Paul Morphy (June 22, 1837 – July 10, 1884) is considered one of the greatest chess players of all time. His play was characterized by his aggressive style, his excellent tactical skills, and his ability to quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of his opponents. In this article, we will show a few of his well-known masterpieces, with a special focus on the tactical strikes.
Allgaier Gambit for the win
Morphy won this game when he was only twelve years old. Despite having chosen the dubious Allgaier Gambit, he managed to open a strong attack against the opponent’s forces, and led it to the final checkmate. And yes, the black player, Eugène Rousseau, is the Eugène Rousseau the Rousseau Gambit was named after.
A queen is stronger
This isn’t exactly a game with a tornado of sacrifices ended with a checkmate in the board center. However, Morphy’s victory against the unofficial World Champion Adolf Anderssen still possesses several tactical ideas worth mentioning.
Who needs a queen to win?
According to some sources, Morphy spent twelve minutes contemplating the queen sacrifice move to ensure the combination’s validity and guarantee a certain victory in every possible variation.
The Opera Game
And finally, the most famous game of Paul Morphy. A game that mustn’t be omitted in any chess book for beginners, as the sequence of fantastic sacrifices finished by a checkmate using the last two white pieces put many generations of chess players in awe. Chess instructors frequently utilize the game to impart crucial lessons on piece development, mating combinations, and other related principles, emphasizing their significance to learners.