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Anderssen - Morphy Match

Paul Morphy8/11(+7 -2 =2)[games]
Adolf Anderssen3/11(+2 -7 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Anderssen - Morphy (1858)

After having cemented his status, by virtue of his triumph 1st American Chess Congress (1857), as one of the greatest masters in the world, Morphy traveled to Europe to play Howard Staunton and other chess greats. Morphy made numerous attempts at setting up a match with Staunton, but none ever came to fruition. Staunton was later criticised for avoiding a match with Morphy. Seeking new opponents, Morphy crossed the English Channel to France.

In Paris, Morphy suffered from a bout of intestinal influenza. In accordance with the medical wisdom of the time, he was treated with leeches, resulting in his losing a significant amount of blood. Although too weak to stand up unaided, Morphy insisted on going ahead with a match against the visiting German master Adolf Anderssen, considered by many to be Europe's leading player. Despite his illness Morphy triumphed easily, winning seven while losing two, with two draws. When asked about his defeat, Anderssen claimed to be out of practice, but also admitted that Morphy was in any event the stronger player and that he was fairly beaten. Anderssen also attested that in his opinion, Morphy was the strongest player ever to play the game, even stronger than the famous French champion Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais.

Paris, France, 20-28 December 1858 (1)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Morphy 0 = 1 1 1 1 1 = 1 0 1 8 Anderssen 1 = 0 0 0 0 0 = 0 1 0 3

Morphy had White in the odd-numbered games.

Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index ( Morphy - Anderssen 1858 ), by User: Benzol. (1) Wikipedia article: Paul Morphy.

 page 1 of 1; 11 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Morphy vs Anderssen 0-1721858Anderssen - MorphyC52 Evans Gambit
2. Anderssen vs Morphy ½-½441858Anderssen - MorphyC77 Ruy Lopez
3. Morphy vs Anderssen 1-0201858Anderssen - MorphyC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
4. Morphy vs Anderssen 1-0541858Anderssen - MorphyB01 Scandinavian
5. Anderssen vs Morphy 0-1511858Anderssen - MorphyC77 Ruy Lopez
6. Anderssen vs Morphy 0-1421858Anderssen - MorphyA00 Uncommon Opening
7. Anderssen vs Morphy ½-½511858Anderssen - MorphyA00 Uncommon Opening
8. Morphy vs Anderssen 1-0251858Anderssen - MorphyB01 Scandinavian
9. Anderssen vs Morphy 1-0771858Anderssen - MorphyA00 Uncommon Opening
10. Morphy vs Anderssen 1-0171858Anderssen - MorphyB44 Sicilian
11. Morphy vs Anderssen 1-0361858Anderssen - MorphyC00 French Defense
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Any match info, such as time control? Days they played on ? There should be some biographical information regarding the match? News paper clippings from France? The purse? thanks any help appreciated!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The introduction could well be supplemented by <Joshka>'s suggestions. We do have dates on each individual game. but not knowing their source I am hesitant to add the information to the intorduction.

Aslo, the first sentence may required discussion and research:

<"After having cemented himself in the 1st American Chess Congress (1857) as one of the greatest masters in the world, Morphy traveled to Europe to play Staunton and other chess greats.">

How true was this at the time? The United States had very little independent standing in the eyes of European chess masters, and it may well be that any testimonyu by Lowewenthal would have been taken more seriously than the results of the tournament.

Nov-17-13  devere: If only Kirsan had been running things in 1858, Anderssen would have eliminated Morphy in a 2-game knockout.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: < Any match info, such as time control? >

I don't think chess clocks had even been invented then.

Jul-30-14  Ke2: Funny how in this match, and Morphy-Harwitz, after losing the 1st game or two, Morphy goes on a tear.

A little like the 1972 match. I think the term "Steinitz Match Gambit" was suggested as he did this often.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Phony Benoni> Philip W. Sergeant's book: I think is the authoritative book on Morphy's games, dates, etc.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Four years late in answering Joshka.....

Match played at Hotel de Breteuil in Paris between December 20th and Dec 28th 1858. According to Sergeant the players agreed there should be no stake.

(No stake...both players were vegetarians. Yes?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Miss Simpson>, is Sergeant's <the authoritative book on Morphy's games, dates, etc.>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Missy> -

What about <Paul Morphy: Pride and Sorrow of Chess> by Lawson?

Wiki notes at least one example of Lawson vs Sergeant:

<One of the games was incorrectly given as a draw in Sergeant's Morphy's Games of Chess (1957) and was subsequently copied by sources since then. David Lawson's biography (1976) corrects this error, providing the moves that were actually played. From the other hand, Geza Maroczy's biography (1909) gives one of the game as a draw.>

And what's the dope on this work?

Edge's book is good to have, and freely available.

<Lawson also remarked (page ix):

‘We owe much to him [Edge], for the match with Anderssen and other games were due solely to his untiring efforts. With the Anderssen match in mind, Edge even schemed with Morphy’s doctor to keep Morphy from going home for the 1858 Christmas holidays, as he had promised his family.’>

Batgirl has also written extensively on him:


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <What about <Paul Morphy: Pride and Sorrow of Chess> by Lawson?>

I didn't even know it had been republished; the original print was meant to be rare and expensive. Imagine, I could be reading it via Kindle within five minutes for a handful of beans.

I'm interested in which is the best source for game information, i.e., opponents, locations, dates, etc. The DB here could do with some work.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <MissS> care to contribute to Zbase?

We can synch with <CG> when they finally get their act together at some point in the future.

I was hoping to get <jnpope> involved at some point too - given that he probably has the best documented private collection of historical games.

But he'd be a harder sell, as his system is somewhat hand crafted, afaik.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <ZBase>? Are you starting a rival to <>? If so, I'm available to the highest bidder!
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Think of it as a parallel stream - at least until <CG> believes in having data good enough to automatically get correct xtabs from the games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Zbase is currently mostly Reichhelm's Fifty, plus a couple of extras.

(The "First Look" synopses are in much worse shape than the PGN, however.)

I recently was jonesing for doing some more, beyond 1898 - mostly intending to work off Calli's list.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Good data don't come cheap - you need sufficient resources and the requisite manpower. Isn't <ZBase> somewhat overreaching?
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <ZBase> is the best version of early chess tournament history.

I'll make that claim - seeing as it had the advantage of comparing <CG>, <CB>, and <NIC> games against the historical record (most of which is available on the internet).

<Pawn and Two> helped a great deal, especially with some of Gillam's material which had some origin source material not on the net (yet).

<RookHouse> also helped with the Manchester games (via <CG>, but all the same...) which otherwise wouldn't be around without him.

* * * * *

But Zbase was mostly a one man show - but pretty confined and defined via Reichhelm. I wanted to prototype how to do a DB with the "right" style (e.g. stubs/sources).

It worked out pretty well, and there's no reason it can't scale.

But it does need wider adoption.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Oh, here's a master index of the First Looks (though not quite 50!):


May-17-17  chessamateur: <If only Kirsan had been running things in 1858, Anderssen would have eliminated Morphy in a 2-game knockout.>

I enjoyed that!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Miss S.

Take his money and leave but come back on here under a new nik: 'Miss Peach' who is a new Cluedo character.

I know Zanzibar only has the old version of Cluedo (we played it a few nightsago, he is hopeless at. In one game his suggested culprit was Dr. Black who, as I'm sure you know, is always the victim.) so he will not twig it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: It's true, I have no clue, sometimes... !

(Plus I just got the dreaded <YOU'RE POSTING A BIT TOO MUCH> - oh you naughty boy!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I've never seen a '<YOU'RE POSTING A BIT TOO MUCH>' notice, never knew one appeared.

I don't think you post enough.

May-04-18  Howard: An interesting sidenote of this match is that the eleven games that it consisted of, was the SOLE basis for Morphy coming in 11th in the all-time-best list of Warriors of the Mind, which came out back in 1989.

To be honest,though, the book was rather awful--and that's not being overcritical.

May-31-18  Raginmund: How many games Morphy vs Anderssen?

Here I see only 11 and in another chessgames page I see "Classical games: Paul Morphy beat Adolf Anderssen 12 to 3, with 2 draws"


Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus:, perhaps some duplicates?
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Raginmund> Check my earlier post with the link to Sergeant's book on Morphy. Anderssen and Morphy had quite a few "offhand" games

*Anderssen was clearly out of form in this match. Perhaps his long horse-drawn journey fatigued him, who knows


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