Blunderprone’s history of chess series is great, but he doesn’t have a post dedicated to Paul Morphy. So I’ll do it.
Paul Morphy is called “the Pride and Sorrow of Chess”. He was an unofficial World Champion for a while because they didn’t have official World Champions. Then he retired because he was too good. And according to many sources, he died from a stroke while taking a cold bath.
At least, that’s what we’ve been told. And if you’re OK with listening to “The Establishment”, then that is good enough for you.
But I did more research, and now you’ll get “the rest of the story”.
When Bobby Fischer became World Champion in 1972, he thought he was the best American chess player ever. Then in April 1973, he heard about this Morphy guy. In a jealous rage, he was determined to make sure no one thought Morphy was as good as him. So he learned how to time travel and confronted his fellow American chess genius in 1858. Fischer stabbed Morphy in the stomach, making sure to do non-fatally (see picture), and said “If you don’t retire from chess, I’ll finish the job.” So that’s why Morphy retired.
Unsatisfied, Fischer decided to finish the job. A few months later, he time-traveled to 1884 and force-fed Morphy a McRib sandwich. As Fischer calculated, the shock and revulsion at the low standards of the McRib stunned Morphy’s brain, causing the fatal stroke.
But Fischer’s time traveling caused him to become crazy. So that’s why he didn’t defend his title and became rabidly anti-Semitic.
Flashbacks (for you new people):