The chess style of Paul C. Morphy (1837-1884)

Aug 17, 2009, 12:18 PM |

... is definitely my favorite (… and the reason why I have joined the groups of Morphy and Fischer at For me Morphy demonstrates an unmatched (well …) style mix of restless aggressiveness, sacrifice and combinational genius.

His playing style was revolutionary for the time period and beyond, emphasizing positional development in every early move. I'm sorry, I just cannot work up any comparable degree of excitement for playing styles involving long-term gradual improvement, extensive material exchange/end games, or 50+ move games resulting in predictable draw fights.

Morphy on the other hand, was the ultimate attack player, always answering a threat with another threat, never offering his opponent a moment of rest. In particular I enjoy his black piece games, observing how he converts his back seat into front seat position within the first 6-10 moves. His games were often short, some of the most famous ones no more than 20-25 moves.

Here is a “style example” from April 10, 1855 where he played against Alexander Beaufort Meek in Mobile:


If you want more of Morphy ... At the site: , more than 400 of Morphy's games are stored; you can select them by opening strategies, white/plack pieces, etc.

Also has archived approximately 10 of his games under articles/amazing games. Enjoy !

Folks, I am a true chess amateur, and there must be lots of you out there with extensive (and professional) knowledge of Morphy and his game style characteristics. Feel free to add any comments you wish.