Who is the best positional player of all time?
for example Carlsen, Karpov, Capablanca, Gelfand, Adams, Leko, Giri, Andersson, Petrosian, Smyslov.
i feel kasparov
Steinitz. He went all positional before it was cool and then all the cool kids ripped his style
but Philidor was even before Steinitz.
Tigran Petrosian and Karpov.
he asked for one not two
I don't have a clue. Of course I studied games of all these world class players, but I guess, I am not remotely qualified to make a valid judgement.
Yes, Petrosian and Karpov over the board and Philidor and Steinitz in theory. Especially Karpov is unreached in my opinion. Kasparov is just a good theorist and an excellent transformer of advantages (the best together with Aliekhine). Has always had positional weaknesses (defending slight disadvantages).
Karpov in my opinion