JEWS RANKED AMONG THE 64 STRONGEST CHESS PLAYERS OF ALL TIME
(45% of  strongest players)

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Listed below are chess players of Jewish descent who were ranked among the sixty-four strongest players of all time in the detailed analytical study Warriors of the Mind: A Quest for the Supreme Genius of the Chess Board, which was co-authored by chess grandmaster Raymond Keene and mathematician and chess master Nathan Divinsky (Hardinge Simpole, Brighton, UK, 1989, p. 323).  Earlier attempts to scientifically rank the several dozen greatest chess players of all time, performed by Adriaan de Groot in 1951 and by Arpad Elo in 1978, show very similar Jewish percentages; see, e.g., the discussion in Jewish Chess Masters on Stamps, by Felix Berkovich (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2000, p. 123).  The Keene-Divinsky ranking of each of the players listed below is indicated in square brackets.

NOTES
1. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
2. According to recently unsealed FBI files and other independent archival materials, Bobby Fischer's biological father was not the German physicist Hans-Gerhardt Fischer, as previously supposed, but rather the Hungarian-Jewish engineer and fluid dynamicist Paul Nemenyi, making both of his parents Jewish. See "Life is not a Board Game," by Peter Nicholas and Clea Benson, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 February, 2003.  Additional information can be found in Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time, by David Edmonds and John Eidinow (HarperCollins, New York, 2004, pp. 313-321).  This reference, incidentally, states (p. 39) that Boris Spassky told its authors that there is "no truth" to the widely reported claim that his mother was Jewish.
3. "Of mainly Jewish descent"; see The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, edited by Gershon David Hundert  (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2008, Vol. 1, p. 316).
4. Jewish mother, non-Jewish father.  It should be noted that there is considerable controversy over this claim.  It should also be noted that in the late 1970s, when Viktor Korchnoi defected from the USSR and leveled charges of rampant anti-Semitism in the Soviet chess establishment, Soviet government newspapers, in an apparent effort to counter those charges, published lists of Soviet Jewish chess luminaries whose successful careers, it was claimed, proved the absence of any such bias.  Those lists of Jewish, or partly Jewish, players included Vasily Smyslov (They did not include Boris Spassky.) 

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