Fischer Number

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JustinHorton
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:03 pm

Arturo Pomar has a Morphy number of 3.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:11 pm

Others with that distinction still living apparently include Bisguier, Ivkov, F Olafsson, J Penrose and this site's very own Leonard Barden.

Ossip Bernstein was amongst the last living Morphy #2s.
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Leonard Barden » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:05 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:Others with that distinction still living apparently include Bisguier, Ivkov, F Olafsson, J Penrose and this site's very own Leonard Barden.
I believe I'm the only living M3 who can reach Morphy by four different routes: Mieses-Paulsen-Morphy, Mieses-Bird-Morphy, Tartakover-Mortimer-Morphy and Znosko-Borovsky-Mortimer-Morphy.

Francis Fields
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Francis Fields » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:41 pm

I have to admit my Alekhine number is 3

I beat Keene (simul)
Keene beat Botvinnik
Botvinnik beat Alekhine.

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John Saunders
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by John Saunders » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:55 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:I believe I'm the only living M3 who can reach Morphy by four different routes: Mieses-Paulsen-Morphy, Mieses-Bird-Morphy, Tartakover-Mortimer-Morphy and Znosko-Borovsky-Mortimer-Morphy.
I make it five routes, Leonard: also Mieses-Mortimer-Morphy. Key to the achievement of many people's Morphy numbers is the Ostend 1907 Masters' tournament, which included Mortimer (who played Morphy), and Bernstein, Mieses and Znosko-Borovsky (who played post-WW2 chess), in the line-up.

EDIT: I suddenly had doubts about the Mortimer route. Had Mortimer really played Morphy? There appear to be no extant games. But googling "Morphy Mortimer" led to me to a very recent piece on Morphy Numbers, by Taylor Kingston at Chesscafe.com. He's obviously done a fair bit of research on the subject and confirms that Mortimer did indeed play games with Morphy. He's pre-empted my 'discovery' that Bob Wade is a MN 3. However, I think I have one extra bit of info which he doesn't have, that the youngest living MN 3 (at least at master level) is Dutch IM Kick Langeweg (born 1937), who played Ossip Bernstein in a tournament game in the early 1960s. Actually, make that two bits of info: Hugh Alexander would also be a MN 3. There would still be a good few others as yet undiscovered (anyone who played Tartakower, Mieses, Bernstein or Znosko-Borovsky in the post-war period fits the bill).
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John Saunders
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by John Saunders » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:30 pm

A member of the forum has just pointed out to me that another Dutch player, Franciscus Kuijpers, also played Bernstein at the 1961 IBM Amsterdam tournament, so also qualifies for MN 3. And he is younger than Langeweg as he was born in 1941. Many thanks to my source.
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John Saunders
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by John Saunders » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:46 am

I've just uncovered another route through to Morphy which opens up many more English players to a Morphy Number of 3.

James Mortimer (Morphy Number 1) played in several City of London Championships right up to his death in 1911. In the course of these he played both Edward Guthlac Sergeant (1881-1961) and Eugene Ernest Colman (1878-1964). These two gentlemen thus achieve '2' status. They both played to the end of their long lives, thus conferring many more '3' statuses on their opponents, who include Peter Clarke, Bernard Cafferty, Owen Hindle and David Levens from the 1960 British Championship and George Ellison and Ken Lloyd from the 1959 British, Peter Gibbs from the 1958 British, etc, etc.
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David Williams
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by David Williams » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:28 am

Forgive me for asking, but if a game played with the possibility of adjudication shouldn't be graded because it isn't a real game of chess, where do casual games, and games played at odds of pawn and move, rank? Mortimer doesn't really cut the mustard for me (and nor does Owen, if he only played games at odds).

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John Saunders
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by John Saunders » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:19 am

Since the entire concept of the Morphy Number is only a bit of nonsense for those of us with too much time on our hands to gab about, I'm not sure it really matters. We can fret about it more when FIDE/ECF twig the fact that we've become sufficiently obsessed with the subject to start charging us for our officially calculated MNs.
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:56 am

John Saunders wrote:
Leonard Barden wrote:I believe I'm the only living M3 who can reach Morphy by four different routes: Mieses-Paulsen-Morphy, Mieses-Bird-Morphy, Tartakover-Mortimer-Morphy and Znosko-Borovsky-Mortimer-Morphy.
I make it five routes, Leonard: also Mieses-Mortimer-Morphy.
Six, since I played EG Sergeant several times. I also played on the same Wimbledon London League team as Colman, though that doesn't count.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:00 pm

Just checking - one must actually beat someone who beat someone etc ...? I just ask because I see a lot of references just recently in this thread to people "playing" someone, who played someone .... etc..

Chris Rice
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Chris Rice » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:47 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Just checking - one must actually beat someone who beat someone etc ...? I just ask because I see a lot of references just recently in this thread to people "playing" someone, who played someone .... etc..
That's how I understand it Jon and its not as easy as it looks. I haven't quite met the criteria yet on the standard games and its still work in progress but I've got my Napoleon Bonaparte number down to 11 so far:

Rice 1-0 Jonas Barkhagen (Gausdal 1994)
Barkhagen 1-0 Joe Gallagher
Joe Gallagher 1-0 Korchnoi
Korchnoi 1-0 Gligoric
Gligoric 1-0 Boguljubow
Boguljubow 1-0 Tarrasch
Tarrasch 1-0 Blackburne
Blackburne 1-0 Zukertort
Zukertort 1-0 John Cochrane
John Cochrane 1-0 The Turk
The Turk 1-0 Napoleon Bonaparte (Schonbrunn Palace, Austria 1809)

Stem game http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1250610

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John Saunders
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by John Saunders » Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:58 pm

Jonathan, you can learn the answer to this by reading the thread. It depends on whose 'rules' you wish to be guided by. Some of the earlier posts in this thread concentrated on X beats Y beats Z, whereas Wikipedia's Morphy Numbers entry and Taylor Kingston in various articles online (including this recent one) talk in terms of X playing Y playing Z, and don't ask too many questions about the seriousness of the games played. I treat it as a bit of fun: a sort of by-product of my other researches into chess history.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:44 pm

John Saunders wrote:I've just uncovered another route through to Morphy which opens up many more English players to a Morphy Number of 3.

James Mortimer (Morphy Number 1) played in several City of London Championships right up to his death in 1911. In the course of these he played both Edward Guthlac Sergeant (1881-1961) and Eugene Ernest Colman (1878-1964). These two gentlemen thus achieve '2' status. They both played to the end of their long lives, thus conferring many more '3' statuses on their opponents, who include Peter Clarke, Bernard Cafferty, Owen Hindle and David Levens from the 1960 British Championship and George Ellison and Ken Lloyd from the 1959 British, Peter Gibbs from the 1958 British, etc, etc.
There is also Fred Clough, who played Sergeant in 1959 and has recently started competing in the Cumbrian league in his early 80s. I may yet get a Morphy #4!
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Simon Brown
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Re: Fischer Number

Post by Simon Brown » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:11 pm

Also ARB Thomas? He was active when I was at Exeter University in the early 1980s and he must have been pushing 80 then. I recall him telling me he played at Hastings before WW2.

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