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Paul Morphy

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

Overall record: +182 -25 =17 (85.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 239 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 C36
 Sicilian (14) 
    B44 B40 B21 B20
 Philidor's Defense (13) 
 King's Gambit Declined (13) 
    C30 C31
 French Defense (9) 
    C01 C00
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (21) 
    C33 C39 C38
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C77 C65 C64 C78 C84
 Evans Gambit (15) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (10) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Dutch Defense (4) 
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
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0
   N Marache vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   1st American Chess Congress (1857)
   Morphy - Loewenthal (1858)
   Morphy - Mongredien (1859)
   Anderssen - Morphy (1858)
   Morphy - Harrwitz (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 rbaglini
   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
   PAUL MORPHY by vaskolon
   Obds (Part 1) by Penguincw
   Odds games #2 by WhiteRook48
   A First Book of Morphy by Incremental
   A First Book of Morphy by StoppedClock

   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:

Lucas Anderson's YouTube video 'The Life and Chess of Paul Morphy':

Unpublished manuscript of the "The First and Last Days of Paul Morphy", written by his friend and neighbor Constant Beauvais:

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

Last updated: 2019-02-18 16:57:41

 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. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1231849New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
5. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0201849New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
6. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0171849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0231849New OrleansC40 King's Knight Opening
8. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0151849New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
9. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0211849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
10. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0111849New Orleans cgC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
11. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0461849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
12. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0291849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
13. Morphy vs NN 1-0201849New Orleans cgC39 King's Gambit Accepted
14. Morphy vs Le Carpentier 1-0131849New Orleans000 Chess variants
15. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0231849New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
16. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1141850New OrleansC02 French, Advance
17. Morphy vs NN 1-0181850?000 Chess variants
18. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1251850New OrleansC52 Evans Gambit
19. Morphy vs NN 1-0141850casualC44 King's Pawn Game
20. NN vs Morphy 0-1241850New OrleansC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
21. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181850New Orleans ?000 Chess variants
22. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0491850Casual GameB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
23. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0551850Casual GameC42 Petrov Defense
24. Morphy vs Hart 1-0231854UnknownC44 King's Pawn Game
25. E Morphy vs Morphy ½-½291854New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
 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  

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Jan-25-19  Caissanist: The unpublished manuscript of the "The First and Last Days of Paul Morphy", written by his friend and neighbor Léona Queyrouze (aka Constant Beauvais), periodically appears and disappears on the web, it has been preserved in the wayback machine here:
Jan-25-19  Caissanist: An excellent obituary of Morphy, written by his friend Charles Maurian, can be found here, courtesy of User: SBC .
Jan-25-19  zanzibar: <Caissanist> is there a missing there here, or is what's there all that's here?
Jan-25-19  Caissanist: Oops, sorry about that, here it is: .
Jan-25-19  zanzibar: Thanks <Caissanist>, I'll give it a read later...
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Chess Phenomenon Paul Morphy by Otto Dietze A Legend of American Chess History

Paul Charles Morphy – compared with famous contemporaries like Adolf Anderssen or Howard Staunton – belongs to the ʻenigmaticʼ personalities of chess history. Such a fate remains mostly reserved to those great players whose biography states, sooner or later: showed psychological abnormalities, isolated himself, became moody, a weirdo, a loner ...

In short – he was one of those who nourish and thus keep alive the folklore maintaining thereʼs a fine line between genius and insanity.

However, itʼs not the aim of this book to illuminate the more or less obscure areas of Morphyʼs life, as itʼs not a psychological study, but a chess book. Thus, instead of a research of the soul, a search is to be conducted, a search for a reliable answer to the question as to what sort of chess player Morphy was.

The author is a chess historian whose main interest has always been this American ʻsuperstarʼ of the 19th century – rightly regarded as one of the ʻuncrowned world championsʼ. He has selected and annotated 100 of Morphyʼs most instructive games and traced his lifeʼs journey in detail – from the discovery of the child prodigy to his early death.

The result is a very vivid insight into a highly interesting part of chess history, which has certainly not deserved to fall into oblivion.>

Sounds promising, yes? Then I noticed: 152 pages

100 annotated games and an in-depth biography in 152 pages? And this is his life's work?

Mar-11-19  KnightVBishop: James Mccune Smith "“And as we gazed at Morphy, with his fine, open countenance, brunette hue, marvelous delicacy of fibre, bright, clear eyes, and elongated submaxillary bone, a keen suspicion entered our ethnological department that we were not the only Carthaginian in the room. It might only be one drop, perhaps two, God only knows how they got there but surely, beside the Tria mulattin who at present writes, there was also a Hekata-mulattin in that room!”

is it possible that Morphy was an African-American....i know many might not find this fact important, but it is for African American history if accurate

Mar-11-19  Jambow: I have wondered the same. Many "white" Americans from the south do indeed have some African ancestry. It is usually a small % but in my case using GED match I can clearly see very small segments of SubSahara African DNA. Ancestyry DNA doesn't list it at all. So my feeling is that Mr Morphy might have a bit of ancestry fron the dark continent especially from where he hails from.

No matter where his ancestors came from the DNA seemed to be arranged correctly to give us perhaps the greatest chess genius known to man.

Mar-18-19  KnightVBishop: SO I AM RIGHT>?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Miss Scarlet.

"100 annotated games and an in-depth biography in 152 pages? And this is his life's work?"

He writes very very small....other sites are saying 149's shrinking!


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Miss Scarlet [sic] <...> .it's shrinking!>

Yes, like my name, What is it with people around here? Do I write <Paul Morph>?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***


My spell checker kicked in.

Just looked at Wiki for Cluedo to see how they spelt it. (two 'ts except in North America.)

Miss Scarlett:

A stock femme fatale, she is typically portrayed as young, cunning and attractive. Known as Miss Scarlet in North America after 1963, she rolls first in the game. Age 25.

(well at least they got your name right.)

I see the Reverend Green has also been Americanised. He is plain Mr.Green (that will be the Bible Belt kicking in. Cannot have a man of the cloth getting mixed up in murder.)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Gejewe: <KnightVBishop>,<Jambow> An interesting theory, as I have read in different sources that Morphy was part of the creole people. Which means that his ancestry is possibly diverse. However in this case I have doubts as Louisiana creoles in general were native born descendant from the inhabitants during the colonial period. Most of the creoles in New Orleans were of French ancestry, and there also was a large Spanish group. Paul Morphy parents were Alonzo Morphy (b.1798) and Louise Le Carpentier (b.1808) which indicates both Spanish and French influence, but this should be researched.
Mixture of white and coloured people may have occurred after the Haïtian revolution (1791-1804) - and both white and black Haïtians fleeing to New Orleans. However in Paul Morphy's case it seems that this can more or less be excluded. Just look at the document that the wellknown chesshistorian "Batgirl" came up with :

This marriage certificate of Paul Morphy's parents shows that (at least) Alonzo Morphy was a slave-holder at the time of marriage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: C.N.#2543:

<Page 185 of La Stratégie, June 1879 reported that a number of other Parisian publications had mistakenly announced the death of Morphy. On page 345 of its 15 November 1882 issue La Stratégie noted another report involving Morphy, and the consequence was a stinging attack on the press by Alphonse Delannoy on page 8 of La Stratégie, 15 January 1883. (See also page 370 of the December 1882 Deutsche Schachzeitung.)>

The first appearance of this 1882 death notice in the British press that I can find is MacDonnell's column in the <ISDN> of November 25th, p.251. The following week's <ILN>, December 2nd, p.578, had: <The <Echo> of last Saturday [i.e., the same day as the <ISDN> notice] announced, on what we are assured is good authority, the death of Paul Morphy, the greatest chessplayer of our time.>

Similar notices appeared in a variety of papers over the following days, but none of them contained what might be termed original reporting. Presumably they were waiting on the American press.

First in, first out, the <ISDN> of January 6th 1883, p.426, rowed back with:

<About a month ago I reported the death of Paul Morphy, but I am now very happy to learn that the report is not corroborated - although it is not directly denied - by the American papers. I was led into the mistake - if mistake it be, as I trust it is - in the following manner. Having seen in a London evening journal an announcement of Morphy's death, amongst the telegraphic items, I communicated the intelligence to a well-known journalist. That gentleman immediately called at the office of the paper in which the obituary notice first appeared, and there learnt from the editor that the report was, in his opinion, perfectly authentic, having been forwarded to him direct from America by a regular correspondent. One of the Canadian papers charges this side of the Atlantic with having originated the report. This may be the case. Some Caissan Ananias may have fabricated it as a joke. But it was a miserable, cruel joke - in every sense of the word a bad joke.>

I'm yet to find other retractions.

Mar-30-19  Jambow: <Gejewe> Thanks I have looked at the batgirl link in the past and it might be he has no African ancestry... However most Americans from the south have a smidgeon of African ancestry and I wouldn't doubt his maternal line might.

My paternal ancestry hails from East Texas and Louisiana and there are traces of SubSaharan African DNA markers in almost all of my relatives on that side to the tune of 1-2%. Ancestry doesn't even list me as having any but on GEDmatch it is clearly there albeit in very small fragments dispersed through out my DNA indicating it came into our ancestry many generations ago. Like I said I suspect Morphy would have some African and even more likely some Jewish ancestry via his Spanish roots but DNA testing aside it is nothing more than a hunch.

What ever genetic mix gave us this chess genius, it was a nice compelation of code. We could get Lamarckian and delve into epigenetics but I'm sure this isn't the place for it.

Thanks for your input BTW.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Same birth date as Vidmar, June 22.

It is also the date, in 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

Jun-23-19  john barleycorn: and in the Philippines June 22 is "no panty day".
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: <john barleycorn: and in the Philippines June 22 is "no panty day".>

I thought you'd perished in an RAF blitz <BARLEYBORE>

Oh well. I can see you're alive and kickin. 😟😟😢

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <It is also the date, in 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

it's bound to be mentioned somewhere else in the 275 pages that make up this thread, but as we playing date game. Staunton died on 22nd June 1874.

Operation Barbarossa did effect chess.

From Bill Wall's page.

"On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany launched a massive surprise attack against the Soviet Union.

This broke up the 13th Soviet Championship preliminaries, which was being held at Rostov-on-Don.

The Russian chess magazines 64 and Shakhmaty v SSSR were shut down. Chess columns in many newspapers and magazines disappeared.

The Chairman of the USSR Chess Federation and most of the staff joined volunteer battalions and went off to the front.


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Paul Charles Morphy was the Chess WORLD CHAMPION in the 1850's

And obviously one of THE GREATEST chess players ever.

So why we talkin boooot WWII here ???

lol lol lol

Only on 😅

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <john barleycorn: and in the Philippines June 22 is "no panty day".>

Damn, I missed it. Maybe next year....

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: < MissScarlett: <It is also the date, in 1941, when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.>>

So I pointed out some history for you.

You're welcome.

Aug-07-19  SugarDoomed: <thegoodanarchist: <<<<<<john barleycorn: and in the Philippines June 22 is "no panty day".>>>> Damn, I missed it. Maybe next year....>

Yeah, and he isn't wearing his every June 22.

Oct-11-19  gpbear: Just paying my respects to the greatest of all time!
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