A Night at the Opera

An Animated Comedy

Animated Game

In 1858 the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard invited the American master Paul Morphy to the Paris Opera, then asked their guest to play chess with them. Morphy was more interested in watching the opera, but could not courteously refuse.

Morphy played white, while Brunswick and Isouard consulted on black. He took his opponents apart in 17 moves, enabling him to watch the rest of the show without distraction, and incidentally proving that teaming two mediocre players does not double their talents.

This game is one of the best known in chess, exemplifying as it does the advantages of quick development over the pursuit of minor advantages. The game features a queen sacrifice that leads directly to mate.

The score of the game follows:

Paul Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick & Count Isouard, Paris Opera House, 1858. Philidor's Defense.

4.d x e5B x f3
5.Q x f3d x e5
10.N x b5c x b5
11.B x b5 +Nbd7
13.R x d7R x d7
15.B x d7 +N x d7
16.Qb8 +N x b8
17.Rd8 mate