GM Paul Morphy

Full name
Paul Morphy
Jun 28, 1837 - Jul 10, 1884 (age 47)
Place of birth
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
United States

Paul Morphy was the first “unofficial” World Chess Champion. He produced some of the most beautiful, instructive games in chess history! Few have dominated their peers like Morphy! Though he was a terrific player who outclassed all opponents of his era, the rise and disappearance of Morphy can be compared to that of Bobby Fischer in that they both “quit” playing chess at the peak of their careers. At the young age of 22, Morphy made the startling decision to retire from chess to pursue a career in law. What may have come of Morphy’s unmatched talent, the world will never know...

Paul Morphy was undoubtedly the best chess master in his time. In 1857, at the age of 20, he won a large tournament in the United States and followed that up with traveling to Europe. He attempted to play the European Champion, Howard Staunton in a match, but this never ended up working out. Instead, Morphy played every other strong player on the continent and usually ended up winning easily. He quit chess in 1859 because he had defeated all serious competition up to that point and had no one left to test him. He has less than 60 recorded “serious” games which shows the brevity of his playing career. The games that he did play were often extravagant and beautiful, outplaying and outclassing his opponents in every stage of the game. Morphy passed away on July 10, 1884.

Best Game

Most Played Openings

White Pieces
Italian Game (10) : C55 C58 C50 C56
Giuoco Piano Game (44) : C51 C53 C52 C50
Philidor Defense (9) : C41
King's Gambit Accepted (18) : C38 C35 C37 C34 C39 C33 C36
Ruy Lopez Opening (10) : C70 C78 C64 C80 C65 C62
French Defense (9) : C01 C00
Petrov's Defense (3) : C42
King's Gambit Declined (11) : C30 C31
Scotch Game (4) : C44
Vienna Game (4) : C27
King's Gambit (1) : C30
Sicilian Defense (14) : B21 B44 B32 B40
King's Pawn Opening (10) : C40 B00 C20
Bishop's Opening (1) : C23
Scandinavian Defense (4) : B01
Old Benoni Defense (1) : A43
Black Pieces
Giuoco Piano Game (23) : C50 C51 C53 C52
Italian Game (3) : C58
King's Gambit Accepted (15) : C33 C39
Philidor Defense (9) : C41
Bishop's Opening (1) : C23
Dutch Defense (5) : A84 A80
French Defense (1) : C00
Vienna Game (1) : C27
Petrov's Defense (3) : C42
Sicilian Defense (1) : B44
Tarrasch Defense (2) : D32
Anderssen Opening (3) : A00
Queen's Gambit Declined (1) : D35
Scotch Game (5) : C44 C45
Clemenz Opening (1) : A00
Three Knights Opening (2) : C46
Four Knights Game (2) : C47 C48
King's Gambit Declined (2) : C31