There’s a Paul Hoffman blog post about a fantasy chess team, made up of all the players with “K” as the first letter of their surnames: Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik, Kasimdzhanov. All world champions, all formidable opponents. So do the Ks rule?
I fancy the S team to give them a good fight:
Steinitz, Spassky, Smyslov & Svidler
That’s three world champions and a multiple Russian champion. All in the top 5 in the world for extended periods of time. If anyone can tackle the Ks, this is it, surely? And with Shirov, Short, and Salov as subs, they have a strength in depth too. Is Kasimdzhanov better than Svidler?
Or what about the Ps?
Petrosian, Pillsbury, Portisch & Polugaevsky
Okay, nowhere near the class of the Ks. More likely to put up a solid fight, but hardly scary.
But the T’s might have something to say too:
Tal, Topalov, Tarrasch, & Tartakower
Formidable attacking potential on the top two boards, with solid positional play after that. Could be great on their day.
Indeed, come to think of it, the B team might squeez into the semi-finals:
Botvinnik, Bronstein, Boleslavsky, & Bogolubov
One of the greatest of world champions plus the player (Bronstein) who came closest to winning without actually becoming champion (12-12 draw with Botvinnik). Sadly, Bogo is just too inconsistent on bottom board.
Finally, I’d love to throw in Fischer, Fine, and Flohr but cannot find a worthy fourth board. Capablanca, Carlsen and Chigorin would make a team too, but their fourth board is also a worry. And the T team might claim that Tchigorin is their member! The Ls have Lasker, Leko, Larsen, and Ljubojevic, but would hardly touch the Ks.
But, then along comes the team that just might knock those cocky Ks from their pedestal:
Keres, Korchnoi, Kamsky & Karjakin!
For a bit of genuine craziness, imagine the Ms lining up:
Morphy, Morozevich, Miles, & Maróczy
Macrazy more like!!