Columbia Chess Chronicle 1888
ANECDOTE OF MORPHY
(born 1837 - 1884)
In 1857, Morphy won the First American Chess Congress.
Although the official title of World Champion did not exist in his time, Morphy was regarded as the strongest player of his era.
"An invitation was extended to the champion, and, with himself as the centre, a coterie of notables assembled for an evening's play at the home of the hospitable Mr. H. How fortune went with Mr. Morphy in the earlier part of the evening mat easily be inferred. While at supper Morphy's attention was attracted by a picture which hung prominently upon the wall. This picture seems to be pretty well known, and indeed somewhat celebrated, although the writer regrets that he himself never had the pleasure of meeting with it. It represents the—to speak politely - and he is thus politely depicted - Mephistphiles [sic] playing a game of Chess with a young man for his soul. The Chessmen with which his Satanic Majesty plays are the Vices ; the pieces of the young man are, or have been, the Virtues—for, alas! he has very few left. In bad case, indeed, is the unhappy youth, for his game, as represented, appears not only desperate but hopeless, and his fate sealed. His adversary gloats in anticipation of the final coup. and the gleaming smile on the face of the hitter intensifies the despair which that of the young man shows.' With the close of the supper, deeply interested, Morphy approached the picture, studied it awhile intently, then turning to his host he said, modestly: "I think that I can take the young man's game and win." " Why, impossible !" was the answer; "not even you, Mr. Morphy, can retrieve that game." " Yet, I think I can." said Morphy. " Suppose we place the men and try."
A board was arranged, and the rest of the company gathered round it, deeply interested in the result.
To the surprise of every one, victory was snatched from the devil and the young man saved."
Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychologist, neurologist, and Holocaust survivor, said, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Don't react. Choose your response. Think of alternatives. Then carefully choose your One More Move.
In Daniel in the lions' den (The Prophecy Of Daniel, a book of the Old Testament), Daniel is saved from lions by the God of Israel.
Even when we feel hopeless, God has One More Move.
Daniel in the Lions' Den by Rubens