THE LIFE AND CHESS OF PAUL MORPHY                                                                                                                               Howard Staunton's Response to Morphy's Challenge


(most likely) from Howard Staunton's chess column in the Illustrated London News, April 3, 1858


Proposed Chess Match between England and America for One Thousand Pounds a Side.—We have been favoured with a copy of the defi which the friends of Mr. Paul Morphy, the Chess champion of the United States, have transmitted to Mr. Staunton. The terms of this cartel are distinguished by extreme courtesy, and with one notable exception, by extreme liberality also. The exception in ques­tion, however, (we refer to the clause which stipulates that the combat shall take place in New Orleans !) appears to us utterly fatal to the match ; and we must confess our astonish­ment, that the intelligent gentlemen who drew up the con­ditions did not themselves discover this. Could it possibly escape their penetration, that if Mr. Paul Morphy, a young gentleman without family ties or professional claims upon his attention, finds it inconvenient to anticipate, by a few months, an intended voyage to Europe, his proposed antagonist, who is well known for years to have been compelled, by laborious literary occupation, to abandon the practice of Chess beyond the indulgence of an occasional game, must find it not merely inconvenient, but positively impracticable, to cast aside all engagements, and undertake a journey of many thousand miles for the sake of a Chess-encounter? Surely the idea of such, a sacrifice is not admissible for a single moment. If Mr. Morphy—for whose skill we entertain the liveliest admiration—be desirous to win his spurs among the Chess chivalry of Europe, he must take advantage of his purposed visit, next year; he will then meet in this country, in France, and Ger­many, and in Russia, many champions whose names must be as household words to him, ready to test and do honour to his prowess.