Morphy's Chess Problem





This is Paul Morphy's only known Chess Problem, originally published in the New York Clipper on June 28, 1856




White to move and mate in 2

(drag the pieces to solve)


  • 5 years ago


    @bat girl ..ok n thnks 4 d information,

  • 5 years ago


    "@bat girl ....Morphy created tis puzzle at d age of 10 not 18...."

    Senthiloo7,  first, I wrote that the problem was published in 1856 (when Paul was 19, not 18); second, Paul composed it at around age 12, not 10

    Here's the letter Ernest Morphy sent with the problem to Napoleon Marache, the chess editor of the "Clipper":

    N. Marache, Esq.
    Chess Editor of the New York Clipper

    Dear Sir:

    For years past Mr. Rousseau, on account of important and arduous duties, and myself as a votary of rural life, have both given up playing chess.  My nephew, Paul Morphy, who is incontestably our superior, now holds the scepter of chess in New Orleans.  In May, 1850, when only thirteen years of age, he played three games with the celebrated Hungarian player, Mr. Lowenthal.  The first game was drawn, and two others gloriously won by Paul.
    You have herewith one of these games - unfortunately the only one recorded - and a two-move enigma composed as far bacm as 1849.
    Yours most sincerely
    Ernest Morphy
    Moscow, Clermont County, Ohio
    June 10, 1856

  • 5 years ago


    @bat girl ....Morphy created tis puzzle at d age of 10 not 18....

  • 5 years ago


    Paul Morphy was a true genious. He did not rule the chess world for long but the few years he participated actively showed his depth of logic. He was the forerunner of logical chess and was the pioneer in this field and idol for players like Capablanca and Fischer.

  • 7 years ago


    pretty easy...

  • 9 years ago


     Very neat.  Shows the glamour of chess logic !!
  • 9 years ago


    at first some people would think this mate is gonna be hard but then they find out that the mate is REALY easy.


  • 9 years ago


    I like this!

    Morphy rocks. =D 

  • 9 years ago


    Zugswang! That's the most appropriate term.

  • 9 years ago


    Simple but elegant indeed. That was remarkable really.
  • 9 years ago


    Paul Morphy wasn't a problemist, though people who knew him did mention that he was particularly good at solving problems. This is his only known problem (it was argued at one time that it wasn't actually his - however, that has been all lain to rest) which he created at age 18. While there's a certain elegance in its simplicity,  Morphy has, at times, been criticized for its lack of complexity.  

    I say, just enjoy the puzzle.

  • 9 years ago


    how is the solution batgirl
  • 9 years ago


    Elegant. At first you see no mate, but then you realize Black's in zugzwang. A waiting move almost works because any bishop move loses: 1.Ra3 Bd5? 2.Rxa7#. The problem is that Black can escape with 1...a6.


    The only way to prevent a6 is the seemingly crazy waiting move 1.Ra6! Now a6 is out, and if Black makes a bishop move it's mate as before: 1.Ra6! Bd5 2.Rxa7#.  But what if Black captures the rook? 1.Ra6! bxa6 2.b7#.


    If Black could "pass", he would, and there would be no immediate mate.

  • 9 years ago


    Yeah, it's funny how hard that puzzle can be with so few possible moves available.
  • 9 years ago


    Not bad. I liked that one. It made me laugh.

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