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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 Johann Jacob Loewenthal
“Tonight, Let it be Lowenthal” (game of the day May-21-2009)
Morphy – Loewenthal (1858), London ENG, rd 8, Jul-30
Philidor Defense: Boden Variation (C41)
1. e4 c5 2. d4 cd4 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Nd4 e5 5. Nc6 bc6 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. O-O d5 8. ed5 cd5 9. Bb5 Bd7 10. Bd7 Qd7 11. Re1 Bd6 12. Nc3 e4 13. Bg5 Ng4 14. Qd5 Bh2 15. Kh1 Qd5 16. Nd5 O-O 17. f3 ef3 18. gf3 Ne5 19. Re3 f6 20. Kh2 Rad8 21. Re5 fg5 22. Kg3 h6 23. c4 Rf7 24. Rae1 Kf8 25. c5 g6 26. c6 Rc8 27. c7 Rcc7 28. Re8 Kg7 29. Nc7
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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