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This is the story of the birth of modern chess – when the possibilities of chess as an art, a science and a sport all converged.
The point of convergence was a young boy from Louisiana named Paul Morphy. At a time when America was seen as a backwoods nation with little cultural history and even less intellectual impetus, at a time when chess was considered the exclusive property of a few European countries, at a time when the game was played successfully by a handful of men wizened by years, Paul Morphy, in the brief span of 19 months and with seemingly little effort, defeated conclusively every player he met.
While today few non chess players even know his name, he was one of the most famous celebrities of his time and within the hallowed halls of the chess playing community he is considered by some as the greatest chess player of all time.
But this diminutive, unassuming boy rose to fame almost out of nowhere and once he secured his place in history, he retired back into that hazy unknown, shunning the public eye, never again to play serious chess. Not only was he one of great practitioners of the game, but also one of it’s greatest enigmas. He’s been given the sobriquet, The Pride and Sorrow of Chess.
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Paul Morphy vs George William Lyttelton
“Chicken Lyttelton” (game of the day Apr-12-2007)
Blindfold simul, 8b (1858) (blindfold), Birmingham ENG, Aug-27
King’s Gambit: Accepted. Kieseritsky Gambit Kolisch Defense (C39)
1. e4 Notes by J. Lowenthal 1… e5 2. f4 ef4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 d6 A favorite defence with Kieseritsky; but one that, according to Janisch, renders the maintenance of the pawn an impossibility. 6. Ng4 Be7 7. d4 Bh4 This is a deviation from the ordinary line of defence, which is as follows: 8…Qg5 9 Qf3 Bg3 10 Nc3 Nf6 11 Bd2 Nf6 (or A) 12 Bb5 Bd7 13 Bxc6 bxc6 14 O-O-O and the game is even on (A) 11…Bd7 12 d5 Ng4 13 Qxg3 fxg3 14 Bxg5 gxf2+ 15 Kd2 f6 16 Be3 O-O 17 Be2 Nxe3 18 Kxe3 f5. 8. Nf2 Bf2 9. Kf2 Nf6 10. Nc3 Qe7 11. Bf4 Ne4 12. Ne4 Qe4 13. Bb5 Kf8 14. Bh6 Kg8 15. Rh5 Bf5 16. Qd2 Bg6 17. Re1
Materials used in research:
Paul Morphy: Pride and Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson
The Genius Of Paul Morphy by Chris Ward
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