Anderssen Vs. Morphy (part 4)

Jun 17, 2008, 12:16 PM |


Morphy match, 1858

For the next few years Anderssen was considered by many people to be the world's best player, but as he needed to earn a living, he had to return to his teaching profession after the competition. Then in late 1858 he was beaten 8-3 by the American champion Paul Morphy in a famous match held in Paris, France (2 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses). Although Anderssen knew as well as anyone how to attack, Morphy understood much better when to attack and how to prepare an attack. Morphy had recently scored equally convincing wins in matches against other top-class players: Johann Löwenthal, the Rev. John Owen and Daniel Harrwitz.

Note from an aquantance of mine (Batgirl), "Morphy match aganst Owen was played at pawn odds, so some people today don't consider it a "serious" match (I'm sure Morphy and Owen did)."


Paul Morphy crushed all opposition in 1858


However Morphy returned to the USA in 1859 and soon afterwards announced his retirement from serious chess. Hence Anderssen was once again the strongest active player.

Anderssen played the curious opening move 1. a3 in 3 games of his match against Morphy, and broke even with it (1 loss, 1 draw, 1 win). This opening move, now referred to as "Anderssen's Opening", has never been popular in serious competition.