Morphy, Paul

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Paul Morphy, (1837-1884), was born in New Orleans, USA.  At the tender age of 10 he was already defeating masters.  A law school graduate at the age of 17, Morphy dominated the 1857 American Chess Congress in New York City.  In the final round of this knock-out event, he defeated Louis Paulsen, a German chessmaster, by a score of +5, =2, -1.  During his visit in Europe in the years 1858-1859, he took Europe by storm by defeating the best European players in match play, including another chess giant - Adolf Anderssen, thereby been recognized as the first 'unofficial' World Chess Champion.  He believed that chess was not a fitting profession for a grown man.  This belief eventually led him to give up chess and pursue an unsuccessful career as a lawyer.  His style of play is mostly based on quick mobilization of forces, and is determined to post pieces on open lines and boldly sacrifices material to gain the initiative.  He prefered open games, and his tactical genius and positional judgment are best served in this type of battlefield.  Although he had a handful of brilliant attacking games, Morphy was also an excellent strategist.

Here is one of his most famous and brilliant games:

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