Paul Morphy's Rating>2638

kindaspongey

"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.

darkunorthodox88
badchessplayerbilly wrote:

The only theory during his era was Philidor. So one must ask, how good would the best players today be back then? Carlsen, Anand, etc. would be pretty good but they'd probably make similar blunders as Morphy did. They certainly would not play like they do now. How good would Morphy be today with modern theory and computers? This is where speculation begins. I feel he'd be a Super GM. Bobby Fischer felt the same way.

To counter my own argument I will bring up Josh Waitskin. If he were alive in the 1850's I think he would have dominated and been Morphy's only competition. He used to crush Maters when he was 10 but never got to the next level when playing a gm in a long game. So we will never know if Morphy is like Kasparov/Carlsen with no theory or like Waitskin.

im inclined to think morphy would have likely been a super GM with modern training and material, but you never know. the kind of things you often need to reach that level are rather eclectic. You see it all the time. you have some attacking virtuoso who is often stuck at IM or "low " GM because he is not so effective vs very patient positional players who ruin his fun. Or you have some l turtle GM who can draw agaisnt virtually anybody but doesnt have the bloodlust to make the 2600 to 2700 jump.

kindaspongey
badchessplayerbilly wrote:

The only theory during his era was Philidor. ...

There were also Staunton writings, a German handbook, a book by Horwitz and Kling, ...

kindaspongey
NM darkunorthodox88 wrote:

... Or you have some l turtle GM who can ...

Is it turtles all the way down?

ArcherQW

He should be like 2810 in FIDE ratings not 2638!!!!!

dannyhume
@kindaspongey, Fischer’s playing strength is probably stronger than the analytical strength of every other GM you have quoted. I don’t think you can quote Fischer’s opinion on Lasker and simply blanket-dismiss his post-WWII chess accomplishments, playing strength, analytical strength, and opinions.

Morphy— ignoring his dominance at a young age, similar to Steinitz’ age, and with so little at his disposal (in terms of high-level competition during his formative chess years on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean)— seems universally acclaimed as the first very strong yet fully balanced player (defense, positional play, opening, endgame, and attacking), so there is not much in terms of obvious weaknesses that even a great contemporary of his could surpass as an adult.
kindaspongey
dannyhume wrote:
@kindaspongey, Fischer’s playing strength is probably stronger than the analytical strength of every other GM you have quoted. I don’t think you can quote Fischer’s opinion on Lasker and simply blanket-dismiss his post-WWII chess accomplishments, playing strength, analytical strength, and opinions. ...

There is no doubt that Fischer was able to choose good moves for his own games, but where is it demonstrated that that translates to an ability to predict the results of DeLorean experiments? Fischer's strength as a player is well known, but, again, do the titled authors urge their readers to accept Fischer's view of Morphy?

kindaspongey
dannyhume wrote:
... Morphy— ignoring his dominance at a young age, similar to Steinitz’ age, and with so little at his disposal (in terms of high-level competition during his formative chess years on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean)— seems universally acclaimed as the first very strong yet fully balanced player (defense, positional play, opening, endgame, and attacking), so there is not much in terms of obvious weaknesses that even a great contemporary of his could surpass as an adult.

"... It was due to [Morphy's] principles of development that he had, in most cases, at the outset a better development than his opponent. As soon, however, as these principles of Morphy's had become the common property of all chess players it was difficult to wrest an advantage in an open game. ... the next problem with which players were confronted ... was to discover principles upon which close positions could be dealt with. To have discovered such principles, deeper and more numerous as they were than those relating to development in open positions, is due to Steinitz. ..." - Richard Reti (1923)

"... Steinitz ... started out as an all-out attacking player, as it was common at the time, but then went on to change his approach toward chess and became very positional. Positional, at that time, was very shocking to the rest of the chessplayers, and they actually considered his new way - his new style of playing as cowardly and controversial. It was only, later, his successor on the world champion's throne, Emanuel Lasker, who acknowledged the influence and the impact of the concepts Steinitz introduced. ..." - IM Anna Rudolf (2018)

https://www.chess.com/video/player/games-that-changed-chess-history-part-4

https://www.chess.com/blog/janwerle/finishing-touch-from-the-world-champions-2

https://www.chess.com/article/view/behold-steinitz-the-austrian-morphy

https://www.chess.com/article/view/steinitz-changes-the-chess-world

https://www.chess.com/article/view/steinitz-the-official-world-chess-champion

ilovesmetuna

really looking forward to the end of Spongebob's dangawful argumentative and woefully low quality chess posts.

pfren

Fischer was not perfect, either. He always felt uncomfortable in very complicated positions, where the tension was high. This is probably the reason he admired Tal so much: Misha's play defied logic and common sense, and yet it was stunningly effective, especially at the type of games which were Fischer's sole weakness.

ilovesmetuna

see!! pfens posts on the other hand can be sublime.

TheRealGMBobbyFish
Luinor wrote:
blake78613 wrote:

It's like saying Napoleon sucks as a general because he didn't know how to deploy nuclear weapons.  If you took a modern grandmaster and magically erased from his knowldege,  all the advances in chess since 1850, and made him play against Morphy in a match without seconds; I think most mordern grandmasters would be in deep trouble.

Napoleon sucks at chess too....

Well, sucked is a subjective term.  It is worth pointing out that Napoleon was out-generalled by Wellington in two separate campaigns, Kutuzov in 1812, and von Blucher in 1815.  

He was outstanding against opponents determined to fight an 18th century battle in the 19th century.  

Much as I expect would happen to any of the chess masters up to the end of the Soviet era when pitted against today's professionals.

mickynj
pfren wrote:

Fischer was not perfect, either. He always felt uncomfortable in very complicated positions, where the tension was high. This is probably the reason he admired Tal so much: Misha's play defied logic and common sense, and yet it was stunningly effective, especially at the type of games which were Fischer's sole weakness.

True enough. On the other hand, I think it was Paul Keres who said something to the effect that there was no fate on earth worse the being on the other side of the board when Fischer has a "slightly favorable" ending. Fischer was one of the all-time greats, but none of the all-time greats were equally good at every single aspect of the game. Chess is too hard for that!