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

Morphy - Harrwitz Match

Paul Morphy5.5/8(+5 -2 =1)[games]
Daniel Harrwitz2.5/8(+2 -5 =1)[games] Chess Event Description
Morphy - Harrwitz (1858)

Café de la Régence, Paris, France (7 September 1858— 1 October 1858)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Wins ——————————————————————————————— Morphy 0 0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 5 Harrwitz 1 1 0 0 0 0 ½ 0* 2 ——————————————————————————————— * Harrwitz resigned the match. Format: The first to seven wins, draws not counting, to be the victor.(1) Stakes: 290 francs.(2)

Termination of the Match according to Edge(2)
Next day Morphy received a verbal message that "Mr. Harrwitz resigns the match, on account of ill health." There was something like a row at the Café de la Régence when this was known, for the Prussian amateur had not even deigned to consult his backers, or even to inform them of his intention. Mr. Lequesne, his stake-holder, was requested by him to hand over the collected amount, two hundred and ninety francs, to our hero, and that gentleman forthwith called on Morphy at his hotel. Of course we got the fullest particulars from Mr. Lequesne. He informed us that Harrwitz's backers were furious, and that they, like himself, were confident that their principal was merely indisposed in the morale, not at all physically. Morphy replied that it never was his desire to play for stakes under any circumstances; and, taking into consideration the peculiar facts of the case, he would certainly decline receiving the money.

Some time afterwards, Mr. Lequesne returned, and stated that not merely were the different subscribers to the stakes desirous that Paul Morphy should receive what had been won by him, but that Mr. Harrwitz would, for the sake of appeasing his backers, play out the remainder of the match. Morphy immediately returned answer, that "Mr. H. having resigned the contest, there was an end of the matter, but that he (Morphy) was ready to commence a second match immediately." Harrwitz had had enough of beating, and he unhesitatingly declined this proposition.

But a difficulty arose in consequence of Morphy's refusal to receive the stakes. Letters poured in from all quarters, complaining that bets on the result of the contest were influenced by the decision, and Morphy finally took the two hundred and ninety francs from Mr. Lequesne. He then caused it to be announced publicly, that the money was deposited with the proprietor of the Café de la Régence, that any of the subscribers to the amount were at perfect liberty to withdrawn their subscriptions, and that the remainder should go towards defraying Herr Anderssen's expenses to Paris. And so the money was eventually used.

(1) London Era, 1858.09.12, p12
(2) The Exploits and Triumphs in Europe of Paul Morphy, the Chess Champion, Edge, New York 1859, pp168-169

Based on an original collection by User: TheFocus.

 page 1 of 1; 8 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Harrwitz vs Morphy 1-0551858Morphy - HarrwitzD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Morphy vs Harrwitz 0-1371858Morphy - HarrwitzC41 Philidor Defense
3. Harrwitz vs Morphy 0-1541858Morphy - HarrwitzA84 Dutch
4. Morphy vs Harrwitz 1-0351858Morphy - HarrwitzC41 Philidor Defense
5. Harrwitz vs Morphy 0-1541858Morphy - HarrwitzA84 Dutch
6. Morphy vs Harrwitz 1-0481858Morphy - HarrwitzC41 Philidor Defense
7. Harrwitz vs Morphy ½-½451858Morphy - HarrwitzA84 Dutch
8. Morphy vs Harrwitz 1-0591858Morphy - HarrwitzC41 Philidor Defense
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-18-14  RookFile: This is a terrific match, one great fighting game after another.
Apr-01-15  todicav23: The last game is recorded as 1-1. Chessgames, please fix this.
Apr-01-15  morfishine: The games are not listed in the right order. Harrwitz won the first 2 games, which would be here games 3 & 4 (4=1 & 3=2). After that, Morphy trounced him


Jun-20-15  zanzibar: <Chessical> just pointed out a handy site with old historical newspapers.

Just a quick glance at it yielded the following quip about this match:

<Harrwitz yielded the chess contest with Mr. Morphy by the advice of his physician. If Mr. Staunton means to accept Mr. Morphy's challenge, probably he will look out for a doctor beforehand.>

<Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, Volume 11, Number 129, 22 November 1858> (p3)

Nov-06-15  siegbert: The games are still not in the correct order. If Harrwitz won the first two then three and four are actually one and two.
Nov-06-15  TheFocus: If the dates are added, the games would line up correctly.
Jul-06-17  Calli: I have added dates for Games 3 and 4. The dates are in Lawson, games 23 and 24, and confirmed in a German newspaper. Does anyone know the source of the date for game 1 of the match?
Dec-20-17  Chess Is More: <Calli> Seems that no one does, unfortunately.
Dec-20-17  sudoplatov: Harrwitz: 2618 (#6)

Morphy: 2802 (#1)

Harrwitz was no slouch but not quit up to Morphy. World #2 Anderssen is only 2657.

Edo's guesstimates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < I have added dates for Games 3 and 4. The dates are in Lawson, games 23 and 24, and confirmed in a German newspaper. Does anyone know the source of the date for game 1 of the match?>

But the same Lawson gives the date of the start of match as September 5th, which was a Sunday. That surprised me a little as I thought Morphy was a good Catholic boy who would have abjured such a thing.

So the apparent dates are:

Game 1 - September 5th
Game 2 - September ?
Game 3 - September 9th
Game 4 - September 10th
Game 5 - September 13th
Game 6 - September 23rd
Game 7 - September 30th
Game 8 - October 4th

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I note that <Calli>'s collection (Game Collection: 1858-1859 Morphy in Paris) proposes the following schedule (all dates in September except game 8):

Game 1 - 7th
Game 2 - 8th
Game 3 - 9th
Game 4 - 10th
Game 5 - 12th
Game 6 - 18th
Game 7 - 29th
Game 8 - ???

Edge's account suggests this schedule:

Game 1 - 5th
Game 2 - 6th
Game 3 - 8th
Game 4 - ??
Game 5 - 13th
Game 6 - 23rd or 24th?
Game 7 - 29th
Game 8 - ???

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Era, January 9th 1859, p.5:

<We are informed that Mr. Morphy on Monday last [Jan. 3] publicly challenged Harrwitz to play him a match of five or seven games for 500 francs, offering the odds of the Pawn and Move. This chivalrous cartel was not accepted, for the reason (credat Judaeus) that on a previous occasion the Prussian had not been well treated by the American Champion. Considering the courtesy that Mr. Morphy has extended to each and all of his antagonists since he visited Europe, this perhaps is the most ludicrous excuse that could have been made for declining the challenge so boldly proposed.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Bell's Life in London, October 3rd 1858, p.8:

<Harwitz [sic] resumed his match with Paul Morphy in Paris, on Wednesday, and the game resulted in a draw. This was the seventh game, Morphy's score being four to two. They were to play again on Friday. We are requested to state that Mr Morphy's £500 are deposited ready on his side with Heywood and Co, the bankers, to make a match with Mr Staunton. He desires nothing but play. Mr Morphy first had the honour to challenge Mr Staunton in June, and we are now in October.>

Bell's Life in London, October 10th 1858, p.3:

<This match is over. Eight games in all were played, of which Morphy won five, lost two, and drew one. The victory was to be adjudged to the first clear winner of seven. On going to the Paris Club on Monday last to play the ninth game, as was appointed, Morphy was informed that Harrwitz resigned the match. This was hardly courteous on the part of the latter; and Morphy, consequently, has refused to receive the stakes. He does not play merely for money, and was justly vexed at the refusal on the part of the German professor to play out the match on the terms agreed to.>

Taken together these all but confirm that Game 7 took place on Wednesday, September 29th, and Game 8, on Friday, October 1st. Walker is not always the most reliable source, but the information here evidently comes post-haste from Morphy/Edge.

Jan-21-22  LoveThatJoker: <MissScarlett> How tremendously informative (ie, the last two posts on this thread). Thanks for this.


Apr-17-22  paulmorphy1969: Morphy and 'Harrwitz met on Sunday 5 September 1858 to make arrangements. It would be played on 4 days of the week in a café open to the public. It was agreed to play the games at the Café del la Régence. the match started on September 7th. There is a lot of confusion about the date of this first match, many believe it is September 5th, but it was a Sunday, a day that usually no matches were played. from Harrwitz in Le Monde illustré on 23 October 1858, page 272, where it clearly reads played on 7 September 1858 Link:

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC