Paul Morphy's Rating>2638

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #101


    There are no indications that Lasker threw his match, or even used kid gloves, with Nellie Showalter and every indication that he was surprised by her strong play.  Lasker had just beaten Nellie's husband, Jackson Whipps Showalter in 1893, after which Lasker claimed Mr. Showalter was the strongest opponent he'd ever faced.  Showalter, at that time, was generally held to be the US  Champion.  Nellie eventually became, in essense, the first US women's champion, though not in any official sense. In an 1894 interview, Nellie stressed: "When I first came to New York I played with Mr. Lasker a match of five games up. He gave the odds of a knight and I beat him five to two. Lasker had beaten everybody in Germany and England, then he came and beat my husband, and his astonishment, he said, was great that I could whip him with the odds he gave me."

    Em. Lasker, on the other hand, claimed, perhaps tongue-in-cheek: "At the critical juncture in the games, Mrs. Showalter would smile coyly, and then flash a bit of ankle. I was extremely flustered by such antics. When I complained to Mr. Showalter, he just guffawed and said, 'My Nellie is such a card! Have a cigar'."

    Even before her match with Harriet Worrall, it seems that Nellie was considered the premier American woman chess player. American Chess Magazine in 1894 wrote:
    Mrs. Showalter, the wife of the present American champion, whose portrait we give, is the present lady champion, and although only twenty-two, has signalized herself by beating Lasker in a match at the odds of a Knight by five to two games. In a subsequent match at Kokomo, Ind., she easily defeated Mr. C. O. Jackson, drawing the first game and winning the next three games right off. She also won a majority of games of Mr. Arthur Peter, who took first prize in the " Free-for-all " Tourney at Kokomo. She has now been challenged by Miss Worrall ; but at present holds the title of " queen of chess," abdicated by Mrs. Gilbert, of Hartford, Conn., who once immortalized herself in the Correspondence Match America vs. England by announcing a mate in twenty-three moves in one game, and also a mate in eighteen in the other companion game, to her astonished opponent across the Atlantic.

    Here's a couple interesting articles touching on Nellie Showalter:
    Evening bulletin (Maysville, Ky. : 1887): March 18, 1896

    Mrs. Nellie Marshall Showalter is perhaps the most accomplished woman chessplayer in the world. She was born at Donerail, Fayette County, in 1872, and is directly descended from Chief Justice Marshall, of tho United States Supreme Court. She was educated in her native State, and in 1887 married Jackson W. Showaltor, an ex-Mason Countian, who taught her to play chess. She has played many brilliant games, and will undoubtedly achieve still higher distinction in this particular field, says Leslie's Weekly.

    Mrs. Showalter is a Southern belle, with a petite figure and a charming manner. She is at present in Kentucky, but. expects to go East in a few weeks for the purpose of tuning part in the international chess match by cable which will be contested in April between the women of England and America.

    BMC 1894
    She is only 22 years of age and was married to him [Jackson Whipps Showalter] at 16. Soon after this event her husband taught her the moves, and then gave her the odds of the queen; but she progressed so rapidly that he cannot now give her the knight, and she has won two games of Mr Lasker at that odds. Not long ago, at Kokomo, Indiana, she played four games on even terms with Mr Jackson, the champion of that State, with the result that she won three and the other was drawn.

    More about Nellie Showalter and Harriet Worrell  here.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #102


    Batgirl, let me clue you in somewhat on the Ginzberg-Fischer interview.


    Oh, you read the interview. How interesting.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #103


    @notlesu, I think you're conflating two people: Ralph Ginzburg did indeed publish EROS and Avante Garde but the Beat poet who wrote Howl was Allen Ginsberg

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #104


    In your mind's eye, many distinctions are blurred. 

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #105


    Morphy would have been the best out of them all. NO DOUBT!

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #106


    What Anand said about Morphy when asked about his favourite players of all time :

    "Another player from the century that I like very much is Paul Morphy. He too was an American and was caught in very similar circumstances. He just appeared from nowhere and it was only thirty or forty years later that people understood why he was so dominant. His understanding of chess at the point was at least forty years ahead of the rest of the world. For the era in which he lived the kind of chess he played was unbelievable."

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #107


    Except Paul Morphy didn't come out of nowhere. He was known about, even across the ocean, since he was 12. What came out of nowhere was his nearly complete dominance of his competition. Not bad for an amateur.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #108


    Retrospective ranking is an interesting and attractive invention but the raw math it is enought to compare players of different times. There is no a scientistific tool to compare the strenght of play various great players. Who was better Morphy ,Capablanca , Fischer, Anand? Ranking doesn't answer the question.

    I know Players like Capa or Morphy in their time adapted to their opponents. Morphy today would play differently .

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #109


    Really, if you're going to make assertations, you should do your own research and not depend on me to suppy it.

    Nevertheless, according to David Lawson (the first of several Paul Morphy games published overseas prior to the American Chess Congress):

    The following game with Rousseau is the first Paul Morphy game to be published and it has become a part of chess history, Ernest Morphy sent it to Kieseritzky, together with a letter, and both were published in the January issue of La Régence as follows:

    New Orleans October 31, 1849
    Dear sir,
    I send you herewith a game of chess played on the 28th instant between Mr. R. [Rousseau] and the young Paul Morphy, my nephew, who is only twelve.  This child has never opened a work of chess; he has learnt the game himself by following the parties played between members of his family.  In the openings he makes the right moves as if by inspiration; and it is astonishing to note the precision of his calculations in the middle and end game.  When seated before a chessboard, his face betrays no agitation even in the most critical positions; in such cases he generally whistles an air through his teeth and patiently seeks for the combination to get him out of trouble. Further, he plays three or four severe enough games every Sunday (the only day on which his father allows him to play) without showing the least fatigue.
                                                 Your devoted friend
                                        Ernest Morphy


    La Régence was published in France. France, as you may know, is across the ocean and Paul was 12.

    "Perhaps a few old men in the New Orleans chess club were aware of him and thats about it."  apparently includes Eugene Rousseau who a few year prior was vying for the first US championship, and who was able to win only 5 out of 50 games against 11 year old Morphy between 1848-9 (one of the later losses was the above game).

    As for the spread of fame after defeating Lowenthal, Lawson claimed:
    "Henceforth his reputation extended beyond the circle of relatives and friends, and if, prior to this encounter, there had been doubtful Thomases who had misgivings about his genius, they certainly disappeared now.
         Such, indeed, was the confidence inspired by his victory over Löwenthal that certain gentlemen, with more enthusiasm than discretion, suggested to Judge Morphy the propriety his son to the International Chess Congress announced to take place in London in 1851."

    That particular encounter wasn't heralded right away, but still, prior to the Congress, indicating (along with the invitation itself) Morphy was a well-known quantity: Lawson again: "In 1856 and 1857 the game appeared in the five following publications: in the Unites States, England, and Switzerland as it had been presented by Ernest Morphy in the New York Clipper, Staunton’s Illustrated London News, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Porter’s Spirit of the Times and the Schweizerische Schachzeitung."


    After Morphy turned down the invitation to play in the first congress, Fiske wrote to Charles de Maurian the following letter, the contents of which plainly and clearly reveal Morphy's status in the American, and international, chess world:

    Charles A. Maurian, New Orleans
    Dear Sir:-- Mr. Michard sailed for New Orleans yesterday and will bring you the latest news in reference to the Great Congress…
    The great question here, as well as throughout the entire North, is will Paul Morphy come?  In spite of the adverse belief of Mr. Michinard, we all hope that he will.  The bare announcement that he might be certainly expected would help on our subscription in this part of the Union more than all other circumstances combined.  Assure him that whether victor or loser, he would be the lion of the tournament, double the interest of the tournament and add largely to its respectability abroad.
        Let me beg you to state all these things to Mr. Morphy, and convince him that no other person has it in his power to do so much good to American Chess as he has, and that the entire community of chess players confidently expect it at his hands.
        Mr Hammond of Boston; Montgomery, Thomas, Elkin, Baldwin and Doughtery of Philadelphia; Montgomery of Georgia; Cheney of Syracuse; Calthrop of Connecticut, besides Stanley and others, of New York, will play in the tournament.  We were all much pleased with Mr. Michard’s vistit.  I only regret that I came in too late from the country to see much of him.
                                    Daniel W. Fiske


    You might also want to study the history of New Orleans. According to Thomas F. McIlwraith, Edward K. Muller in North America: the historical geography of a changing continent: "The Crescent City had risen by 1840 to 102,000 [population] and fifth among all American cities; it was almost precisely the size of Baltimore." (Compared to other American cities in 1840 -  Cincinatti with 46,000, Pittsburgh with 31,0000, Louisville with 21,000, St. Louis with 16,500,  Buffalo with 18,000 - twice the size of Detroit, Chicago with 30,000.)

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #110


    arashi_star wrote:

    K I have a theory that Paul Morphy's rating in todays standards, if he just happened to come from the grave and did about 5 rated tournaments, playing just like how he was in his prime from the 1800s his rating would be approx 2638, at least.  This is my proof...

    his rating is at least 358 points higher than Eugene Rousseau 

    at least 226 points higher than Louis Paulsen

    at least 412 points higher than George Hammond

    at least 457 points higher than John William Schutten

    at least 320 points higher than Henry Edward Bird

    and finally at least 257 points higher than Adolf Anderson..

    and HIGHLY conservatively i estimated that this lot of masters today would have an average fide rating of todays standards of 2300, so 2300+338=2638 (338 is average amount of points he is higher than his "rivals." 

    Btw i just had to post this becuase i hate it when people have no clue/proof to back up their random opinions of Morphy's rating. 

     So you are basically trying to calculate what would be Morphy's rating playing with nowadays masters using his performance against XIX centeury masters.

    That just doesn't look valid. Your opinion seems as random as the ones you criticize.

    What you tryied to do could perharps show what would be Morphy's rating in 1859, if they used something like the Elo rating back than. But even for this your method does not look trustfull.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #111


    I'm glad you can catch typos. Maybe you should be an editor.

    The quote you Googled and, as you're quite aware, culled out from its context  first appeared in Fiske's Book of the First American Congress. The entire sentence, had you been more concerned with truth rather than whatever nonsense motivates you, is:  But few specimens of his skill had appeared in print. And notwithstanding his general high reputation, there were many, who from his youth and the small number of his published games, manifested much incredulity concerning his actual Chess strength and the probability of its standing the shock of the attack which would be made against it by the first players of America.

    Which was my original contention: "What came out of nowhere was his nearly complete dominance of his competition."


    You are now on my no-reply list.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #112


    Noughtylesu is making himself popular all over the place...

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #113


    To notlesu

    Only one game was published?  Wrong again.  His 1850 game with Lowenthal was published, both nationally and internationally in England and France, which was discussed by the readers, with one writing to Lowenthal asking if he had indeed lost to a 12 year old, prompting the rueful remark by Lowenthal about sometimes "losing to Rook players (Rook-odds players).  Your ignorance seems to be exceeded only by your arrogance.  Next time you post, do us a favor and know what you are talking about.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #114


    How sure are you about the above figures? I'm just a bit curious where in the hell did you get those. But I believe 19th century players average rating was 2250-2600. No 2700, because you can see at the caliber of their moves that they are not that accurate and they are prone to commit some grade school Chess players mistake/blunder. But anyway, nice article. We can debate all day long but who knows the real rating of those ancient players.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #115


    To notlesu

    It takes a man to admit he's wrong and I noticed you can't do that.  You don't scare me in the slightest.  You are just a little boy in a man's world.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #116


    Hm yes, there seems to be two over-the-top positions here, one that he was completely unknown before the American Congress and the other that he was already very well-known. What seems likely is that there were reports and rumours about him but they were probably not widely noticed and/or fully believed by the general public. If someone wrote to a newspaper today telling stories about his 12-years nephew being a top-level chess player I doubt that he would receive much credit. Still, Staunton's reluctance to play him when he arrived to London seems to indicate that he at least had some "inside information."

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #117


    I did read the posts and understood the point of contention. Okay, keep arguing about it forever if you want, I think that I have reached my conclusions.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #118


    Lol, I forgot I even made this thread.

    I guess the only thing we can conclude for sure is that Morphy was much better than his rivals. Cool

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #119


    Proof? That is not proof. Your arbitrary numbers mean nothing. To evaluate a persons strength, you look at the games they played, not "who is better than who" and being better than the average means nothing because of the Flynn effect, where the players get stronger every generation.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #120


    Btw i just had to post this becuase i hate it when people have no clue/proof to back up their random opinions of Morphy's rating. 

    me too.

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