How Paul Morphy (Age 14) Checkmated His Dad With Rook Odds - Morphy vs. Morphy, 1850
Paul Morphy conducts a beautiful king hunt despite starting without a rook!

How Paul Morphy (Age 14) Checkmated His Dad With Rook Odds - Morphy vs. Morphy, 1850

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
|
12

If I could be a fly on the wall at one point in chess history, it might be in whatever New Orleans house or salon this game was played in.

The great Paul Morphy has long been recognized as possibly the most brilliant prodigy in chess. Learning the game from watching his father (Judge Alonzo Morphy) and his uncle play, he seems to have become one of the best players in the world before he ever met another master or left New Orleans! When he eventually conducted his world tour at the tender age of 20, he decimated his peers.

In this brilliant miniature, he offers rook odds to his father (not a bad player at all) while still only 14. One can only imagine the experience of Alonzo and the other New Orleans residents blessed to watch young Morphy as he picked up the game, intuiting things instantly that most strong players have spent a lifetime of study to understand.

I've annotated this game below. It's a bit unusual to annotate a game at rook odds, and one must think in terms of practical chances rather than objective evaluation as objectively White is lost on move one

If you liked the game analysis and video, please subscribe and follow on YouTube and Twitch!