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  1. 27 May '09 00:48
    This was started in another thread about smothered mates.

    Thought I'd give it it's own thread. Would like to know what others think
    without mixing it up with smothered mate games.

    We were talking about how come Morphy became Morphy.
    Who did he learn it from and was he the greatest player that ever lived?

    Ever chess generation has learned from the previous generation.
    And it can all be traced back to Morphy.
    But from whom did Morphy learn his trade?

    I was given some links to look at....and this is where you join us.

    No mention about who taught Morphy to play like Morphy.
    Or how come Morphy played like Morphy.

    He was fairly well off so would have had all the chess books that
    were printed then, but remember he had nothing like the choice
    the avarage player has today. We are talking Pre-Steinitz.

    And neither would his opponents, that is important to note because one
    thing always pointed at Morphy is that he had no one to beat.
    That is because the art of defending was just a twinkle in Steinitz's eye.

    He would have got nothing from Philidor, even the 'legacy' was known to
    chess players in 15th century. It was his 1749 book which laid down middle game
    strategy that made Phildor famous.

    (I wonder if Robbie knows that the Duke of Cumberland 'The Butcher
    of Culloden' actually ordered 50 copies of this book).
    There is no hint of Morphy in Philidor.

    Labourdonnais and McDonell? (and Anderssen).

    Great players who could pull of combinations but their games show
    very little of the 'flow' that Morphy had.

    Anderssens masterpieces, The Evergreen and the Immortal were played
    in 1852 & 1855 when Morphy was already then showing signs of being Morphy.

    Here is Morphy game from 1849. Morphy was 12.

    Morphy -Rousseau, New Orleans, 1849


    Labourdonnais and McDonell?
    Look at the opening of the greatest game these two played against
    each other. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qe2



    Setting a trap even I would think twice about setting. Bxf7+ and Qc4+
    winning back the Bishop on c5.

    For the record here is the game. It's Brilliant but it's not Morphy.

    De Labourdonnais - McDonnell, 1st Match, game 21, London, 1834



    The only book out at the time that gave anything like Morphy
    was to produce was Greco's book,
    (written in the 1620's but still being printed in the 18th century).

    These games are 'invented'. Greco sat down and made up these
    charming miniatures to illustrate the potetnial of development or to
    show you a trap in an opening.

    Here is one he invented from the Phildor.
    It reminds one of a rather more famous game played 200 years later.



    No doubt Morphy had this book and may have spent many an
    hour skipping through these cartoons.

    But I too had this book and althougjh some of the 'games' are
    really sparkling they are nothing like Morphy's gems.
    The moves Greco used to make a point (the blunders) are really bad.

    So have come to conclussion that nobody taught Morphy.
    He was gifted, blessed, a genius.

    And you cannot dissect a genius.

    Morphy-Carr (Blindfold 8 game simultaneous) London 1858

  2. 27 May '09 02:57
    Definately greenpawn. morphy was a genius. Light years above his peers. I have no doubt that even if he was present today with all our supercomps and superGM's he would still be able to pull off his spectacular combos.

    But I just assumed he would have gleaned a bit from his predecessors. Greco, Phillidor,etc. I guess not. His style is unique and yet simple. There's a game called the immortal game btwn anderssen and kieseritzky some other guy I forgot. But it as shown to contain mistakes by both parties. However the game btwn Morphy and Two Allies at the Opera House (an offhand game) was essentially flawless (on Morphy's part) he is the master of development. He brought all his pieces out and eventually delivered chekmate with his last two remaining pieces! A classic Rook and Bishop mate. That IS the Immortal Game!

    However Greenpawn, there are/were some arguments especially by Reinfield that the peeople Morphy played were just too weak. What do you think about that? I think thats nonsense. Yeah they were weak, but come on chess was still much unexplored.
  3. 27 May '09 08:48
    Originally posted by Goshen
    Definately greenpawn. morphy was a genius. Light years above his peers. I have no doubt that even if he was present today with all our supercomps and superGM's he would still be able to pull off his spectacular combos.

    But I just assumed he would have gleaned a bit from his predecessors. Greco, Phillidor,etc. I guess not. His style is unique and yet simpl ...[text shortened]... at? I think thats nonsense. Yeah they were weak, but come on chess was still much unexplored.
    It all depends on what you look for in terms of "best". How far above their peers they were or by looking at the moves? If you use the first it was Morphy if you look at the other it wasn't. Now the term we are using is "greatest" and I don't think it should be in any doubt that Morphy was the greatest genius of chess that ever lived for the reasons GP states... Nobody taught Morphy. He taught us.
  4. 27 May '09 09:04
    Certainly the players he beat in off-hand games and simuls
    were not of a high standard.

    But he beat the other top players of his day 'cept Staunton who was past his best then.

    Also discovered that in the TV series 'The High Chaparral'. in one
    episode called ' A Fella Named Kilroy' this gun slinger happens to
    be very good a t chess.

    When asked who taught him, he replies,

    "This little fellah from New Orleans,"

    New post; Was Morphy a Gun Fighter?
  5. 27 May '09 09:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Certainly the players he beat in off-hand games and simuls
    were not of a high standard.

    But he beat the other top players of his day 'cept Staunton who was past his best then.

    Also discovered that in the TV series [b]'The High Chaparral'
    . in one
    episode called ' A Fella Named Kilroy' this gun slinger happens to
    be very good a t chess.

    Whe ...[text shortened]... eplies,

    "This little fellah from New Orleans,"

    New post; Was Morphy a Gun Fighter?[/b]
    I wonder if Robbie knows that the Duke of Cumberland 'The Butcher
    of Culloden' actually ordered 50 copies of this book

    it is too painful to mention greenpawn my friend, for i have stood on the very same Drumossie Moor in silent reflection at the tragic events, whence, as the poet stated, 'the horses ran up to their necks in the best blood of the highlands'.

    are there any extant games of the duke, so that i may trawl through them and look for ways to take his horses of the board, in remembrance of the fallen heroes who now reside, safe in valours glory, in the hall of the slain, Valhalla itself, to be attended upon by pretty maidens with pigtails, feasting and rejoicing and playing chess every day!
  6. 27 May '09 09:35
    None of his games have survived, I picked up this trifle of
    information in the Oxford Companion when looking up Philador
    who had Scottish ancestry. Hooper & Whyld must have thought it important
    to add in. Could not see the point other than a minor point of interest.

    Been to the Moor as well. Very eirie
  7. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    27 May '09 10:37
    >It is a puzzle asking who taught Morphy. I'm inclined to think that he was a genius who came out of nowhere. I'm sure he was aware of previous publications, but he was a notoriously lazy man.
    >He became a lawyer, not through hard work, but because he had a photographic memory. He really never studied or worked at it and as such was very poor at making legal arguments, so his law career was an utter failure.
    >He was from a Confederate state with the Civil War brewing, but was caught between the two sides because he was incapable of making up his mind where he stood. So he was a social outcast.
    >In chess, he seems to be one of those very rare people who just come out of the blue in some subject. Obviously he was interested in the game, but he didn't work at it and I don't think he learned by studying from the past. He was just a chess genius, pure and simple, if such a thing can actually be simple, but it would appear to me that he did not reach the heights of the great player he was by, as Issac Newton said, "standing on the shoulders of giants."
    >He remains an enigma.
  8. 27 May '09 10:50
    That's the opinion I put forward. No one taught him.
    Yet his influence on the game has spanned the last 150 years.

    He must be considered as one the greatest chess players that
    ever lived along with Capa and Tal who too were naturally gifted.

    Fischer and Alekhine worked at chess, devoting their lives to the game.

    Morphy certainly was an exceptional individual. Some odd and very
    incredible behaviour towards the end of his life. Very sad.
  9. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    27 May '09 11:34
    >Yes, I was agreeing with you that no one taught Morphy. I was trying to strengthen your argument. Chess is one of those subjects in which child prodigies can appear. I'm a musician which is another subject like that too, and I've seen one or two.
    >Capablanca has been called the Mozart of chess, and his games do seem to display the utter logic and apparent simplicity of Mozart, but simplicity is an incredibly hard thing to achieve. I think I like Capa best of all, as I do Mozart.
    >Morphy was indeed strange at the end of his life, and of course so too was Fischer. Very sad, both of them, tragic. And both gave up the game at the height of their success.
  10. 27 May '09 16:33
    My Capa book came today, entitled, Chess fundamentals. looks ok, but right now i am just loving the book 'simple chess'. honestly, we all hear of positional ideas, but to have them explained, with such clarity, from master games, is truly awesome.
  11. Standard member Eric LeFavour
    The guy
    27 May '09 17:08
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    My Capa book came today, entitled, Chess fundamentals. looks ok, but right now i am just loving the book 'simple chess'. honestly, we all hear of positional ideas, but to have them explained, with such clarity, from master games, is truly awesome.
    "Simple Chess".....good book then? I don't have any books and would like to buy one. Do you recommend this?
  12. 27 May '09 18:22
    In style the nearest i would say is deschapples. But wether Morphy was familiar with his games might be doubtful.

    I agree, Morphy was just from another planet. Capablanca is still my favourite though.
  13. 27 May '09 18:57
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    My Capa book came today, entitled, Chess fundamentals. looks ok, but right now i am just loving the book 'simple chess'. honestly, we all hear of positional ideas, but to have them explained, with such clarity, from master games, is truly awesome.
    Botvinnik thought highly of Capa's little book, Chess Fundamentals, said it the best chess book ever. I had it 30 years ago, it had some good tips.
  14. 27 May '09 19:44
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    >It is a puzzle asking who taught Morphy. I'm inclined to think that he was a genius who came out of nowhere. I'm sure he was aware of previous publications, but he was a notoriously lazy man.
    >He became a lawyer, not through hard work, but because he had a photographic memory. He really never studied or worked at it and as such was very poor at makin ...[text shortened]... s by, as Issac Newton said, "standing on the shoulders of giants."
    >He remains an enigma.
    He was a failure as a lawyer cos everyone knew him as a chessplayer. analogy with kasparov trying to be prez
  15. Standard member peacedog
    Highlander
    27 May '09 20:38
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Been to the Moor as well. Very eirie
    Must have been when it was my round. My local is the Keppoch bar, now called the Culloden Moor Inn. Name change for the tourists I assume.