Paul Morphy, from what I’ve seem, seems to have been a master of making weird and wonderful games, such as his famous kingside castling checkmate game. Are there any particular reasons for this?

  • 1
    I voted to reopen this question because I don't think it is unclear. A good answer has been given considering the level of Morphy's opponents, but other answers could be given from a historical perspective: how 19th-century Romantic chess evolved into something arguably less "wild" with Modern Chess.
    – itub
    Mar 7, 2019 at 3:27
  • 3
    @itub I voted to close for a different reason than the others: I think this is opinion-based. It's not easy to discuss what exactly a player's style constitutes, nor is it really possible to say why. It's better left for chat or a discussion forum instead.
    – Remellion
    Mar 7, 2019 at 8:20

1 Answer 1


Yes. The reason is simple. For the most part, his opponents were dramatically weaker than him.

Knowledge of the game was in its infancy in Morphy's time, and any number of opponents were murdered in their beds by Morphy's superior grasp of principles of development and calculating ability. The majority of Morphy games are not even contests but good old one-sided floggings.

His match games against the strongest opposition of the time like Anderssen and Lowenthal, while clearing showing him to be superior, are seldom as colorful.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.