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Saturday, December 4, 2010

If I played Morphy

Many of you have probably heard of the concept of Six Degrees of Separation. It is the notion that no human is further removed from any other human by more than six links. Person 1 knows or has at least personally met Person 2 who knows or has met Person 3 and so on, with even the most remotely obscure individuals being no more than six person links away from any other individual. The games against my opponents overlap with the players others have encountered, both around the world and back into time. It’s surprising how few links are required to reach back to Paul Morphy.

I once drew Reshevsky who played Rubenstein who played Chigorin who played Jaenish who played Lowenthal who played Morphy. I also once lost a game to Rossolimo who played Tartakower who played Rubenstein who played Chigorin who played Jaenish who played Lowenthal who played Morphy.

Finding somebody I beat and tracing it back to Morphy was harder. The closest I could come was I once beat a guy who played the cat that played the rat that played the dog that played the cow that played the maiden that played the man that played the priest that played to rooster that played the farmer that played Reshevsky who played…well, you get the idea.

So anyway, call me Walter Mitty, but by my reasoning I would have had an equal score against Morphy.

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps this would be interesting...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphy_number

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  2. Thanks for this interesting link!

    BTW, I was reading a comment the other day (the name of the author escapes me) we said that Morphy’s opponents were capable of playing tactics as brilliant as Morphy’s, but they never had the opportunity. That was because his better positional understanding would not allow his opponents to get positions where combinations were possible for them. Spielmann once said he could play combinations as well as Alekhine, but he could not get the positions Alekhine got.

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