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Paul Morphy
Number of games in database: 465
Years covered: 1848 to 1869
Overall record: +195 -25 =24 (84.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      221 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Evans Gambit (44) 
    C51 C52
 King's Gambit Accepted (25) 
    C37 C39 C38 C35 C36
 Philidor's Defense (14) 
 Sicilian (14) 
    B44 B40 B21 B20
 King's Pawn Game (13) 
    C44 C40 C20
 King's Gambit Declined (12) 
    C30 C31
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (21) 
    C33 C39 C38
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C65 C77 C78 C64 C84
 Evans Gambit (15) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (10) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Petrov (4) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 1-0
   Paulsen vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs Le Carpentier, 1849 1-0
   Bird vs Morphy, 1858 0-1
   Morphy vs Schrufer, 1859 1-0
   Morphy vs A Morphy, 1850 1-0
   J Schulten vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0
   N Marache vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Morphy - Harrwitz (1858)
   Anderssen - Morphy (1858)
   1st American Chess Congress (1857)
   Morphy - Loewenthal (1858)
   Morphy - Mongredien (1859)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Paul Morphy -The Great Chess Genius by Timothy Glenn Forney
   Morphy Favorites by chocobonbon
   If chess was a religion, Morphy would be God. by Chopin
   paul morphy best games by brager
   Pure Morphy by saveyougod
   Odds games #2 by WhiteRook48
   A First Book of Morphy by Frisco Del Rosario by adrien79
   A First Book of Morphy by melodie
   Paul Morphy: A Modern Perspective by Avalon Landing
   Match Morphy! by amadeus
   Paul Morphy's Best Games by KingG
   Morphy: A Modern Perspective by monkeysbum
   morpstau's favorite games by morpstau
   First Book of Morphy by ganine1947

   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Paul Morphy
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(born Jun-22-1837, died Jul-10-1884, 47 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Paul Charles Morphy was born in New Orleans. He was the son of a successful lawyer and judge Alonzo Morphy. His uncle, Ernest Morphy, claims that no one formally taught Morphy how to play chess, but rather that he learned the rules by observing games between himself and Alonzo. When Morphy was only 12 years old, Johann Jacob Loewenthal visited New Orleans and at the behest of his father, agreed to play a casual match with the prodigy. Young Paul won 2½ to ½.

In 1857 Morphy won the First American Chess Congress with a dominating performance . This success was followed by a European trip where he met and triumphed over most of the prominent masters of the period, namely Adolf Anderssen whom he defeated +7 -2 =2 (see Anderssen-Morphy (1858)), Loewenthal in Morphy-Loewenthal (1858) and Daniel Harrwitz in Morphy-Harrwitz (1858). Upon returning to America, he announced his retirement from chess.

Although the official title of World Champion did not exist in his time, Morphy was and is widely regarded as the strongest player of his day. Even today his games are studied for their principles of open lines and quick development, and his influence on the modern game is undeniable. Mikhail Botvinnik wrote of his influence: "His mastery of open positions was so vast that little new has been learned about such positions after him."

User: jessicafischerqueen 's YouTube documentary of Paul Morphy:

Notes: Paul also played team chess with Morphy / Barnes and Morphy / Mongredien, and edited a chess column in the New York Ledger.

Wikipedia article: Paul Morphy

 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 465  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-031 1848 New OrleansC23 Bishop's Opening
2. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-018 1848 New OrleansC33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Morphy vs NN 1-019 1848 New OrleansC20 King's Pawn Game
4. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-023 1849 New OrleansC40 King's Knight Opening
5. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-017 1849 New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-029 1849 New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-015 1849 New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
8. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-011 1849 New Orleans cgC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
9. Morphy vs NN 1-020 1849 New Orleans cgC39 King's Gambit Accepted
10. Morphy vs Le Carpentier 1-013 1849 New Orleans000 Chess variants
11. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-021 1849 New Orleans -C51 Evans Gambit
12. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-020 1849 New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
13. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-123 1849 New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-046 1849 New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
15. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-023 1849 New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
16. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-114 1850 New OrleansC02 French, Advance
17. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-018 1850 New Orleans ?000 Chess variants
18. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-055 1850 New OrleansC42 Petrov Defense
19. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-025 1850 New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
20. Morphy vs NN 1-014 1850 casualC44 King's Pawn Game
21. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-125 1850 New OrleanC52 Evans Gambit
22. NN vs Morphy 0-124 1850 New Orleans USAC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
23. Morphy vs NN 1-018 1850 ?000 Chess variants
24. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-049 1850 New OrleansB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
25. E Morphy vs Morphy ½-½29 1854 New Orleans (USA)C51 Evans Gambit
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 465  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Morphy wins | Morphy loses  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 262 OF 262 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-15-15  The Rocket: Morphy wasn't an attacker like Anderssen. He was much more conservative. I would characterize Morphys style as aggressive, at most. Mikhail Tal sacrificed far more pieces in serious play than Morphy ever did.
Jan-15-15  Poisonpawns: <The Rocket> "Morphy wasn`t an attacker like Anderssen" This is what set Morphy apart from the "brute force" attackers of the day.Many of those attacks had no positional basis, and as many of those attack were a success, the same amount were refuted. Morhphy attacked when the position said attack. The others would try to launch attacks from any position as they felt they could "out combine" their opponents as they used to say. Anderssen,Blackburne,Bird,Harritz,Falkbeer etc all great but then there is Morphy.
Mar-13-15  TheFocus: <Apparently, Morphy's style exerts an irresistable magnetic power for players of all times, and the return to a style of the highest degree is the dream of every chessplayer, not excluding even the Grandmasters> - Bronstein.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Morphy was first and foremost a positional player. The resulting tactics emanated from his ability to achieve superior positions. Morphy would excel in modern times creating his own modern "theory". Morphy's grasp of any position was not equaled by anyone. He left no square unaccounted for.
Mar-26-15  Pawn Ambush: These old time champions were capable of playing either tactical or positional chess. Here is a game by Anderssen in his later years playing a Sicilian Kan defense. I don't think they would have any problems learning and employing new systems.

Philidor on the other hand would crush them all, past and present.

A Schwarz vs Anderssen, 1873

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Pawn Ambush> Excellent game by Anderssen! A great example of how winning tactics result from airtight positional play. Position before tactics


Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Father had a serious injury, and mother did not want him consorting with chessplayers to the detriment of his legitimate avocation, and also to his taking a personal secretary who handled his life affairs, but since this is Morphy's page, enough talk about Wesley So.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Bird's Table-talk on Morphy. "Probably, with the exception of Steinitz, Blackburne is the finest living player. Steinitz is a slow player, and is always pretty well crowded for time, and I doubt if be could have made as good a showing against Zukertort had the latter been less confident, and arranged the match at a time limit of 20 moves to the hour instead of 15. I trotted Steinitz the closest heat he ever contested. He beat me 8 to 7, with six draws. This was in '67.

In '58 Morphy beat me 10 to 1, with 1 draw, Steinitz claims that he is a better player than ever Morphy was, but I think my record with each is a fair test of the strength of the two. Steinitz claims that when I played with Morphy I was out of practice, but I cannot explain away my crushing defeat by that great player in any such way. I never played better chess in my life than when he beat me.

Morphy had more science than Steinitz more imagination. His career was very short, though very brilliant, and whether or not he could have held first honours as long as Steinitz has, is a matter of some doubt; but Morphy never met his match. He was never compelled to play his best game. His resources were never fully tested. We were taken a little by surprise by Morphy He was a young man of 21 or 22 years, with bright eyes and flowing hair and broad forehead. When in England he was cool and calculating, never showing enthusiasm. All that we could provoke from bun at the most wonderful sights London affords, was. "Yes I see; that's very pretty."

When he was in London he was all right, but he went to Paris, and foolishly entered upon the gaieties ofthe gay French capital. His physique was not strong, and he broke down. They say he was never quite right mentally afterward. At one time they hoped he had recovered sufficiently to play chess once more; in fact, the doctors advised him to play chess as the best means of restoring his mental vigour. We hoped to have him play in the Continental tournament of 1878, but were doomed to disappointment" - "Philadelphia Times".

Source: <"Nottinghamshire Guardian", Saturday 10th August 1889, p.7.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <tamar: Father had a serious injury, and mother did not want him consorting with chessplayers to the detriment of his legitimate avocation, and also to his taking a personal secretary who handled his life affairs, but since this is Morphy's page, enough talk about Wesley So.>

OK, that's pretty damn funny.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Really informative, interesting article <Chessical> thanks for posting. <Morphy never met his match> Very true.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Astute observations by Bird. I agree with his conclusions as it has been my own opinion since I started studying chess games.

If you combine all their common opponents and respective results, Morphy comes out with a vastly superior record. No offence to Steinitz who was a great and worthy champion, who's analytical approach deserves much praise. Yet my opinion is that Morphy understood more at a glance than even the best did with deep study.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: In that odd book Grandmasters of Chess by Arnold Schoenberg, he quotes part of a poem written by some Novo-orleanoid to celebrate Morphy's return to the New World. Does anyone have that poem in its entirety?
May-03-15  TheFocus: <Chess is eminently and emphatically the philosopher's game> Paul Morphy.

I wonder if Voldemort plays?

May-03-15  TheFocus: <Chess never has been and never can be aught but a recreation. It should not be indulged in to the detriment of other and more serious avocations - should not absorb or engross the thoughts of those who worship at its shrine, but should be kept in the background, and restrained within its proper province. As a mere game, a relaxation from the severe pursuits of life, it is deserving of high commendation> - Paul Morphy.

This statement reflects the outdated "Southern genteel" attitude from those whose families were among the upper class, the plantation owners and high society.

Had his family lost all its money during the war, Little Paulie would have been grubbing out nickels hustling chess, and spending those nickels on wine, women and song.

Quite frankly, I personally have never thought that PeePee was such a great player, just a talented hack among less talented hacks.

May-15-15  TheFocus: <Help your pieces so they can help you> - Paul Morphy.
May-18-15  MagnusVerMagnus: Well we were all of African descent I believe, Morphy was just the most naturally talented player ever imho. If there was ratings inflation he was probably 3000 ELO, well 2900 at least :)
May-18-15  MagnusVerMagnus: Truly the greatest relative to his contemporaries that will ever be, RIP Paul, god bless you!
May-18-15  KnightVBishop: is it true though that he went crazy like Bobby Fischer?
May-19-15  TheFocus: <If the distinguishing feature of a genius is that he is far ahead compared with his epoch, then Morphy was a chess genius in the complete sense of the word> - Max Euwe.
May-24-15  SBC:

<<Help your pieces so they can help you> - Paul Morphy.>

Curious when and where he said that.

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