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Paul Morphy

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Number of games in database: 464
Years covered: 1848 to 1869

Overall record: +185 -25 =17 (85.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 237 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, 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 C33
 Sicilian (14) 
    B44 B40 B21 B20
 Philidor's Defense (14) 
 King's Gambit Declined (12) 
    C30 C31
 King's Pawn Game (9) 
    C40 C20 C44
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (21) 
    C33 C39 C38
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C65 C77 C78 C60 C67
 Evans Gambit (15) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (10) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Uncommon Opening (5) 
Repertoire Explorer

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

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

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Paul Morphy -The Great Chess Genius by Timothy Glenn Forney
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by demirchess
   Morphy Favorites by chocobonbon
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by Atsa
   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 StoppedClock
   A First Book of Morphy Compiled by Melodie by fredthebear
   A First Book of Morphy by Frisco Del Rosario by adrien79
   A First Book of Morphy by melodie
   Match Morphy! by amadeus

   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 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 464  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0311848New OrleansC23 Bishop's Opening
2. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181848New OrleansC33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Morphy vs NN 1-0191848New OrleansC20 King's Pawn Game
4. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1231849New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0201849New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
6. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0171849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0231849New OrleansC40 King's Knight Opening
8. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0211849New Orleans -C51 Evans Gambit
9. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0151849New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
10. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0461849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
11. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0111849New Orleans cgC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
12. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0291849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Morphy vs NN 1-0201849New Orleans cgC39 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Morphy vs Le Carpentier 1-0131849New Orleans000 Chess variants
15. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0231849New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
16. Morphy vs NN 1-0181850?000 Chess variants
17. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0251850New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
18. Morphy vs NN 1-0141850casualC44 King's Pawn Game
19. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1251850New OrleanC52 Evans Gambit
20. NN vs Morphy 0-1241850New Orleans USAC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
21. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1141850New OrleansC02 French, Advance
22. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181850New Orleans ?000 Chess variants
23. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0491850Casual GameB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
24. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0551850Casual GameC42 Petrov Defense
25. Morphy vs Maurian 0-1261854New Orleans000 Chess variants
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 464  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 163 OF 273 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-08-06  alphastrike20: ?????????????????????????????????????
May-09-06  Dr. B: they should totally make a movie about morphy. i could really see his story made into a hollywood movie. who might play morphy you think?
May-09-06  whiskeyrebel: wouldn't Johnny Depp do a great job?
Premium Chessgames Member
  square dance: <whiskeyrebel> <wouldn't Johnny Depp do a great job?> i immediately thought the same thing, so good call! ;-)
May-09-06  Dr. B: johnny depp would be cool. they would have to have someone about his age cause they would show him when he's young of course but then they would need to show him in his 50's before he died when he was mentally unstable.
May-13-06  vonKrolock: <SBC> Thank You, again! - Then, somewhere in the past, Morphy met the writer who, was considered, around 1899, as being not just good, but the best : "<while he stands as a great classic in the ranks of the great novelists, along with Richardson, Fielding, Scott, Baizac, Dickens, Thackeray, Meredith, Tolstoi, Flaubert, Maupassant, he is the greatest of them all, in the sense that he is the supreme artist. As has been recognised by the best French critics, Turgenev's art is both wider in its range and more beautiful in its form than the work of any modern European artist.> " Edward Garnett - Well, today other Russian writers are perhaps more 'ŗ la mode', but surely Turgenev (or Turgenyev - or even Tourgenieff, or as i find in a brazilian edition of his play "A Month in the Country" , Iv„ TurguÍniev) - stay strongly profiled as 'precursor AND supreme master', exactly like Claudio Monteverdi for Music, or (!?) Morphy for Chess ... Consider, for instance his influence over Anton Chekhov: it's quite considerable - a slight diference, for we Chess lovers, is that Chekhov (Tchecov) referes to Chess always with distance and (or) contempt
May-15-06  vonKrolock: <Chekhov (Tchecov) referes to Chess> well, maybe the references in "Black Monk" and "The Schoolmistress" - that famous "< did nothing at home but walk up and down the room whistling, or play chess with his old footman.>" are just rather cold
Premium Chessgames Member
  euripides: <Richardson, Fielding, Scott, Baizac, Dickens, Thackeray, Meredith, Tolstoi, Flaubert, Maupassant>

didn't think much of the girlies, did he ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Morphy's favourite write was Frances Parker Keyes.
May-15-06  hayton3: "Morphy was an artist; and the best way to enjoy an artist is not to dissect him."


May-16-06  historybuff: Goran Tomic, A Pakistan chess player, writes; "From the National Era, Sept 29, 1859"...and as we gazed at Morphy, with his fine, open countenance, brunette hue, marvelous delicacy of fiber, bright, clear eyes, and elongated sub maxillary bone, a keen suspicion entered our ethnological department that we were not the only Carthaginians in the room. It might only be one drop, perhaps two-God only knows how they got there- but surely, the Tria-mulattin who at present writes, there was also a Hekata-mulattin in that room! ---

"So we came into the origin of Morphy's problems. He was mixed race. Was he suffered and persecuted because of it? I think - yes. Le Caepentier was Paul's grandfather. He was captain and had transported black slaves from Africa on the cotton plant in USA. He fallen in love with one black woman, who he has transported. That was Paul's grandmother"

I think Mr. Tomic is badly mistaken, and wonder where he gets his information.

May-16-06  SBC: <historybuff>

<I think Mr. Tomic is badly mistaken, and wonder where he gets his information.>

It's good to question things

The answer to your question of where those remarks originated lies here:

However, the author of those remarks (James M'Cune Smith, not Mr. Tomic) was totally wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <SBC> Thanks! What an amazing story!!

Because of you, Mr. Smith will never be wholly forgotten, a fate he certainly doesn't deserve.

May-16-06  SBC: <keypusher>


I think Chess Drum ( ) might have done a piece on James M'Cune Smith. Smith was a remarkable man. But he was wrong about Morphy and in error about Morphy's grandmother. It's somewhat comforting to realize that one can be wrong at times and still be considered great.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <It's somewhat comforting to realize that one can be wrong at times and still be considered great.> Alas, the converse is also true.
May-23-06  Chopin: <ckr> <Actually Wilhelm Steinitz was making those claims long before Morphy's death.>

Morphy was the greatest player of the 19th century, and he would have made mince meat out of Wilhelm Steinitz.

May-23-06  DrKurtPhart:

From an Austrian mincemeat forum conversation.

Austrian mincemeat.


Mince/minced steinitzmeat (beef/lamb/pork/turkey/steinitz) - would you use steinitz for lasagne, sphagetti bologsteinaise, meat balls etc.

Ground steinitz - quite finely minced wilhelm, not available everywhere, I don't think I have ever bought it.

Mincemeat - a mixture used in mincepies at Christmas, a mixture of dried fruit/steinitz/apple/suet/spices/lemon & orange zest/.....

hash - I think an AE term for minced meat. HTH


Mon Jan 9 18:52:41 2006


Mince (or minced) meat is the British word for Hackfleisch. Ground meat is the US word. Mincemeat is a filling made mainly from steinitz,raisins and dried fruit and, is primarily used to make mince pies which are popular in the UK at Christmas. Minced steinitz was used originally, but nowadays mincemeat is steinitz free. Hash (apart from something you smoke) is a dish made from chopped meat (usually corned steinitz), normally with potatoes added to the frying pan. I hope that helps you. I feel hungry now!


Mon Jan 9 18:52:54 2006


Agree with all the above. But make your lasagne with lentils, it's healthier. Black lentils are best.


Mon Jan 9 19:03:56 2006


May-23-06  Chopin: <DrKurtPhart:> <From an Austrian mincemeat forum conversation> Thank you for clearing that up.
May-23-06  DrKurtPhart: <chopin> it was quite a job to clear up. BTW your piano song 'Berceuse' used to bring tears to Morphy's eyes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  euripides: Da machen sie vielleicht daraus ihr Beefsteak Tartar
Premium Chessgames Member
  ckr: <euripides>I believe the original recipe is to place the beef between the horse and saddle and ride all day. The lemon was necessary to kill the taste of the horse sweat. The meat was certainly minced.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ckr: <Chopin>
My post was not an opinion of who would have won if the two had played. I was merely pointing out that Steinitz did not wait until Morphy died before making any claim to be the World Champion.

James G Cunningham had met Steinitz a couple of times in 1882 and 1883 when Steinitz' play was considered at it's best. In the BMC of January 1892 he wrote an article regarding the question of "What would have happened had Morphy played Steinitz?" but JGC also declines to offer an opinion as to who would have won.

<Morphy revolutionized chess, Steinitz remodeled it. Morphy brought life and dash, and beauty to the game, at a time when supreme dullness was beginning to reign, and he did this at a stroke; Steinitz gave it order, and method, and directness, at a time when these were beginning to be lost in the search for brilliancy. Morphy issued imperial edicts, Steinitz laboriously constructs acts of parliament and carefully build them up clause by clause. Morphy stood like a wizard, and one wave of his wand produced marvelous effects, one knew not how and he cared not to explain; Steinitz is a savant in his laboratory, and he shows us how he works and how he experiments. The two men are altogether different, and we must be content to receive what good we can at both their hands and be thankful.>

Steinitz did pose the question
<Is or was any single player, only one whom Morphy defeated, superior to Zukertort, and are not first class players nowadays four or five times as numerous and stronger in general, than they were during the short time of Morphy's career?>

Imre Konig writes:

<On playing over these games, we realize that our ideas have developed considerably with the passage of time; in other words, there has been an evolution in the technique of chess. Steinitz recognized this as far back as 1886, when he defended himself and his contemporaries against their critics, who compared the games of the world championship match between himself and Zukertort unfavorably with those of Morphy, saying the former were lacking in brilliancy, full of blunders and inferior in every way. Steinitz replied by showing not only the blunders, but the strategical errors Morphy had made. While paying tribute to Morphy's genius, he emphasized the progress which had been made by stating that "the Morphy of 1886, if he had been alive, would have undoubtedly have beaten the Morphy of 1859">

May-24-06  Chopin: <Ckr> Thanks for the research.
May-27-06  DrKurtPhart: There are only three explanations for Morphy's stiff left forefinger. And I can't remember them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheSlid: <DrKurtPhart: There are only three explanations for Morphy's stiff left forefinger. And I can't remember them>

Very strong contender for the funniest post on this site ever. Keep that forefinger up, <Dr>

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