A Medley for Morphy
In 1858 Morphy traveled to England where he beat Rev. John Owen and Johann Löwenthal in match play. Before crossing the English channel to Paris where he defeated Daniel Harrwitz, Adolf Anderssen and Augustus Mongredien in match play, Morphy engaged in many casual games with a variety of players of various strength. One of these players was a man named George Webb Medley. While Morphy beat Medley overall in their various casual and consultation games, to my knowledge not a lot has been preserved concerning their encounters. The Chess.com Chessopedia entry on Medly (which article is essentially the same as Chessgames.com's mini-bio on Medley - both presumably authored by the wonderful Bill Wall) claims that "In 1858, he lost a match to Paul Morphy in London (+2-3=0)." While I can aver with reasonable certainty that Morphy and Medley never played a match, it's possible they may have played a series of casual games such as Morphy did with Boden ( and it would have most likely taken place in July, 1858) though I've never seen anything to indicate even that. My impression has been that they simply met in several casual games. Whatever the case may be, in the preserved games between the two, the Englishman Medley had a good showing against the trans-Atlantic master and in the game below (which I've only been able to find in Malcolm Shibut's Paul Morphy and the Evolution of Chess - game #219) Medley beats Morphy in Morphy's own specialty, the Evans Gambit, the main line no less. Playing on even terms, I only know of 3 Evans Gambits that Morphy lost and this is the only one with the black pieces (He lost to Anderssen in 1858 and to de Rivière in 1859 playing the White pieces. This does not include a consultation game he lost with the Black pieces against the team of Paul Journoud and Jules Arnous de Rivière in 1858).
The Chess.com Chessopedia also claims that "In 1860, [Medley] lost a match to Ignatz Von Kolisch (+0-2-2). Against Medley, Ignatz Von Kolisch sometimes took two hours for three moves. After this match, there was a push to have a time limit in chess, which led to the introduction of sand glasses and clocks in chess."
George Webb Medley, born in 1826, was 11 years older than Morphy. His father was an English stockbroker, but his mother was Jamaican. As an infant he found himself living in Jamaica where his family owned a plantation with 200 hundred slaves. The slave revolution on the island in 1841 sent the family packing back to England.
George Webb Medley
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