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Frederick Deacon vs Paul Morphy
Casual game (1859), London ENG, Apr-18
King's Gambit: Accepted. Traditional Variation (C38)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-03-07  Calli: Irony is when the opposites (or at least incongruent things) exist within the same context or result. There is no irony in a person named Pope discussing a man named Deacon. Chess has a piece called a "Bishop". Does the inclusion of a Bishop in Chess make our discussion on Chessgames of an article by Pope on Deacon ironic? No, its just coincidence that there are clerical names involved.

They left the city to get away from it all. Ironically, they found the campground full and crowded with people.

Sorry to be a stickler on this, but I find the word is often misused today. I think it started with that popular song of a few years ago. There wasn't even one ironic situation mentioned by the singer.

Aug-03-07  Judah: Calli, I have no problem with your being a stickler for correct use of language. I also tend to be a stickler for such things, but in this case I believe that I used the word correctly. You say there is no irony in a man named Pope discussing a man named Deacon. I agree with that, but there <is> irony in a Pope saying with regard to a Deacon that the more clerical a name is, the more rascally the man is. (As you correctly pointed out, Nick Pope didn't actually say those words, but he did publish them.)
Aug-03-07  posoo: hohoho, callus looks like a fool. IRONIIK
Aug-03-07  Calli: Nick Pope merely presents a long lost article as information. I, for one, am not willing to make an assumption that he thinks that men with clerical names are rascals.
Aug-03-07  spin: I'm going to have to agree with <Judah> here.

Regarding <Calli>'s last post, "I, for one, am not willing to make an assumption that he thinks that men with clerical names are rascals." - Whether he is even aware that this is mentioned in the article doesn't have anything to do with whether it's ironic.

Aug-03-07  spin: Maybe this is a stretch, but to put it in context of "incongruent things happening", you could consider it in the following manner:

A man named Pope posts an article for strictly informative purposes. Within that article, it makes mention of the fact that men with names such as Priest, Parson, etc. shouldn't be trusted, thus resulting in him indirectly telling people that he shouldn't be trusted.

Seems incongruent enough for me to consider it ironic.

Aug-03-07  Calli: Its the very essence of irony that you act or believe in one direction and it turns out that the reality is the opposite. There has to be those two parts. Nick Pope lacks the first part. He states no opinion and has no expected result (other than the passive - posting information). Therefore, there is no irony. Of course, he is aware of what the article said. He would not be surprised that his name was Pope nor that the article described clerical names derogatorily. Having lived with his last name, he has heard all the jokes.

One can read the definitions of irony here and see that this instance fits none:

Have nothing more to say about it. This may be irony to you, but to me its another its another silly CG pun type of joke. Deacon, Pope - ha-ha

Aug-03-07  spin: argh... I started to compose a lengthy counterargument using a definition from your link, etc, etc. and then I was reminded of a joke (something about arguing on internet message boards and special olympics)...

Agree to disagree...

Aug-03-07  Judah: Yes, <act (or believe) in one direction>, and to me, the act of disseminating an article which warns the reader about men with clerical names is enough of an act to make it ironic that the one who disseminates it is a man with a clerical name. He doesn't have to be unaware of this for it to be irony. Of course it would be more ironic if he had written the article himself.

There's room to differ--I can see why you don't consider this ironic--but we both know what irony is. I'm happy to leave it at that.

Mar-09-11  ariel el luchador: Dudo que Morphy hubiese perdido con Deacon siendo Deacon muy inferior a Morphy
Oct-28-11  Anton Stortchilov: Does anybody see why Deacon goes with 17. Rxb1 rather than going for Qxa8? :)
Oct-28-11  bronkenstein: <Anton Stortchilov: Does anybody see why Deacon goes with 17. Rxb1 rather than going for Qxa8? :)>

He most likely preferred to remove an active ( covering well white squares around the king , and potentially dangerous in attack ) black piece to `trapping` his queen in the corner. Choosing initiative over material was standard approach (in fact , simply matter of good taste) in those good old romantic times =)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Whoever played this game as black, he could have saved it by playing 23...Rxb2! The point is that after 24.Bxh6 Bxh6 25.Rxf8+ Bxf8 26.Rf7 Bg7 27.Qf3 Rb1+ 28.Kg2 Rb2+ white cannot play 29.Kh3? for 29...Qg8! and black wins. Also 29.Kf1 does not win for 29...Rxh2 and white has nothing better than perpetual after 30.Rxg7!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Of course, 27...Qg8 was more stubborn defense in the game as well, though 28.Rxe7 Bxe7 29.Bxg8 Kxg8 leaves white with Queen and three Pawns for Rook, Bishop and Knight in some material advantage.
Mar-09-16  zanzibar: <CG> really should put a warning label on a game like this, to provide some indication of its doubtful provenance.

Of course this is easily done visually on a webpage.

As far as the PGN is concerned, I believe both a comment before the first move, and a Note tag with a concise indication would suffice.

Alternatively, changing Morphy's name to "Morphy?" would also serve the purpose, though making the game harder to find via searches.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <doubtful provenance> An interesting idea. Personally I would like some end of game symbol for losing on time, so future reviewers don't wonder what happened.

Check out the fascinating kibitzing here, also Game Collection: The dirty dozen

Mar-09-16  zanzibar: <An interesting idea. Personally I would like some end of game symbol for losing on time, so future reviewers don't wonder what happened.>

This is a great idea. Though I have seen a comment at the end of the game sometimes used here on <CG> (and elsewhere).

Mar-10-16  morfishine: Sergeant notes that Morphy flat denied ever playing a game vs Deacon and called Deacon's claims to have split two games (a win to either side) "spurious"

"Spurious" is a nice way of calling Deacon a liar

I tend to believe Morphy. Morphy was always happy to analyze/discuss his games, won or lost, with opponents. The one exception is Deacon


Mar-10-16  zanzibar: I'm been trying, without success, to find a primary source for the alleged Steinitz--Deacon controversy.

That is, the games which Deacon entered into the record as having been played against Steinitz but Steinitz himself denies playing.

Does anybody know of such a reference?

(Other than batgirl's article, that is)

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: International Chess Magazine (second paragraph):

Sissa, v17 (the Steinitz games in question):

It is worth noting that there is a game where Deacon played (and beat) Deschappelles (see page 61 same issue of Sissa). Apparently Deacon contributed heavily to Sissa. I suspect a large portion (if not all) of his Sissa games against the leading players of the day were fantasy lines, etc., created under the same circumstances as the Steinitz games (and the Morphy games if he ever actually met Morphy and sat down with him to test a line of play as Steinitz suspects). Deacon was a club player who gained fame by associating his name with leading players of his time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Lawson (Paul Morphy, p253) also discusses the Steinitz-Deacon games and gives from Forney's War Press, 27 April 1864, a letter originally published in the Syracuse Daily Journal.

I give a portion of the letter found in Lawson's book below:

<"[...] He published a number of games purporting to have been played between himself and Steinitz.

The latter declares that these games were never played! A letter of repudiation was written for publication by Steinitz; but Lowenthal prevailed upon him to suppress it. Steinitz was a poor man, and a foreigner, and Lowenthal told him that he could not afford to make enemies; and that the cause of chess was injured by the constant controversies and bad deeds of chess-players. Another of Deacon's misdeeds was to send old problems-or at least, one old problem-to compete for the prizes offered in connection with the Congress of 1862.">

Sadly I do not have access to either Forney's War Press or the Syracuse Daily Journal at this time. Something to add to my want-list for the CA website.

Mar-11-16  zanzibar: Thank you <jnpope>, exactly what I was looking for.

Would the Syracuse Daily Journal be found at Old Fultons? Likely yes, I think.

Jul-29-16  Joker2048: Morphy get mate???????
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Although this and Morphy vs F Deacon, 1859 must be regarded as spurious, if we're going to have them at all, we should have the details correct. Deacon claimed the games happened on the Monday following <the night when Mr. Morphy played his blindfold game [sic] at the London Chess Club>. Assuming Deacon was referring to Morphy's blindfold display at that club on April 13th 1859, then these purported games took place on the 18th.
Mar-30-22  Rabbinvane: This man Morphy'd Morphy. What a chad
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