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Theodore Lichtenhein vs Paul Morphy
"Slamming Theodore Shut" (game of the day Jun-01-2010)
1st American Chess Congress (1857), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Oct-22
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. Advance Variation (C45)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-27-07  blitzkriege: <nimh: It was far from the best move. After the castling black's dark-squared bishop finds itself to be en prise. Then White's queen captures the pawn with check, and black is forced in passivity for a while.>

Without meaning to nit-pick, don't you think it's a bit over-critical to call 14...Qd8 a 'mistake'? After white castles, black can retreat his bishop to b6 and after Qxc6+, black can interpose his light-squared bishop on d7 and castle next move. That leaves black a piece up.

After your suggested 14...Qh6, I would suggest white play 15.Qxe4 with double attack on g4 and e3. Most importantly, material is the same as 14...Qd8, but white's queen is in a more central position and it seems like she is going to win her piece back...

14...Qd8 maintains the advantage in a simple efficient manner. I would not call simplicity a mistake.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I commend <nimh> for running Morphy's games through analysis with Rybka, as it has always been my belief that Morphy made fewer and less serious errors than anyone before Lasker.

In my count though, 14...Qd8 is not an error, as it does not change the assessment of the position.

If it did change the position from won to advantage Black, I would agree, but both positions are clear wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Another very strong (Morphy-style) move is <14...0-0-0>, with the following line <15.0-0 Qh3 16.Qxe4 Bxf2+ 17.Kxf2 Rhe8!! 18.Kg1 Rxe5>

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Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Amazing
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: This is game #1 of the semi-final match of the American Chess Congress
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: <Rybka 2.3.1 mp, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33 Morphy 1 mistake:> perhaps the word "mistake" should be replaced with "suboptimum"! the emotional connotation with "mistake" would be eliminated.

<After your suggested 14...Qh6, I would suggest white play 15.Qxe4 with double attack on g4 and e3. > 14...Qh6 15.Qxe4 Bc1!
. 16.Qxg4 Bxb2 17.0-0 Bxa1
. 16.a3 Bxb2 17.Qxg4 Bxa1
. 16.b3 Bh3

<Another very strong (Morphy-style) move is 14...0-0-0 15.0-0 Qh3 16.Qxe4 Bxf2+ 17.Kxf2 Rhe8!! 18.Kg1 Rxe5> 14...0-0-0 15.0-0 Qg5 16.Qxc6 Bf3 17.Nf3 (15...Qh3 16.Qxe4 Bb6 17.Qxc6)

May-06-08  RookFile: This is a great game by Morphy. It shows how far he was ahead of his time.
Oct-08-08  alkaemper: Can anybody tell me, what would have been the best line for black after 13. g3 (instead of Qc4)?
Dec-13-08  Bautismo: According to wikipedia, this is one of the earliest examples of zwischenzug (10.Qh4)ever recorded...
Jan-07-09  notyetagm: <nimh: Rybka 2.3.1 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

Lichtenhein 3 mistakes:
13.Qc4 -2.25 (13.g3 -0.76)
14.g3 -4.22 (14.0-0 -2.29)
15.fxe3 #7 (15.0-0 -2.45)

Morphy 1 mistake:
14...Qd8 -2.45 (14...Qh6 -4.22)>

Could someone please update this analysis for <RYBKA 3>?


Jan-07-09  notyetagm: T Lichtenhein vs Morphy, 1857

<Bautismo: According to wikipedia, this is one of the earliest examples of zwischenzug (10.Qh4) ever recorded...>

10 ... ?

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And what a great <ZWISCHENZUG> that is, 10 ... ♕d8-h4!.

10 ... ♕d8-h4! not 10 ... d5x♗e4?!

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Jan-07-09  nimh: <notyetagm>

Here is a quick blunder check, 30s per move, threshold 0.15

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 last book move 0.11/13 8. Nxc6 $11 -0.22/15

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bc5 10. f3 Ng5 11. f4 Ne4 12. Qd3 Bb6 13. Nc3 Nxc3 14. Qxc3 c5 15. Nf3 $11 0.11/13) 8... bxc6 -0.42/13 9. Bd3 -0.41/13 Bc5 $11 -0.05/15

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 9... Qe7 10. Qe2 f5 11. exf6 Nxf6 12. Be3 c5 13. b3 Qe6 14. O-O Bd6 15. h3 O-O $15 -0.41/13) 10. Bxe4 -0.20/14 Qh4 -0.09/14 11. Qe2 $15 -0.28/15

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 11. O-O Qxe4 12. Re1 Qf5 13. Be3 Bxe3 14. Rxe3 Rb8 15. Na3 Qf4 16. Rf3 Qe4 17. Qd2 O-O 18. Re1 $11 -0.09/14) 11... dxe4 $11 0.05/14

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 11... Qxe4 12. Qxe4 dxe4 13. Nc3 Bf5 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. fxe3 Ke7 16. O-O Ke6 $15 -0.28/15) 12. Be3 $17 -0.86/15

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 12. O-O Bd4 13. c3 Bxe5 14. f4 Bd6 15. Qxe4+ Kf8 16. Nd2 Re8 17. Qd3 Qe7 18. Nc4 Bc5+ 19. Kh1 $11 0.05/14) 12... Bg4 -0.78/14 13. Qc4 $19 -1. 74/14

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 13. g3 Qh5 14. Qc4 Rd8 15. Nd2 Bxe3 16. fxe3 O-O 17. Qxe4 Rfe8 18. h3 Bxh3 19. Rc1 Qg4 20. Qxg4 Bxg4 21. Nc4 c5 $17 -0.78/14) 13... Bxe3 -1.49/13 14. g3 $2 $19 -3.62/14

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 14. O-O Bb6
15. Qxc6+ Ke7 16. Qxe4 Rhd8 17. Nc3 Qh5 18. Nd5+ Kf8 19. Nxb6 cxb6 20. Rac1 Bf5 21. Qe3 Kg8 22. f3 Rac8 $19 -1.49/13) 14... Qd8 $2 $19 -1.62/15

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 14... Qh6 15. Qxe4 Bc1 16. Qxg4 Bxb2 17. O-O Bxa1 18. Na3 Bc3 19. Qc4 Ba5 20. Nb5 Qe6 21. Qa4 Qxe5 22. Nd4 O-O $19 -3.62/14) 15. fxe3 $4 -#12/5

(♖ybka 3 32-bit: 15. O-O Bd4 16. c3 Bb6 17. Qxc6+ Bd7 18. Qxe4 O-O 19. a4 Bh3 20. Re1 Qd7 21. a5 Bc5 22. b4 Be7 23. Ra2 Bf5 24. Qf4 Qe6 25. Rd2 h6 $19 -1. 62/15) 15... Qd1+ -#6/7 16. Kf2 -#15/6 Qf3+ -#3/8 17. Kg1 -#10/4 Bh3 -#4/3 18. Qxc6+ -#9/3 Kf8 -#4/3 19. Qxa8+ -#8/3 Ke7 -#3/3 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: A rather amusing and naive game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White can finish his last meal but will be executed...
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Morphy in a huff sinks Lichtenhein a kindred spirit. That bottling the knight 8.Nxc6 chucks up the pawn black grip the edges. I'd have constituted monarch to castle main first priority or Bxc6 the principal. It yearns shucks for an early bath once there's his played 12th. White makes a meal out of it. Looking stale and cold Qc4 teaches him a lesson. Theodore is unhinged in reply would he only castle. Ave time again for 19..Ke7 watch out attacking keepsake Morphy's about and victor storm off.
Jun-01-10  ROO.BOOKAROO: I agree with Richard Taylor. I don't know if it is just me, but I find all those "Morphy games" boring. Analyzing them to death seems such a sterile exercise. As Taylor says, there's always a "naive" opponent who seems to play enough idiotic moves to make Morphy appear brilliant at the moment of estocada. The puzzle game was far more interesting. Did Morphy enjoy playing those games? Probably not, because he grew tired of these "naive" opponents and preferred to drop out. He must have felt he was playing against grown children.
Jun-01-10  Atking: It's not Morphy's fault if these opponents are weak. The fact is he tried to meet stronger opposition and still produced some gems. At the end he even tried hypermodern moves like 1.b3 or 1.f4 to explore others fields than its contemporary romantic approach.
Jun-02-10  kjr63: It is easy to call Morphy's opponents weak, when one understands "development" and they did not.
Nov-26-10  lionel15: When looking at Morphy's games one must remember the chess knowledge about at the time. He was undoubtably the best of his era.
Mar-30-11  SeanBurdine: I'm not a great player by any means but even I can tell that Lichtenhein made a horrendous mistake by not castling when he had a chance. It may not have affected the outcome but it would surely have enabled him to put up greater resistance.
Jun-21-11  Llawdogg: Zwischenzug! Morphy invents the in between move.
Jul-20-13  LIFE Master AJ: Hello: (My web page on this fantastic game of chess - just greatly updated it.) (My own js-replay page.)

I am about to do a video on this game ... it should be done later on this afternoon.

Jul-21-13  LIFE Master AJ:

My (new) video on this game ...

Mar-06-14  LIFE Master AJ: InfinityCurve left the following comment for me on Google:

<< "Nice work :) I'm an Expert (barely), trying to make it to 2200 & have decided to go over the games of the classical players, starting with Morphy. Thanks for the vid!" <<<>>> >>

Paul T. (from Ohio) also liked this video and sent me an e-mail thanking me for my work.

May-21-14  ljfyffe: John Cherriman - G. Palmer 1854 Toronto: 1e4 e5 2d4 exd4 3Nf3 Nc6 4Bc4 Bc5 5Ng5 Nh6 6Nxf7 Nxf7 7Bxf7+ Kxf7 8Qh5+ g6 9Qxc5 d6 10Qc4+ Kg7 110-0 Rf8 12c3 Qf6 13f4 a6 14Kh1 Be6 15Qe2 Rae8 16Nd2 Qh4 17Nf3 Qg4 18Bd2 Kg8 19Rfe1 Bd5 20h3 Qh5 21Qf2 Rxe4 22cxd4 Nxd4 23Nxd4 Rxd4 24Kg1 c5 25 Re7 Qf5 26Bc3 Qf6 27Rae1 Qxf4 28Bxd4 Qh6 29Qe3 1-0
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