I'm only asking out of curiosity...
By the way, what's the "good reason"?
How does Morphy score relative to the top engine choices? There was a rumor that chess.com implemented rating system based on comparison of the player moves with strong engine, It should clarify quite a bit regarding Morphy playing level.
That is definetely incorrect. With the rating difference of 338 (as in your formula), he would have been expected to score 88 points out of 100 against other masters. Of course, he didn't. Another approach is to actually look at the games (and it quickly becomes obvious that he was nowhere around 2638 strength).
I know it's an old thread, but...
Every player has his "moments of genius". So it makes me wonder what was Morphy's strength when he was at his very best? What if we took his top 10 games and measured his strength by those games?
Also, Morphy was extremely creative. I saw a famous game where Morphy started a rook down (in purpose). After a few moves, he managed to checkmate his opponent by castling!
Where can you find such a wonderful creativity nowadays?
Take any 2300 player (willing to play gambits and early attacks) and have them play against 1500s and you'll get tons of attacks like that Morphy game (and better). It's not creativity, it's a mismatch in strength.
Here's a modern top GM game
One of my favorites. Najdorf sacrifices all 4 minor pieces, then mates with a pawn move!
... There was a rumor that chess.com implemented rating system based on comparison of the player moves with strong engine, ...
I think this computer analysis question is interesting and not brought up enough.
I agree that computer analysis is a poor method for determining Morphy's strength because there is too much of a mismatch. If 2300 players played against 1900 players, a computer analysis would probably overrate them quite a bit because it would be so easy for them to make the best moves with just simply winning positions right out of the gate.
I think this whole mismatch question is what ruins a lot of this analysis for Morphy. I don't think that being able to beat a 2000 player 4/5 times is what makes you a 2200 player.. ultimately, the only way we can know for sure somebody is at 2200 strength is that he draws an arbitrarily long match against another 2200 player. Mismatching just won't do because people play at different levels against different mismatches. Some people are absolutely excellent at playing for complexity and giving low rated players even less of a chance than they should have, other players are excellent at not blundering and have more of a chance than they should against high rated players. In this way, I think strength is more complicated. I think Morphy, as he was, had the strength, creativity, and calculation to really put the beat down on modern 2200 - 2300 players. However, that does not make him 2600 strength, Against a 2600 or higher, he would struggle quite a bit with his tricks being far less effective. Ultimately, Morphy was used to playing players low rated than him and he got better and better at beating lower strength players without actually becoming a stronger chess player. I think if one were to make a curve of how much difficulty each rating level gives a player, Morphy's would be very steep, crushing 2300s with black but struggling against 2500s and losing to 2600s. Ben Finegold often jokes that because he is so used to playing club level players, he would score much better than strong grandmasters against club A players because he is used to dealing with their silly tricks and used to not trusting their calculation. A strong grandmaster used to facing other strong grandmasters may give their opponent's too much credit or give them the benefit of the doubt strategically in a way that gives them too much play. In this case, Morphy probably has the opposite problem. He was absolutely excellent at creating threats that were hard for lower strength players to deal with and calculating more moves than them, but would struggle to create a plan against a player who was just as good as him or even a player who could defend well. In that way, an Elo number of Morphy's strength seems a little meaningless and impossible to obtain.
You're right, I do think clarification is required.
When I say "play for tricks", what I mean is that Morphy never had to fight for an advantage. All he had to do was play the king's gambit, or evan's gambit, or scotch, or some other aggressive opening, put his pieces to good squares, then wait for his opponent to blunder.
He never had to say "Hmm, how do I break through this dutch stone wall" or "when do I strike against the center in this King's Indiana." There was no requirement for "What are my opponent's long term strategic plans and how can I stop them?" He had the potential for all of this, but he simply never had to ask these questions, his opponent's blundered first.
Yes, that is a slight exaggeration, as plenty of Morphy's more serious opponent's reached the middle game with equality, but still they entered the middle game with no plan and just end up playing some stupid h5 or a5 move that let's Morphy win.
Against a 2600 or even 2500, he would have no chance because these players would not simply give him an advantage. He would have to fight for it, and with his level of opposition he never learned how to gain an advantage from an equal position, just how to keep an advantage and how to not blunder.
You contradicted yourself by not understanding my statement, and then explaining it yourself! "The mystery is how phenomenally strong Morphy actually got, considering his level of opposition. "
The fact is that beating low rated players over and over is not a good way to improve, you just stated that indirectly by saying that it was a mystery how strong he got despite facing nothing but Rufus and Dufus. The problem is, we don't know if he ever got to 2400, 2500, 2600 strength etc.) where he would give these players a hard time. We just know that he got better and better at beating 2200s. Getting better and better at converting won positions does not help you beat 2600 rated players that always make you fight for an advantage. Often, the only way to gain an advantage against a strong grandmaster is to give something up, the importance of which he misevaluated, making him at the wrong end of the imbalance trade. I could practice against computer level 1 over and over and get better and better at beating it so that I beat it 99 times out of 100 times instead of 95 times out of 100 times, but that doesn't help me as much as one game against an opponent of my level. I wouldn't really be improving my chess.
I think that before long there will be an algorithm that will be able to detect the absolute strength of a player by the moves he plays in a given position, rather than the ELO system of rating relative to other players.
At that point we will be able to determine the relative strengths of historic players to modern ones. Of course they will be lower than modern players overall as chess theory has advanced and many better moves have been found in opening theory that were not known at the time of Morphy. I'm sure this will come as lots of clever computer people are interested in these things.
"... if he were to play today, he probably wouldn't even be master strength ..." - GM Josh Friedel (2016)
Thank you for providing the link. I see Morphy rating projected to be 2409 which to me does make sense.
You're right, I have no idea whether he would be 2600 strength, and that's my point. We have no evidence to suggest Morphy would be able to beat a 2600, just that he beat 2200s over and over. I think it's possible he would have quite a bit of trouble against someone who could calculate as well as he could.
This is in contrast to modern grandmasters who can very steamroll young players who calculate as well as they do with experience and strategy.
So beating weak players at blindfold is a strong test for 2600 level? Why could he not be 25, or 2400? You're so sure of 2600 based on wins vs noobs.
it might help with your problem