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Explore top Chess & Coding programs for kids & teens with Raspberry Pi & Roblox courses to boost critical skills. Hands-on STEM activities | Teens Chess Course.

Explore top Chess & Coding programs for kids & teens with Raspberry Pi & Roblox courses to boost critical skills. Hands-on STEM activities | Teens Chess Course.

Paul Morphy's Chess African Ancestry

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Dr. James McCune Smith

There is this interesting question lurking on the internet and discussed on most major platforms concerning probably the greatest chess mind of history Paul Morphy, of absolute African Ancestry ChessDr. JAMES MCCUNE SMITH, the first African American physician, had this to say, after watching Morphy play for over 4 hours, “And as we gazed at Morphy, with his fine, open countenance, brunette hue, the marvelous delicacy of fiber, bright, clear eyes, and elongated submaxillary bone, a keen suspicion entered our ethnological department that we were not the only Carthaginian in the room.”

Morphy's mother is from Saint-Domingue

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  By Agostino Brunias – Derivative of File:Agostino Brunias – Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape – Google Art Project.jpg — cropped to show detail 2011-06-28, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15645099 

The situation in Saint-Domingue renamed Haiti, was that slavery was the engine that kept the economy alive.  Saint-Dominque, as the French called their colony.  The population consists of: 

  • 40,000 Grand-blancs (literally “Great whites” in French) and Petit-blancs (“Little whites”) 
  • 28,000 Sang-melés (French for: “Mixed blood”) or free people of color
  • And 452,000 slaves. 

“In the decades leading up to the Haitian Revolution, whites faced increasing challenges to their economic and political supremacy from the growing class of free people of color.  As established slaveholders, planters, entrepreneurs, skilled labors, artisans, and military leaders, they had acquired considerable wealth and property in land and slaves.” 

Louise Therese Felicite (Le Carpentier) Morphy

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Louise Thérèse Félicité Thelcide Le Carpentier is the musically talented daughter of a prominent FrenchCreolefamily (Le Carpentier)Creole, mixed, African descent born in the West Indies or parts of French.  

Paul Morphy Father

 Alonzo Michael Morphy (November 23, 1798 – November 22, 1856)[1]was a lawyer serving as Attorney General of Louisiana from 1828 to 1830, and a justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court

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Paul Charles Morphy (1837 - 1884)

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Chess  genius – Unofficial World Champion 

Dr. James McCune Smith was correct in his analysis of Paul Morphy.  However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  He was a genius and could determine a person’s ancestry because of his medical training. 

Chess games Of Paul Morphy

Paul Morphy was an attacking genius whose games detailed the force behind his ideals and moves.  He was ahead of his time.

Robert J. Fisher, the American chess genius, said, “In my opinion, Morphy was perhaps the most accurate chess player who ever lived”Although, the chess computer engine would likely disagree with this statement.  Morphy dominated chess in his era, which is unquestionable.   

The below game of Paul Morphy is a Must Know.

Aspiring chess students should remember these historical games by Morphy, as they will undoubtedly serve them well.

  I hope you enjoyed the history of Morphy and I believe that by learning his history we can get a better glimpse into his brilliancy.  Paul Morphy Elo was probably over 2750.  It’s difficult to have a correct Elo for him, but because of his sheer dominance and accuracy, he would be among the super grandmasters in modern-day chess.