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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
“A Bird in the Hand” (game of the day Aug-14-2006)
Casual Game (1858), London ENG, Aug-??
King’s Gambit: Accepted. Kieseritsky Gambit Anderssen Defense (C39)
1. e4 e5 2. f4 ef4 3. Nf3 g5 4. h4 g4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Bc4 d5 7. ed5 Bd6 8. d4 Nh5 9. Nc3 Bf5 10. Ne2 Be5 11. de5 f3 12. gf3 gf3 13. Bg5 f6 14. ef6 Qd6 15. Qd4 fe2 16. Be2 Qg3 17. Kd2 O-O 18. Rag1
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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