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Paul Morphy

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Number of games in database: 459
Years covered: 1848 to 1869

Overall record: +166 -24 =16 (84.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 253 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 (24) 
    C39 C37 C38 C35 C36
 Sicilian (14) 
    B44 B40 B21 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) 
    C77 C65 C78 C67 C84
 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
   Morphy vs Schrufer, 1859 1-0
   J Schulten vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   N Marache vs Morphy, 1857 0-1
   Morphy vs A Morphy, 1850 1-0
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0
   Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858 1-0

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

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 Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World Says Fredthebear by demirchess
   Morphy Favorites by chocobonbon
   10 from PaulM inspired Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by Atsa
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by Retarf
   Paul Morphy Conquered the World by rbaglini
   Morphy Lessons by superstoned
   If chess was a religion, Morphy would be God. by Chopin
   paul morphy best games by brager
   paul morphy best games by fphaase
   Pure Morphy by saveyougod

   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   La Bourdonnais vs McDonnell, 1834
   McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 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.

Wikipedia article: Paul Morphy

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

 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 459  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Morphy vs NN 1-0191848New OrleansC20 King's Pawn Game
2. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181848New OrleansC33 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0311848New OrleansC23 Bishop's Opening
4. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0151849New Orleans mC51 Evans Gambit
5. Morphy vs NN 1-0201849New Orleans cgC39 King's Gambit Accepted
6. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1231849New OrleansC38 King's Gambit Accepted
7. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0111849New Orleans cgC35 King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham
8. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0171849New OrleansC39 King's Gambit Accepted
9. Morphy vs J McConnell 1-0231849New OrleansC40 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 Le Carpentier 1-0131849New Orleans000 Chess variants
13. Morphy vs E Morphy 1-0201849New OrleansC53 Giuoco Piano
14. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0211849New OrleansC51 Evans Gambit
15. Morphy vs E Rousseau 1-0231849New OrleansC50 Giuoco Piano
16. Morphy vs NN 1-0141850Casual game000 Chess variants
17. J McConnell vs Morphy 0-1141850New OrleansC02 French, Advance
18. NN vs Morphy 0-1241850New OrleansC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
19. Morphy vs NN 1-0181850?000 Chess variants
20. Morphy vs A Morphy 1-0181850New Orleans ?000 Chess variants
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 0-1151854New Orleans000 Chess variants
25. Maurian vs Morphy 1-0291854New Orleans000 Chess variants
 page 1 of 19; games 1-25 of 459  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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: For any Morphy geeks, I heard this morning about an incident where Paul was in Europe and was looking at a famous painting. The painting depicted the "Devil" (Satan) playing chess against an average person (male)...and apparently this person was about to be mated and had no moves to thwart Satan. Morphy then stated there is one move he can make to be saved. Anyone familiar with this story? Thanks in advance!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <paulmorphy1969> Care to chime in? thanks in advance
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Joshka>
Here's a whole detailed discussion of the incident.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Joshka>
I skimmed the article. According to it, the incident took place in Virginia, not Europe; Morphy had to play out a number of moves and not just one; there's pretty good eyewitness corroboration that it really happened; and the following is given as a reconstruction of the board position:

click for larger view

The Opponent appears to have a huge advantage, but surely the great Morphy could give such odds to random amateurs in the 1860s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Took a while, but I finally realized Black lost on time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <beatgiant> That was very kind of you to relate such a long article, thanks so much!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: In the process of correcting the <Morphy - Conway 1859> game, I inadvertently deleted it.....ooops....if there's some method of recovery, I don't know it...remind me of the score assured, having seen the quality of the kibitzing, nothing of value's been lost...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jean Defuse: ...

[Event "Odds Match"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "1859.07.??"]
[White "Morphy, Paul Charles"]
[Black "Conway, Moncure Daniel Rev."]
[Result "1-0"]
[EventDate "1859.07.??"]
[Source "Maroczy p. 349"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "

click for larger view


1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 g5 4. Bc4 g4 5. d4 gxf3 6. Qxf3 Bh6 7. O-O Ne7 8. Bxf4 Bxf4 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Qxf4+ Kg7 11. Qf6+ Kg8 12. Qf7# 1-0


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: It's not allowing the upload through....hmm, maybe the system still recognises the deleted score and won't permit its replication...oh boy...


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <MissScarlett> You should communicate this to a site admin like <Sargon>.

Usually this kind of website has backup and restore systems in place. If they don't, they need to add it urgently. There are a lot of worse things that can happen than a biographer accidentally deleting one Morphy odds game.

Apr-04-21  Z legend of CG: I think Google cached the <Morphy--Coway (1859)> game, which is a little more convenient than Wayback:


I got it, just not sure if the above link works for others.

FWIW- in these situations the GID is an essential reference point, please use it.

Oh, and I disagree with <Missy>'s assessment of the commentary; some of it is worth keeping, both from a biographical pov...

<<Dec-04-18 kwamzagsloeg:> Not that it matters much, but according to a source in 1859 Morphy gave the odds of the Queen's Rook not the Knight, as also confirmed by Conway himself in his autobiography: […] I called on him at the Brevoort House, New York. He was a rather small man, with a beardless face that would have been boyish had it not been for the melancholy eyes. He was gentlemanly and spoke in low tones. It had been long out of the question to play with him on even terms: the first-class players generally received the advantage of a knight, but being a second-class player I was given a rook.>

(Suggesting the correction <Missy> was trying to implement?)

... and from an entertainment viewpoint:

<<Apr-03-12 Phony Benoni:> Evidently, Black was struck down in his prime by a violent case of Ghulam Kassim. Beastly fate.>

Apr-18-21  Albertan: American chess meteors

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: From Boden's column in the <Field> of July 23rd 1859, p.80:

<BUST OF PAUL MORPHY. - A small bust of the American Chess-champion (in "Parian," or a similar material) has just been published by Mr Lay, the bookseller, King William-street, Charing-cross. The bust is twelve inches height, and its price is 12s. 6d. It is modelled after the striking sculpture of Lequesne, and is certainly an admirable likeness, as well as a pleasing work of art.>

<Parian ware is a type of biscuit porcelain imitating marble. It was developed around 1845 by the Staffordshire pottery manufacturer Mintons, and named after Paros, the Greek island renowned for its fine-textured, white Parian marble, used since antiquity for sculpture. It was also contemporaneously referred to as Statuary Porcelain by Copeland. Parian was essentially designed to imitate carved marble,[1] with the great advantage that it could be prepared in a liquid form and cast in a mould, enabling mass production.>

<Of all the busts of chess masters, the best-known is doubtless Lequesne’s depiction of Morphy. The photograph above is reproduced here with the permission of David DeLucia (Darien, CT, USA) from page 202 of his book A Few Old Friends (Darien, 2003), which states:

‘Plaster bust of Paul Morphy by Eugène Lequesne, who was one of Morphy’s opponents at the Régence blindfold exhibition in Paris and asked Morphy to sit for this bust, which he did on 15 September 1858. The original, executed in marble, was exhibited at the Exposition des Arts in 1859. The small plaster replicas, approximately 12 inches tall, were probably executed in London by W. Lay in 1858. Charles Maurian, Morphy’s friend, noted in the New Orleans Delta on 6 February 1859 that the replicas arrived in New Orleans in January 1859.’>

The <Sunday Delta> column speaks only in the singular: <A copy of Lequesne's bust of Paul Morphy has been received in this city. It is small but admirably well executed. The likeness is perfect.>

From the timing alone, it seems unlikely this replica had anything to do with Lay's of London.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Demi Lovato is non-binary and is changing their pronouns from she/her to they/them, the singer has told fans.

Non-binary people don't identify as male or female, and tend not to conform to gender norms of either.

"Today is a day I'm so happy to share more of my life with you all," Lovato wrote on Twitter.

"I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary & will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward.">

How Morphy's bio would look in gender-fluid style:

<Paul(a) Charles Morphy was born in New Orleans. They were the non-binary child of a successful lawyer and judge Alonzo Morphy. Their uncle, Ernest Morphy, claims that no one formally taught Morphy how to play chess, but rather that they 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 their father, agreed to play a casual match with the prodigy.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: What were the Morphy family's slave-owning connections?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The silence is DEAFENING. Are we to believe that this subject has been neglected for the last 150 years? I mentioned before that Lawson's treatment of Paul's involvement in the Civil War was distinctly underwhelming. His coverage of the sources of the Morphy family wealth - which allowed Paul to spend the last 20 years of his life mooching about - is practically non-existent.
Jun-09-21  savagerules: Paul and his mother got the hell out of New Orleans before it got real bad and spent the rest of the Civil War (or as Jefferson Davis would have said, The War Between the States) in Paris, France.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I'm directing the Americans on this site to get off their fat, lazy arses (nothing personal) and do some collective work on this.
Premium Chessgames Member

<MissScarlett> I am a hard working Canadian, but I do in fact have a fat arse.

Does this mean I'm only expected to do 1/3 of the collective work?

Jun-10-21  sudoplatov: "I am a hard working Canadian, but I do in fact have a fat arse.

Does this mean I'm only expected to do 1/3 of the collective work?"

Actually, 3/5.

Premium Chessgames Member

<sudoplatov> Thank you!

When I was young, I didn't have time to go to the liberry, so I don't really know much about newfangled things such as factions, log rhythms, targets, co-pilots, score roots and such.

Jun-12-21  login:

Paul Morphy (kibitz #3698)

Highly respected Bill 'Not to be canceled' Wall has hosted his imposing M-file for decades in his (repeatedly) 'moving' vault

Over the years the steadily growing list of references alone make it a national treasure.

Pay him a visit/leave a nice comment.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Happy birthday, good sir!
Jul-05-21  VerySeriousExpert: I recommend the analytical investigation by Yury V. Bukayev on the Morphy's Luck Opening etc. on Mr. Kennedy's blog (USA): (this name of the opening is placed after author's analysis). This his investigation discovers the new part of the wonderful world of very strong Wing gambits after 1.e4 e5, and the great Paul Charles Morphy is shown there, in fact, as one of its fathers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Wood County Reporter (Grand Rapids, WI), November 17th 1864, p.2:

<Paul Morphy (says the New York <Mercury>,) is now in New Orleans, he having returned to his home to save his property. He was obliged to take the oath of allegiance to do it - a rather hard pill to swallow. He is an aristocrat of the first water, and, like all such, fully sympathizes with the rebels. He does not play now except in private. In Paris he was several times defeated by players whom he can give odds when in practice.>

Morphy was back in New Orleans since the end of February, so what occasioned this apparent report in the <Mercury> is hard to fathom.

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