Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Paul Morphy

Paul Morphy Chess Tshirt
Click here for more information
on the Paul Morphy Tribute T-Shirt

Number of games in database: 463
Years covered: 1848 to 1869

Overall record: +184 -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 (13) 
 King's Gambit Declined (12) 
    C30 C31
 French Defense (9) 
    C01 C00
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (21) 
    C33 C39 C38
 Evans Gambit (15) 
    C51 C52
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C77 C65 C67 C60 C64
 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 - Mongredien (1859)
   Morphy - Harrwitz (1858)
   Anderssen - Morphy (1858)
   Morphy - Loewenthal (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 Compiled by Melodie by fredthebear
   A First Book of Morphy by melodie
   A First Book of Morphy by StoppedClock
   A First Book of Morphy by Frisco Del Rosario by adrien79
   A First Book of Morphy by Incremental

   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
Search Google for Paul Morphy

(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 463  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Morphy vs NN 1-0191848New OrleansC20 King's Pawn Game
2. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0311848New OrleansC23 Bishop's Opening
3. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181848New OrleansC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0151849New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
5. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0211849New Orleans -C51 Evans Gambit
6. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0461849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
7. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0111849New Orleans cgC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
8. Morphy vs Le Carpentier 1-0131849New Orleans000 Chess variants
9. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0291849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
10. Morphy vs NN 1-0201849New Orleans cgC39 King's Gambit Accepted
11. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1231849New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
12. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0201849New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
13. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0171849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0231849New OrleansC40 King's Knight Opening
15. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0231849New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
16. NN vs Morphy 0-1241850New Orleans USAC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
17. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181850New Orleans ?000 Chess variants
18. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1141850New OrleansC02 French, Advance
19. Morphy vs NN 1-0181850?000 Chess variants
20. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0251850New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
21. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1251850New OrleanC52 Evans Gambit
22. Morphy vs NN 1-0141850casualC44 King's Pawn Game
23. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0551850Casual GameC42 Petrov Defense
24. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0491850Casual GameB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
25. Morphy vs Maurian 1-0251854New Orleans000 Chess variants
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 463  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Morphy wins | Morphy loses  

100% Cotton Chess Puzzle Shirt

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 274 OF 274 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-09-17  ketchuplover: Mr.Morphy would only lift his eyes from the game when victory was imminent. He would stare curiously at his opponent. His opponent would sense this and humbly raise his gaze to meet Paul's. In that moment he knew resistance was futile.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I was bored so I wrote this for fun. I might as well post it here:






MORPHY: I'm the genesis of modern chess, I brought forth a meta-Morphy-sis, it took me less than two years to prove I was the world's best! Everything you ever did, I did it first and did it faster! You made GM at 15 but I'm the OG-Master!

You came on the scene as a teen but took over 10 years to win the title, claimed the Russians were arranging their games like some recital! My ascent to the top went off without a hitch, but then again my cheering section wasn't chanting "Go Fish!"

FISCHER: You must be kidding me, old man, you think you have a better resume? All the patzers that you beat barely knew how to play! Steinitz would have whooped your ass, because he could play positionally, you're all flash and no substance, and you were never champ officially!

Forget undermining pawn chains, I broke through the Iron Curtain, and played the Game of the Century when I was only thirteen! You should have stuck to law school, you woodpushing fool, instead of thinking it would be cool to try and challenge my rule!

MORPHY: I left chess to be a lawyer, yes you did get that right - what did you do after you quit, other than become a raging anti-Semite? You're half-Jewish yourself, have you never seen your family tree? But you'll never be half as great a chess player as me!

Game of the Century? Sure, I'll give you that one - because in the century before I was second to none! The fat lady already sang when I played my Opera Game, compared to that your so-called 'brilliances' are the epitome of lame! You ducked a match with Karpov like declining the King's Gambit (which still hasn't been busted despite your best efforts to do it!) My reputation never suffered any serious besmirching, but what happened to your sanity? I hear that they're still searching!

FISCHER: You want to talk about dignity in later life, bub? That's funny coming from a guy who died in his bathtub! My name's a household word, who's even heard of you except for a few chess nerds? You think your little Opera Game was brilliant? How absurd! I've seen better combinations by the likes of Henry Bird!

Like you did to your paul Maurian, I'd beat you with knight odds, but that would hardly even be a feat worthy of applause! I'm the best player the US, no, the world has ever seen! Compared to me you're nothing but an antique has-been!





Nov-29-17  Moszkowski012273: I think I know who you are <Darth>....
Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: Darth: I like it! I like them both. I cant decide.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

<"Perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived, he would beat anybody today in a set-match.">

-- Fischer (on Morphy)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Edwin Meijer: <DarthStapler>

That is a great rap man!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Think we'll ever see a movie on Paul Morphy? He had a very short professional chess career which is perfect for the silver screen considering they only like to take the top 3-4 years of a players great years. Southern gentleman, during the Civil War, conquered Europe returned home a hero, then just quit. Maybe in the vein of "A Beautiful Mind"
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: how about if Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory" plays Morphy?
Mar-16-18  JPi: Paul Morphy is knew to have been against slavery but living in a rich family of New-Orleans, I'm afraid Morphy family have slaves domestics at home. Do someone knows about this matter?
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Morphy - Cowboy Bebop style:


Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: I was having a look at Morphy's games through the Repertoire Explorer tool, and noticed that all of the 178 games where Morphy had the White pieces, he started the game with 1. e4.

Are there any players who have more games in the database for White where all games are started with the same move.?

May-31-18  JimNorCal: Thanks for the Cowboy Bebop link, zanzibar!
Jun-22-18  benjaminpugh: Happy birthday!
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Edwin Meijer: <DarthStapler>

That is a great rap man!>


<WHO WON?> I think Fischer won, but it was close.


YOU DECIDE!> Tal v. Fischer, please!

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <ughaibu: Morfishine: More to the point, has my offer made it clear that Steinitz wouldn't be expected to take odds from Morphy and any refusal to do so cannot be assumed to indicate fear. After all, if he was willing to play without getting odds, why on earth would he be scared to play with odds?

Is there any recorded incident that suggests that Steinitz was ever scared of any chess opponent?> Of course, Steinitz would never haven taken odds from Morphy. He was too brilliant for that! And he never feared anybody, thats why he played so long! Steinitz was unbeaten in match play for 32 years: 1862-1894


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < JPi: Paul Morphy is knew to have been against slavery but living in a rich family of New-Orleans, I'm afraid Morphy family have slaves domestics at home. Do someone knows about this matter?>

Knew by whom? And why are you afraid?

Aug-09-18  ughaibu: Morfishine: sure.
Aug-10-18  Atking: <JPi> is French and on Wikipedia (French page) it is written about Paul Morphy that he was anti-slavery. Wikipedia is certainly not an absolute reference but still consistent. For the second point, you must wait for his answer yet I understand the contraction between "having slaves as servants" and being against this practice.
Aug-10-18  Boomie: <Atking: <JPi> is French and on Wikipedia (French page) it is written about Paul Morphy that he was anti-slavery.>

Everything which has been confirmed about Morphy can be found here:

As I recall, Morphy was against secession. But I haven't seen anything concerning his views on slavery.

New Orleans was unique in its acceptance of different races and languages. There were French, Spanish, Portugese, English, Acadians (Cajuns), Creoles, vaious Native Americans and whoever else moved there. Morphy's mother was French Creole and his father was Spanish, Portugese, and Irish. New Orleans had a complex relationship to race and ancestry.

Aug-11-18  Atking: Wonderful site! Thanks <Boomie>
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <boomie>

You and I had a conversation about Morphy's supposed challenge to the world at pawn-and-move (I copied my last post below) but it looks like I was unaware of an important source:

<Edge, in his long dispatch of January 5 1859, to the New York Herald, was the first to announce that "Paul Morphy had declared that he will play no more matches with anyone unless accepting Pawn and Move from him." And perhaps he was not too presumptuous.>

Edge isn't necessarily a sold gold source either, but he's more reliable than Charles Buck writing more than 40 years after the fact.

<keypusher: < Boomie: <keypusher: Thanks for posting that, Boomie. Is my memory wrong? Did Morphy not formally offer a match to anyone in the world at those odds?> I think the article at SBC's answers your question. Or is there something missing there? Notice that Morphy tried to arrange a pawn and move match with Harrwitz but was turned down. St. Amant said that he believed Morphy could win such a match against anyone. However no leading player accepted the challenge.> As I read those excerpts I tried to distinguish between statements made by Morphy (or clearly made on his behalf) and those made by others. He definitely challenged Harrwitz to such a match (and tried to arrange it), and offered Staunton a pawn-and-move match. Other people say that Morphy could play such a match against anyone, but don't indicate that he made such a challenge to the world at large.

My recollection had been that Morphy formally offered such a match to anyone. I went back to SBC's site and found the following:

<according to Charles Buck's Paul Morphy: His Later Life (1902, Newport, Kentucky)

shortly after reaching New Orleans Morphy issued a final challenge offering to give odds of Pawn and move to any player in the world, and receiving no response thereto, he declared his career as a chess-player finally and definitely closed, a declaration to which he held with unbroken resolution during the whole remainder of his life.>

No doubt that's what I was remembering. But as SBC notes, Buck isn't very reliable.

Thinking about this some more, it would have been difficult to make such a challenge to "the world at large," because there were very few people (namely, the leading European masters) to whom Morphy would give <only> pawn and move! SBC reports that Morphy decided in 1859 that he would play only at knight odds (or greater) against American opponents, for example.

So, while Morphy may have decided that he would not play a formal match at less than pawn-and-move, I don't see evidence that he made an actual challenge to that effect.

Following up my earlier statement about Kolisch, it appears that Kolisch tried to challenge him while he was in Paris in 1863, but Morphy replied as follows:

<I could have believed at the time when hearing of your successes that you are superior to other players I had encountered in Europe, but since, as you are well aware, the result of your matches with Messrs. Anderssen and Paulsen had not been favorable to you, there is now no reason why I should make an exception in your case, having decided not again to engage in such matches, an infringement of my rules which I should be obliged to extend to others...>

Nothing about pawn-and-move; instead Morphy says he does not play matches any more.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Falkirk Herald, July 13th 1910, p.7:

<Mr Keeble also writes in "Norwich Mercury":— "Morphy’s name is nowadays often before the public, and the best masters, apparently, now agree that his play was quite sound, and that he would be still able to hold his own at the present time. Thirty or more years ago we remember the opposite was the case in this country. It was then thought that Morphy would have stood no chance against Steinitz and others. This criticism was met in a most amusing way by American writers in 'The Dubuque Chess Journal’ of 1875. Here is the quotation alluded to:-

The chess wiseacres of Europe, that can so readily show how Morphy could have been defeated, point out his errors, and prove by analysis that he would stand no chance with the champions of the day, owing to tho advance that chess science has made, put us in mind of the man who, when pistols were first introduced, bought one to destroy his enemy. ‘Hold,’ said one, ‘Where goest thou so eagerly?’ ‘To slay mine enemy, see my pistol, the new invention, with this I’ll blow his brains to everlasting scatteration.’ ‘But if,' said his friend, ‘but if he should have a pistol, too?' ‘ Oh, oh,’ said our hero, ‘I never thought of that! I’d best go home, for he miqht shoot also,’ and he cooled down and hid his weapon.”>

Premium Chessgames Member
  ckr: Edge, Buck are not the only sources of the alleged Morphy challenge but also Lawson.

Paulsen had heard about Morphy's odds challenge from Harrisse writing back 10/2/59.

"As soon as I received your letter I commenced analyzing the pawn and move game. I have not yet finished my work. Should the result prove that in the pawn and move game the advantage is really on the side of the player who receives the odds, as it is suppose to be, I will play a match with Morphy at those odds; and should I beat him he will be obliged to play a match on even terms"

Lawson quotes more letters between Harrisse, Paulsen and Morphy where Paulsen is harassing Morphy to play an even match to no avail.

Oct-31-18  SBC: <ckr>
Premium Chessgames Member
  ckr: Thank you SBC.
Lawson had transcribed the October 2nd letter in his book but the letter Paulsen mentioned from Harrise that propelled Paulsen into a study of "pawn & move" games was not in Lawson's book. It appears the entire set of communications are just Paulsen's side where the letter from Harrisse may have shed some light on the alleged Morphy challenge.

Lawson also opines that Paulsen skewed his analysis of "pawn & move" games in order to bolster his argument that Morphy should accept an even match with him. While it seems that there is something there, that something was stated, there is also the glaring absence of reporting in the periodicals of the day such a proclamation would have generated.

Paulsen was certainly a pest as a year later he is still hounding Morphy but was Morphy so arrogant that he would have made such a challenge against the world?

Jump to page #   (enter # from 1 to 274)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 274 OF 274 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC