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Bobby Fischer seemed to think quite highly of Morphy and he studied hundreds of his games:
All of the claims that the big name masters of the past would only be 2200 or less is a lot of banana oil.
I think Ben Finegold's argument on this is pretty interesting, so I thought I would chime it in because I haven't seen it.
1: Paul Morphy played blindfold simuls against the best players in the world. Because that's what 2200 players normally do, right? Give blindfold simuls? Julian, you're a 2000 player. You give blindfold simuls all the time, right? "Oh yeah I just gave a blindfold simul last week." Yeah, see? That's normal 2000 - 2200 player behavior.
2: I'm a GM, and sometimes when I want to learn about tempo and activity I look at the games of Paul Morphy to learn about how to keep an initiative. Because normally I review the games of 2000, 21000, 2200 players to learn about chess, right?
The problem with these calculations is they assume Morphy would come to the 21st Century and use his 19th Century tools to play. Can you imagine what he'd see in today's openings, databases, online and frequent play against high-rated players? I don't think any of us can put a finger on it. So he still remains to be considered an all-time great. Certainly Bobby Fischer had a greater ability to judge Morphy's ability than any of us on these boards and he said Morphy would have whipped any player of his time.
... Paul Morphy played blindfold simuls against the best players in the world. ...
"Lasker ... didn't understand positional chess." - another Fischer quote from around the same time as his Morphy comments.Extended discussions of Morphy have been written in books by GM Franco, GM Beim, GM Ward, GM Marin, GM Bo Hansen, GM McDonald, Garry Kasparov (with Dmitry Plisetsky), and GM Gormally. Anyone see any of them express the view that we should accept Fischer's conclusion about Morphy? There seems to be general agreement that Morphy was, as GM Fine put it, one of the giants of chess history, but that is a long way from saying that he was better than anyone playing today.https://www.chess.com/article/view/who-was-the-best-world-chess-champion-in-history"... 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 FineIt 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.
Your statement is by definition false, because my statement can't be false, regardless of the facts.
I didn't specific how many of the best players in the world. Top 10, top 100, top 1000? You literally cannot say my statement is false.
But I'll make it more specific for you. Sure, if you count "best in the world" as only the top 5 or 10, then I don't know of any blindfold simuls against them. But if I were top 100 in the world I would consider myself one of the best chess players in the world, and Paul Morphy played and beat the vast majority of those people in blindfold simuls.
If Morphy came back from his grave playing like he did in the 1800s his rating would be 2100 at the most
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at such a claim.
Morphy blindfond better any current GMs, a GM who is 2700 elo lost a piece, it was a one mover blunder.Some of his attack were very complicated, he could calculate very accurate and precise; something Carlsen lacks, he loses or draw in winning attacks. Of course you fanboy Carlsen never played one game of Magnus but his accuracy is horrible; give Morphy same game he would win it with no problem.
... if I were top 100 in the world I would consider myself one of the best chess players in the world, and Paul Morphy played and beat the vast majority of those people in blindfold simuls.
You did not originally write, "one of the best chess players in the world". You wrote, "the best players in the world". If you continue, readers will soon notice whether or not you identify even one specific blindfold simul where Morphy played against the best players in the world. So far: not
There is an entire book about blindfold chess. Here are reviews:
Morphy is not regarded as the best-ever blindfold player, and blindfold play is not seen as coinciding with ordinary over-the-board chess ability.
Wait, so this is an argument about nothing more than semantics?
"The best players in the world." Clearly doesn't imply that he has to play against the absolutely #2. Just a bunch of people recognized as some of the best players in the world.
I suppose you can make an argument that "some of the best" is not synonymous with "the best" but I don't really see it that way. If you want me to change my argument to be "Against some of the best players in the world." then fine, I concede.
Example: Paris 1858 blindfold simul against 8 European masters. Please correct me if they were just amateurs they pulled off the street.
... If you want me to change my argument to be "Against some of the best players in the world." then fine, I concede.
In one account, Morphy's opponents were described as "eight of the best players of Paris". In view of this, it would seem to me to be misleading to write, "against some of the best players in the world", but I suppose misleading is an improvement over being simply false. By the way, I am not aware of any system that was in use for identifying European masters in 1858.
If by "we" you mean everyone who thinks 1 game proves a player was 150+ years ahead of his time, sure.
Wei Yi's immortal is immeasurably more complicated, and against an opponent making far fewer mistakes than Bird.
And he has 150 years of chess theory, chess engines, modern GM's and tactical trainers to improve his tactical vision. Morphy had no such luxury. He wasn't even tested to his full potential and this is while playing casually, doing double degree and chilling.
Wei Yi spent more time on Chess in 1 week than Morphy probably did in his entire life.
Clearly the GOAT aka Fischer spoke highly of Morphy and thought he would beat everyone in 1960s. Kasparov flat out said he is a prototype GM. Capa and Alekhine praised him as if they wished they had his talent. Didn't Anand recently state Morphy played 40 years ahead of his time?
A guy like Morphy would be a TOP GM is any era as stated by Fischer. Wei Yi is a strong GM nothing more. Lets give him more time as he is still young.
Carlsen is a phenomenon. He is a different story entirely.
Certainly Bobby Fischer had a greater ability to judge Morphy's ability than any of us on these boards and he said Morphy would have whipped any player of his time.
I think he simply was quite wrong there, regardless how much stronger he was than anyone here. He claimed that the Morphy of the 1850s, as he was, would beat all the best players more than a hundred years later. There's just not much logic in that statement. Morphy was great for his time, but given all the advantages the modern players have it is not fair to compare.