Morphy's Games of Chess; being the best games played by the Distinguished Champion in Europe and America

Morphy's Games of Chess; being the best games played by the Distinguished Champion in Europe and America

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Author: Lowenthal, Johann Jacob [editor] from the library of James J Barrett

Year: 1901

Publisher: George Bell & Sons

Place: London


viii+488+[32 adds] pages with diagrams, frontispiece and index. Small octavo (7 1/2" x 5 1/4") bound in original publisher's red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and pictorial chess board to front cover. From the library of James J Barrett (Bohn's Scientific Library). [Betts: 29-82] reprint.

The "official" selection of Morphy's games, edited for Morphy by Lowenthal, and compiled with Morphy's assistance. the 206 games are grouped in 7 books: Match games (48); Blindfold games (38); Consultation games (9); simultaneous games (5); Casual games (64); Games at odds (18); Miscellaneous games (25). Includes a note "to the reader" by Morphy following the title page, and a biographical introduction.

Lowenthal was born in Budapest, the son of a Jewish merchant. He was educated at the gymnasium of his native city. In 1846, he won a match against Carl Hamppe in Vienna (+5 -4 =0). He received a civil appointment under the administration of Lajos Kossuth in 1848. On the downfall of the latter, Lowenthal was expelled from Hungary, and he emigrated to America (1849). In 1851 he went to London, and thenceforward resided permanently in England. At the Manchester tourney of 1857 Lowenthal defeated Adolf Anderssen for first place. In his visit to New Orleans, Lowenthal played Paul Morphy on two separate occasions, losing a total of three games straight. He was one of the first masters to play a match against Morphy after the latter's arrival in London in 1858. Morphy won with a score of nine wins, three losses and two draws. "...I am convinced that I was vanquished by superior strength," Lowenthal said about the match, as reported by the Englishman Frederick Edge. No doubt aware that chess was Lowenthal's only source of livelihood, and conscious to not be considered a professional player himself, Morphy after winning the match stakes of £100, presented Lowenthal with a gift of furniture valued at £120 for his new house. Just days after being defeated by Morphy, Lowenthal had his greatest success by winning the British Chess Association Congress knockout tournament in Birmingham, England on 27 August 1858. His prize was £63. In 1860 Lowenthal took advantage of Morphy's extreme popularity to create a collection of the American master's games titled Morphy's Games of Chess. According to Morphy's biographer David Lawson, Morphy was friendly to Lowenthal and therefore agreed to sign his name to material in the book, that was purported to be written by Morphy but in fact was not. For a time, Lowenthal served as club secretary of the St. George's Chess Club in London. He taught chess, and invented the first demonstration board. He helped organize an international tournament in 1862, and then published a tournament book.

James J. Barrett wrote a few chess columns in the Buffalo area. In a chess magazine beginning on page 1 of the March 1948 Chess Review: he wrote a letter of complaint about the magazine's choice of front-cover photographs. He played a substantial role in Paul Morphy The Pride and Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson (New York, 1976), and in the Acknowledgments (page vii) Lawson wrote, "I wish particularly to express gratitude for the suggestions and generous help of James J. Barrett, with special reference to the selection, preparation, and proofreading of the games."


Spine head chipped, book plate on front paste down. About a very good copy issued without jacket.

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