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Paul Morphy vs Adolf Anderssen
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 7, Dec-25
Scandinavian Defense: Anderssen Counterattack (B01)  ·  1-0


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Given 91 times; par: 42 [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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Oct-18-06  schnarre: I've seen 16...b6 suggested, though 16...Rd8 has come up from time to time. I find 16...Be6 worth checking out!
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: <for if ...b6, White would have taken the h pawn with the knight, and won a pawn.> but 17...b6 18.Nxh7 Nxh7 19.Qxg4 Nf6 20.Qf3 and the material loss is offset by a solid position.

and 23...Bd7 24.Bg6 Bc6 25.Rfe7 Rd1 is a more active defense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: There are a lot of tactics here. Suppose Black tries 20...Rd7

5 second puzzle:

click for larger view

Morphy has 21.Rxf7! Rxf7 22.Bc4

Jan-21-09  WhiteRook48: the Scandinavian doesn't seem to be an opening played by me anymore as Black. And, judging from this game, I'm going to refrain from it for a while and try responding with 1...e5. Morphy played amazing tactics in this game. It was fun to see.
Apr-22-09  SirChrislov: The Scandinavian is an excellent weapon against 1.e4 but you don't have to play the Andersson counter attack 4...e5 or even 2...Qxd5. play 2...Nf6!
Sep-12-09  kooley782: When Anderssen loses to Morphy, it seems as though Anderssen plays quite worse than usual. Notice that in the final position, all of Black's pieces are pretty much out of play while Morphy's pieces are very well placed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: You can't play <5...Qxe5> against Morphy hoping it won't get punished.
Feb-23-11  Llawdogg: I don't think we should be so hard on Anderssen. He did his best. Morphy had a way of taking people out of their game. By Game Seven here, Morphy had broken Anderssen's spirit. It was all over. This was Morphy's fifth win in a row. If this was a boxing match or a mixed martial arts contest, then the referee would have stepped in and stopped the fight to universal approval.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: I am often amazed that people look at the result of a game to determine if the opening worth playing. Say what you want about Black's choice of opening, but 15... Be6 gives Black a very slight edge.
Apr-05-11  PSC: <NM JRousselle: 15... Be6 gives Black a very slight edge.> I would say equality, but you're right about the opening being determined by the result.

Game annotated here:

Jul-17-11  DrMAL: The annotation on 1...e5 is comical by today's knowledge. I prefer the 3...Qd6 version but either way the Scandinavian is one of the very best openings against 1.e4 for black. The Anderssen counterattack is not the best but playable. Morphy's reply 5.dxe5 also not the best, but the game is played extremely well and is basically equal until 17...Bc8 a first mistake.

Here, the annotation is also silly, black's best was simply 17...h6 to drive back the knight. 20...Nd5 was a second mistake that Morphy took advantage of with amazing accuracy!

Jul-17-11  goodevans: <DrMAL> The stats on these openings would actually seem to back up Lowenthal's statement.

Of course "best" depends on circumstance and there may well be occasions when the Scandanavian is worth a try, but you'll never catch me playing it!

As for 3 ... Qd6, this has generally faired better than the more popular 3 ... Qa5, but it was dealt a body blow last year by Shirov vs Tiviakov, 2010.

In any case I shall now be adding yet another quick Scandanavian defeat to my "miniatures" collection.

Jul-17-11  psmith: <DrMAL>
After 17...h6 18. Ne4 it seems to me White is going to win the b7 pawn (or do worse damage). What do you have in mind after that?
Jul-18-11  DrMAL: <goodevans> The Scandinavian has enjoyed a big surge in high level play because it IS strong and the middlegame is quite sharp, requiring high accuracy. But you are welcome teach Tiviakov or any other GM rated 2600+ why they should not play it. In Shirov vs Tiviakov, 2010 an odd variation was (re-)played but after 11.bxc3 the position was equal (11...Nd7 was best) but soon black's inaccuracies started adding up. 15...e6 was one mistake (15...Bg7 or 15...Ne6 was better). But further mistakes (e.g., 19...Bd7 20...Rb8 and 22...Qc8) led to black's demise.

<psmith> Good question. After 17...h6 18.Ne4 (probably best) white can get the pawn on b7 but it is either temporary or black gets full compensation. For example after 18...Nd5 probably black's best move (18...Nd7 also seems good), 19.Qxb7 19...Rac8 and white has several options (e.g., 20.Qxc7 probably best or 20.f3 or 20.a3 etc.) so listing lines here can get rather involved. I suggest using an engine to see how the game is basically equal from here. The assumption that black was obliged protect the pawn on b7 is simply wrong.

Oct-11-15  The Kings Domain: Anderssen's confidence seemed to have been ebbing by then. He was beginning to make the mistakes of an amateur. I wouldn't be surprised if by that time he just wanted to get the match over and done with so he can spare himself the embarrassment of how the match had turned out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Kings Domain,

I was under the impression that Anderssen threw himself into studying chess after this match defeat and improved culminating in his Baden-Baden victory 1870 ahead of Stenitz.

It was a minor war cry of mine 'Even Anderssen studied and looked at Morphy's games and improved.' There is something in Morphy's games for everyone.

The match was 9 games in 11 days which may explain in part anyway the size of the result. Anderssen suffered a mid-match loss of form and there was no time given to recover, he had play through it. He did manage to win one more game after the middle-match collapse.

Some of the statements about The Scandinavian made me chuckle.

"...and there may well be occasions when the Scandinavian is worth a try, but you'll never catch me playing it!"

I played it for years with a reasonable amount of success, I hope I was using it on the right occasions.

Oct-12-15  The Kings Domain: Sally Simpson: Most likely. Judging from his Chess career after the Morphy match it seems his defeat did more good for him than otherwise. It's a shame Morphy never got to travel Germany for a rematch with Anderssen, it would have certainly been another good contest, not to mention having the American test his skill with the German masters. According to Edge Morphy was visited by a member of the Russian nobility who personally invited him to visit Russia and play against the country's best. Too bad that didn't push through as well, it should have been interesting.
Jan-15-16  SimplicityRichard: Just to wade in on this thread regarding the Scandinavian:

I was once in love with the Scandinavian Defence at the start of my Chess "career". I embraced it after losing to it when I didn't know how to respond. I won several quick games with it, after studying and employing the 2...Nf6 variation.

However deep into my playing career, I discovered that when one meets very strong opponents, the Scandinavian has very solid structures as that of the Caro Kann. In fact, many Scandinavian variations transpose into a Caro Kann. Furthermore, the Scandinavian allows White if he/she is well prepared, to employ a variety of systems against it. And my reluctance to devote a great deal of time to study a defence that does not offer many winning chances meant that I had to revise my repertoire.

In view of my playing style, that is, possessing a penchant for wrestling the initiative, counter-attacking or even being outright aggressive, preferring not to respond to threats but to execute them, I abandoned my beloved Scandinavian Defence. Nevertheless, the Scandinavian is fully playable; although having looked at the statistics, it is more like a drawing defence that loses rather more often than other 1.e4 defences.

That's my view on my first love.#

Apr-24-16  talhal20: I agree to Llawdogg when he says" Morphy
had way of taking people out of their game" This has been seen time and again in Morphy games. Here it is Anderssen, himself a great player.
Apr-25-16  talhal20: You play any opening against Morphy. He invariably transposes that in to the position he desires. Scandinavian is not an exception.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: The moves of this game were briefly featured in an episode of Cowboy Bebop
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Another game confirmed by the <Parlinier LLoyd Tagbladdet Fur Schak Im Nederland> as being played on Christmas Day.

It was their second match game of the day and I reckon they played the moves very quickly. I would say an hour at the most for the whole game.

Lowenthal makes a good comment: <"1... d5 We consider this mode of evading an open game as decidedly inferior to either ...e6 or ...c5,>" He certainly has a point, because at move 6

click for larger view

we have a position which is just about as open as any open game can be. Morphy played a good game, poleaxed his opponent and soon both of them were off to the Hotel restaurant for a troughful of chicken liver pate, prawn cocktail cups, roast turkey crown, Brussels with chestnuts & sage, roast potatoes, honey-roast carrots, crisp honey mustard parsnips, Christmas spiced red cabbage, bacon, sausage & prune rolls, caramelised shallot mash, bread & shallot sauce, port & cranberry sauce with juniper and unlimited drinks.

Merry Christmas to everyone at from Old Offramp.

Premium Chessgames Member
  CherrylandCafe: This game belongs in A First Book of Morphy, to demonstrate how three extra moves in development adequately compensate for an opening pawn sacrifice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Cherry,

I think the two most instructive points are from Anderssen.

Don't try and hang onto a gambit at the cost of development.

click for larger view

Here Anderssen castled instead of playing 12...Qe7 or 12...Qa5 both of which seem to be asking for more trouble than the pawn is worth.

And here:

click for larger view

Morphy would jump into the Mississippi before playing such a move as 17...Bc8.

Analysis above seems to indicate 17...h6 was the better choice with even chances.

To even consider and play an unforced move like 13...Bc8 shows just how out of form and unconfident Anderssen was at this stage in this match.

Nov-15-17  Compound Error: According to the film "Pawn Sacrifice", chronicling Bobby Fischer preparing to face the Russians in California, he plays a version of this game blind versus his Second, Father Lombardy. After Bobby informs him of the move Queen to Knight's 4 as being from the Morphy - Anderssen game, on move 17, instead of the playing the River Mississippi Jump move (returning the Bishop to its square on the 8th rank) Lombardy suggests Pawn to Queen's Rook 4. Bobby still plays Queen to King 7. Lombardy plays Queen takes Queen, then Bobby grins and plays Rook takes Queen (although he hadn't yet moved his Rook onto that file) and wins. Instead Hollywood blunders. Should we now finally forgive Anderssen for his human error?
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