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Paul Morphy

Number of games in database: 457
Years covered: 1848 to 1869
Overall record: +165 -25 =17 (83.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 250 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Evans Gambit (43) 
    C51 C52
 King's Gambit Accepted (22) 
    C39 C37 C38 C35 C36
 Sicilian (14) 
    B44 B21 B40 B20
 King's Gambit Declined (13) 
    C30 C31
 Philidor's Defense (12) 
 French Defense (9) 
    C01 C00
With the Black pieces:
 King's Gambit Accepted (21) 
    C33 C39 C38
 Ruy Lopez (15) 
    C65 C77 C67 C84 C60
 Evans Gambit (13) 
    C51 C52
 Giuoco Piano (10) 
    C53 C50 C54
 Philidor's Defense (7) 
 Uncommon Opening (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
   J Schulten vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs Schrufer, 1859 1-0
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0
   N Marache vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs A Morphy, 1850 1-0
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Morphy - Loewenthal (1858)
   Anderssen - Morphy (1858)
   Morphy - Mongredien (1859)
   1st American Chess Congress, New York (1857)
   Morphy - Harrwitz (1858)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Paul Morphy -The Great Chess Genius by Timothy Glenn Forney
   Paul Morphy -The Great Chess Genius by Beatlesrob
   Paul Morphy -The Great Chess Genius by fphaase
   Paul Morphy -The Great Chess Genius by nbabcox
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by Okavango
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by demirchess
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by rpn4
   Morphy Favorites by chocobonbon
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 64 by 0ZeR0
   10 of a Louisiana legend inspired FTB obj by fredthebear
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by Atsa
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by Okavango
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by rbaglini

   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 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. / Games not actually played by Paul Morphy Game Collection: Not Really Morphy

Wikipedia article: Paul Morphy

Last updated: 2023-01-17 22:39:43

 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 457  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0311848Casual gameC23 Bishop's Opening
2. Morphy vs NN 1-0191848New OrleansC20 King's Pawn Game
3. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181848Casual gameC33 King's Gambit Accepted
4. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0171849Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
5. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1231849New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
6. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0211849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
7. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0201849New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
8. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0151849New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
9. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0231849Casual gameC40 King's Knight Opening
10. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0291849Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
11. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0461849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
12. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0111849Casual gameC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
13. Morphy vs Le Carpentier 1-0131849Rook odds game000 Chess variants
14. Morphy vs NN 1-0201849Casual gameC39 King's Gambit Accepted
15. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0231849New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
16. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1141850New OrleansC02 French, Advance
17. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181850Rook Odds game000 Chess variants
18. Morphy vs NN 1-0181850Rook Odds game000 Chess variants
19. Morphy vs NN 1-0141850Rook Odds game000 Chess variants
20. NN vs Morphy 0-1241850Casual gameC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
21. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0551850Casual gameC42 Petrov Defense
22. Morphy vs Loewenthal 1-0491850Casual gameB21 Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4
23. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1251852Casual gameC52 Evans Gambit
24. Maurian vs Morphy 1-0321854Rook, Pawn and Two Moves Odds game000 Chess variants
25. E Morphy vs Morphy 1-0371854Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 457  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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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 283 OF 283 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-30-22  Honest Adin Reviews: C.A.Buck from: Later Life of Paul Morphy, remembered:

crap, he did not make it to 50.. problem is in full number, it may say one lived 1900-2000 but that is not certain you made it to 100, however if it says 1900-2001, one is for sure 100...

it's what venerable wanda nida discovered... let's say today is your 100th birthday, that is it, however if you make it to the next day, you are entering your 101st year...

also, let's say you are a boxer and graph shows your pro fighting years: e.g. rocky marciano (1947-1955, in reality 1946-1956, counting amateur and exhibitions fights, book explaining more on that and other topics can be bought on lubek's threelogy, 2013 award winner) so, rocky's first pro bout was on march 17 1947 and he was to fight either floyd patterson or sonny liston on january 5 1957, it's not full 10 years, but his boxing years would have shown: 1947-1957.


let's say today is your 100th birthday, that is it, however if you make it to the next day, you are entering your 101st year...

also, let's say you are a boxer and graph shows your pro fighting years: e.g. rocky marciano (1947-1955, in reality 1946-1956, counting amateur and exhibitions fights, book explaining more on that and other topics can be bought on lubek's threelogy, 2013 award winner) so, rocky's first pro bout was on march 17 1947 and he was to fight either floyd patterson or sonny liston on january 5 1957, it's not full 10 years, but his boxing years graph will show: 1947-1957.

Dec-15-22  Honest Adin Reviews: paul morphy did not wanted to be remembered just as a mere chess player, but also as good attorney who pretty much memorized entire book of louisiana law. he did not play chess for the hell of it or for money, but for sport and honor!
Dec-15-22  Honest Adin Reviews:
Jan-09-23  Honest Adin Reviews:
Jan-11-23  Honest Adin Reviews: fischer said if morphy was alive today, all he has to do is learn modern openings and he would be the man to beat... but people forget morphy only played chess for its glory and honor, not dough!
Jan-14-23  WilhelmThe2nd: In 1976, David Lawson published his book 'Paul Morphy: The Pride and Sorrow of Chess' (New York: David McKay Co.). Both before and after his book appeared, Lawson wrote other pieces about Morphy:

1950 - Article "Paul Morphy Remembered" in the May-June issue of 'American Chess Bulletin'.

1953 - Article on Morphy in 'The California Chess Reporter' (Vol. 2, No.9, May, 1953).

1953 - Article on Morphy in the program for the anniversary celebration of the Leidsch Studenten Schaakgenootschap Morphy (LSSG Morphy).

1964 - Article "The Life of Paul Morphy" in 'Chessworld' magazine (Vol. 1, No. 1, Jan.-Feb., 1964).

1973 - Introduction to the Dover reprint of F. M. Edge's 'The Exploits and Triumphs in Europe of Paul Morphy, the Chess Champion'.

1975 - Letter regarding F. M. Edge's book in 'CHESS' magazine (January, 1975).

1978-9 - Two articles titled "Unknown Morphy Games" in the August, 1978 & September, 1979 issues of 'British Chess Magazine'.

1981 - Chapter on Morphy in 'World Chess Champions', ed. E. G Winter (Oxford: Pergamon, 1981).

There is also a portion of a letter from Lawson discussing Morphy's playing record published in James J. Barrett's chess column in the 'Buffalo Courier-Express' (Sunday, January 28th, 1951, page 16-C).

I would be grateful for any information about any other writings about Morphy by David Lawson.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: You have probably seen which is detailed bio of David Lawson by Alan McGowan.

But others may not have done.

Also a wee warning regarding editions of 'Pride and Sorrow.' It appears the 2010 version is missing 60 games from the 1976 edition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: <Sally Simpson>Also a wee warning regarding editions of 'Pride and Sorrow.' It appears the 2010 version is missing 60 games from the 1976 edition.

I have the 2010 edition (editor Thomas Aiello), and was really disappointed by the lack of games. The editor provides the following explanation in Editors Introduction (p.xx), ''Also included in Lawson's original publication was part II, collection of sixty Morphy chess games. I have removed it from this volume". The reasoning: "[...] part II provides nothing that cannot be just as conveniently (and in algebraic notation) found in myriad other Morphy books or outlets."
I find this a very lame excuse. I am getting the feeling that the editor did not want to convert this section from descriptive to algebraic notation.
The chess contents of this edition are limited to two early Morphy games and one position, which all are given in descriptive notation.

Jan-15-23  Honest Adin Reviews: whatss link to dave's bio?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The 1976 edition is available at the Internet Archive:

It can be borrowed (assuming you have a free account) for a period of one hour or 14 days, subject to availability (I don't think this is a problem).

Jan-15-23  Honest Adin Reviews:
Jan-18-23  Honest Adin Reviews: yo, morphy played until early 1880's with his friend maurian: he was good player, morphy gave odds to him and almost always won, but later on maurian became better and beat morphy, so morphy had to play him on even terms, but only him: after morphy's death he felt america was not his home (i wonder why... so much bs going on here and it's hard to find support system especially in shytti wikipedoia filled with wikiarrogance and wikigornace), so he lived his years in france.

charles de maurian is part of chess history!

how good was morphy in positional play?

positional play started with steinitz or did tarrash empower it?

anybody for taimanov and classical music: COURTESY OF DA CHESS CHAMP:

good night, dracula is calling: COMBINED:

Feb-22-23  Honest Adin Reviews: staunton avoided morphy match because he knew he would be annihilated! but lets remember morphy as a lawyer too! this is not redundant info, except for wikiscum eternal like estopedist1:
Feb-22-23  Petrosianic: <Honest Adin Reviews> I'm never impressed by claims based on mind reading. The Amazing Randi debunked that stuff years ago. In fact, Staunton wasn't even a very active player any more by the late 1850's, much less the best in the world. Not after losing at London 1851, and losing a match to Von der Lasa.
Feb-26-23  Honest Adin Reviews: WHAT u mean by mind reading? morphy playd simultanous 8 blindfold games, im sure he could ten but organizers did not want his mind straind!
Feb-26-23  Honest Adin Reviews: i know miguel najdorf played many more games blindfolded so news gets around that he is alive, so if some of his family survived holocaust to find him... that reminds me of jackie gleason advertising himself big time (theater plays) so his father who abandonded the family when jackie was vey young could see his name and visit him.
Mar-12-23  Honest Adin Reviews: j.p.l. lubek's goodies on:
Apr-23-23  Honest Adin Reviews: Yo!!!



Apr-23-23  Honest Adin Reviews: <>i know morphy played games against his good friend maurian all the way into 1870s, find them! maurian became really good, so morphy stopped giving him odds!

Apr-26-23  Reviews By AdiN: YO!!! Morphy did not want to be remembered just as mere chess player... people did not take him seriously... he knew law very well... once his family (or whoever) tried to lock him up in the nut house... but once they came to pick him up, he used law in such details, they were afraid to touch him because they knew he would destroy them in court!!!

america is not a free country at all as most prisoners in the world per capita are in america...

willard fiske did a lot for chess andespecially for american chess, without him there might not have been first american chess congress in 1857 where morphy destroyed everybodody, except for paulson in the final...paulson was also good blindfold player, both players played 8 people welll at the same time blindfolded... im sure morphy could do more, but organizers in europe did not want to put too much mental strain on him... ske

i just want to mention george mackenzie who was u.s. longest champion, but also like lasker did not defand his title many times... In December 1845, Charles Henry Stanley (1819-1901) beat Eugene Rousseau (1810-1870) in a match in what was considered the first unofficial U.S. chess championship. It was played at the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans. The match was played for a stake of $1,000, winner-take-all. That would be worth over $23,000 in today’s currency. The winner would be the first to win 15 games, draws not counting. There was no time limit. The chess match was the first organized chess event in the country. Stanley won with 15 wins, 8 losses, and 8 draws. 8-year-old Paul Morphy was a spectator at the event.

In February 1850, Stanley defended his title and defeated John H. Turner in a match in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. championship. At the time, it was called the “Great Match.” The match was played for a stake of $1,000 to the first who won 11 games. Stanley won 11 games, lost 5, and drew 1. The whole match of 17 games was played in four days.

In 1857, Paul Morphy (1837-1884) won the first American Chess Congress and was considered the U.S. champion. No one challenged Morphy in his lifetime. Some consider him the U.S. champion from 1857 to his death in 1884.

In 1866, George Mackenzie (1837-1891) defeated Gustavus Reichhelm in a match, held in Philadelphia. The British Chess Magazine wrote that the match was for the U.S. title.

In December 1871, George Mackenzie won the 2nd American Chess Congress, held at the Kennard Hotel in Cleveland and was considered the U.S. champion. He won $100 (equivalent to $1,700 in today’s currency) for 1st prize. Mackenzie finished two points ahead of his next rival.

In 1874, Mackenzie won the 3rd American Chess Congress in Chicago and retained his U.S. champion title. He won 8 games, drew 1, and lost 1. Time control was 15 moves an hour.

In 1876, the 4th American Chess Congress was held in Philadelphia. James Mason won the event, but he was not a U.S. citizen. The tournament was designed to attract foreign players and was never intended to be for any U.S. championship title. Mackenzie did not play in this event.

In 1880, Mackenzie won the 5th American Chess Congress in New York after winning a two-game playoff against James Grundy, who also tied for 1st place.

In 1881, Mackenzie defeated Max Judd in Saint Louis in a match for the U.S. championship. He won 7, lost 5, and drew 1.

In 1886, Mackenzie beat Samuel (Solomon) Lipschuetz in a match for the U.S. championship, played in New York.

In 1887, Max Judd defeated Albert Hodges in a match and claimed the U.S. chess champion title.

In 1889, Samuel Lipschuetz (1863-1905) was the top scoring American (6th place, with 5 foreigners ahead of him) at the 6th American Chess Congress (New York International) in New York and was regarded as the de facto U.S. champion. Mackenzie did not play, was ill, and retired from chess, he forfeited his title and like joe galzaghe, rocky marciano, lennox lewis walked away as champion!

Aug-04-23  ADmightywarriorIN: is paul really most accurate player in history? how about magnus? milan vidmar?
Aug-04-23  Caissanist: I remember reading, back in the pre-Internet days, that Morphy suffered from dyslexia and would sometimes ask his sister to read to him. Now, though, I can find no online references to that. Certainly that would fit with his decision to memorize seemingly the entire Louisiana civil code, as well as his failure to become a lawyer despite that. Does anyone know one way or the other if he suffered from that condition?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Caissanist,

I cannot recall reading anything about Morphy being dyslexic. There has been so much written about him I'm sure it would have been mentioned.

However it was not recognised as a condition when Morphy was alive. There are a few letters in Morphy's hand, here is one; but this may not prove anything as dyslexia does not always affect writing skills. (Agatha Christie was apparently dyslexic.)

I do not doubt you picked it up from somewhere but I'd put this down to another Morphy myth

If I had to hazard a guess I'd go for 'The Chess Players' by Frances Parkinson Keyes with Morphy's sister reading to a very young Morphy because he could not read. From there someone who had read the book made the great mistaken leap that Morphy must have been dyslexic and added it to the Morphy myths.

And having said all this I would not be at all surprised if Morphy was dyslexic, many a genius has suffered ( if suffered is the correct word) from dyslexia. Einstein is often mentioned as being dyslexic.

Aug-06-23  ADmightywarriorIN: caissanist: wrong, he did become lawyer but did not have many takers, same with high class new orleans broads... they said: me, marry a "chess player? LADIES... BIG MISTAKE!!!
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