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         The History and The Culture of Chess

Young Morphy
June 2007

In Chess Note # 3684 Mr. Winter discusses a quote from the June 27, 1851 issue of the Liberator [presumably William Lloyd Garrison's Boston newspaper] sent to him by Jerry Spinrad. The article was originally published in the New Orleans Bee.

Mr. Löwenthal is a very great chessplayer. He was in New Orleans about a year ago, and wrested the laurels from some of the finest masters of the game. But, strange to say, he was beaten by a youth of 12 years who, but a few months previous, had never played a game. The youth in question – Master M***** – is the son of a highly respectable citizen of New Orleans, himself an enthusiastic amateur of the noble game of chess. The boy was accustomed to look over the board while his father was playing. As soon as he comprehended the moves, he began to play. He first beat his father, then his uncle
– a player of remarkable force – then, in a contest with Rosseau
[sic – Rousseau], the chess champion of the South, he gained a signal advantage; and finally he amazed Löwenthal himself, by winning from him a majority in a given series of games. He has perhaps the most wonderful genius for chess ever witnessed. At his tender age he may be considered a first-rate player. His movements are prompt, astonishingly accurate, and the result of close and vigilant combination. He solves problems with amazing facility. None of the mysterious intricacies of these enigmas, however involved and numerous the moves, baffle his concentrated and patient attention. If he continues advancing in force as he grows older, he will become the wonder of the age ere he attains manhood.


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