Morphy Chess Clubs

May 14, 2008, 4:46 PM |


After posting "Morphy Chess Clubs - Where Are They Now?" on my blog ( asked an acquaintance (batgirl) if she new anything about this letter as well as if she had any information that would be helpful. The following is her response - for those of you who don't know, she has a very interesting chess history site and her Paul Morphy page is at She is a far better source than I, therefore I bow to her prowess as a Morphy history buff and list her response below.


{batgirl} Yeah, I know about the letter.  I wrote a small page on it about 4 or 5 years ago.  I think most of those clubs simply faded into oblivion because they were most create due to Morphy's incredible celebrity rather than for the love of chess. Since Morphy came and went so quickly, and even lost some of his lustre due to the Civil War, the clubs came and went just as quickly.  So, their historical significance would seem to be somewhat shaky.


However, in the same vein, there have been some unusual Paul Morphy Chess Clubs through the years:

In 1870, Cornell University had a campus Paul Morphy Chess Club. It still existed in 1872, but I don't know for how long after that.

I believe there was a Morphy Chess Club in Brooklyn around the same time.  One of the possible names suggested for what eventually became the Manhattan Chess Club was the Paul Morphy Chess Club.

New Orleans, of course, had a Paul Morphy Chess Club, est. in the 20th century. Below is a photograph of the Mardi Gras parade passing the club (in the upper right) on Pershing Blvd. It was also housed on St. Anne's St. for a period of time.

In 1863, students at the University of Leiden, after studying the games of Paul Morphy that had just been published in the chess magazine, Sissa, founded the LSSG Morphy (the Leiden Morphy Chess Society) despite the fact that Paul Morphy never visited the Netherlands.

As of 2001, there was a Paul Morphy chess Club in L.A., located at 1444 W. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Los Angeles

There is currently a Paul Morphy Chess Club in Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Original Message by qtsii on 5/12/2008 @ 7:52am:

I found this article and put in on my blog but was wondering if you had ever heard of this and if you had any further information?