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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
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0
   J Schulten vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0
   N Marache vs Morphy, 1857 0-1

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

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

   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 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 NN 1-019 1848 New OrleansC20 King's Pawn Game
2. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-031 1848 New OrleansC23 Bishop's Opening
3. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-018 1848 New OrleansC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Morphy vs NN 1-020 1849 New Orleans cgC39 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Morphy vs Le Carpentier 1-013 1849 New Orleans000 Chess variants
6. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-021 1849 New Orleans -C51 Evans Gambit
7. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-020 1849 New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
8. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-123 1849 New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
9. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-046 1849 New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
10. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-023 1849 New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
11. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-023 1849 New OrleansC40 King's Knight Opening
12. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-017 1849 New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-029 1849 New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-015 1849 New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
15. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-011 1849 New Orleans cgC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
16. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-125 1850 New OrleanC52 Evans Gambit
17. NN vs Morphy 0-124 1850 New Orleans USAC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
18. Morphy vs NN 1-018 1850 ?000 Chess variants
19. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-049 1850 New OrleansB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
20. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-114 1850 New OrleansC02 French, Advance
21. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-018 1850 New Orleans ?000 Chess variants
22. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-055 1850 New OrleansC42 Petrov Defense
23. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-025 1850 New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
24. Morphy vs NN 1-014 1850 casualC44 King's Pawn Game
25. Morphy vs Maurian 0-139 1854 New Orleans000 Chess variants
 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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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <savagerules> <Too bad a movie was never made about Morphy. It would be a great period piece. New Orleans before and after the Civil War and a look at the fashions of that time amid the heat and humidity. Of course it would be Hollywoodized and they would make Morphy out to be a gay man trapped in a strict society or some such rot.>

There would have to a horse and buggy chase for Hollywood to consider it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <During his daily walks though the French Quarter. he stared at pretty ladies and gave sardonic grins to strangers who stared at him. He carried his walking stick and wore a monocle. Morphy was quite the dandy.>

It would have been cool if he had ever sat down to play blitz with Jude Acers. And then analyzed over some Po' Boys.

Sep-15-15  Dr. Overlord: Morphy's Law:

Anything that can go wrong in a chess game, will go wrong in a chess game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Morphy was very profound.
Oct-02-15  The Kings Domain: savagerules: Very true. With the recent release of "Pawn Sacrifice" a movie on Morphy would be just right. Good point on it being a good period piece, done well it would look great. If Hollywood would have their big guns work on such a project like Scorsese directing it then it would most likely be a hit, letting more people know about the great 19th-Century champion.
Oct-12-15  SBC:

Morphy screenplay:

Oct-12-15  Fishy: Maybe the greatest natural talent ever, hoping there is a heaven and he is playing Fischer there.
Oct-15-15  saturn2: Rather than the film industry some historians should deal with Morphy. The open question for me is why he gave up chess in public so abruptly: Like in a chessgame there are some possible choices for explanations, some more likely than the others.

a: He was bored by his opponents because there was no one that could match his power. Although this is the most heared variant I cannot understand why Morphy should have been that much against public success and recognition, he was so striving for in other field which was the legal career. He was a world famous person in 1861 and somehow he could have exploited this.

b: He was feeling the opponents would get him soon and he wanted to stop at the peak of success.

c: He was bored by the game itself (like Capablanca and Fischer who tried to vary the rules of the game somwhat)

I am afraid this question will be never be settled fully unless historians dig out some new informations and material. Maybe they find a secret diary or a letter which runs as follows: "I was described as rather thinlipped and did not talk much about the game nor write much analysis. This was simply not to strengthen my opponents. I could have tought them to develop their pieces faster and to try to find the very best move right from the start of the game. But then some of the more bright ones would have beaten my soon. Instead I liked to keep the others uninformed and maybe after a few decades they will find what chess is all about: To create positions where combinations are possible. Those fools however think the most important feature of a chessplayer is to find a mate and calculate as far as possible. How boring those people are, asking me still in how many moves I can find a mate in a given position."

Oct-18-15  SBC: <saturn2>

(d) none of the above

Why Morphy quit (public)chess was never a mystery. He was quite vocal about it. Chess is a diversion and a recreation. Chess is certainly not a proper pursuit for a gentleman.

Oct-18-15  savagerules: Paul apparently thought having a law office with no clients and aimlessly ambling around the French quarter ogling women while twirling his walking stick and psychotically working himself into a frenzy imagining how people were trying to rip off his inheritance was still a better pursuit than chess.
Oct-19-15  Fishy: That is infinitely better than cowering in homelessness begging for handouts like some Fisher did, he could not find anyone to play him, Fischer avoided all those who wanted to cause of fear, Morphy was never afraid and traveled to great lengths to find an opponent. Morphy was a true Gentleman and competitor. Not a coward!
Oct-19-15  saturn2: @SBC: I am reluctant to believe your (d) because he must have noticed how much people got crazy about his abilities and triumphs. We also should not forget there is something called vanity which no person in the world is completely lacking when being praised everywhere. Reading his speech on occasion of being handed over the golden chessmen I also get the impression he did not have that modest and shy character that is often attributed to him. So I wonder if he was really such a calm person and despective of chess, his abilities and successes and he really considered the career if his judge father more noteworthy than himself having been a celebrated individual all over the world.
Oct-22-15  SBC:

saturn2, I'm not here to convince you. Believe what you will.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I agree with <SBC>. Morphy told his reasons for quitting.

If <Saturn2> doesn't want to believe Morphy, then no one will convince him.

Oct-23-15  saturn2: I also dont want to convince anybody but just state my opinion. <TheFocus: Morphy told his reasons for quitting> As far as I know he said chess is just a game and there are things of higher importance. From this I would not necessarily conclude to quit doing something in public - especially when you are that good at it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Morphy told his reasons for quitting. If <Saturn2> doesn't want to believe Morphy, then no one will convince him.>

Sure, and everything Fischer and Alekhine said about themselves was true, too.

Oct-23-15  HeMateMe: <He was bored by his opponents because there was no one that could match his power. >

Reminds me a bit of Lasker, taking a few years off, here and there, until an interesting opponent or tournament should become available. Except, Morphy never came back into the game when the opponents got stronger and more numerous.

I liken Capa's motives more to Fischer's behavior. Capa was innately very bright and enjoyed conquering the chess world. He also knew that once there, there was nowhere to go but down. Such egos cannot handle that prospect, therefore they retire at the top.

I would take issue with "begging for handouts," as someone above mentioned, regarding Fisher in the late 70s. He had silent benefactors, but I doubt he ever solicited money for nothing. Fischer had an abnormal life, having things given to him from childhood onward because of his rare skill, a skill in a sport that had almost zero financial compensation in the USA. For people of Fischer's generation, his situation was sort of like being "the world's greatest stamp collector." Nice title, but can you get chicks with it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <For people of Fischer's generation, his situation was sort of like being "the world's greatest stamp collector." Nice title, but can you get chicks with it?>

That would put a whole new spin on "chicks who lick."

Oct-23-15  john barleycorn: A time honoured standard line to lay a German chick is

<Ich möchte Dir meine Briefmarkensammlung zeigen> <I would like to show you my stamp collection>

Oct-24-15  saturn2: The abovementioned Fischer wrote Morphy quit because of disappointment caused not by chess itself but by the chessplayers. I don't know however where Fischer had this knowledge from and if it is based on information I don't have or he found it just by analyzing Morphy's games.

My guess is in the lawyer profession Morphy had something that suited his talents because it also contains the elements of memory, logic and fight. However it requires a 4th element which is social aptness and maybe he was lacking that together with herd instinct.

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