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Louis Paulsen
Number of games in database: 440
Years covered: 1857 to 1889
Overall record: +218 -113 =87 (62.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      22 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 French Defense (42) 
    C02 C01 C00 C10 C15
 Four Knights (28) 
    C48 C47 C49
 Scotch Game (23) 
 Vienna Opening (21) 
    C25 C29 C26
 King's Gambit Accepted (13) 
    C33 C37 C38
 Three Knights (13) 
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (64) 
    B23 B40 B24 B30 B43
 Ruy Lopez (33) 
    C65 C77 C70 C78 C60
 King's Gambit Accepted (16) 
    C33 C39 C37 C34
 Evans Gambit (16) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (14) 
    C50 C53 C54
 French Defense (11) 
    C13 C11 C01 C00
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Paulsen vs Owen, 1862 1-0
   Paulsen vs Blachly, 1857 1-0
   Paulsen vs S Rosenthal, 1873 1-0
   Paulsen vs Morphy, 1857 1/2-1/2
   Paulsen vs Blackburne, 1873 1-0
   Paulsen vs Morphy, 1857 1-0
   Paulsen vs Blackburne, 1861 1-0
   Morphy vs Paulsen, 1857 1/2-1/2
   NN vs Paulsen, 1861 0-1
   Kachler vs Paulsen, 1865 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Anderssen - Paulsen (1862)
   Leipzig (1877)
   1st American Chess Congress (1857)
   Leipzig (1879)
   Breslau (1889)
   Baden-Baden (1870)
   Vienna (1873)
   Vienna (1882)
   Berlin (1881)
   Nuremberg (1883)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Vienna 1882 by suenteus po 147
   Vienna 1873 by suenteus po 147
   Leipzig 1877, The Anderssen-Feier by Calli
   New York 1857 by suenteus po 147
   London 1862 by sneaky pete
   Leipzig 1879 by suenteus po 147
   WCC Index [Anderssen-Paulsen 1862] by suenteus po 147
   1862 Anderssen - Paulsen Match by TheFocus
   1857 1st American Chess Congress by date by Calli
   Blunderchecked games II by nimh

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Louis Paulsen
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(born Jan-15-1833, died Aug-18-1891, 58 years old) Germany

[what is this?]
Louis Paulsen was in the 1860's and 1870's among the top five or six players in the World. He was a great master of defence and gifted in his insights into opening play, many of his ideas were adopted long after his death. In tournaments he was 2nd at New York 1857 (after Paul Morphy), 1st at Bristol 1861, 2nd at London 1862 (after Adolf Anderssen), 2nd at Baden-Baden 1870, 1st at Krefeld 1871, 1st at Leipzig 1877, 2nd at Leipzig 1879 and 4th= at Breslau 1889.

In matches he played Adolf Anderssen three times, drawing in 1862 (+3, =2, -3) and winning in 1876 (+5, =1, -4) and 1877 (+5, =1, -3). A match with Ignatz Von Kolisch in 1861 was agreed drawn with Paulsen leading (+7 =18 -6). In 1864, he defeated Gustav Richard Neumann (+5, =3, -2). He also did important analytical work with his brother Wilfried Paulsen. He died of diabetes in 1891.

"Paulsen discovered a larger number of opening ideas than any of his contemporaries. For the attack he contributed to the Scotch Game, the Goering Gambit, the Paulsen Attack, the Paulsen variations of the Vienna Game, and the Four Knights Opening. For the defence he discovered the Boleslavsky variation, the Paulsen Defence of the Kieseritzky Gambit, and the Paulsen Variation of the Sicilian Defence. He introduced the Pirc Defence and improved Black's chances in the Muzio Gambit and in several lines of the Sicilian Defence. His contributions were not confined to an odd move or improvement here and there: he also invented whole systems of play. ... Paulsen wrote no books, and none has been written on his theoretical contributions." (The Oxford Companion To Chess, by Hooper and Whyld)

notes: Louis was occasionally involved in consultation chess, see Anderssen / Louis Paulsen / Dubois, Louis Paulsen / Dr. Carl Goring / Johannes Metger or Johannes Metger / Jacques Mieses / Louis Paulsen

Wikipedia article: Louis Paulsen

 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 440  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Dodge vs Paulsen ½-½37 1857 ?C40 King's Knight Opening
2. Morphy vs Paulsen 1-064 1857 1st American Chess CongressB40 Sicilian
3. Paulsen vs S Calthrop  1-042 1857 1st American Chess CongressC44 King's Pawn Game
4. B Raphael vs Paulsen 0-153 1857 1st American Chess CongressC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
5. Paulsen vs Morphy 0-128 1857 1st American Chess CongressC48 Four Knights
6. Paulsen vs G Heilbuth ½-½43 1857 New YorkC44 King's Pawn Game
7. S Calthrop vs Paulsen 0-122 1857 1st American Chess CongressC40 King's Knight Opening
8. Paulsen vs B Raphael  ½-½47 1857 1st American Chess CongressC47 Four Knights
9. Morphy vs Paulsen ½-½36 1857 1st American Chess CongressB40 Sicilian
10. S Calthrop vs Paulsen 0-130 1857 1st American Chess CongressB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
11. Paulsen vs Blachly 1-019 1857 New YorkC37 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Paulsen vs A Hawes 1-031 1857 New YorkB40 Sicilian
13. B Raphael vs Paulsen 0-125 1857 1st American Chess CongressB40 Sicilian
14. Paulsen vs Morphy 1-034 1857 1st American Chess CongressC46 Three Knights
15. Morphy vs Paulsen 1-054 1857 New York blindC40 King's Knight Opening
16. T Frere vs Paulsen 0-141 1857 New YorkA10 English
17. Paulsen vs Morphy 0-129 1857 1st American Chess CongressC47 Four Knights
18. Paulsen vs H Montgomery 1-031 1857 1st American Chess CongressB01 Scandinavian
19. Paulsen vs Morphy ½-½53 1857 1st American Chess CongressC67 Ruy Lopez
20. Morphy vs Paulsen ½-½50 1857 New York blindC40 King's Knight Opening
21. Morphy vs Paulsen 1-026 1857 1st American Chess CongressB40 Sicilian
22. H Montgomery vs Paulsen 0-147 1857 1st American Chess CongressB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
23. Paulsen vs Morphy 0-123 1857 New YorkC46 Three Knights
24. Paulsen vs C Oscanyan 1-038 1857 New YorkC44 King's Pawn Game
25. Morphy vs Paulsen 1-036 1857 1st American Chess CongressB40 Sicilian
 page 1 of 18; games 1-25 of 440  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Paulsen wins | Paulsen loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-03-10  DarthStapler: The Salieri to Morphy's Mozart
Premium Chessgames Member
  talisman: happy birthday louis!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I wish someone would write a decent book on Paulsen and his games.
Jan-13-12  thomastonk: <Benzol> There is a book on Louis Paulsen, his family and his games, but it is written in German. Author: Horst Paulussen, title: "Louis Paulsen 1833 - 1891 und das Schachspiel in Lippe 1900 - 1981", year: 1982, 312 pages. It is still available and has even a low price.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <thomastonk> That's great news. Is there an English translation available?
Jan-13-12  thomastonk: <Benzol> No translation - it's the only book by this author.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <thomastonk> OK thanks. I might just have to start learning German. I think I'm too old now though.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Iowa State Chess Association has a file with 53 more games than CG. Download at Don't have time right now to sort it out myself.
Jan-15-12  brankat: R.I.P. master Paulsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Happy Birthday!
Dec-26-12  thomastonk: <> From the biography: "He defeated Ignatz Von Kolisch (+7, =18, -6) in 1861 ..." Several others have kibitzed it before, and maybe you like to change it: the match ended drawn (though the qouted result is correct).

Before the match it was agreed that nine wins would be necessary to decide it. After 17 games Paulsen was leading by 6:1. But then Kolisch won three games in a row and after 31 games the result was only 7:6 in Paulsen's favour. Here both men agreed the draw.

Jan-15-13  Kikoman: Rest In Peace Sir Louis Paulsen.
Oct-19-13  Karpova: According to page 1 of the January 1882 'British Chess Magazine' (the Almanac), Louis Paulsen was born on January 10, 1833 (here it says January 15). Which date is correct?
Oct-19-13  RedShield: According to Gaige's <Chess Personalia>, which lists several biographical sources, it's the 15th.
Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: I know that he was born and died in germany and lived for some time in or around Dubuque, Iowa. Does anybody know how long he lived in the US? Since he was often back to Europe, he must have been quite a traveller, considering that for much of his life a transatlantic crossing was a rather slow event at the mercy of the winds.
Oct-20-13  thomastonk: <waustad: Does anybody know how long he lived in the US?> Only from 1853 until the autum of 1860.

<Since he was often back to Europe, he must have been quite a traveller, ...> No, he went only once back to Europe and stayed there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Quite a pioneer in the Sicilian! Early MCOs refer to the Kan as Paulsen's Defense. He also played the Taimanov often enough.

Some books used to call ...Nbd7 in the ....e6 Sicilian 'Paulsen' as distinquished from ...Nc6 Scheveningen. Not sure how that came to be, however.

Premium Chessgames Member
  waustad: Thanks for the information. 1860 sounds like a good time to get out of the US.
Oct-20-13  redwhitechess: snip of his obituary:

Jan-15-14  brankat: Happy B.D. Mr.Paulsen.
Jan-15-14  thomastonk: From the biography: "notes: Louis or his brother Wilfried were occasionally involved in consultation chess, perhaps also being on the team of Louis Paulsen / Dr. Carl Goring / Johannes Metger."

I will delete Wilfried and the speculation from this statement, because the tournament book of Leipzig 1877, where the corresponding game has been played, leaves no room for doubts.

Premium Chessgames Member

The death is announced of Louis Paulsen, who, next to Anderssen, has been regarded the foremost of the great chess players of the last generation, whose names became most familiar the occasion of the first World's Tournament in 1851, and that of the British Chess Association in 1862. Of the list of recognised masters of that time, numbered at 36, there are but six dating back 1846, and another to 1849. Reckoning the five great masters that have sprung up since 1862, we have not quite a third of the leading class of representatives which we could boast 30 years ago.

Paulsen was most distinguished player, but the slowest of all the masters ; his amiability and modesty were his marked characteristics, and it is marvel that he was universal favourite. He won first prizes Bristol in 1861, and in one of the early German tournaments, that at Leipsic, about 15 years later, in the American tournament 1857 he came out second, Morphy alone beating him in the London tournament 1862 Anderssen, the 1851 winner, was again first, Paulsen being next.

Paulsen was the first who played blindfold chess on its present scale, a feat frequently and successfully accomplished in more recent years by Blackburn and Zukertort; two games played Philidor at a time intervals from 1783 - 1795 being considered too remarkable ever to be believed in future ages. During 1855-56-57 Paulsen,in the West of America, played ten games once on at least three occasions; and at Simpson's, London, in 1861, met the strongest team ever encountered by a player without sight of board or men.

Source: <Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 26 August 1891, p.2>

Jan-24-14  thomastonk: <Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 26 August 1891, p.2> Beware! This obituary contains mistakes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  akiba82: Paulsen also contributed to the french defense. The move 3 Nc3 is supposed to derive from Paulsen as well as the move 3 e5 which denotes the french advance.
Jan-15-15  yureesystem: Paulsen a chess genius, because of his contribution in the opening, his defensive techniques.
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