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  1. 02 Aug '12 21:22
    According to one of his former associates in a recent memoir, John Gotti, who was
    a celebrity American Mafia boss, admired and was 'inspired' by Bobby Fischer.

    "We all liked Bobby Fischer. Gotti called him the 'Al Capone of chess' ... he used
    to quote him all the time: 'The thing I like most about the game is crushing the
    other guy's ego.' ... He said gangsters who want to get ahead should play chess
    because it makes you think like a boss."
    --Sal Polisi (from _The Sinatra Club: My Life Inside the New York Mafia_)
  2. 02 Aug '12 21:24
    Have you been reading the Daily Mail again? Shame on you.
  3. 02 Aug '12 21:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    Have you been reading the Daily Mail again? Shame on you.
    Yes, the quotation's from an article in the Daily Mail (website).
    I assume you could have known that only if you yourself had read the Daily Mail.

    While I concur that the Daily Mail tends to have low 'standards of journalism'
    and I disagree with its usual editorial politics, it does cover some aspects of
    popular culture that the Guardian, for instance, does not.
  4. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    02 Aug '12 21:49 / 1 edit
    Fischer's persona was such that most Americans have no clue that Paul Morphy was the greatest chess player the country ever produced.


    Edit:

    All objective statements aside, Fischer was god in New York. One of the professors in my department grew up in New York and knows nothing about chess, but she has a commemorative knight in a wooden box to mark Spassky's defeat in their WC match.
  5. 03 Aug '12 17:46
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Yes, the quotation's from an article in the Daily Mail (website).
    I assume you could have known that only if you yourself had read the Daily Mail.
    You sneaked in an edit. I certainly don't read the Daily Mail newspaper or website. When I read your original post I Googled "John Gotti" and "Bobby Fischer" and the Daily Mail story came up as the first hit. As it dated the same day as your post it was clear what you'd been reading.
  6. 03 Aug '12 20:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    You sneaked in an edit. I certainly don't read the Daily Mail newspaper or website. When I read your original post I Googled "John Gotti" and "Bobby Fischer" and the Daily Mail story came up as the first hit. As it dated the same day as your post it was clear what you'd been reading.
    Reading a part of a newspaper does not necessarily imply that one agrees
    with that newspaper's general editorial positions.

    If I may add something factual to your assumption about me, as far as I can
    recall, I first read the 'Daily Mail' article sometime between 12 and 24 hours
    before I wrote my original post in this thread. I know that I did not write that
    post immediately after I read that article. I had supposed that mentioning
    the Mafia and chess might provoke some jokes about the Sicilian Defence's
    Kalashnikov Variation, etc.

    By the way, with regard to your original question, 'Have you been reading the
    Daily Mail *again*?', was there any factual evidence that led you to conclude
    that I had read the 'Daily Mail' before? In fact, I read the 'Daily Mail' from time
    to time, more as a gauge of British popular culture than for any other reason.
  7. Standard member ChessPraxis
    Cowboy From Hell
    03 Aug '12 20:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    jokes about the Sicilian Defence's
    Kalashnikov Variation, etc.
    LOL!
  8. Subscriber coquette
    Already mated
    03 Aug '12 21:41
    It is an interesting thought to ponder what Morphy might have accomplished if he'd lived in an era of chess clocks and organized chess.

    He cowered the world!
  9. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    03 Aug '12 22:16
    Originally posted by coquette
    It is an interesting thought to ponder what Morphy might have accomplished if he'd lived in an era of chess clocks and organized chess.

    He cowered the world!
    Wasn't it Staunton who was running away from Morphy?
  10. 03 Aug '12 23:37
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Wasn't it Staunton who was running away from Morphy?
    Certainly Staunton didn't want any part of Morphy and didn't seem able to admit that this was because he realised that Morphy was a vastly superior player. Apart from him, though, the other leading players in the world seemed eager to take on Morphy.
  11. Standard member Thabtos
    I am become Death
    04 Aug '12 00:31
    Staunton might have been pretty clever to have ducked Morphy. If Morphy crushed him in a match, would we have been treated to the tedious game 2 of the Saint-Amant-Staunton match in popular chess literature?
  12. 04 Aug '12 03:03
    Originally posted by coquette
    It is an interesting thought to ponder what Morphy might have accomplished if he'd lived in an era of chess clocks and organized chess.

    He cowered the world!
    I think Morphy is much overrated.

    Fischer is the greatest player from the United States.

    Morphy was a brilliant tactician but his opposition was rather weak compared with today's grandmaster strength.

    Unlike Kasparov, Morphy did not win his most brilliant games against strong players such as Karpov, Ivanchuk, Anand, Topalov, Shirov, etc.
  13. 04 Aug '12 03:25 / 1 edit
    "Morphy was a brilliant tactician but his opposition was rather weak compared
    with today's grandmaster strength. "

    But that was not Morphy's fault. He played and beat the best players of the day.

    Everyone got better due to Morphy's play.
    He lifted the game onto another level and every following generation
    lifted it to where it is now.

    Each generation learned and took it heroes from the previous generation.
    You mentioned Kasparov, who is Kasparov's hero.....Alekhine.
  14. 04 Aug '12 03:46
    I agree with you greenpawn, but I am always surprised when chess players say of Morphy that he is the greatest player of all times.

    Even Fischer put Morphy on top of his list of the 10 greatest chess players in history he published in 1963, as if Morphy could have defeated Lasker or Alekhine.

    Morphy was the greatest player of his era, not of all times.
  15. 04 Aug '12 11:32 / 1 edit
    Yes of his era.
    Fischer said something like give him a month or two to get booked up
    and he would be a contender.
    Maybe, maybe not. We will never know.

    But his influence on the game and the publicity he brought to the game
    in just 4 active years! should not be underrated.
    His games inspired Steinitz (who was known for a while as 'The Austrian Morphy.'

    Steinitz took the game up a level.
    Tarrasch & Lasker took the game that next step up.
    Capablanca raised the bar further.
    Nimzovitch, Reti, Tartakower etc. furthered our understainding of the game.
    And bit by bit each generation stands on the shoulders of the previous crowd
    and added to game till we are here today.

    And when they write the final history of chess computers will have the last
    chapter.

    Somewhere in the middle of 'Chess the Complete History of this Forgotten Game'
    will be a sentence dedicated to greenpawn.

    "Despite his valiant attempts to set the game back 150 years, greenpawn, that
    most handsome of chess players, failed.