I keep seeing "Morphy would have beaten Steinitz", which we will never know, but here is some food for thought, from Steinitz' International Chess Magazine of 1886:
(Nov 1886 pp 333-335)
As usual I have my duty as a critic to
perform, and all the editorial tomahawks that are raised by native and
foreign savages, from the Pawn and move downward to the receivers of the
Rook odds, with the kind intention of sacrificing the living on the
shrine of the dead, will not deter me from it. To what I have said on
the subject before, I may only add quite in conformity with the
"What's this piece called?"
"A Bishop. What is it in Spanish, Sophie?"
"And in French, Agathe?"
Therein lies a story...
The old Arab form of chess had a piece called the elephant, which, unlike most elephants I know, could jump two squares at a time, diagonally. And 'al-fil' means the Elephant in Arabic (Pil in Persian).
But if you have a lump of stone, or wood, and you want to show that it is an elephant, you might carve two curving lines on it for tusks, or make two points on it to show the same.
Last week the juniors saw the game of Shogi played. It's the sort of chess
played in Japan, and by our new friends Kaz and Hatzune. How is Shogi
related to the sort of chess that we normally play?
When I first looked at the history of Western Chess, I thought that the
original game was Chaturanga, a game played in India before 600AD.
Chess as played in other countries seems to come from the Arab form of
Chess called Shatranj. And that is what I used to tell people.
The replacement of pieces in Exchange Chess reminds me of the game of
Japanese Chess, properly called Shogi, the generals' game. The flat
pieces are marked with kanji characters that are confusing for most people
brought up with the Roman alphabet, but I do own a German-made version
of the game which uses pieces marked with their powers of movement. http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/portable-shogi-set