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Paul Morphy vs Adolf Anderssen
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 11, Dec-28
French Defense: Normal Variation (C00)  ·  1-0


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Given 168 times; par: 75 [what's this?]

Annotations by Johann Jacob Loewenthal.      [28 more games annotated by Loewenthal]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-05-03  Whitehat1963: Who says Morphy doesn't know how to play all aspects of the game? Here's a perfect example of how he follows through to get to an advantageous end game.
Nov-05-03  Minor Piece Activity: White hat, I don't recall anyone ever saying Morphy doesn't know how to play all phases of the game. He was one of the best opening players of his time, having a phenomental memory. He used many lines that later masters like Capablanca would still employ largely unchanged. His middlegame skill was phenomenal. Someone on this site once described Morphy as "the greatest miracle of the open game." Morphy's endgame mastery, though rarely challenged for obvious reasons, was fairly superb as well. He was one of the first of the romantics to be willing to trade queens to get winning endgames.
Nov-05-03  Shadout Mapes: I believe ughaibu critisized Morphy as overrated awhile back, and though I don't agree, i could partly see his point.

29.Kf2! is exploiting the pin for an increase in tempo, almost 70 years before this technique was described by Nimzovich in My System.

Nov-06-03  Whitehat1963: I've sometimes heard that Morphy doesn't play closed games well, that he is at his best when on wild sacrificial attacks from that come from open positions.
Nov-06-03  Benjamin Lau: There is a difference between conditions of the game (open, closed, semi-closed, etc) and phases of the game (opening, middle game, endgame). Morphy played all phases of the game well, according to most players, but he did not play all conditions of the game well.
Aug-11-04  briiian13: i like morphy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zenchess: briiian13: Welcome to the site; one thing: Please try to explain WHY you like Morphy and why you think he was such a great player. Three-word posts like "I like Morphy" don't tell us much.
Aug-16-04  briiian13: I like morphy because he was very charismatic chess player and has some cool historical games like the one he played against a general whom he disliked.
Aug-16-04  briiian13: i also like karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: It is interesting to note how strongly Morphy plays in this game after losing in the 10th match to Anderssens 1.a3 opening in which Anderssen played very strongly. I would think Anderssen would have felt confidence from the win, and would continue to play strongly. However this game is anything but a strong game of Anderssens. Borderline strange if you ask me. For instance, Steinitz referred to Anderssens 22. Bb5 as a "flagrant error of positional judgement." One move which didnt make much sense to me was 18. ...Qxf8 instead of 18. ...Bxf8 because the queen retreats to the square it was just on with 19. ...Qe8 Another interesting note of this game is how it takes until move 9 for black to get d5 in.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <IBM> <Borderline strange> Borderline is kind. This was the 11th game in 9 days. Anderssen plays like he is tired and has no time to prepare a proper opening. He played White against the weird g6 French setup versus Staunton in 1851, but Morphy probably knew it better than he did, and he has a winning position after 12 move.
Sep-03-04  JAIME OVIEDO: solicito informacion, de como puedo ver las partidas, no corre el java.
Sep-03-04  Lawrence: Hola, <JAIME OVIEDO>, bienvenido. Has probado cliquear sobre "troubleshooting"?
Jan-10-06  morpstau: I like your comments I>B.M. You speak the truth. Paul morphy plays this game flawlessly and obtains a good attack. Adolf on the other hand has to reconsiter who hes up against. This is not a regular human, indeed a machine who will trounce on your every mistake! Anderssen plays a very infferior french and is properly disposed of for good reason.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ckr: It is often said <Morphy couldn't play closed games> nothing could be further from the truth. In this game Morphy closes the position with 10.e5 and after the pawn exchange white has a spacial advantage on the king side. Black best defense is a QS offense, but Morphy gives him no time to launch one. His spacial advantage on the KS allows his pieces to just float into positions against the enemy king.

22. ...Bb5 <flagrant error of positional judgement>, possibly so since the exchange created the doubled pawns - but Anderssen had to get it off the 7th rank and 22...Bc6 while possibly better reduces the rook's scope on the c-file.

In all, it was a flacky opening (Anderssen possibly wanting to stay off known lines) that quickly blew up in his face. Sometimes it works and sometimes not, but it happens to all of us.

I also thought it unusual for Morphy to be developing his bishops first.

May-24-06  Rory O Rion: An interesting question arises on White's Queen move-20: Q-h4. . Why, i ask myself, didn't he play the 'natural-looking' Bxe7, followed by Ktxd5? It's difficult to imagine Morphy didn't see it; i think most players(including myself) seeing it, would likely sucumb its temptation, but not Morphy: i wonder why?
May-24-06  who: 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 21.Nxd5?? exd5 (the bishop is protected by the queen)
May-24-06  Rory O Rion: Duh . . of course!
Oct-18-06  schnarre: <ckr>Morphy can take full advantage of Black's passive opening play. Also the early ...g6 virtually begged for White's Dark-squared Bishop to be deployed.
Apr-21-07  gambitfan: I just scored 75 points with guess-the-move...
Jun-27-08  robichj: I love the way Morphy pinned the black bishop on G7. Morphy was the pin master.
Jan-18-09  WhiteRook48: there are other games where Morphy took advantage of pins. Often he pinned a bishop or knight.
Jan-28-09  birthtimes: Emanuel Lasker comments in his book "Lasker's Manual of Chess" the following after move 21:

"Look at the aggregation of weak points [in Black's position]. The Black King and KB stand on an open line, a target for the [White] Rook. The point f6 is guarded only by the same KB, is overpoweringly assailed by Bishop and Queen and [e5] Pawn; hence, this point is a safe place for an effective advance post. Also, the Black KRP and the square h6 are weak. Black can support the position by Rc7 and by the Queen in the vicinity of the KB. The QB is in the way and its development costs a move. This sums up the weaknesses."

Lasker further comments: "If 22...Qf8 23. Rh3, but for all that to abandon a Pawn was the most promising way out of Black's distress."

Lasker also mentions: "If for instance, 24...Kh8; 25. Qh6 Qf8 26. Nxb5 axb5; the White reserve force, the King, decides the issue by attacking the advanced b-pawn while the Black pieces are held fast. 27. Rxg7 Rxg7 28. Kf2, etc."

Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: I feel it's worth pointing out that a lot of Morphy's games were played a piece down so he more or less HAD to play aggressive and go into open games to win.
Sep-12-09  kooley782: In response to a question why Anderssen did not play as brilliantly against Morphy as he did against others, Anderssen said, "Morphy will not let me." Excellent attack by Morphy!
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