Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Paul Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard
"A Night at the Opera" (game of the day Dec-02-2007)
Paris (1858), Paris FRA
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 457 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 457 more games of Morphy
sac: 10.Nxb5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 29 OF 29 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-26-20  asiduodiego: I think this game should be used as a learning tool on "The importance of following the Chess basic principles" which Morphy discovered (or maybe he was born knowing the dang things, who knows). Black's game is very bad, but it seems typical play of a player who is constantly improvising in every move, instead of following sound positional and development principles. Morphy's play perhaps is not completly accurate by engine standards (I think 8 Qxb7 is just a fine move if you find yourself in this position), but 8 Nc3 is good as a learning tool: "Take out all your pieces to play!".

Black, of course, is playing very badly in this game, and moves such as 9 ... b5?? is inviting disaster. But, from a beginner's point of view, is hard to notice immediatly why such move is that bad, in fact, I guess for a beginner is just a natural move "let's relieve pressure from f7 by taking this bishop out of here". This game is a gem because it shows almost every sound principle of chess in action against a completely clueless opponent.

Feb-28-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi asiduodiego,

<I think this game should be used as a learning tool on "The importance of following the Chess basic principles">

I think you will find that game is in 95% of the Chess Primers that have ever been written. It is probably the most famous game in the world (not the best...the most famous.)

Edward Winter has good page on it

Go right down the bottom and I get a huffy-puffy mention (though I am honoured) for basically cracking a joke. (which I actually did re-do to make it clear it was a joke.)

"As shown at the English Chess Forum, Geoff Chandler [ME!] has written falsehoods about our treatment of the Morphy opera game, also demonstrating his reluctance/incapacity to set matters straight. We have never said which opera was being performed, because we cannot say. All available evidence has been quoted impartially, whichever way it leans."

The piece that for some reason still rankles them.

If Chess History starts taking me seriously then it's in trouble. However I did onve cover all the history of was easy.

A History of Chess Part 1 (and part II)

A History of Chess (parts 3 to 9)

Chess History (part 11)


Feb-28-20  asiduodiego: <Sally Simpson> I agree this game is not the best game of all time (not even in the "Romantic Era"), but I think it's probably the most instructive display of the many basic principles. Let us review:

1- Always develop your pieces.
2- Play with tempo.
3- Don't forget to castle.
4- Attack the pinned piece.
5- Play with ALL your pieces.
6- Remove the defenders.

Some games (such as the original "Immortal") also deal with some of these principles, but the Immortal is much more chaotic (being a King's Gambit). In this game, all the plays of White flow as natural, easy and principled. The only play of White which needs more explanation is 10 Nxb5!. Beginners wonder about this: "Why the Knight sacrifice?". The explanation of course is: "Open lines of attack against a weak uncastled king". It's really a gem for learning.

In my opinion the best (and also very instructive) game of the "Romantic Era" of Chess is the "Evergreen", in which the principles described previously also are also present. The advantage of this game is that is shorter and more to the point.

Regarding the Opera, I've read many different versions: The Marriage of Figaro, the Barber of Seville, Norma, etc. Also, I've read details such as the Duke Karl and his friend Count Isouard made such noise, that everyone began to pay attention to them instead of the Opera. Nice details, but probably fictitious.

Sometimes I laugh thinking that, perhaps in the future, some 500 years from now, the facts of the game will be completely lost or twisted, but the game list remains intact, and people will be saying that the "Opera" of this game was "Cats" or the musical version of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

Feb-28-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi asiduodiego,

Yes the game is a chess writers dream and I think I'm on safe ground when I say it has been published more than any other game.

I've always liked this game.

Morphy vs T J Bryan, 1859

18.h4 to deflect the Queen from e7.

There are 1000's of examples of a combination being played after you deflect a piece from guarding a certain square. But one could not fail to be impressed with that one. The lesson will stick.


Mar-01-20  MordimerChess: Thank you guys for all the information about this game. Really awesome and rich discussion. There is nothing more to add about the game :)

I produced the video of this game:
with some funny accents explaining what was fetish of Duke of Brunswick or how people still argue the name of the opera, when the game was played.

Author of the butcher/artist remark is also very interesting as it has often been quoted sourcelessly with reference to 8 Bxf7+, and not also 8 Qxb7.

Enjoy the material ;)

Mar-05-20  Sally Simpson: ***

My vid on this game is historically accurate - The Duke was not playing. The game was between Morphy v Count Isouard. (correction slip sent!)


Jul-03-20  Playchess1vn: Here's my short analysic of the game:
Aug-05-20  Chesgambit: 5.gxf3 Steinitz
Nc6! black sacrfice pawn developing pieces
Aug-05-20  Chesgambit: after bb5 dxe5 of course endgame is good for white but give bishop pair for this but qxf3 developing move threat bc4
Aug-05-20  Chesgambit: because if be3? ne7!
Aug-05-20  Chesgambit: sacrfice a7 pawn but after b6 bishop is trapped
Aug-05-20  Chesgambit: nd5 bxb6 three passed pawns vs minor pieces
Oct-25-20  Chessist: What is the primary source for this game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's in the <Field> of December 4th 1858, p.458, given as <Game played by Mr Morphy against H. R. H. the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard consulting.>, without further indication as to date or circumstance.

In the correspondence section, there is <P. M. (Paris). - Our best thanks for the ever welcome games.>

It's possible, of course, that it had already appeared in print in France.

Dec-04-20  Pulpofeira: Go Beth! :P
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sally Simpson> My vid on this game is historically accurate>

Loved it !!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  juan31: According Miss Jessica Fischer, the opera was " El barbero de Sevilla"
Feb-24-21  savagerules:

Around six minutes into the video, Fischer sets up the position by memory at move 16 of this game on a board for Cavett. Of course Cavett had no idea of how the pieces moved or anything else but Fischer was showing the Queen sac followed by Rd8 mate for some people who may actually understand chess history. Fischer said it was between Paul Morphy and the Duke of Brunswick and of course Cavett had no idea of who Morphy was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Fischer doesn't seem to have been aware of Count Isouard. See the video where he discusses Morphy with Dimitrije Bjelica.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Nice!
Aug-07-21  mikealando: One can only imagine the looks of amazement Duke Karl and Count Isouard gave one another shortly after Morphy's rook hit d8.
Sep-22-21  Gottschalk: The Most Famous Game by Edward Winter:

Premium Chessgames Member


May-17-22  hafnia: Awesome legendary game.
I have taken the time to programme this game into 3D animation with sound.

With analysis from Stockfish.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: See here! If it wasn't for chuffing geniuses coming and showing us up, we can play perfectly decent chess and have fun doing it. Duke Karl of Brunswick vs Prince of Villafranca, 1870

White to play and enjoy himself

click for larger view

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 29)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 29 OF 29 ·  Later Kibitzing>

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 game 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.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Morphy's most famous game (deservedly so!)
from Sneaky's Scrapbook by Sneaky
Possibly Morphy's most famous game
from Sponge's favorite games by Sponge
9...b5 would have worked out much like the real game.
from Crafty's Analysis by crafty
Exceptional miniatures
by aulero
Immortal miniature
from A history of chess by lostemperor
Giuoco Piano Man's favorite games
by Giuoco Piano Man
Best games played in chess hisory
by Cornwallis
The final position is a timeless classic
from Picturesque Positions by Benjamin Lau
Quick Games
by Xeeniner
Games Involving Queen Sacrifices
by Ron
hermite's favourite games
by hermite
Mitz Moshe's favorite games
by Mitz Moshe
pegasus' favorite games
by pegasus
The joy of rapid development!
from Classics by chessamateur
music man's favorite games
by music man
Morphy's Paris Opera House game
from kevin86's favorite games by kevin86
MAHENDRA JOSHI's favorite games
Dustin J.'s favorite games
by Dustin J.
Classic Morphy
from Yasser Seirawan's Winning Chess Tactics by Bears092
by Fischer of Men
plus 927 more collections (not shown)

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | 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 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC