by Morphy

 

Permit me to repeat what I have invariably declared in every chess community I have had the honor of entering, that I am not a chess professional player - that I never wished to make any skill I possess the means of pecuniary advancement - and that my earnest desire is never to play for any stake but honor.

 

on Morphy

 

Morphy treats chess with the seriousness and conscientiousness of an artist … For him a game of chess is a sacred duty.  -  Adolf Anderssen

 

He who plays with Morphy must abandon all hope of catching him in a trap, no matter how cunningly laid, but must assume that it is so clear to Morphy that there can be no question of a false step.  - Adolph Anderssen

 

I cannot record any remarkable saying of Morphy's because I never heard him utter any; he was, indeed, eminently taciturn, seldom if ever opening his lips, and only doing so to make some remark about chess ...  -  Alexander MacDonnell

 

Morphy was probably the greatest genius of them all.  -  Bobby Fischer

 

Staunton appears to have been afraid to meet Morphy and I think his fears were well-founded. Morphy would have beaten him, but it wouldn't have been the one-sided encounter that many writers now think it would. It would have been a great struggle.  -  Bobby Fischer

 

A popularly held theory about Paul Morphy is that if he returned to the chess world today and played our best contemporary players, he would come out the loser. Nothing is further from the truth. In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today ...  -  Bobby Fischer

 

So still was he that, but for the searching intellect which glittered in his full dark eye, you might have taken him for a carven image as he pondered his moves. His bearing was mild, and that of a refined gentleman, and he dealt with the most crushing blows on his adversary with an almost womanly ease and grace.  -  Captain Kennedy

 

Apparently, Morphy's style exerts an irresistable magnetic power for players of all times, and the return to a style of the highest degree is the dream of every chessplayer, not excluding even the Grandmasters.  -  David Bronstein

 

When seated before the chessboard, his face betrays no agitation even in the most critical positions; in such cases he generally whistles an air through his teeth and patiently seeks for the combination to get him out of trouble.  -  Ernst Morphy

 

Morphy stepped from the armchair in which he had been almost immovable for ten consecutive hours, without having tasted a morsel of anything, even water, during the whole of the period; yet as fresh, apparently, as when he sat down ...  -  Frederick Milne Edge on the blindfold exhibition at Cafe de Regence in Paris

 

Who that was present that evening does not remember Paul Morphy's first appearance at the New York City Chess Club? The secretary, Mr. Frederick Perrin, valorously offered to be his first antagonist, and presented about the same resistance as a mosquito to an avalanche.  -  Frederick Milne Edge

 

Morphy has a great love for music, and his memory for any air he has once heard is astonishing. Mrs. Morphy is renowned in the salons of New Orleans as a brilliant pianist and musician, and her son, without ever having studied music, has a similar aptitude for it, and it is believed that he would have become famous theirin as in chess, had he given his attention to it.  -  Frederick Milne Edge

 

Morphy was so far ahead of his time that it took another quarter century for these principles of development and attack to be rediscovered and formulated.  -  Garry Kasparov

 

When he went to the New York tournament in 1857, he had his first experience of mean and petty chess jealousy. He found out for the first time that there were persons who did not have the same lofty ideas about the game that he had, and it was a great shock to the young gentleman.  -  J.A. Galbreath

 

Morphy gained most of his wins by playing directly and simply, and it is simple and logical method that constitutes the true brilliance of his play, if it is considered from the viewpoint of the great masters.  -  Jose Capablanca

 

Paul Morphy was never so passionately fond, so inordinately devoted to chess as is generally believed. An intimate acquaintance and long observation enables us to state this positively.  -  Charles Maurian

 

If the distinguishing feature of a genius is that he is far ahead compared with his epoch, then Morphy was a chess genius in the complete sense of the word.  -  Max Euwe

 

To this day Morphy is an unsurpassed master of the open games. Just how great was his significance is evident from the fact that after Morphy nothing substantially new has been created in this field.  -  Mikhail Botvinnik

 

When one plays with Morphy the sensation is as queer as the first electric shock, or first love, or chloroform, or any entirely novel experience.  -  Moncure Daniel Conway

 

Played 'a la Morphy'. What greater praise can be given?  -  Savielly Tartakower

 

There is no doubt that for Morphy chess was an art, and for chess Morphy was a great artist. His play was captivated by freshness of thought and inexhaustible energy. He played with inspiration, without striving to penetrate into the psychology of the opponent; he played, if one can express it so, 'pure chess'.  -  Vasily Smyslov

 

Steinitz confirmed me in my opinion that Morphy played some of his best moves by intuition, as it was impossible that the human brain could have thoroughly analysed the result.  -  W.J.A. Fuller

 

Morphy flashed upon the chess world like a meteor, and disappeared almost as suddenly as he came. His sad fate and untimely end were due to other causes than chess, as his friends all know.  -  W.J.A. Fuller

 

I played more games with him than any other man. The reason why he preferred to play with me at these parties was because I knew I should be beaten as a matter of course, and I was not afraid to play an open game, so that he might exhibit his great brilliancy ... -  W.J.A. Fuller

 

It's easy to get obsessed with chess - that's what happened with Fischer and Paul Morphy. I don't have that same obsession.  - Magnus Carlsen

 

In general there is something puzzling about the fact that the most renowned figures in chess - Morphy, Pillsbury, Capablanca and Fischer - were born in America.  -  Garry Kasparov

 

The radiant combinations of this chess genius can be compared with the transparent music of Mozart, and his impeccable behaviour at the board and his precise observance of the chess rules, which he himself introduced, resemble the Mendeleyev Table of the elements.  -  Anatoly Karpov