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Bird Talk
March 2007


Brooklyn Eagle, January 17, 1892

An Albany chess player, in recalling a visit Mr. Bird paid him when he was last in America, said:
   "While Mr. Bird was at the Albany chess club, in response to a question as to what would have likely been the result had Morphy participated in the last great tourney, he said:
   "Paul Morphy would have gone through that tournament like a meteor. He was head and shoulders above every player taking part in it." He further remarked:
   "Probably, with the exception of Steinitz, Blackburne is the finest living player. Steinitz is a slow player and is always pretty well crowded for time, and I doubt if he could have made as good a showing against Zukertort had the latter been less confident and arranged the match at a time limit of twenty moves to the hour instead of fifteen. I trotted Steinitz the closest heat he ever contested. He beat me 8 to 7, with 6 draws. This was in '67. In '58 Morphy beat me 10 to 1, with 1 draw. Steinitz claims that he is a better player than ever Morphy was, but I think my record with each is a fair test of the strength of the two. Steinitz claims that when I played with Morphy I was out of practice, but I cannot explain away my crushing defeat by that great player in any such way. I never played better chess in my life than when he beat me. Morphy had more science than Steinitz - more imagination. His career was very short, though very brilliant, and, whether or not he could have held first honors as long as Steinitz, is a matter of some doubt; but Morphy never met his match. He was never compelled to play his best game. His resources were never fully tested.


Brooklyn Eagle April 29, 1888

The chess editor of the Boston Post says:
Judge Golmayo, the chess champion of Cuba, is said to discriminate as follows between his experience of playing with Morphy and with Steinitz:
"In my games with Morphy at odds of a knight, I became hopelessly bewildered by the brilliancy and intricacy of his combinations, but when I sit down with Steinitz on even terms, I feel as though I had a very respectable chance to win."
If the Judge did have a respectable chance to win he failed to avail himself of it, the record shows.


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