< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 265 OF 265 ·
|Aug-22-15|| ||MissScarlett: Lots of American immigrants changed their names; some groups more than others.|
|Aug-22-15|| ||Calli: The Morphy family claimed that the name was changed when part of the family (Captain Michael Murphy / Morphy) moved to Spain. His son and Paul's grandfather, Don Diego Morphy was the family member who immigrated to New Orleans from Spain circa 1800.|
|Aug-24-15|| ||saturn2: I would be interested in further details on Morphy's later years from which I only know some hints:
He liked to go for a walk, he chased some ladies, he read a lot, he had paranoia, he considered himself betrayed by a relative in land matters.
So did he get in touch with the ladies, which books did he read, and so on?|
|Aug-24-15|| ||diceman: <offramp:
Why is his surname Morphy and not Murphy?>
...sounds like he Morphed.
|Aug-24-15|| ||offramp: <saturn2>, this may sound stupid, but I cannot answer your question, but don't believe anything that is said about PC Morphy being non-PC. There's a huge amount of rubbish said about him.|
|Aug-24-15|| ||wrap99: <saturn2> In one of Edward Lasker's books (maybe The Adventure of Chess) he says that his mother-in-law would see him on the streets of New Orleans when she was a young girl -- I assume Lasker's mother-in-law was born in the 1860s or before. (His wife passed away early in their marriage, I think -- Lasker had a relationship with the much younger female player Mona Karff whom I believe I saw at LA events in the 1970s or 1980s.)|
|Aug-31-15|| ||Caissanist: It looks like none of the players with a Morphy number of 3 have played this year (the only one I know of who played in 2014 was Bisguier). Unless one of them steps back into the arena, it seems likely the youngest player with a Morphy number of 4 will be John M Burke .|
|Aug-31-15|| ||wrap99: I think of Jean Calment who lived to be 122. Too bad she was not a chess player (think of how the Morphy numbers would have gone down). Alternatively, if Paul Morphy had lived to 122 (which sounds almost science fictiony but it *did* happen) he would have passed away in 1959 and he reasonably could have been playing casual games against still-living players including Anand. Of course, Euwe would still be alive and Alekhine would have just passed if they were to live 122 years.|
|Sep-01-15|| ||saturn2: The question 'What happened if Morphy played against the present SuperGM?'is similar to this question: 'What if the John Mc Enroe of 35 years ago played today?' I suppose he would not be be in the Top 100. So the question should be posed in this way: What happend if he had one year to get familiar with present day tennis. |
But apart from that I am really interested in Morphyy's personality after 1861. What happened that he broke up with chess so abruptly.
Making some psychoanalysis he was obviously influenced by his strong mother to whom he promised not to play officialy any more. Also comes to mind that a desired woman refuted him with the argument he was only a chessplayer.
But there are many questions open: The games he played in 1869 against Maurian display the same strength and brilliancy as ever, so it is very unlikely he abandoned the game in this 8 years. What did he do all the time besides strolling on the streets, going to opera and advancing some women?
|Sep-01-15|| ||thomastonk: "I have pursued no career and I desire no biography." - Paul Charles Morphy (1882) (see http://www.newspapers.com/clip/1803...).|
|Sep-01-15|| ||Caissanist: <saturn2>: I don't think it was necessarily anything psychological. He simply didn't have enough money to play chess full time in Europe, the only place in the world with other players strong enough to make the games interesting. He did inherit enough to lead a life of leisure back home in New Orleans, though, so that's what he did. He was a total failure as a lawyer, but building a law profession from scratch is not so easy, especially for somebody as introverted as Morphy seems to have been. Basically, he seems to have taken the path of least resistance.|
|Sep-01-15|| ||TheFocus: Didn't have enough money? I thought Morphy's family were wealthy and would have looked down upon him being a professional player.|
Didn't he refuse the stakes that were offered to him if he won?
Maybe <batgirl> can weigh in on this?
|Sep-01-15|| ||savagerules: I looked at that 1882 newspaper article and Morphy says that in 1856 his father had over $146,000 in total inheritance to be divided up. Looking at an inflation calculator this would be worth over $3,500,000 dollars in todays money. No wonder Paul wasn't all that motivated in being a lawyer for the rest of his life! You figure he had to have gotten about a million dollars or at worst a half million of it for himself to last until his death in 1884.|
|Sep-02-15|| ||wrap99: <Caissanist> As far as Morphy being a complete failure as a lawyer, I have a vague recollection that he did not appreciate potential clients mentioning chess or something to that effect. I think he would have been potentially an amazing corporate lawyer. Perhaps in modern times he would have become an analyst at an investment bank like some other chess players have.|
|Sep-02-15|| ||RookFile: What a terrific link by thomastonk above. Learn something new every day!|
|Sep-02-15|| ||Caissanist: <wrap99> The anecdote you site is included in the Wikipedia article on Morphy, though there is no source given for it there.|
|Sep-02-15|| ||Caissanist: The $3,500,000 inheritance would have been split between Paul, his brother, his two sisters, and his mother; if it was split equally then he would have been left with about $700,000 in today's money. Probably enough to live on if you don't work, but not luxuriously. I would imagine that his family suffered financially in the Civil War and reconstruction as well, although I'm not aware of any information about that.|
|Sep-02-15|| ||wrap99: <Caissanst> I remember that he personally inherited 150k and money was indeed not a problem. But it is interesting that this fortune survived the war. New Orleans was invaded by Beast Butler whose nickname was "Spoons" cause he and his men basically appropriated silver and other valuables. It is not impossible that the games played against Winfield Scott helped the Morphy family years later or simply his position as the greatest living player provided some protection against the Union army.|
|Sep-02-15|| ||saturn2: Thanks to all and especially to thomastonk who are sheding some light on Morphy's later years.|
So the tendency is to describe him as an idle person with no need to strive for money, interested in fine arts and maybe good looking ladies. If this is true than his earlier statements that chess is only a game and suggesting what really counts in live is real honest work were hypocrisy or he changed his mind completely.
The fact that he publically mentions his heritage sounds like an excuse that he had no need to work. In addition he mentions his legal education - maybe the only thing according to his opinion that would him gain some public respect.
So he could in fact have felt somehow guilty because of his leading a life without regular job and no need to earn money; a thing which at his time was more uncommon than today. His friend Maurian tried to put things in Morphy's favor when he stated in a letter to a newspaper that Morphy was not idle and studied a lot suggesting he was working rather mentally than physically.
|Sep-02-15|| ||wrap99: <saturn2> Looking back with modern eyes, I could imagine him sending a letter to Vanderbilt or Rockefeller (his near contemporary) to make some "real" money but he does not seem motivated by that. To be someone of such native ability and to, what again to modern eyes seems to be just giving up and at such a young age, even by 19th century standards, is a tragedy. A normal life span would have allowed him to see many technological improvements, including the airplane. In fact, he might have contributed to such advancements. He really missed out. (He could have also met men who bridged that time with the modern, like Lasker. Sad indeed.) On the other hand, maybe he was doomed by health to a short life.|
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