Cape Times



During the first round of the Norway Chess tournament, Garry Kasparov appeared in the commentary box hosted by Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam, editor-in-chief of New in Chess and Nigel Short. Some interestin­g observatio­ns were made of the relative strengths of players from the past compared to now…

DJTG: You were relating a story yesterday about Aronian telling you that in the 80s there were no good players. Not talking about you, he meant there were you and Karpov and that was it, basically.

Kasparov: I think every quarter of a century we have players that challenge the credibilit­y of previous generation­s. I don’t know, and maybe my views are also very harsh, but you know when I look at these young players that grew up with computers and ask them questions and the things they understand I think Tigran Petrosian would probably be horrified. Let’s not forget that even in the 80s they were quite old but Spassky was playing and Petrosian, and there was Viktor Korchnoi, who even in the 21st century beat young players, and in the 80s he was only in his early fifties. Then we had Jan Timman, we still had Polugaevsk­y, we still had Tal.

Short: I think his point was that there wasn’t the breakthrou­gh of the younger players because most of the players you are referring to are from the previous generation.

Kasparov: Yes, but how do you evaluate “my generation”? What about Artur Yussupov?

Short: Yes, he was a very good player, and I consider him to be an 80s player.

Kasparov: Exactly.

DjtG: Did he say this tongue-in-cheek?

Short: I don’t know, but I said that there were more stronger players today, not the absolute top, and it is because of computers.

Kasparov: Let’s work on the definition­s. Are we talking about more better players, or more better young players? Because the average age of the best players has dropped. Then let’s compare the current top 10 with the top 10 from then. They were older but still, you know, but let’s remember that Tal and Polugaevsk­y were still playing and they were quite good. And Portisch I’m sorry was also pretty good.

Short: I mentioned Portisch but Levon was pretty scathing…

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