< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 265 OF 265 ·
|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.|
|Sep-12-15|| ||The Kings Domain: Having recently finished Edge's account of Morphy's triumph in America and Europe I couldn't help but marvel at the American's brilliance and genius. No other player dominated the game in his time like Morphy did. The way he vanquished a brilliant player like Anderssen is astounding. Only Fischer's career comes close. Truly one of the most fascinating, inspiring, and haunting legacies the game has ever known.|
|Sep-15-15|| ||wrap99: Antiques Roadshow, table from Paul Morphy chess club. Damaged during Katrina, there were two plaques: one was chess players who had played on the table and I glimpsed Edward Lasker and Geza Maroczy. The checker plaque had Pillsbury (he was also on the chess plaque) and Newell Banks. Estimated price was 8k USD. I wonder what became of this? It should be at Mechanics Institute or of course a New Orleans club if there still is one!|
|Sep-15-15|| ||wrap99: Here is link to table: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/se...|
|Sep-15-15|| ||wrap99: I wrote to the appraiser to see if he knew what became of it.|
|Sep-15-15|| ||SBC: |
Morphy seemed to have had a relatively satisfying later life. Charles A. Buck wrote his account of Morphy's later life (http://www.edochess.ca/batgirl/CABu...), much of which David Lawson took issue with, though a lot of Lawson's issues seem overstated. As for Morphy's legal career, he seems to have practiced law, at least to some degree, from 1864 to 1874. I was able to find one instance of Morphy arguing before the LA Supreme Court in 1867. His client was A. Dhones.
When Morphy wrote to the editors of the "Bee" concerning his entry in the biographical series proposed by L'Abeille newspaper, he apparently wanted to deflect attention way from himself onto those whose careers had contributed to society (particularly his father). In 1882 when all this came about, Morphy had no career.
Morphy became ever more peculiar as he grew older, at least to the public. At home he followed his true passions, the opera, philosophy, religion and French literature. He attended and partook in weekly soirees given by his mother. He followed chess. As Maurian expressed in the mid 70s, he didn't play enough to keep in practice, but, so Maurian felt, if Morphy put his mind to it, he could still win whenever he so desired. He was considered kind and gentle by those who knew him, though he tended to be sarcastic at times.
During his daily walks though the French Quarter. he stared at pretty ladies and gave sardonic grins to strangers who stared at him. He carried his walking stick and wore a monocle. Morphy was quite the dandy.
|Sep-15-15|| ||savagerules: Too bad a movie was never made about Morphy. It would be a great period piece. New Orleans before and after the Civil War and a look at the fashions of that time amid the heat and humidity. Of course it would be Hollywoodized and they would make Morphy out to be a gay man trapped in a strict society or some such rot.|
|Sep-15-15|| ||TheFocus: <savagerules> <Too bad a movie was never made about Morphy. It would be a great period piece. New Orleans before and after the Civil War and a look at the fashions of that time amid the heat and humidity. Of course it would be Hollywoodized and they would make Morphy out to be a gay man trapped in a strict society or some such rot.>|
There would have to a horse and buggy chase for Hollywood to consider it.
|Sep-15-15|| ||TheFocus: <During his daily walks though the French Quarter. he stared at pretty ladies and gave sardonic grins to strangers who stared at him. He carried his walking stick and wore a monocle. Morphy was quite the dandy.>|
It would have been cool if he had ever sat down to play blitz with Jude Acers. And then analyzed over some Po' Boys.
|Sep-15-15|| ||Dr. Overlord: Morphy's Law:
Anything that can go wrong in a chess game, will go wrong in a chess game.
|Sep-15-15|| ||TheFocus: Morphy was very profound.|
|Oct-02-15|| ||The Kings Domain: savagerules: Very true. With the recent release of "Pawn Sacrifice" a movie on Morphy would be just right. Good point on it being a good period piece, done well it would look great. If Hollywood would have their big guns work on such a project like Scorsese directing it then it would most likely be a hit, letting more people know about the great 19th-Century champion.|
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