New York 1857

Paul Morphy came out victorious in the “1st American Chess Congress”, which was held in New York City from October 6th to November 10th, 1857. The format for the event was a 16 Player, 4-round knockout tournament.

Morphy won the competition by winning fourteen while losing one with three draws. In the final round, he defeated the strong German-American master Louis Paulsen winning five games, drawing two, and losing one. He was now the chess champion of the United States, and such was his strength of play that many urged him to test his skill abroad.

First prize was $300, which Morphy declined, feeling that taking money for playing chess was somehow very low class. Instead he accepted a prize of a silver pitcher, four goblets, and a salver.

Click HERE For Full Tournament Results

2 responses to “New York 1857”

  1. Sean

    Good evening Kevin. First off, thank you for establishing such a detailed and user – friendly forum for Chess History: a very rare accomplishment. I simply wish to clarify that Morphy viewed accepting money for Chess play no more than gambling. As gambling was reserved for undignified men (outside of “high roller saloons”), Morphy would not lower himself thus. Rather, he was an established law prodigy (he memorized the entire Louisiana penal code by 17) and was killing time with Chess until he turned 21 and could legally take the bar exam of the time… which was to accomplish the lifelong goal to follow in his father’s footsteps as a judge. Being labeled a coward by fellow southerners for heading to Europe while Lincoln raped the South, Morphy was keen to allow no blemish to his professional honor and future as a political judge in LA. Thus, he was quite outspoken as to his policy of never profiting from Chess.

Leave a Reply