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Adolf Anderssen vs Paul Morphy
"Grand Opening" (game of the day Aug-20-15)
Anderssen - Morphy (1858)  ·  Anderssen Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0
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Given 43 times; par: 144 [what's this?]

find similar games 16 more Anderssen/Morphy games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-31-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <playground player> The games against Morphy are Anderssen's oldest with 1.a3 in the database. Someone with access to old periodicals could tell you if there were any earlier. In any case, Anderssen maneuvered into a Sicilian Reversed inspired (I think) by this defeat:

Anderssen vs Wyvill, 1851

Apr-20-12  Rook e2: Hm, is Anderssens opening a sign of underestimation? Has no one ever thought this might have contributed to his big loss against Morphy?
Apr-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Rook e2: Hm, is Anderssens opening a sign of underestimation? Has no one ever thought this might have contributed to his big loss against Morphy?>

No and no. Anderssen started playing 1.a3 when (i) he was well behind in the match and (ii) he had gotten some relatively poor positions with 1.e4 e5.

See benzol's index of the match.

Game Collection: WCC Index [ Morphy - Anderssen 1858 ]

And we know 1.a3 didn't contribute to his defeat because he got good positions with it and scored relatively well with it. (+1-1=1)

Mar-20-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: This game is a courageous effort by Anderssen after he had already suffered some crushing defeats.
Dec-06-14  Mudphudder: Excellent game by Anderssen. Still hard to believe that Morphy lost to 1.a3!
Jun-06-15  thegoodanarchist: <Petrosianic: ... That's why in pro wrestling they have such a wealth of ways for a Face to lose without losing cleanly. Outside interference, a distraction, some kind of deus ex machina. Hulk Hogan lost his first title after 4 years, because the bad guys bribed the referee's twin brother, and had him switch places just before the match.>

You made a comparison with pro wrestling? (wrasslin') You know that it's choreographed, right?

Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Would anyone recommend playing 1.a3 in a blitz game (to try to catch your opponent off guard)?
Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Sure. I think it's fine over the board too. In this game Anderssen essentially played the Sicilian Kan with an extra move. You have to be realistic in your expectations, i.e. white has no right to claim an objective adventage, but it may help you get the type of game you want.
Aug-20-15  andrewjsacks: Anderssen's play here is strong and remarkably "modern."
Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Penguincw: Would anyone recommend playing 1.a3 in a blitz game (to try to catch your opponent off guard)?>

For occasional surprise value, why not? Treat it as if you were playing Black with an extra a3 thrown in.

You would be giving away the slight advantage that white gets with his first move, but as compensation your opponent may have to think a bit more about whether his white openings still work so well if you have sneaked an extra move in.

Might also be good against an aggressive opponent if you intend to play a closed or hypermodern game.

Objectively, it's not as good as a more classical white opening, but OTB it might have some pragmatic benefits.

Aug-20-15  morfishine: The logic behind <1.a3> is simple: If the Sicilian is good, why not play it with a move in hand?

*****

Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Is this why that Anderssen is given "credit" for this passive, quaint opening?
Aug-20-15  mruknowwho: I guess Anderssen didn't want to give Morphy much space to work with. That's what I gather from the fact that he retreated his bishop on the 20th move rather than capture the pawn on f5.
Aug-20-15  newzild: I agree with <andrewjsacks> that this game is remarkably modern.

Both players avoid exchanging pieces at appropriate times, both players fight for counterplay in the ending, etc.

Really, a very interesting game.

Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <morfishine> If you have your heart set on playing the Sicilian with a move in hand, 1.c4 probably accomplishes that more straightforwardly.
Aug-20-15  coolconundrum: If you just wanna play the Sicilian reversed though surely C4 is a better route to take.

A3 suggests a certain amount of romantic daring.

Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Anderssen knew that Morphy wouldn't play something like 1...d5.
Aug-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: As already pointed out by <nimh>:

Anderssen vs Morphy, 1858 (kibitz #44)

Up to move 29 there's been some nice maneuvering, but White has the space advantage, and b-pair.


click for larger view

Maybe Morphy was growing impatient, and wanted to force a breakout on the K-side with 29...g5?

What Morphy didn't appreciate, and Anderssen didn't find, was the power of the X-rays, c2-c5, and c3-h8.

So, if Anderssen had found 31.c5! the b6-pawn falls (with best play), and Black has his hands full with a dangerous passer.

Otherwise, play over the game after 31.c5 bxc5 32.cxd5 Bf8 33.Bc4 Qe7 34.Ra8. Black is down a piece and a half due to the pins.

(White has a lot of options on move 31, but the move 31.c5 best crystallizes the weaknesses in Black's position. Precise and accurate.)

Aug-20-15  thegoodanarchist: Today's pun is much more clever than yesterday's Loch Ness/Look: Ne5 mess.
Oct-11-15  The Kings Domain: Excellent positional play by Anderssen at the start of the game, his pieces were poised for good attacks on both black's kingside and queenside. If his games were as sound as this throughout the match he may have won it.
Nov-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <kevin> 1.a3 is neither passive nor quaint.

'Passive' implies a lack of active play: but playing the Reversed Sicilian is a very active plan. 'Quaint' means old-fashioned: but this line can be very modern.

Feb-07-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Penguincw: Would anyone recommend playing 1.a3 in a blitz game (to try to catch your opponent off guard)? >

I certainly would not. It grants black the white pieces with colors reversed. That is to say that black then is for choice and can steer the opening wherever he wishes.

Feb-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Pawnsac.

Years ago I looked at ways of playing 1.a3 and playing your favourite Black as White with a3 played. It can lead to good Sicilians, Benoni/Benko's, French and of course no Ruy Lopez.

There are one or two lines in reverse where 1.a3 can be iffy.

In this variation of the Latvian Gambit, (and other openings like it involving Nxa8 ) Black often traps the Knight on a8 if it takes on c7. In reverse with the pawn on a3 the a1 Knight gets out on b3.

G Chandler vs G Bucher, 2007

Probably the best reply to 1.a3 is 1...a6.

Feb-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: Is it not *amazing* (regards to <morfishine>) that every amateur gets told that this 1.a3 hands over the initiative with occupation of the center etc. pp to the opponent and one of the greatest player teaching the world the importance of development is not able to convert it into something tangible?

I mean with computers starting with Genius2 or Fritz3 we know that all this is not that easy and some 60-80 % of what was learned can be from the expert teachers and analysts can be disposed properly.

Chess like music does not only make you happy but it also shows that we almost always start at the beginning (Grade1)

Feb-17-16  saturn2: Morphys exchanges on move 8 and 14 dont seem to be the best choices. 8...NxN is an exchange of a piece that has moved twice for one that has moved once. I would not haved expected Morphy to do that in the opening. 14...BxN gives up the bishop pair. I would have rather kept the white squared bishop. For NxBd6 was no real threat because this black squared bishop was obstructed by several pawns.
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