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  1. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    30 Jul '10 18:04
    For instance, Paul Morphy, bitch slapped his opponents all over the board, all of them. But that was with the limited strategic knowledge of today. So suppose you snatch him in a time machine and put him up against today's masters, IM's, and GM's. Where would he fit in that spectrum?

    Would a modern 2300 player be able to stop him? Even assuming Morphy goes direct from the time machine to a tournament? One thing, he would be a bit upset at chess clocks I would think, but discounting that, how far up the food chain could he rise in today's world of multi-million game databases and analysis software? Of course assuming one on one with no computer help at the table for either side. Just the 2300 dude would have the advantage of 150 years of technology and modern technique.

    Could Morphy handle that?
  2. 30 Jul '10 19:50
    I think he wouldn't do as good as everone else thinks he would.
    Most people say he had talent and no databases or opening knowledge that we have etc etc. I think the calculation ability that is needed for todays top players would destroy a player from the 1800's.
    I give those 1800's players a rating of a modern day 2200.
    Ya ya ya you can't compare and it's "apples to oranges"...

    When I play over a Morphy game it does not confuse me and it is not above my level to learn something from it. Now if I play over a Kasparov game I am completely lost.

    Giving a 1800's player the books and computers we have today would not increase his calculation ability and that is what chess is...calculation.
  3. 30 Jul '10 19:59
    To say the human brain hasn't evolved in the last 150 years is wrong.
    If that was true why do we even do anything? I'd jump off a building.
    We process information much faster and store more memory.
  4. 30 Jul '10 20:22
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    To say the human brain hasn't evolved in the last 150 years is wrong.
    If that was true why do we even do anything? I'd jump off a building.
    We process information much faster and store more memory.
    That's what? 6-7 generations? I doubt our brains have evolved in any significant manner since Morphy's day.
  5. 30 Jul '10 20:32
    Ok maybe "evovled" is the wrong word.
  6. 30 Jul '10 20:39
    The better question is how would those dudes from the old days do against today's greats if they had a year to learn all the modern theories first.

    Sadly, both questions are equally unanswerable.....
  7. 30 Jul '10 20:56
    http://web.zone.ee/chessanalysis/summary450.pdf

    This goes some way to answering the question, it puts Morphy somewhere between a modern 2300 and a 2500.

    I too doubt the human brain has evolved significantly in the past 1000 years, it's all about knowledge being passed down the generations in books, etc. By learning things from books we are able to take a shortcut and then we still have 50 odd years of life to make progress.
  8. 30 Jul '10 21:01
    Originally posted by Willzzz
    http://web.zone.ee/chessanalysis/summary450.pdf

    This goes some way to answering the question, it puts Morphy somewhere between a modern 2300 and a 2500.

    I too doubt the human brain has evolved significantly in the past 1000 years, it's all about knowledge being passed down the generations in books, etc. By learning things from books we are able to take a shortcut and then we still have 50 odd years of life to make progress.
    Ya but we can't be blamed for that.
    It's not my fault I was using a computer when I was 6 and some kid from the 19th century was playing with a wooden horse.
  9. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    30 Jul '10 21:17
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    Ya but we can't be blamed for that.
    It's not my fault I was using a computer when I was 6 and some kid from the 19th century was playing with a wooden horse.
    On the flip side, they learned how to do math and engineering without the aid of a calculator.
  10. 30 Jul '10 21:21
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    On the flip side, they learned how to do math and engineering without the aid of a calculator.
    Ya well I prefer my Doctor over the ones they had.

    Electrocution is not a cure all!
  11. 30 Jul '10 21:24
    Calculators existed in the 19th century, probably not very common, but if you were a professional engineer, etc. In any case there's always the slide rule.
  12. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    30 Jul '10 21:27
    Originally posted by Willzzz
    Calculators existed in the 19th century, probably not very common, but if you were a professional engineer, etc. In any case there's always the slide rule.
    Well of course the abacus goes way way back, but that's not really the point.
  13. 30 Jul '10 23:05
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    To say the human brain hasn't evolved in the last 150 years is wrong.
    If that was true why do we even do anything? I'd jump off a building.
    We process information much faster and store more memory.
    Diet etc has probably improved the amount of brains that have been allowed to reach their potential but i doubt evolution has taken place.

    Undoubtedly though better training has taken place from birth onwards. The problem is that Morphy as we know him was probably a top club player by today's standards. The question is with the training of today's players behind him would he still be a top player. I like to think so.
  14. 31 Jul '10 00:47
    Originally posted by Habeascorp
    Diet etc has probably improved the amount of brains that have been allowed to reach their potential but i doubt evolution has taken place.

    Undoubtedly though better training has taken place from birth onwards. The problem is that Morphy as we know him was probably a top club player by today's standards. The question is with the training of today's players behind him would he still be a top player. I like to think so.
    Possibly, but he would have to change his hair style, and drop the Lawyer crap.
  15. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    31 Jul '10 01:03
    Originally posted by gorookyourself
    Possibly, but he would have to change his hair style, and drop the Lawyer crap.
    And I was so thinking he could go the "Vanilla Ice" route- with his hair, he could be the white James Brown!

    "I'm a chess machine- Ha!"