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ccmcacollister 107 ( +1 | -1 )
FIDE dotcom Forums: address / commentary? Just today I came across this site and forums. Since I will be taking a look around there, here is the link to it in case you care to browse there as well. I have little idea just what I'll find there right now. But there seem to be some controversial statements in the one thread I have read. From supposedly Master+ players, but if so I can't seem to make several comments fit in with my concept of the knowlege commensurate with that stature. In other words, I think they should "know better"
than to suggest that (paraphrased to my own words from memory):

'Why are the GM's today so bad compared with the old grandmasters ?'
-or-
'Morphy could hardly hope to compete with any of the top 100 players of today'
***
Or perhaps you agree with them, not with me? Well okay . . .
Comments welcome re: Those two remarks, or the Forums there in general, or any specific topics there of interest.

-> forum.fide.com
ccmcacollister 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Another interesting site find today ... "The Correspondence Chess Message Board"

-> pub11.bravenet.com

I see some old friends and old National Champions as well, have been hanging there ... }8-)
ionadowman 213 ( +1 | -1 )
Let's take up the 2nd proposition... ... that "Morphy couldn't hope to compete with any of the top 100 players of today".
I'm inclined to agree, if we think of Morphy somehow being transported to the present day at a time when is chess faculties were intact.
Two reasons:
- a whole lot of theoretical water has flowed under the bridge in the last 140 years or so. Morphy would be like a swordsman facing an Abrams tank.
- for all his tactical talent, I've read somewhere that Morphy's positional sense wasn't really his long suit (not that it was bad, exactly). It isn't generally known that in their match Adolf Anderssen outplayed Morphy and won the first game - a positional affair. Thereafter, I think, Anderssen tried to engage Morphy in a tactical duel but lost heavily. Now Anderssen was very sporting about it, but he did later make some remarks that suggested he was rusty - a fairly likely comment, since he was a teacher first and a chessplayer second. At any rate, Morphy might have found positional players, or classical "all-rounders" quite hard to beat, even if he managed to get to the middlegame with something like an even game...
I sometimes wonder how he would have got on against Steinitz, even. Had Morphy not retired from the scene so early, there's no doubt he would have played Steinitz sooner or later (recall the Steinitz-Anderssen match of 1866).

Rather too much has been made of Howard Staunton's failure to front against Morphy (and I reckon Morphy made too much of it). Now, it is true that Staunton doesn't come across as a very attractive character. But his Shakespearian studies were genuine (whatever you think of Staunton's scholarship, the work was a huge undertaking - I've seen a copy of it), and the fact is, Staunton had pretty much retired from chess long before Morphy hit the scene. Morphy issued a challenge; Staunton declined it; the matter should have ended there.
Of course, Morphy's natural talent would have taken him easily within the top 100 if he had been born in our time - maybe even into the top dozen.
Cheers,
Ion
far1ey 62 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree with ion. Morphy was only playing in the style which was common back then ie attacking. What if Morphy was able to learn positional play? The only reason he played attackingly is because that was the only style known. Perhaps if Morphy were around today he could learn positional play more deeply and then beat everyone.

The main problem is that you are comparing players from different parts of history. Chess has changed much since the days of Morphy and it is hard to compare two players from different parts of history.
dysfl 74 ( +1 | -1 )
Morphy and swordsman It is interesting that the same theme, in different cultural background, happens over and over again.

Once there was a saying that one of the best Japanese swordsmen, Musasi Miyamoto, could be 3-Dan of modern day Kendo (Japanese swords martial arts). 3-Dan is something like master level in chess, so not the GM level. This comment was made by a sword master, however, he added, if it was not a tournament, but a dual of life or death, nobody knows what would happen. The legendary Musasi was never lost, and most of his opponents, the best of his time, got killed on the spot.

So this Morphy story will be told again and again, I guess, till we reach another level of chess and move on to Bobby F.
sf115 32 ( +1 | -1 )
I found an interesting question:

If chess hasa improved so much over the past 150 years then does that mean that in another 150 it will be so good that there will be a draw death, that is that every game between top players will end in a draw?

sf115
ganstaman 84 ( +1 | -1 )
I read this in a Chess Life, but it's from some book I believe. Fischer said that Morphy would be among the best chess players of today (well, of Fischer's day at least, we can hold off on further extrapolations for now). His reasons:

1) Morphy was the best read player of his day (he kept up with theory well).

2) King pawn openings haven't advanced all that much since his day, so he really wouldn't be all that lost in the opening. And Morphy knew those openings extremely well.

3) Morphy was one of the most precise players ever. His tactical genius would still win many games, and his exactness would keep him alive in a more 'positional' game.

Debate this if you want, it's Fischer's opinion and not mine (well, maybe I do have an opinion, but that's not what I'm presenting right now).
ganstaman 84 ( +1 | -1 )
I read this in a Chess Life, but it's from some book I believe. Fischer said that Morphy would be among the best chess players of today (well, of Fischer's day at least, we can hold off on further extrapolations for now). His reasons:

1) Morphy was the best read player of his day (he kept up with theory well).

2) King pawn openings haven't advanced all that much since his day, so he really wouldn't be all that lost in the opening. And Morphy knew those openings extremely well.

3) Morphy was one of the most precise players ever. His tactical genius would still win many games, and his exactness would keep him alive in a more 'positional' game.

Debate this if you want, it's Fischer's opinion and not mine (well, maybe I do have an opinion, but that's not what I'm presenting right now).
ganstaman 9 ( +1 | -1 )
And I've discovered how double posts can come about. Quite exciting, in some ways.
ionadowman 55 ( +1 | -1 )
You've gotta respect Fischer's opinion... ... as for sf114, his question, I rather don't think professional chess will be played 150 years hence. Indeed, I rather suspect that professional chess is already dying, and will maybe last another 10 years, possibly even 20 though by then it will be an almost forgotten shadow of its former heyday. Is there such a thing as professional draughts (checkers) these days? If there is, who gives a rat's a- ... I mean, is there a following?
Chess will go the same way.
There will still be pickup games though...
:-)
dokesa 8 ( +1 | -1 )
draughts I believe there is, but all the games start from a predetermined unbalanced position.
dokesa 8 ( +1 | -1 )
addendum And you have no idea how drawish draughts was before they started that.
ionadowman 80 ( +1 | -1 )
Death of chess... ... will more than likely be brought about by technology rather than through draws. If there is still professional draughts (checkers) being played, who supplies the money? What kind of sponsorships are available?
Mind you, you don't hear a whole lot about backgammon, but I do understand there is a considerable following. I think there most of the money comes from the pockets of the players and maybe spectators, if there are any. Same with go. But I know about backgammon and go only because I've had friends who played in such tournaments. You don't hear about them in the popular media. In this country you don't hear a whole lot about chess, neither, whence comes to that!
At any rate, I won't be surprised if, sooner or sooner still, chess gradually sinks into obscurity... Sad.
:-(
ccmcacollister 134 ( +1 | -1 )
I will make only one defensive move ... haha
Yes Mophy was called the most accurate player EVER by Fischer. Nor was it Fischer, former player, but Fischer at large, who called him that.
Are we to believe he was completely without postional sensibilities? Well lets suppose he Was ...and had only a magnificent tactical ability to rely on. Are we truly to believe that Morphy could not defeat even One of " The top 100" ? Then it is strange that everyone in the "Top 100" cannot even beat Fritz. (Or aged HiTech for that matter ... who defeated GM Lautier :)
(I've beaten Fritz in an otb game, but not Morphy :)) Ok, ok ... anyway
***
Imagine how long it would take the greatest genius of his day, Like unto a Fischer who walks thru a tournent hall and brings up games seen months later, to "learn" something from one walk thru a top tournement or browse thru an Informant. But lest that be unfair, that he not be taken "as is" I wont go there.
IS it opening knowlege? We are copying Morphy everytime we play ...a6 in the Lopez. I have a friend knowing well about 4 openings at the time who has outplayed or beaten GM's (and HiTech) and its said Anand was not a fount of theory when he started successfully. I cant attest to that or what degree. But it would fit with what I know that it can happen.
To paraphrase Marie Antoinette ... Having no Morphy, let them beat Fritz }8-)))
***
What ... smoke? where? now?? !!
ccmcacollister 64 ( +1 | -1 )
ok, you knew I couldnt do it and you were right but just a last little comment. Now if it were say a Tournament situation ... surely Morphy might Show Up at a classic like Hastings, whereas the "Top 100" .... they will be somewhere else bellyaching about electronics tho not taking obvious steps against that .... !?
Yes I have an axe to grind there. But stop lest we get into the Top 100 vs the ever positional Velimirovic ... or Pillsbury!? }8-)
But perhaps I'm unfair ... it must be difficult to play much if your great TN is shot all over the world 25 minutes later I suppose. So call it a grumpy day, symptoms of living beyond a Golden Age of Chess into the present morass.
(can I say that?! No anatomics intended!)
ionadowman 188 ( +1 | -1 )
Dear me, Craig... ... it's a bit of a stretch to translate "positional play was not his long suit (not that it was bad exactly)" to "he was completely without positional sensibilities"! Maybe you were being satirical? ;-)
I was going by something I read a long time ago ... so long I can't recall the author of it. However, I have never seen a "positional" game by Morphy. All the games I've seen of his have been tactical crunches in quick time. That might mean something ... or nothing at all. One can find some very good positional games by Anderssen. (Anderssen-Morphy, 1st Match Game. 1.a3 e5?! 2.c4 ... or Anderssen-Paulsen 1873 Jeez, Anderssen must have been cracking on a bit when this one was played!)
Here's a taste if you are interested:
White: A. Anderssen; Black: L Paulsen Philidor's Defence/Ruy Lopez Vienna 1873
1.e4 e4 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4,Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7
6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Bg5 Nf6 8.Nc3 Be2 9.0-0-0 0-0 10.Rhe1 Re8
11.Kb1 Bd7? (The bishop pair ain't worth what follows...)
w
12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.e5! Be7 14.Nd5 Bf8 15.exd6 cxd5 (15...Bxe6? 16.Nxc7!)
16.Rxe8 Bxe8 17.Nd2 Bc6 18.Ne4 f5 19.Nc3 Qd7 20.a3 Qf7
(For the moment, Black can't play ...g6, with a view to relocating the king's bishop, owing to Nf6+)
21.h3 (skuh-weeze) a6 22.g4 Re8 23.f4 Re6 24 g5 ...
b
You would think Black might think about exchanging on d5, eh?
24...b5 25.h4 Re8
26.Qd3 Rb8 27.h5 a5 28.b4!
You could almost imagine it's Petrosian playing with the White pieces!
28... axb4 29.axb4 Qxh5 30.Qxf5 Qf7
31.Qd3 Bd7? (Not a happy square for the bishop! Maybe 31...Qg6 instead?)
32.Ne4 Qf5 33.Rh1 Re8 34.Nef6+! gxf6 35.Nxf6+ Kf7
36.Rxh7+ Bg7 37.Rxg7+ Kxg7 38.Nxf8+ Kf8 39.Qxf5+ Bxf5 40.Nxd6 etc 1-0
N+4P vs B+1P is a pretty easy win for White. Quite a tasty bit of tactics to reach the decisively winning endgame, but dig that positional squash that led up to it!
Maybe someone has a Morphy game of a similar type.
Cheers,
Ion