John Owen - An Adversary of Morphy
Ok, I admit I put Morphy in the title to garner attention, But John Owen did play and beat Paul Morphy. Morphy is one of my favorite chess players for many reasons but while studying Morphy I find that you meet a lot of other very interesting players.
John Owen is just one example (see also blogs on Anderssen):
John Owen (1827 - 1901) was born in Staffordshire on July 1, 1827. In 1851, he was ordained and became a vicar (Reverend) of Hooten, Chesire from 1862 to 1900. He was recognized as one of London’s strongest amateurs. He played chess and wrote under the pseudonym ‘Alter’.
In 1857, he won the minor section of the first British Chess Association Congress in Manchester. The major section was won by Johann Jacob Loewenthal.
In 1858 he won a game against Paul Morphy, which led to a match between the two. Despite being given odds of pawn and the move (meaning he started the game with an extra pawn and always moved first), Owen lost the match 6-1, never winning a game.
In 1858, he tied for 3rd-4th in the 2nd British Chess Association Congress in Birmingham. In 1858, he lost a match to Samuel Standidge Boden in London (+2-7=2). In 1860, he tied a match with Ignatz Von Kolisch in Manchester (+4-4=0).
His performance in the 1862 London tournament, the first international round-robin event (in which each participant plays every other) was more impressive - he finished third, ahead of future world champion Wilhelm Steinitz, behind Adolf Anderssen and Louis Paulsen. He was the only player to win against the eventual tournament winner, Adolf Anderssen.
In 1868-1869, he took 3rd-4th in the 2nd British Chess Association Challenge Cup in London. In 1870, he took 3rd in the 3rd British Chess Association Congress in London. In 1874, he tied a match with Amos Burn in Liverpool (+4-4=0). In 1875, he lost a match with Amos Burn in London (+11-6=3). In 1876, he tied for 2nd-4th in the 12 British Counties Chess Association Congress in Chelenham. In 1878, he lost a match with Johannes Zukertort (+0-8=3). In 1881, he took 2nd in the 16th British Counties Chess Association Congress. In 1888, he defeated Amos Burn in a match in Liverpool (+5-3=0). In 1890, he tied for 3rd-4th in the 23rd British Counties Chess Association Congress. In 1894-1895, he took 2nd-3rd in the 3rd Craigside Tournament in Llandudno, England.
Owen is the eponym of Owen's Defence, He popularized the move 1.e4 b6, a chess opening he often played (including in his victory over Morphy).