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Mordecai Morgan
Number of games in database: 10
Years covered: 1893 to 1907
Overall record: +7 -3 =0 (70.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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C77 Ruy Lopez (3 games)

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(born Dec-30-1862, died Sep-21-1931, 68 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Mordecai Morgan was active mostly around the chess circles of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and, in Correspondence chess, throughout the USA.(1) In 1884, he beat Johannes Zukertort in a Simul.(1) Eight years later, he beat the future world champion in a Simul: Lasker vs M Morgan, 1892.

Morgan was successful in the championships of the Philadelphia Juniors Chess Club: In 1887, he tied for first with Samuel Warren Bampton and W. H. Schultz.(2) He then went on to win the championships in 1888, 1891 and 1894.(2)

In October 1888, Morgan became one of the directors of the Franklin Chess Club in Philadelpha, and was reelected in 1891, 1894 (1) and 1897.(3) He also became the treasurer of the Pennsylvania Chess Association in 1897.(4)

In the 9th Franklin Chess Club championship in 1894, Morgan was the runner up behind Emil Kemeny with 20.0/24.(2) He dominated the 11th championship in 1895/1896 with 12.5/13,(2) won in 1903 (5) and also won the 20th championship in 1905.(2) Morgan had also good results in the 16th championship in 1901 and the 21st championship in 1906.(2)

Morgan was also active in telegraph matches between the Franklin Chess Club and the Manhattan Chess Club, and he participated in the 9th Anglo-American cable match in 1907.(2) He was mostly active in correspondence chess play and Walter Penn Shipley described him "as one of the leading correspondence players of this country".(1)

In addition, he wrote the four volumes work Chess Digest (Philadelphia, 1901-1905).(1)


(1) John S. Hilbert, Mordecai Morgan: Mystery Man Of Correspondence Chess, 1999,

(2) Rod Edwards,

(3) Gustavus C. Reichhelm, Walter P. Shipley, Chess in Philadelphia, 1898, p. 22

(4) Gustavus C. Reichhelm, Walter P. Shipley, Chess in Philadelphia, 1898, p. 21

(5) Philadelphia Inquirer, 18 January 1914

 page 1 of 1; 10 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Morgan vs W P Shipley 0-1121893USA (m/2)C28 Vienna Game
2. Lasker vs M Morgan 0-1271893Philadelphia simC49 Four Knights
3. M Morgan vs W P Shipley  1-0231897Continental TournamentA80 Dutch
4. M Morgan vs J Narraway 1-0601897Continental Corr TtC77 Ruy Lopez
5. G Simonson vs M Morgan  0-1201897Franklin Chess Club v Manhattan Chess Club Telegraph MatchC01 French, Exchange
6. A K Robinson vs M Morgan 0-1391905?C77 Ruy Lopez
7. M Morgan vs J C Eppens  1-0441905Franklin CC-Chicago CCC77 Ruy Lopez
8. Maroczy vs M Morgan 1-0121906Exhibition gameC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
9. H Rosenfeld vs M Morgan 0-1401907Manhattan CC - Franklin CC mA00 Uncommon Opening
10. M Morgan vs G W Richmond 0-11519079th Anglo-American Cable MatchB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Morgan wins | Morgan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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  EmperorAtahualpa: A drawing of Mr. Morgan:

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The Mystery Man Of Correspondence Chess -->
Apr-02-09  sleepkid: "Mind you don't cut yourself Mordecai!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The drawing has been moved, most recently to here:

It should be mentioned that Morgan's <Chess Digest> volumes are extensive, perhaps definitive (at the time), treatments of Openings (v1/1901 - v4/1905).

Entire games are included, though I'm unsure about the accuracy wrt transpositions...

He provided rather complete refs to his sources, however. Useful.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: BCM v27 (March 1907) p113:

<Since the last match, in 1903, the Americans have suffered severe loss of strength by the death of Mr. H. N. Pillsbury and the withdrawal from active chess play of Mr. Jackson W. Showalter, both of whom occupied very high positions in all the matches they took part in. To fill the vacancies two new men were selected—<Mr. M. Morgan, Philadelphia, editor and compiler of the standard work, Chess Digest>; and Mr. E. H. Wolbrecht, of St. Louis, who won the championship tournament of the Western Chess Association at Chicago during the summer of 1906. Mr. Wolbrecht was born in St. Louis in 1872, and took up the study of chess some ten years ago. He practised persistently with the late Mr. Max Judd, and eventually won the championship of the St. Louis Club. Mr. Wolbrecht is an engineer by profession, and is is at present engaged in improvement work on the Mississippi River for the United States Government.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: I suppose the following extensive <Checkmate v2 1902> review might be of some interest:

<[the Chess Digest, by Mordecai Morgan. Vol. II. Philadelphia: Patterson & White Co.j

To both author and publishers we tender our congratulations on the appearance of this magnificent volume. It is a characteristic of American enterprise to do things on a large scale, and the work before us is a shining example. Never before have the chess openings been so exhaustively treated; here within a limited space is the lore of large libraries. Fifteen thousand games examined and their opening ino.ves recorded! With two-thirds of the complete work before us we can fully appreciate the immense labor involved, and the patient industry and accuracy with which the author has accomplished his task.

In Vol. II the openings treated are the Evans Gambit, Evans Gambit Declined, Ponziani Opening, Petrofl Defence, Philidor's Defence, King's Knight's Opening, King's Bishop's. Opening, King's Gambit, Salvio Gambit, Muzio Gambit, Kieseritzky Gambit, Allgaier Gambit, Cunningham Gambit, King's liishop's Gambit, King's Gambit Declined, and Vienna Opening—sixteen in all—and 446 large quarto pages are required to contain the sum of well digested and admirably arranged details.

The size of page permits an arrangement of the contents impossible to the usual octavo volume. As an example take the "index" to each opening, which is found in the first section of the volume. Here with six diagrams to the page there is still room to record preceding and subsequent moves, thus enabling the variations of the earlier stages to be readily grasped by the student without the aid of board and men. Farther on, however, the treatment is more exhaustive, diagrams are dispensed with, and the variations carried out to the determining point of the game, say the twentieth move. At the end of each section we are given a selection of actual games carried out to the end. The author indulges in no comment, and offers no opinion as to the merits of the different lines of play. The reader has the results before him and must form his own judgment.

We have only space to add that the work will be completed in three volumes. Two are already issued, and the third will be ready at the end of this month. The price is $2.50 per volume in cloth, or $3.00 in sheep binding, and all orders therefor should be sent to the publishers, Patterson & White Co., Philadelphia, Pa.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Here is a 1907 advert for all 4 volumes:

I think that v1-3 were a complete set, and that v4 was an abridged single volume version.

v1 - 472pp
v2 - 446pp
v3 - 518pp

v4 - 696pp

I can't seem to find v2 anywhere on the net. Here's what it looks like hardcopy:

Volume 4 is obtainable on the net as parts 1 & 2 (part 1 with some difficulty - the google version being corrupt), and as a single volume.

So be careful to check what version you have when downloading.

Actually, here is an advert describing v4 as a updating of v1-3:

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