Morphy, Paul Charles

Morphy, Paul Charles

(môr`fē), 1837–84, American chess player, b. New Orleans. At 10 he learned the game and at 21 was acknowledged as the greatest player in the world. Not only was Morphy possessed of a phenomenal memory, which he demonstrated in astounding feats of simultaneous blindfold play, but his style of play was in direct contrast to that of his time. He was a master of the open game, in which center pawns are exchanged, open files are utilized, and rapid development of the pieces is demanded. D. Harrwitz, J. Löwenthal, and Adolf AnderssenAnderssen, Adolf
(Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen), 1818–79, German chess player, b. Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland). He graduated (1847) from Breslau Univ. and later was a mathematics professor there.
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 were among the many who succumbed to his crushing combinations. After 1859, when he had returned to New Orleans from world triumphs, mental instability ended his chessplay.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Morphy, Paul Charles

 

Born June 22, 1837, in New Orleans; died there July 10, 1884. The world’s leading chess player in the middle of the 19th century (at that time the official title of world champion did not exist).

The son of a wealthy plantation owner, Morphy graduated from Spring Hill College and studied law at the University of Louisiana. In 1857 he was victorious at the first American chess congress; in 1858 and 1859 he won matches against a number of the best chess players of Europe, including A. Anderssen, H. Bird, D. Harrwitz, L. Paulsen, and J. Löwenthal. In later years, because of mental illness, Morphy abandoned his chess career.

REFERENCES

Maroczy, G.Shakhmatnye partii Paulia Morfi. [Leningrad] 1929. (Translated from German.)
Zagorianskii, E. Povest’ o Morfi, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.