Paul Morphy's Opera Game - Every Move Explained For Chess Beginners
Greatest game of all time? Definitely the greatest game for chess beginners of all time!

Paul Morphy's Opera Game - Every Move Explained For Chess Beginners

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
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11

I first saw Paul Morphy's Opera Game as a young aspiring chess player avidly devouring chess books from the library and learning that this game was deeper than I imagined - MUCH deeper. I'm not entirely sure which book first presented the game (maybe this?), but I remember being dazzled at how Morphy's moves fit together so perfectly, culminating in a spectacular mate with White's only remaining pieces.

In a new video format, I decided to go through the game move by move, explaining every decision in the game with a focus on beginning and intermediate chess players. To those asking, "Yes, I am totally ripping off, 'Logical Chess Move by Move' by Irving Chernev." Chernev's book was a favorite of mine as it helped me understood how the moves, strategies, and tactics in a chess game came together and how both players responded to the other's ideas.

For those not familiar with Paul Morphy and this game, Morphy was possibly the greatest chess prodigy of all time. Learning from his father in New Orleans, he was soon the strongest player in the city. In 1857, he won the 1st American Chess Congress, and in the following year he embarked on a world tour in which he soundly defeated the strongest competitors that the world had to offer, notably Adolf Anderssen.

During that tour, Morphy was invited to the Paris Opera by the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard. At the opera ("Norma"), they played a casual game that was destined to become one of the most famous chess games of all time.

I've annotated the game in detail (every move explained...) for beginning and intermediate players below. For those finding the game for the first time, I hope it inspires you as it did me.

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