06 July 2012

Paul Morphy, 1837-1884

The photo's caption says,

Chess master and prominent Louisiana lawyer. He is one of the two people who ever memorized the complete Louisiana book of codes and laws. As you can see fans still bring chess pieces from time to time to leave at his tomb.

The inscriptions on the tomb list the occupants and their life spans. Chess player Paul is listed first. Why is the list headed 'A.D. 1817', twenty years before the birth of the first occupant?

Paul Morphy © Flickr user cliff1066 under Creative Commons.

Another page, Paul Morphy’s Grave, shows a well known postcard picturing the tomb, 'topped by a likeness of a chess knight', although it appears to be a misidentification. Morphy's real tomb looks more like the second in line behind the 'chess knight'. For more about Morphy’s death, see Batgirl's Paul Morphy: The Endgame.

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