Soliciting suggestions for the appropriate characterization of Kasparov's chess legacy. Recently concern was expressed about the old lead text
- whom many consider to be the greatest chess player of all time. ["Most experts place Bobby Fischer the second or third best ever, behind Kasparov but probably ahead of Karpov." – Obituary of Bobby Fischer, Leonard Barden, The Guardian, 19 January 2008.]
Looking at this text there are issues, so concern is warranted. The lead is supposed to summarize the article, but since this claim is not in the article it would be justified to remove it from the lead for that reason alone. Also a Fischer obit isn't really a great source for Kasparov's place in chess history either. In fact this article doesn't really discuss Kasparov's chess legacy very much at all, contrast Bobby Fischer#Contributions to chess and more expansively Bobby Fischer#Contributions to chess.
Unfortunately I don't think the proposed compromise replacement text really works:
- whom many consider to be one of the greatest chess players of all time, if not the greatest. ["Most experts place Bobby Fischer the second or third best ever, behind Kasparov but probably ahead of Karpov." – Obituary of Bobby Fischer, Leonard Barden, The Guardian, 19 January 2008][Holodny, Elena. "One of the greatest chess players of all time, Garry Kasparov, talks about artificial intelligence and the interplay between machine learning and humans". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-10-28.]
Here a Business Insider article on what Gary Kasparov has to say about AI is an even worse source than a Fischer obit. A more serious problem is "whom many consider to be one of the greatest" isn't a very smart statement. It is not true that many consider Kasparov to be one of the greatest, everyone considers Kasparov to be one of the greatest. That Kasparov is one of the greatest is not in question, the only question is whether to rank Kasparov first or second. So "many consider to be one of the greatest" doesn't work and it doesn't belong in the article.
Claims that someone is or was the greatest are always going to be problematic in Wikipedia. I'm sure that articles on other individual sports such as golf, tennis and boxing have also run into this problem. Some possibilities:
- Remove all "greatest" claims and let the accomplishments speak for themselves
- Qualify all claims by stating specifically whose opinion is being reported, "GM xxxx wrote that Kasparov was the greatest"
- Restore the claim "considered by many to be the greatest" with better sources
What does everyone think? Quale (talk) 05:51, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
- I agree that claims that someone is or was the greatest are problematic. As you are aware, this has come up multiple times in Bobby Fischer. To see the approach currently taken at that article, look at the last (second) sentence of the first paragraph, and the two mega-footnotes on it. This has not kept us from getting criticized by readers, but one might say it has enabled CYA.
- In an earlier comment in Talk:Bobby Fischer (which is now in an archive), I wrote:
- Regarding 'Many consider him to be the greatest chess player of all time', the editors of this article are trying to follow WP:SUBJECTIVE:
- [W]e might not all agree about who the world's greatest soprano is. However, it is appropriate to note how an artist or a work has been received by prominent experts and the general public. For instance, the article on Shakespeare should note that he is widely considered to be one of the greatest authors in the English language.
- While this has some intuitive appeal, what works well for Shakespeare doesn't necessarily work well for famous sports figures, such as Kasparov or Fischer.
- Still earlier, I had taken the position that, yes, we should rip out all these "greatest" claims from articles about our chess world champions. But another editor pointed out to me that this is done a lot in other sports articles as well. When I realized how pervasive the problem was, I essentially gave up.
- Of course, articles about our sports champions are supposed to say something about how they were received. So, for example, the article about Fischer mentions the "Fischer boom". Once you venture into this practice, it's not easy to avoid talking about people's claims and arguments about "who was the greatest of all time". All but a few of the world champions of chess have had, in their day, commentators claiming that they were the GOAT; and our articles reflect that. The status quo is not good; but how can we get to something better? Bruce leverett (talk) 21:50, 29 October 2019 (UTC)
- (Added later) Regarding the present text, for what it's worth, it is just about tautological to claim that a former World Champion is "one of the greatest of all time". (Let alone that "many consider him" such.) So this is even less satisfactory than the formulations used in other Wiki articles about chess world champions. Bruce leverett (talk) 18:33, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
I agree with the above and taking out claims of GOAT on this article and letting the accomplishments speak for themselves. If every page about a world chess champion has a line about many people thinking they are GOAT, doesn't it make that claim meaningless? I think that just because we have this issue rampant in sports and other articles, doesn't mean we can't make Wikipedia better one article at a time. Betanote4 (talk) 14:27, 31 October 2019 (UTC)