Name of the book I couldn’t remember – Paul Morphy: Pride and Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson
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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 Henry Edward Bird
Casual Game (1858), London ENG, Aug-??
King’s Gambit: Declined. Classical Variation General (C30)
1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. c3 Bg4 5. Bc4 Nc6 6. b4 Bb6 7. a4 a6 8. h3 Bf3 9. Qf3 Nf6 10. d3 Qe7 11. f5 Rd8 12. Bg5 Nb8 13. Nd2 c6 14. Nf1 d5 15. Bb3 Qd6 16. Ng3 O-O 17. Nh5 de4 18. de4 Nh5 19. Rd1 Qc7 20. Bd8 Rd8 21. Rd8 Qd8 22. Qh5 Be3 23. Qd1 Qh4 24. Ke2 Bb6 25. Kd3 Nd7 26. Qg4 Qf2 27. f6
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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