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Paul Morphy vs Theodor Knight
"A Knight Can't Mate" (game of the day Jul-05-2004)
New Orleans cg (1856), New Orleans, LA USA
King's Gambit: Accepted. King's Knight Gambit (000)  ·  1-0


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Given 222 times; par: 15 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: <odds game with no QR & QN> more evidence that this is an odds game:
14.Nc3 is a crushing move!
Mar-19-08  Knight to f6: <heuristic> Quite likely, Morphy very rarely played anyone except masters on equal terms. Those games were mostly blindfold, simul, consultative (like the famous game vs the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard), or with odds. This is probably an odds game, the two disputed pieces seemed like they were never there!
Mar-19-08  Amarande: According to <Morphy's Games of Chess>, where this was featured as Game CCC:

* the opponent was named T. Knight rather than A. Knight

* it was indeed an odds game without White's QR or QN.

Another one for the collection of nifty pawn mates, btw: S Nimzowitsch vs Neumann, 1899

Apr-14-08  JimmyVermeer: Assuming Morphy actually played without his queen's rook and queen's knight, Knight still had the advantage at the end by playing Qe7 instead of Ne7?? Aside from this, it would appear that Knight's biggest mistake was 14...Nxe5. 14...Kf8 could have won.

I'm kinda surprised would make this the game of the day when it wasn't recorded correctly in the first place.

Congratulations to Mr. Morphy for a well-played odds game. He made some very good moves and no serious errors.

Apr-24-08  Amarande: <JimmyVermeer: Knight still had the advantage at the end by playing Qe7 instead of Ne7??>

Not really. The continuation would be 16 ... Qe7 17 d5+ Kf6 18 Bxe7+ Nxe7 19 Qxh8+ Kf7 20 Qxe5 (but not 20 Qxh7+?? Bg7! and Black remains with four pieces for the Queen, a winning advantage)

At this point, Black has three minor pieces for Queen and pawn, roughly a material equivalent. However, his game is still hopeless, mainly on account of the fact that his pawns are badly weakened (indeed, White threatens to win a pawn at once by 21 Qh5+), as well as the fact that White's center pawns are powerful connected passed pawns which Black's poor development is not in a position to counter.

In fact, against any reasonable move here, White can continue with 21 Qc7 and Black cannot even afford to develop the QB and Rook. For instance 20 ... Ng6 (to save the h4-pawn from the threat 21 Qh5+) 21 Qc7+ Kg8 22 e5 b6 23 c4 Ba6 24 b4! Rc8 (24 ... b5 25 Qc6 catches the unfortunate Bishop) 25 Qxa7 Bxc4 (the only place the unfortunate Bishop can go) 26 Qxb6 and now White has two sets of connected passed pawns (Black cannot continue with 26 ... Bxa2 because 27 Qe6+ catches the Rook).

Aug-21-08  megatacos: Thats beautiful, pawn move mates are always really cool. Also, white had such good development that black couldnt play 5...QxE4, or else 6.KF2 threatening 7.RE1 and making an artificial castle.
Oct-06-08  Whitehat1963: Hilarious finish.
Dec-16-08  number 23 NBer: I was really hoping, when I clicked on this one, to win clue #31. Ah well.
Dec-16-08  sleepyirv: <number 23 NBer> It should have been this game!
Dec-24-08  WhiteRook48: What about the player named A King?
Jan-06-09  WhiteRook48: if the posts that Morphy took of Queen's Rook and Queen's Knight are true, then Morphy took off his opponent (A Knight) at the start.
Feb-01-09  WhiteRook48: nice exploitation of the pin too
Jun-12-09  WhiteRook48: the Pin is mightier than the sword
Oct-10-09  tentsewang: Morphy takes risks which are immaculate and gets his reward very soon! Amazing!
Dec-28-09  zanshin: Assuming this was an odds game without White's QR and QN, then Morphy's play was pretty sound or justifiable. Black's mistakes seem to have been <41...Nxe5?> allowing the King to be trapped in the center (better was 14...Kf8) and <16...Ne7??> allowing mate (better 16...Qe7 giving up the Queen).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A Knight is probably an ancestor of Mr. P.R.O.P. (Those of you from The Age of Descriptive Notation will understand!)
May-23-11  Llawdogg: Wow! This checkmate with a pawn on d5 is very similar to the game Busnardo vs NN, 1590.

Oh, the good old days!

Jul-09-12  vinidivici: is this chess variant....? no rook and knight....

wow...A. Knight must be a very bad player. With this kind of odds, i am myself would beat any GM today.

Aug-02-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Morphy vs A Knight, 1856.
Your score: 29 (par = 15)


Sep-09-13  SBC:

While "A Knight" is rather poetical, Morphy's opponent was the more prosaic Theodor Knight.

Nov-01-13  davide2013: Something strange happened. I was playing this game in the Guess The Move feature, and the Ra1 and Nb1 WERE NOT missing. Now, the problem is that I did play 12.Pb3, but I was reluctant to play some moves later, because I was considering the Ra1 in danger or the use of the Nb1. But they are not in this same game. So maybe there is a software error in Guess the Move??
Jan-12-15  gmelfranco: logico morphy se arriesga como un guerrero o un aquiles luchar todo por el todo vencer o morir!!!!!!!!!! a el no le importaba las tablas jejeje
Nov-06-15  MindCtrol9: Giving Rook and Knight and winning in 17 moves.The only one,Morphy!!!!!
Dec-11-16  Kaspablanca: "A Knight Can't Mate" is one of the best pun ive seen in
Premium Chessgames Member
  john.owen: Until 12...Nd7 black is in the game. 12...Be6 12 Ba3+ Kd8 is about even.
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