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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 Journoud vs Paul Morphy
Paris it (1858)
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. Nc3 d6 5. h3 Be6 6. Bb3 Nf6 7. d3 Qd7 8. O-O O-O 9. Kh1 h6 10. Nh2 d5 11. f4 de4 12. fe5 Ne5 13. Na4 Bb6 14. Nb6 ab6 15. d4 Nc6 16. Rf6 gf6 17. Bh6 Rfd8 18. Qe1 Ne7 19. Qh4 Ng6 20. Qf6 Qd4 21. Qf1 Bb3 22. cb3 Ra5 23. Ng4 f5 24. Be3 Qd3 25. Nh6 Kh7 26. Qc1 Rd7 27. Bg5 Qg3 28. Qe3 Qe3 29. Be3 f4 30. Ng4 fe3 31. Nf6 Kg7 32. Nd7 Rd5 33. Re1 Rd7 34. Re3 Rd4 35. Kh2 Nh4 36. g4 Kf6 37. a4 Kg5 38. Kg3 Rd2
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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