The Opera Game, Part I

GM Bryan Smith 30 Apr 12, 2010 7578 reads
By International Master Bryan Smith

Dear readers!

Today we are going to see one of the most famous games ever played. Perhaps even THE most famous. It was played by the chess genius Paul Morphy.

Morphy was born in New Orleans in 1837. The legend goes that nobody taught him chess; rather, he learned by watching his father and uncle play. They discovered that he knew the rules when, after a game he was watching, he unexpectedly pointed out that his uncle should have won. He was able to re-set the position and show the winning method! At that time he was eight years old...

The game we are going to see today took place in an opera house in Paris, France. An "opera" is like a play in a theater, but where all of the actors sing instead of speak. His opponents are the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard. Two opponents?? Yes, this was a "consultation game". That means that Morphy's opponents were able talk with each other about their moves. This didn't help them much though.

When watching this game, pay attention to the three most important rules of starting a game:

1.Get your pieces out and use all of them.

2.Keep your king safe.

3.Control the center.

We will see that Morphy does these things, and his opponents...well, not quite so well.

 

Twelve moves have gone by. The game has just started, but it is also almost over! It's White's move - what would you do here? You can find out what Morphy did by checking out Part II of the article by clicking here.