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Long thread.. I don't think anyone can guess his rating but if Fischer himself looked up to him having a 2785 ELO and +125 more than Spassky who was previously the wold champion (considering it would be very difficult to get to 2800+ since most were 2600 and 2500 unlike now) then I'd say he could be as good as any of the top players today.The problem is he never had a real challenge so we can't know how far he could have pushed himself.One thing's for sure, without having people to look up to or theory, it's a lot more difficult to get better and he seemd to play a whole lot better than the people from his time. Anyone can re-invent the wheel.
He had no books,no money,no computer help,he learned alone,he is the chess,the name Paul Morphy is the same like chess.He was the best ever and in nowdays he easily beat them all.Lets take the best 100 players in the world and give them only a chess board at the age of 6 and let them alone in a room for 7 years to be Good players,we will see how far they will go chess,not even 10% that he does.He played at least like a GM in 19th century.It is sad that some people do not understand the power of his mind.Paul Morphy was the ultimate chess genius player ever!You my friend above,you are IM,do you belive could win him in a 20 game match?I thing no,so he is Gm!!Think how was to be someone Gm without computer help,books,theory,assistance,coaches in 1880!!!It is not science fiction.Nowdays Komodo plays like 3200 elo rating.Komodo is the best player nowdays,i do not believe you disagree.It is easy to analyse Paul Morphys games and yours.That is already done and Paul Morphy estimated about 2668 elo.Yours?So we we do not talking about talent,we talk now about move power and chess knowlege he had.
That is a big issue in discussions like these when someone dominates the competition so easily ... they are judged by games where they do not have to play the most precise moves, so people overestimate his lack of precision and use it as a gauge of his strength more so than the degree to which he dominate the next best players. Don't stronger players often play dubious lines against players rated a few hundred points lower?
Lawson's Morphy biography indicated that Morphy acquired a few chess books in 1853. Lawson included a report of a Maurian quote:
"... During the two years that we remained at college together, Morphy played a considerable number of games with me at odds gradually diminishing as I improved. ... Mr. Morphy had the following Chess books with him, the only ones, as far as I know that he ever possessed until the New York Chess Congress in 1857. Horwitz and Kling's Chess Studies, which he pronounced a very good and useful book for students, although not free from error; the B. Vols composing the collection of Kieseritzky's La Regence, and Staunton's Chess Tournament. ..."
"... Morphy became to millions ... the greatest chess master of all time. But if we examine Morphy's record and games critically, we cannot justify such extravaganza. And we are compelled to speak of it as the Morphy myth. ... [Of the 55 tournament and match games, few] can by any stretch be called brilliant. ... He could combine as well as anybody, but he also knew under what circumstances combinations were possible - and in that respect he was twenty years ahead of his time. ... [Morphy's] real abilities were hardly able to be tested. ... We do not see sustained masterpieces; rather flashes of genius. The titanic struggles of the kind we see today [Morphy] could not produce because he lacked the opposition. ... Anderssen could attack brilliantly but had an inadequate understanding of its positional basis. Morphy knew not only how to attack but also when - and that is why he won. ... Even if the myth has been destroyed, Morphy remains one of the giants of chess history. ..." - GM Reuben Fine
It is perhaps worthwhile to keep in mind that, in 1858, the chess world was so amazingly primitive that players still thought tournaments were a pretty neat idea.
yeah...I don't think so
I do believe that, if Morphy had been transported to our time and spent a large part of his career there, he could have been a world class player. His natural talent appears truly exceptional.
Me neither, current challenger Karjakin has never been close to 2800, and he was GM at 12 and was training very hard for many years before and after that, with help of GMs, computers, international tournaments, etc. If Morphy could do much better than him after 6 months it would imply that the chess level has decreased enormously over the last centuries.
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