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Paul Morphy vs William Potier
Blindfold simul, 8b (1858) (blindfold), Paris FRA, Sep-27
Bishop's Opening: Boden-Kieseritsky Gambit (C27)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Johann Jacob Loewenthal.      [28 more games annotated by Loewenthal]

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sac: 23.Nxd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-14-06  Autoreparaturwerkbau: Lowenthal said it right, that games like this made Morphy so famous. That's certainly a 20th-Century-type-of-play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Of 23...Nxd5! , the Modern Chess Instructor states:

"Highly ingenious and, considering that White was playing this blindfolded along with seven other games, the combination initiated by this move belongs to the finest pieces of Chess Strategy." -- -- Steinitz

Jul-30-09  tentsewang: If White bishop was taken in 24. Nxd5 then would had checkmated with 25. Rxg7# Morphy, you are truly an inspiration.
Jul-30-09  tentsewang: 25.R7xf6+ Be6 26.Bxe6# I have noticed many times that Morphy defeats his adversary through more resignation than checkmate.
Oct-17-09  tentsewang: Sorry for the flaw info. I provided b/c the knight would take the white squared bishop and its not a double check. Anyway Morphy had an evident advantage to whom he would soon mate.
Jul-26-18  PaulMeysman: PM is an Original player
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Does Lowenthal's book (or other contemporary source) give <Potier>? Boden in the <Field> of October 9th, p.294, has <Poitier>, and the source of the games he prints from the Paris blindfold is Morphy himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: The Syracuse Daily Standard (1858.12.10), Frere's book (p112), Lange (v2, p9), Stanley (p42), Lowenthal (Appleton ed., p 222), and Lowenthal (Bohn ed., p197) all give Potier.

Preti (p91) gives Poitier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Now stop bothering me! I'm supposed to be diligently indexing vol. 2 of the Pillsbury manuscript!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Perhaps it would have been better to ask, does any contemporary source - apart from the <Field> - not give <Potier>?

Given that Jean-Louis Preti also took part in the blindfold exhibition and was a fixture at the <La Regence>, meaning he probably knew Po(i)tier well, one is tempted to assign his version greater weight (assuming, that is, his editor/printer wasn't responsible for the change...).

Looking at the early British newspaper accounts, we find <Potier> in all of them (excepting the <Field>), but most are simply reprints. The <Globe> of September 30th, p.4, however, reveals its source - <Galignani>. From Harding's <Eminent Victorian Chess Players>, we learn that this apparently refers to <[a]n English-language newspaper published in Paris, Galignani's Messenger>.

So far, so uncertain - next question, where does the <William> come from?

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Le Monde Illustre, 1858.10.16, p256 gives Potier (article at bottom of page). I'm inclined to think Preti's "Poitier" is a typo at this point.

Page 249 gives the famous image of the event.

Finding the source for "William" will take more time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I did a quick search of the Google archives and the oldest page with "William Potier" that turned up was this very page (dated Jan 15, 2006).

I tried using to seek out other sources and it looks like it may have been introduced by way of a PGN file of Morphy's games (so any schlub could have added this first name into the Morphy canon).

At this point, after spending all of an hour in investigation, I find no reputable origin for William. My best guess is someone saw William Potter in an historical games database and mistakenly assigned to Potier the first name of "William".

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Sidney know...always plays the black fella.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: That's awesome. I miss British sitcoms... that reminds me I need to re-watch Chef! and The Young Ones (RIP Rik Mayall).
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