Paul Charles Morphy – compared with famous contemporaries like Adolf Anderssen or Howard Staunton – belongs to the ʻenigmaticʼ personalities of chess history. Such a fate remains mostly reserved to those great players whose biography states, sooner or later: showed psychological abnormalities, isolated himself, became moody, a weirdo, a loner ...
In short – he was one of those who nourish and thus keep alive the folklore maintaining thereʼs a fine line between genius and insanity.
However, itʼs not the aim of this book to illuminate the more or less obscure areas of Morphyʼs life, as itʼs not a psychological study, but a chess book. Thus, instead of a research of the soul, a search is to be conducted, a search for a reliable answer to the question as to what sort of chess player Morphy was.
The author is a chess historian whose main interest has always been this American ʻsuperstarʼ of the 19th century – rightly regarded as one of the ʻuncrowned world championsʼ. He has selected and annotated 100 of Morphyʼs most instructive games and traced his lifeʼs journey in detail – from the discovery of the child prodigy to his early death.
The result is a very vivid insight into a highly interesting part of chess history, which has certainly not deserved to fall into oblivion.