Tag Archives: chess

Super master Paul Morphy of New Orleans

The American Chess Champion Paul Morphy

At least from his early-middle-aged years until he died in 1884, Paul Morphy reportedly considered chess an amateur activity, not to be pursued as a profession. Yet in his younger years he played many chess games, even defeating adults when he was a small child.

He won the first American Chess Congress in 1857, with the following score:

14 wins

1 loss

3 draws

Perhaps even more rare than the 14-to-1 win/loss ratio (draws did not count in 1857), Morphy refused the cash prize after winning the tournament, very rare for a chess master.

chess tournament in 1857The 18 contestants in the first American Chess Congress (Morphy in the middle of right column)

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Chess Games in Europe (1858-1859)

According to Wikipedia, Paul Morphy’s record in Europe was as follows (not including casual games, only formal matches, none of which he lost):

38 wins

11 loses

8 draws

After winning so many games against many of the best European chess masters, Paul Morphy was often proclaimed, by those who saw his victories, the champion of the world.

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Super master Paul Morphy of New Orleans

Paul Morphy – American chess champion

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Chess Book for Beginners

. . . new paperback book, about to be published, really is for the early beginner, the player who knows the rules of chess but almost nothing else about the game.

Free E-Book on Paul Morphy

The [Chess] Congress was advertised to open on the 6th of October [1857] . . . First of all came Judge Meek, of Alabama . . . Soon after him followed Mr. Louis Paulsen . . .

Chess for Children

In a study by the New York City Schools, it was found that “Chess dramatically improves a child’s ability to think rationally . . . increases cognitive skills . . . improves children’s communication skills . . .”

A Chess Puzzle

Clear understanding of the influences of chess pieces [how they can move] can here make an apparently difficult problem easy to solve.

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3D animation of an old man at a chess set

Chess for Beginners

Learning and playing chess can help children mentally, but teenagers and adults can also benefit. So what about beginners who want to improve their chess skills?

Importance Principles for Early Beginners in Chess

  • Learn how to make a checkmate
  • Learn to avoid getting checkmated
  • Learn the values of pieces and don’t throw away material
  • Learn to see when your opponent blunders away material

The above four simple principles, when applied consistently, may allow an early beginner to soon win a game, provided the opponent is also an early beginner.

Chess Book for Beginners

The following is taken from the nonfiction book Beat That Kid in Chess:

Keep your king safe, especially in the early and middle of a game. After most of the pieces have been captured (and no queens are left), it may be important to use the king as a fighting force, but not when it can become in danger, especially not in the opening and middle game. Castle early in the game, to get your king closer to a safe corner. . . .

Take the lessons in this book seriously and your ability to play chess may advance further than if you had struggled through losing twenty games. It might not take the place of seriously struggling through eighty games, however, for over-the-board experience teaches in its own way. Yet you might soon see that kid struggle in competing with you, as you apply these lessons and teach that kid humility. It’s about time he learned that.

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3D animation of an old man at a chess setFrom Geri’s Game by Pixar

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Chess for Children

Studies have shown that playing chess can benefit children in a number of ways, and not just in potentially improving self confidence and self esteem. Playing chess can help kids improve concentration.

Chess in the Movies

A young boy sees men playing chess in a city park and is  fascinated by the game. . . . his father soon learns  that his boy has a natural skill with combinations. [the film “Searching for Bobby Fischer”]

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Chess for Children

Studies have shown that playing chess can benefit children in a number of ways, and not just in potentially improving self confidence and self esteem. Playing chess can help kids improve concentration.

In a study by the New York City Schools, it was found that “Chess dramatically improves a child’s ability to think rationally . . . increases cognitive skills . . . improves children’s communication skills and aptitude in recognizing patterns . . . results in higher grades, especially in English and Math studies.”

In the Whitcomb Family Daycare, children are encouraged to learn to play chess and to learn to concentrate.

Chess Combination by Jose R. Capablanca

In a chess tournament in New York City, in 1918, Jose Capablanca (who would become chess champion of the world) played a brilliant combination against a master. Analysis of this combination may help children to understand the importance of analysis in more than just chess; it may help us to better understand the importance of clear thinking while analyzing something.