John Owen (chess player)[ edit ]

John Owen (1827 - 1901) was an English vicar and strong amateur chess player.

In 1858 he won a game against Paul Morphy, which led to a match between the two. Despite being given odds of pawn and the move (meaning he started the game with an extra pawn and always moved first), Owen lost the match 6-1, never winning a game.

His performance in the 1862 London tournament, the first international round-robin event (in which each participant plays every other) was more impressive - he finished third, ahead of future world champion Wilhelm Steinitz, and was the only player to win against the tournament winner, Adolf Anderssen.

Owen is the eponym of Owen´s Defence, a chess opening he often played (including in his victory over Morphy) characterised by the moves 1.e4 b6 (in algebraic notation).

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article No 711 / last change on 2005-06-30, 01:37pm

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