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Adolf Anderssen vs Paul Morphy
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 4, Dec-23
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation (C77)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-13-04  HailM0rphy: It looked liked anderssen was doing ok until around the 19th move when Morphy started to advance. Then there was a trading spree and it set up a tactical game in wich Morphy will win every time.
Apr-13-04  Elrathia Kingi: You know, most of Morphy's opponents did alright until he started to advance.
Apr-13-04  Rama: I'm glad I saw this game. One mistake was 14. Bb1. Go from there direct to 23. ... Qxf6.

White is looking at a pawn-down ending with Queens on and Bishops of opposite colors. He could hold if he could play b4 but to do that he needs to exchange all the heavy pieces. The Bishop prevents communication on the first rank.

But what was wrong with 8. 0-0 instead of capturing?

Apr-14-04  HailM0rphy: Because that would probably result in the trading of queens when/if morphy captured his pawn..wich I guess aderssen did not want. Another case of Morphy psyching out his opponents..making them do moves they would not normally do because they know they are facing the best player in the world
Jul-09-04  coxscorner: The difference in these two is that Anderssen played his moves as part of an unsound attacking idea that was not based on weakness in his opponent's position e.g. from his 7th move he is planning an attack at h7, while Morphy calmly goes about developing and co-ordinating his pieces.

Whites 13th move appears to us to be a developing move, it is not so intended. It plans 13. Nxd5 so Anderssen can play Qd3 to attack h7, so he must first trade off the defender at d5 which can retreat to f6 and defend.

White could improve on move 14. with Be4 when after 14...f5 15. Bxc6, Nxc6 16. d5, Na5 is about equal. But this would be contrary to Anderseen's plan of a kingside attack.

After the text 14. Bb1, Morphy on his 14th move could have taken a pawn with 14...Nxd4 and after 15. Nxd4, Qxd4 with at least equality since 16. Qb3?, Be6 favors black while, While 16. Qf3 as given by Reti is met by 16...Rb8. 17. Be3, Qh4! (an improvement over Reti's line) gives black an edge. Whites best is allowing simplification with 16. a3, Qxd1 17. Rxd1 which is equal.

However Morphy preferred the simple developing move 14...Be6!? threatening to win the pawn with better development. The game continuation 16. Be3, Nf6 17. Qd2 favors Morphy.

Better for white was 17. Qc2 straightaway which is level. 17...Re8 18. Rd1, Ne7=

In the game after 20...Nxd4 its all Morphy.

Nov-13-05  zarathustra666: 5)...Bc5 is typical Morphy, but doesn`t it leave him open to the `center fork` trick??? If 6)Nxe5, Nxe5 6)d4, right? I trust that Morphy had something planned, but what???
Nov-13-05  SBC: After 6. Nxe5, the pawn trick is an illusion since black would simply play the usual 6...Bxf2+, followed by 7. Kxf2, after which black can then take the Knight with 7...Nxe5 - giving the same exchanges, I think, but with white's King now exposed and caught in the middle of the board.
Nov-13-05  zarathustra666: ok, I thought it had something to do with the bishop check. He makes this move in many games, but why don`t his opponents try it, I wonder?
Jan-10-06  morpstau: No the fork trick works well for white its just that Anderssen knew he was up against the chess machine and prudently avoids 6...bxf2+!! Morphy would then use his ultra superior combinational skill to baffle and destroy the old german professor! A great game from a wide standpoint and one in which Paul Morphy took great pride in.
Feb-06-06  THE pawn: The first 20 moves really looked like 21first century chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <... Euwe and Tarrasch also played in Haague. It was a tournament possibly unlike any other in the history of chess. Players were given positions from classic chess games and task to "complete" tense positions with White- and with Black pieces. Thus it transpired, for instance, that Morphy played Black in [this game] from the critical position after the 19th move of White [19.Ne5...], much better in 1858 than Euwe against Tarrasch in 1922! ...> Jan Kalendovsky: "Richard Reti, A Chess Thinker".

Tarrasch vs Euwe, 1922

Feb-28-06  FHBradley: <morpstau: Morphy would then use his ultra superior combinational skill to baffle and destroy the old german professor!> I wouldn't call Anderssen 'the old german professor', as he was 40 at the time the game was played; I wouldn't call him professor, either, but that is another matter. Nor would I call Morphy's combinational skill ultra superior to Anderssen's, but that, too, is another matter.
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: <center fork>
11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.d4 Bxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 looks better than the game line.

14...Nxd4 is preferred as the game line 14...Be6 should have seen 16.Qc2. BLK is under pressure in any continution
16...g6 17.Re1 Re8 18.Ba2 Nxd4 and WHT has the advantage.

although the game is won, 30...Kf6 with the idea of 31...g6 and 32...Rxe4 looks great. 30...Kf6 31.a4 g6 32.Qxh6 Rxe4 33.Qh8+

Nov-11-08  skemup: Reti wrote in backdays that both of this players have had almost the same talent for combinations, Anderssen even had more imagination than Morphy, but Morphy was first positional player and it was secret of his succes. About developing - white twice moved d-pawn, after 13..Nb4 blocked own queen rook which caused weekness of first line(for some time)which resticted potential of Anderssen attack.
Sep-12-09  kooley782: 45. ...Kc8 46.Rd5+ Rxd6 47.Rxc5 also favors Black.
Jul-07-10  aj415: Is 19... Qd6 the best move?
Feb-23-11  Llawdogg: Great story Gypsy!
Mar-11-13  AnotherNN: I thought that at move 32, Black would play 32...Bd4+, and then if White replies 33.RxB, he has 33...Qe1+ followed by a fork of the R & K with 34...Qe5+. But then White could just play 33. Kh1. Morphy would have seen that.
Mar-20-14  RookFile: Just another terrific game by Morphy.
Jan-18-18  CountryGirl: My favourite move here was 32...Qg6. No mucking around by Morphy! - he's got an extra queenside pawn and a much better placed king, so who cares about opposite colored bishops? A very modern feel to that.
Jan-18-18  WorstPlayerEver: Dunno. I prefer 39... Re8+
May-20-18  blevine: Anderson's excuse for losing: out of practice. Morphy's excuse (although he never made one): he just lost 2 pints of blood from leeches and couldn't stand! Yes he still won. Without the leeches, he might have swept Anderson.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Neither would Anderssen have offered up an excuse; he was the soul of chivalry.
Jun-01-18  Judah: 14...Nxd4 has been addressed here and confirmed to be a good move for Black. How about 14...Bxd4 ? Reti claims that this would be "falling into one of the many complicated traps which Anderssen sets....", giving the continuation <15. Ne2 Bb6 16. a3>, but I still don't see the trap. 16...Nd5 and now what? 17. Be4 seems adequately met by 17...Nce7.
Jun-01-18  Judah: Oh, I see it now: 17. Qc2 attacks the c6 Knight while threatening mate on h7.
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