Mastery: Master Games

Play Like Paul Morphy

Play Like Paul Morphy

Paul Morphy played in the mid 1800s, before there was an official World Championship. However, Morphy was so far ahead of his competition that many people consider him a World Champion in all but name. He played with an aggressive style and was able to attack and achieve active positions better than any of his contemporaries. See if you can find Morphy's moves in five of his greatest games.

  • Play Like Paul Morphy: Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick and Comte Isouard

    In 1858 Paul Morphy played one of the most famous games in the history of chess. It was a casual game against two noblemen in consultation, the Duke of Burnswick and Comte Isouard. Morphy played an incredible sacrificial game and managed to checkmate in time to enjoy the rest of the opera. See if you can find the brilliant ideas behind the game which became known as "The Opera Game."

    • 1 challenge
  • Play Like Paul Morphy: Paulsen vs Morphy

    Louis Paulsen was one of the best players in the World in the middle of the 1800s. He defeated many of the top players of his day and many opening systems still bear his name. Like everyone else, Paulsen wasn't able to keep up with Morphy's brilliant attacking play. In this game Morphy found an amazing queen sacrifice to win with the Black pieces. See if you can figure out how he did it.

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  • Play Like Paul Morphy: Morphy vs Dominguez

    In Morphy's day there were fewer high level tournaments, so many of Morphy's best games were in exhibition events. This game was played in a blindfold simultaneous display in Havana in 1864. Try to find the moves in one of Morphy's most spectacular attacks and imagine playing it without seeing the board!

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  • Play Like Paul Morphy: McConnell vs Morphy

    James McConnell was a New Orleans based lawyer and friend of Paul Morphy. This game was played when Morphy was only 13 years old, but he quickly demolished his older and more experienced opponent. Morphy understood the importance of quick development more than his contemporaries and this game is a great example of what happens when your development lags against a player of Morphy's caliber!

    • 1 challenge
  • Play Like Paul Morphy: Morphy vs NN

    Paul Morphy played some of his best games in exhibitions, including this game against an unknown opponent. After Black made one mistake in the opening, Morphy pounced, sacrificed multiple pieces, and finished with a wonderful checkmate. See if you can figure out how he did it!

    • 1 challenge
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