The Opera Box Revisted

The Opera Box Revisted

FM MusicCityMaster
Feb 18, 2009, 11:35 PM |

One of my favorite stories to tell my students is that of Paul Morphy. Really, he is the godfather of chess. His brilliance came naturally in a time when there were few viable chess resources to draw from. He taught us all how it should be done and studying his games is a very important part of any one's chess development.

His most famous game was the "Opera Box" game, where he supposedly took on the Count and the Duke, as a team against him, while on his visit to Europe. His trip over seas, which just happened to coincide with the Civil War (we will get even for that someday by the way), was his personal claim as the first World Champion...and he succeeded.

As the old saying goes "every Russian school boy knows that game." Well, let us fast-forward a 100 years to the Russian Championship of 1960. A more modern genius, Mark Taimanov, was to compose his own "Opera Box" game. As a talented concert pianist, creating beautiful art was one of his specialities. The concepts of white's strong attack in this game are a direct descendant of Paul Morphy.

A very instructive and rich effort from Mr. Taimanov, who often gets a bad rap thanks to the thumpin' Bobby put on him. I found this game digging through a small and ratty looking chess book called Modern Chess Miniatures. Just keep your search for chess knowledge up and open and you'll never know what kind gem you may stumble upon.