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I am going to say that Morphy was far ahead of Stientz, we never got to see this for a few reasons.
Morphy defeated all the great masters (excluding staunton, but that is a different story) very quickly, and very outrageously. second and more importantly he had a better record against their common opponents, knowing how people work, this means that Morphy was a much better player than Steintz. People don't learn from being thrashed and then not having a postmortem, back then chess was considered an artform, and not a science. the old gaurd never changed this to the otherway around. Stientz with his scientific methods couldn't defeat the artful romantics the same way Morphy could. Psycologically speaking Morphy was eons ahead of Stientz, and play wise, I suspect Morphy could have handled Lasker for a short bit. was Morphy's endgame and positional play weaker than his tactics, yes I won't deny it, but that doesn't matter when your opponent allows you to build an attack by move 15
Jetfighter13, you made some good points. Morphy when it comes to tactics, he was brilliant. Playing through his game I was astonish how quickly he recognize some tactical possibility in a position. His play is truly beautiful but his positional and endgame technique were not in the same caliber the like of Steinitz. Defensive technique were being develop and Paulsen believe that in given position one could defend a bad position; Steinitz add to it. Who knows if Morphy would evolve and progress and became stronger in positional play and the endgame. Morphy had the opportunity to play two very strong master, Kolisch and a much improve Paulsen;if Morphy would of beat these two masters, I say he would of beat Steinitz. Paulsen was growing stronger and attacking better and his opening were better and evolving; we can only look at his Sicilian defense how much he perfected it at his time.
a close match. With white, Steinitz would probably outplay Morphy in a d3-c3 ruy lopez (with the h3-g4 plan, which was a "slow" attack back then), but Steinitz believed that taking pawns was good, so he would get crushed when playing black against the kings gambit and the evans gambit
ViktorHielsen, I agree with you, the way Steinitz handle the Ruy Lopez was better than Morphy and his queen's opening was even more dangerous; Chigorin complain that it was hard to meet and acknowledge Steinitz queen's opening was difficult to play against. Can imagine Morphy trying figure out what to play against 1.d4, no!, the Dutch defense is not good enough against a strong positional player like Steinitz.
I may have also forgot to mention that there is a slight American mentality, once Americans win at something we tend to loose intrest quickly, Morphy ripped the chess world a new one and the next Native Born American to do well was Bobby Fischer. In the Olympics we dominated for a long while. we still do, but not at the level we used to. It shows itself. even in the World Wars we didn't want to fight them. we did because the other nations involved us. Once Americans beat the rest of the world at something we stop because we are the greatest so why bother.
Jetfighter13, I agree to a point, some Americans seem to lose interest once they won but we lost our competitive edge and once we strive for first place and now we are satisfy with second or third place. I believe with Morphy it was his mother love; his mother made him quit chess because it was not becoming of a gentleman. We should be glad the games we have of Morphy, we can enjoy and learn from.
I like what you wrote, you are thinker not a follower.
well he also wanted to become a lawyer and there was trouble at home in regards to politics, but maybe we remember his career because it was so short and bright.
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