Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: A Night in The Opera
The American Paul Morphy is a chess legend who dominated the chess world in the mid to late 1800s.
Morphy (June 22, 1837 – July 10, 1884) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and learned to play chess by simply watching games between his father and uncle.
In 1858 Morphy travelled to Europe and played almost every strong European player, usually winning easily. Bobby Fischer described Morphy as “perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived”.
In Morphy’s time, the chess theory was little developed but he seemed to have an innate understanding of the game. Accuracy and positional play came naturally to him.
One of Morphy’s most famous game is a casual game against two players who simultaneously challenged him at an opera house in 1858. This game received the name of the “Night at the Opera” game.
Morphy played White and Black’s fourth move is already considered a positional mistake. After that, Morphy launched a beautiful crushing attack.
Nowadays, advanced chess players know and have memorized hundreds of past games. Opening move combinations have been deeply studied.
This is useful not only for understanding positional concepts of the game, but also to avoid repeating mistakes from the past.