chess history/ Bobby Fisher
|Bobby Fischer, age 14|
The first great American-born chess player was Paul Morphy, of Irish ancestry, who lived in the civil war era. He travelled to Europe in the 185O's, beating all challengers, including Adolf Anderssen. However, the English champion of the time (Staunton) refused to play, so Morphy never became a world chess champ. The first OFFICIAL championship chess tournament was played in 1866, also in London, with sandclocks to restrict the length of a game. This tournament was won by Steinitz, a Bohemian (Czechoslovakian) Jew, who then became the world's first OFFICIAL chess champion, holding this title until 1894.