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Old August 17th 04, 10:00 PM
Brandon
 
Posts: n/a
Default Was America's greatest Chessplayer also the greatest player in history?

It's amazing: when you look at lists of the world's best chessplayers,
American players are rarely found near the top. I suppose it's
because we've never been much of a chessplaying nation.

YET, when you look at the two truly great players the US has produced,
they have had a PROFOUND effect on the game! One of them is generally
believed to have revolutionized it.

This American chessplayer showed amazing talent at a very young age.
In his young adulthood, he destroyed the strongest players in the
world almost effortlessly. He abandoned chess young and practically
disappeared from the chess world. Many said he suffered from bouts of
mental illness. And to this day, many regard him as the greatest
chessplayer of all time. And he is also known as "the pride and
sorrow of chess".

Are we speaking of Bobby Fischer here? A reasonable guess, but NO!
We're speaking of a young lawyer from New Orleans, LA named Paul
Morphy.

Morphy remains a fascinating and enigmatic figure to this day. He
lived before, during, and after the U.S. Civil War. World Chess
Champion Emanuel Lasker wrote that the Civil War "broke the heart and
mind of Morphy". But was this the real cause?

No one disputes his talent, and among Chess theorists, it is often
claimed that modern chess starts with Paul Morphy. Bobby Fischer said
of him, "In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today...
Morphy was perhaps the most accurate chess player who ever lived. He
had complete sight of the board and never blundered, in spite of the
fact that he played quite rapidly, rarely taking more than five
minutes to decide a move..." Later in 1992, Fischer said, "Morphy, I
think everyone agrees, was probably the greatest genius of them all."

Fischer was not alone in his opinion. Consider these others:

Jose Raul Capablanca: "[I play in] the style of Morphy, they say, and
if it is true that the goddess of fortune has endowed me with his
talent, the result [of the match with Emanuel Lasker] will not be in
doubt. The magnificent American master had the most extraordinary
brain that anybody has ever had for chess. Technique, strategy,
tactics, knowledge which is inconceivable for us; all that was
possessed by Morphy fifty-four years ago."

Edward Lasker: "After the passage of a century, Morphy still remains
the most glamorous figure that has ever appeared in the chess world."

Alexander Alekhine: "The strength, the invincible strength of Morphy -
this was the reason for his success and the guarantee of his
immortality!"

The finest websites on Morphy (by far) are these (maintained by Sarah
Beth, also known as "SBC"):

http://www.paulmorphy.org/

and

http://www.paulmorphy.com/

The root site of these is:

http://www.paulmorphy.net/

All three are very well worth visiting and make excellent bookmarks.
It is rare to come across writing of this quality and richness in the
chess world.

A lively dialogue on Paul Morphy is continuously held at the following
site. You are welcome to join this dialogue totally free of charge.
You will also find nearly all of Paul Morphy's known games here, all
playable with a very user-friendly interface at no cost:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002

To see the truly remarkable tribute longtime World Champion (and
friend and former apartment-mate of Albert Einstein) Emanuel Lasker
paid to Morphy, go to this site and scroll down to BishopBerkeley's
post:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess...=16002&kpage=1

More on Albert Einstein and Emanuel Lasker at:
http://www.geocities.com/siliconvall...8/einstein.htm

Einstein wrote a preface to a posthumous biography of Emanuel Lasker
in which he said, "Emanuel Lasker was undoubtedly one of the most
interesting people I came to know in my later years. We must be
thankful to those who have penned the story of his life for this and
succeeding generations. For there are few men who have had a warm
interest in all the great human problems and at the same time kept
their personality so uniquely independent..."

Your thoughts and contributions are most welcome.

Brett (aka BishopBerkeley)
http://www.100bestwebsites.org/
"The best sites on the Web, all in one place!"

Closing note:

The "paulmorphy.*" links above are pointers to the following sites.
The pointers are provided for ease of memorization and ease of sharing
with others:

www.paulmorphy.org points to:
http://batgirl.port5.com/index.html

www.paulmorphy.com points to:
http://www.angelfire.com/games/SBChe...ul_Morphy.html

and www.paulmorphy.net points to "Sarah's Serendipitous Chess Page":
http://www.angelfire.com/games/SBChess/frontpage.html

Though I have no affiliation with these sites, I do own the pointer
URLs (the "paulmorphy.*" links). I have pointed them to these sites
for the sole reason that they are so well done. They are non-profit
sites.
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Old August 17th 04, 11:02 PM
Don Corleone
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Not at all.

"Brandon" wrote in message
m...
It's amazing: when you look at lists of the world's best chessplayers,
American players are rarely found near the top. I suppose it's
because we've never been much of a chessplaying nation.

YET, when you look at the two truly great players the US has produced,
they have had a PROFOUND effect on the game! One of them is generally
believed to have revolutionized it.

This American chessplayer showed amazing talent at a very young age.
In his young adulthood, he destroyed the strongest players in the
world almost effortlessly. He abandoned chess young and practically
disappeared from the chess world. Many said he suffered from bouts of
mental illness. And to this day, many regard him as the greatest
chessplayer of all time. And he is also known as "the pride and
sorrow of chess".

Are we speaking of Bobby Fischer here? A reasonable guess, but NO!
We're speaking of a young lawyer from New Orleans, LA named Paul
Morphy.

Morphy remains a fascinating and enigmatic figure to this day. He
lived before, during, and after the U.S. Civil War. World Chess
Champion Emanuel Lasker wrote that the Civil War "broke the heart and
mind of Morphy". But was this the real cause?

No one disputes his talent, and among Chess theorists, it is often
claimed that modern chess starts with Paul Morphy. Bobby Fischer said
of him, "In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today...
Morphy was perhaps the most accurate chess player who ever lived. He
had complete sight of the board and never blundered, in spite of the
fact that he played quite rapidly, rarely taking more than five
minutes to decide a move..." Later in 1992, Fischer said, "Morphy, I
think everyone agrees, was probably the greatest genius of them all."

Fischer was not alone in his opinion. Consider these others:

Jose Raul Capablanca: "[I play in] the style of Morphy, they say, and
if it is true that the goddess of fortune has endowed me with his
talent, the result [of the match with Emanuel Lasker] will not be in
doubt. The magnificent American master had the most extraordinary
brain that anybody has ever had for chess. Technique, strategy,
tactics, knowledge which is inconceivable for us; all that was
possessed by Morphy fifty-four years ago."

Edward Lasker: "After the passage of a century, Morphy still remains
the most glamorous figure that has ever appeared in the chess world."

Alexander Alekhine: "The strength, the invincible strength of Morphy -
this was the reason for his success and the guarantee of his
immortality!"

The finest websites on Morphy (by far) are these (maintained by Sarah
Beth, also known as "SBC"):

http://www.paulmorphy.org/

and

http://www.paulmorphy.com/

The root site of these is:

http://www.paulmorphy.net/

All three are very well worth visiting and make excellent bookmarks.
It is rare to come across writing of this quality and richness in the
chess world.

A lively dialogue on Paul Morphy is continuously held at the following
site. You are welcome to join this dialogue totally free of charge.
You will also find nearly all of Paul Morphy's known games here, all
playable with a very user-friendly interface at no cost:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16002

To see the truly remarkable tribute longtime World Champion (and
friend and former apartment-mate of Albert Einstein) Emanuel Lasker
paid to Morphy, go to this site and scroll down to BishopBerkeley's
post:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess...=16002&kpage=1

More on Albert Einstein and Emanuel Lasker at:
http://www.geocities.com/siliconvall...8/einstein.htm

Einstein wrote a preface to a posthumous biography of Emanuel Lasker
in which he said, "Emanuel Lasker was undoubtedly one of the most
interesting people I came to know in my later years. We must be
thankful to those who have penned the story of his life for this and
succeeding generations. For there are few men who have had a warm
interest in all the great human problems and at the same time kept
their personality so uniquely independent..."

Your thoughts and contributions are most welcome.

Brett (aka BishopBerkeley)
http://www.100bestwebsites.org/
"The best sites on the Web, all in one place!"

Closing note:

The "paulmorphy.*" links above are pointers to the following sites.
The pointers are provided for ease of memorization and ease of sharing
with others:

www.paulmorphy.org points to:
http://batgirl.port5.com/index.html

www.paulmorphy.com points to:
http://www.angelfire.com/games/SBChe...ul_Morphy.html

and www.paulmorphy.net points to "Sarah's Serendipitous Chess Page":
http://www.angelfire.com/games/SBChess/frontpage.html

Though I have no affiliation with these sites, I do own the pointer
URLs (the "paulmorphy.*" links). I have pointed them to these sites
for the sole reason that they are so well done. They are non-profit
sites.



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