

How did the challengers do among themselves? Our data yields 231 games with a world champion challenger playing both White and Black; this is over 82 events with at least two challengers.

Events with four or more challengers

Year Site Ct Challengers
1907 Ostend 5 Chigorin, Janowsky, Marshall, Schlechter, Tarrasch
1895 Hastings 5 Chigorin, Gunsberg, Janowsky, Schlechter, Tarrasch
1914 Petersburg (prelim) 4
1911 San Sebastian 4
1991 Tilburg 4 Kamsky, Korchnoi, Short, Timman
1907 Karlsbad 4
1904 Cambridge Springs 4
1900 Paris 4
1898 Vienna 4
1896 Nuremberg 4

There has been only one such event since 1914.

The challengers against each other

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Reshevsky, S. W +1-0=1 B +3-1=1 5.0 7 71.43%
Marshall, F. W +11-3=8 B +5-7=11 25.5 45 56.67%
Keres, P. W +5-2=7 B +0-1=5 11.0 20 55.00%
Short, N. W +8-5=7 B +6-5=11 23.0 42 54.76%
Tarrasch, S. W +9-4=10 B +6-7=10 25.0 46 54.35%
Korchnoi, V. W +8-5=13 B +8-8=9 27.0 51 52.94%
Janowsky, D. W +12-8=4 B +12-13=4 28.0 53 52.83%
Schlechter, C. W +10-4=10 B +4-9=10 24.0 47 51.06%
Bogoljubov, E. W +3-4=2 B +3-3=3 8.5 18 47.22%
Kamsky, G. W +2-2=3 B +2-3=1 6.0 13 46.15%
Bronstein, D. W +2-2=4 B +1-3=5 7.5 17 44.12%
Timman, J. W +9-8=8 B +5-13=9 22.5 52 43.27%
Gunsberg, I. W +0-1=3 B +1-1=1 3.0 7 42.86%
Chigorin, M. W +5-11=6 B +3-12=6 14.0 43 32.56%

Zukertort is missing because he played only one game, against Chigorin, which he won.

Games by world champions and challengers

Now let's look at all games with a world champion or a challenger playing either White or Black. This is a total of 8062 games, including 1208 games with champions and challengers playing both White and Black. 182 of our 200 events have had at least seen two world champions and challengers.

The first USSR - World match had nine(!) champions and challengers, but most of them didn't play each other. The Fischer - Petrosian & Reshevsky - Smyslov matches were the exceptions. The second USSR - World match had fewer champions and challengers.

USSR - World

1970 USSR - World 9
1984 USSR - World 6

Events with seven champions and challengers

Year Site Ct
1895 Hastings 7
1914 Petersburg (prelim) 7
1936 Nottingham 7
1971 Moscow 7
1973 USSR (ch) 7
1991 Tilburg 7

The champions and challengers against each other

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct  
Lasker, Em W +26-3=14 B +18-7=14 58.0 82 70.73% *
Capablanca, J. W +16-1=21 B +13-6=16 47.5 73 65.07% *
Kasparov, G. W +37-6=34 B +18-7=47 95.5 149 64.09% *
Fischer, R. W +5-0=7 B +1-1=6 12.5 20 62.50% *
Alekhine, A. W +15-6=17 B +11-4=21 45.0 74 60.81% *
Karpov, An W +35-5=55 B +18-16=59 110.0 188 58.51% *
Botvinnik, M. W +6-1=12 B +9-6=18 30.0 52 57.69% *
Kramnik, V. W +16-2=29 B +6-8=34 53.5 95 56.32% *
Anand, V. W +25-4=24 B +7-15=31 59.5 106 56.13% *
Reshevsky, S. W +2-0=11 B +6-7=7 17.0 33 51.52%  
Tal, M. W +10-7=32 B +4-5=28 44.0 86 51.16% *
Petrosian, T. W +7-2=42 B +5-8=43 54.5 107 50.93% *
Schlechter, C. W +12-8=13 B +6-10=13 31.0 62 50.00%  
Keres, P. W +10-8=23 B +3-7=25 37.0 76 48.68%  
Tarrasch, S. W +12-11=16 B +8-12=13 34.5 72 47.92%  
Janowsky, D. W +15-14=6 B +15-20=6 36.0 76 47.37%  
Spassky, B. W +7-6=53 B +7-15=35 58.0 123 47.15% *
Smyslov, V. W +11-8=26 B +2-11=32 42.0 90 46.67% *
Short, N. W +15-12=30 B +7-23=28 51.0 115 44.35%  
Korchnoi, V. W +13-21=33 B +14-23=35 61.0 139 43.88%  
Euwe, M. W +3-3=9 B +3-8=10 15.5 36 43.06% *
Marshall, F. W +12-11=18 B +5-18=17 34.5 81 42.59%  
Bronstein, D. W +4-6=19 B +1-10=20 24.5 60 40.83%  
Kamsky, G. W +6-4=13 B +3-14=8 19.5 48 40.63%  
Timman, J. W +16-23=48 B +8-43=42 69.0 180 38.33%  
Khalifman, A. W +2-2=7 B +0-6=6 8.5 23 36.96% *
Bogoljubov, E. W +4-10=11 B +4-12=10 18.5 51 36.27%  
Steinitz, W. W +5-10=4 B +5-11=4 14.0 39 35.90% *
Chigorin, M. W +8-16=8 B +6-20=9 22.5 67 33.58%  
Gunsberg, I. W +0-4=3 B +1-3=1 3.0 12 25.00%  

'*' = a world champion.

Now let's look at the records of players who were neither champ nor challenger vs. the champs and challengers.

Greatest number of games

Plyr Ct
Ljubojevic, Lj 177
Portisch, L. 157
Ivanchuk, V. 139
Beliavsky, A. 116
Andersson, U. 106
Huebner, R. 103
Gelfand, B. 102
Topalov, V. 99
Larsen, B. 97
Shirov, A. 93

Scored >50% over >5 games

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Bagirov, V. W +1-0=2 B +2-0=3 5.5 8 68.75%
Stein, L. W +6-0=10 B +0-0=10 16.0 26 61.54%
Christiansen, L. W +2-1=5 B +2-1=1 7.0 12 58.33%
Pollock, W. W +1-2=1 B +2-0=1 4.0 7 57.14%
Smejkal, J. W +1-0=3 B +0-0=4 4.5 8 56.25%
Fine, R. W +4-4=5 B +4-1=7 14.0 25 56.00%
Kotov, A. W +5-4=5 B +4-2=5 14.0 25 56.00%
Pillsbury, H. W +17-9=8 B +11-13=7 35.5 65 54.62%
Salov, Va W +11-1=25 B +8-13=17 40.0 75 53.33%
Duras, O. W +2-2=2 B +4-3=3 8.5 16 53.13%
Speelman, J. W +4-1=15 B +5-6=10 21.5 41 52.44%
Kholmov, R. W +2-1=6 B +2-2=8 11.0 21 52.38%
Leko, P. W +3-0=23 B +2-4=21 27.0 53 50.94%
Nimzowitsch, A. W +9-11=16 B +7-4=14 31.0 61 50.82%
Ivanchuk, V. W +19-11=40 B +11-18=40 70.0 139 50.36%

This may surprise you, so let's look at some details for the first few names on the list.

Bagirov's record

Year Site White Black Result
1960 USSR (ch) Spassky, B. Bagirov, V. 0-1
1960 USSR (ch) Smyslov, V. Bagirov, V. 1/2
1960 USSR (ch) Bagirov, V. Korchnoi, V. 1-0
1960 USSR (ch) Bronstein, D. Bagirov, V. 0-1
1960 USSR (ch) Bagirov, V. Petrosian, T. 1/2
1977 USSR (ch) Bagirov, V. Smyslov, V. 1/2
1977 USSR (ch) Petrosian, T. Bagirov, V. 1/2
1977 USSR (ch) Tal, M. Bagirov, V. 1/2

Stein's record

Year Site White Black Result
1961 USSR (ch) Stein, L. Bronstein, D. 1-0
1961 USSR (ch) Stein, L. Petrosian, T. 1-0
1961 USSR (ch) Stein, L. Spassky, B. 1-0
1964 Moscow Stein, L. Korchnoi, V. 1-0
1967 Moscow Stein, L. Keres, P. 1-0
1971 Moscow Stein, L. Bronstein, D. 1-0

Stein's record included not a single loss; his 20 draws were against Bronstein, Karpov, Korchnoi, Petrosian, Smyslov, Spassky, & Tal.

Christiansen

Year Site White Black Result
1981 Linares Christiansen, L. Spassky, B. 1-0
1981 Linares Karpov, An Christiansen, L. 1-0
1982 London Christiansen, L. Karpov, An 1/2
1982 London Christiansen, L. Spassky, B. 1/2
1982 London Christiansen, L. Timman, J. 1/2
1982 London Short, N. Christiansen, L. 0-1
1985 Linares Christiansen, L. Korchnoi, V. 1/2
1985 Linares Christiansen, L. Timman, J. 1-0
1985 Linares Spassky, B. Christiansen, L. 1/2
1987/88 Reggio Emilia Christiansen, L. Korchnoi, V. 0-1
1993 Las Palmas Christiansen, L. Anand, V. 1/2
1993 Las Palmas Khalifman, A. Christiansen, L. 0-1

Most active

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Ivanchuk, V. W +19-11=40 B +11-18=40 70.0 139 50.36%
Topalov, V. W +10-12=26 B +9-12=30 47.0 99 47.47%
Shirov, A. W +9-12=28 B +8-12=24 43.0 93 46.24%
Portisch, L. W +12-14=57 B +11-21=42 72.5 157 46.18%
Andersson, U. W +4-2=44 B +4-15=37 48.5 106 45.75%
Gelfand, B. W +11-10=31 B +4-15=31 46.0 102 45.10%
Huebner, R. W +11-12=28 B +3-16=33 44.5 103 43.20%
Ljubojevic, Lj W +16-22=52 B +10-32=45 74.5 177 42.09%
Beliavsky, A. W +19-21=21 B +6-28=21 46.0 116 39.66%
Larsen, B. W +11-21=16 B +9-21=19 37.5 97 38.66%
[...]
Akopian, V. W +0-1=3 B +0-2=1 2.0 7 28.57%

You might have noticed that I've been including the FIDE Knockout champions Khalifman and Anand in the list of champions, while excluding their last round challengers Akopian and Shirov. Shirov placed third on the previous list and I included Akopian for comparison. It might be worth noting here that Shirov's record against Kasparov (W:+0-4=7 B:+0-3=1 4/15 26.67% in these events) has been a disaster.

Games among non-champs & challengers

Now let's give a break to the players who were neither champion nor challenger. For the rest of this article, we'll consider only the 10344 games where neither player was a champion or challenger.

The most active

Plyr Ct
Ljubojevic, Lj 405
Portisch, L. 374
Beliavsky, A. 330
Tartakower, S. 303
Andersson, U. 272
Spielmann, R. 272
Ivanchuk, V. 271
Gligoric, S. 252
Larsen, B. 245
Shirov, A. 233

The most successful

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Steiner, E. W +6-0=0 B +3-1=4 11.0 14 78.57%
Pillsbury, H. W +28-5=8 B +28-7=13 66.5 89 74.72%
Szen, J. W +6-2=0 B +6-2=1 12.5 17 73.53%
Anderssen, A. W +8-2=1 B +6-3=1 15.0 21 71.43%
Fine, R. W +12-0=3 B +3-3=10 21.5 31 69.35%
Lein, A. W +6-0=1 B +0-1=5 9.0 13 69.23%
Foltys, J. W +4-1=3 B +4-1=3 11.0 16 68.75%
Rubinstein, A. W +66-11=37 B +47-20=45 154.0 226 68.14%
Engels, L. W +1-0=2 B +1-0=2 4.0 6 66.67%
Dolmatov, S. W +4-1=2 B +1-0=6 9.0 14 64.29%

The most (& least) successful with >48 games

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Pillsbury, H. W +28-5=8 B +28-7=13 66.5 89 74.72%
Rubinstein, A. W +66-11=37 B +47-20=45 154.0 226 68.14%
Nimzowitsch, A. W +35-10=36 B +43-19=33 112.5 176 63.92%
Maroczy, G. W +49-7=52 B +36-23=50 136.0 217 62.67%
Boleslavsky, I. W +25-4=35 B +17-8=32 75.5 121 62.40%
Stein, L. W +13-0=10 B +7-7=16 33.0 53 62.26%
Ivanchuk, V. W +50-13=73 B +43-17=75 167.0 271 61.62%
Flohr, S. W +34-7=40 B +23-14=41 97.5 159 61.32%
Schiffers, E. W +9-4=11 B +12-6=10 31.5 52 60.58%
Taimanov, M. W +45-11=24 B +21-21=39 97.5 161 60.56%
[...]
Nogueiras, J. W +5-4=20 B +2-9=18 26.0 58 44.83%
Mieses, J. W +22-23=8 B +16-26=11 47.5 106 44.81%
Gurgenidze, B. W +8-8=10 B +6-12=10 24.0 54 44.44%
Hjartarson, J. W +11-16=36 B +8-24=36 55.0 131 41.98%
Piket, Je W +14-13=28 B +7-28=29 49.5 119 41.60%
Cohn, E. W +9-16=10 B +11-16=9 29.5 71 41.55%
Johner, P. W +13-23=8 B +15-24=11 37.5 94 39.89%
Bertok, M. W +1-11=17 B +2-9=18 20.5 58 35.34%
Thomas, Ge W +5-14=15 B +3-20=13 22.0 70 31.43%
Menchik, V. W +5-17=3 B +3-17=4 11.5 49 23.47%

The players at the top of this list are those who most deserved a crack at the world championship title, but never got one.

Most active

Player W +W-L=D B +W-L=D Score Games Pct
Ivanchuk, V. W +50-13=73 B +43-17=75 167.0 271 61.62%
Larsen, B. W +55-32=33 B +45-39=41 137.0 245 55.92%
Gligoric, S. W +54-21=53 B +24-28=72 140.5 252 55.75%
Spielmann, R. W +58-29=45 B +39-38=63 151.0 272 55.51%
Tartakower, S. W +56-23=77 B +41-41=65 168.0 303 55.45%
Shirov, A. W +50-23=45 B +26-33=56 126.5 233 54.29%
Portisch, L. W +65-20=98 B +28-42=121 202.5 374 54.14%
Ljubojevic, Lj W +60-24=120 B +38-46=117 216.5 405 53.46%
Andersson, U. W +30-11=98 B +14-25=94 140.0 272 51.47%
Beliavsky, A. W +53-34=74 B +38-48=83 169.5 330 51.36%

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