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Paul Morphy vs John William Schulten
New York (1857), New York, NY USA, Nov-29
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Morphy Attack (C51)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-11-02  bishop: You should really try to castle against Morphy. His Rooks go to the open files.
Jan-10-06  morpstau: You got that right Bishop and once you dont castle all hell breaks loose. Once again we see control of center and superior force and development break j.w.s. back!
Sep-19-16  talhal20: Common assumption is that Morpy's opponents were weak and therefore he would crush them. But the way Morphy plays the present grandmasters with their advanced knowledge are no match for him. There is no another Morphy in sight. So for now we have to be satisfied with Magnus Carlsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Yes you must castle v Morphy. And thanks to Morphy (and his opponents who did not castle) for the past 100+ years you must castle against everyone else you will get Morphy'd.

I agree with Bobby Fischer's take on Paul Morphy written in 1964 that Morphy could have held his own and been one of the top players.

Full article here.

But that was 1964 and there were not as many good players around then as there are now. Also technique, middle game structures and planning and opening theory has progressed at a rapid rate since then and of course computers.

Although I am a huge Morphy fan I have to admit today he would toil.

His dislike and temperament for closed position would have found him out. Players would not be making the mid 19th century blunders that Morphy taught us how to punish.

And talk of Morphy getting booked up with a month or two and then computer savvy...the 'book' has grown quite a lot since 1964 and branches and side variations are still sprouting. The computer in 1964 was still in it's infancy. Chess wise it a Rooks odss player. Morphy would have liked that.

Regarding computers today, there is an excellent chance Morphy would never have seen a working light bulb (it was patented by Edison in 1879, 5 years before Paul died. New Orleans was 'electrified' on small scale two years after Paul died.) So what would he make of a computer.

First of all he would be flabbergasted by the 6 million+ games in the average data base and then the number of games (particularly games under 25 moves where the winner played like him...nicked his ideas.)

Chess needed him and it is enough that his genius has rubbed off onto generations of later players.

Leave him in the past. It is where legends belong, in the past

Jun-24-18  DrGridlock: Interesting take by Fischer on Morphy. Fisher's observation that he is, "continually surprised and entertained by his ingenuity" is a significant endorsement.

However when Fisher writes that, "there has been no significant improvement since then [1838] in King pawn openings" his hyperbole is too much to take.

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