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Paul Morphy vs Schrufer
"Smother of Invention" (game of the day May-08-07)
Paris (1859)  ·  Italian Game: Scotch Gambit. Anderssen Attack (C56)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-10-10  LIFE Master AJ: Paul Morphy - Schrufer [C56]
Paris, (France); 31,03,1859.

Another shining example of Morphy's
brilliance ... and his willingness
to sack boatloads of material.
1.e4 e5; 2.Nf3 Nc6; 3.Bc4 Nf6;
A <Two ♘'s Defense.>

4.d4 ,
Typical of PM, he always played for
rapid development and open lines.

[Interesting is: RR4.Ng5!?
See Spassky vs Geller, 1955. ]

4...exd4; 5.0-0 Nxe4;
6.Re1 d5; 7.Bxd5 Qxd5;
8.Nc3 ,
A remarkably modern line!

[Much worse was: 8.Ng5? Be7; ]

An aggressive move ... Black eyes
White's King from this post.

[The "book" continuation today is:
8...Qa5; 9.Nxe4 Be6; etc.
See the contest:
Lapshun vs Onischuk, 2004. ]

9.Nxe4 Be6; 10.Neg5 Bb4;
This move was an error, best for
Black was to (instead) play 11...0-0-0 .

11.Rxe6+ ,
While flashy and hard-hitting, this
might not have been the best.

[Best was: >/= 11.Nxe6!, ' '
Δ 11...BxR/e1?; 12.NxP/g7+.
(This forks Black's King & Queen.) ]

11...fxe6; 12.Nxe6 Qf7; ('?')
This was an error. After 12...Kd7; the
machine calls it close to equal, but I
still see a strong attack for White.

13.Nfg5 Qe7; 14.Qe2,
This is good, but the box prefers
something else.

[Probably best was: RR14.Bf4 , - Fritz 12. ]

Now 14...Kd7! would have gotten
Black out of most of his troubles.
14...Bd6; 15.Nxg7+ Kd7?;
A classic case of walking into an
uppercut, ...Kd8 was much safer.

16.Qg4+ Kd8; 17.Nf7+!?,
A very "loud" move, (<show-boat>) but probably not the best.

[The best move was 17.Ne4!±,
with the threat of Bg5, which would
pin (and win) Black's Queen. ]

17...Qxf7; 18.Bg5+ Be7?!;
Inferior, 18...Ne7 was better.

19.Ne6+ Kc8??;
Now Black dies a horrible death.

click for larger view

Correct was 19...Ke8; when the best
that White has is a perpetual check.
(See the variation given - just below.)

[Best was: 19...Ke8▢ 20.Nxc7+ Kd8;
21.Ne6+ Ke8; 22.Nc7+ Kd8;
23.Ne6+, "=" (draw) ]

Now Morphy gets a chance to deliver
mate, something he did not often miss.
20.Nc5+ Kb8; 21.Nd7+ Kc8;
22.Nb6+ Kb8▢;
Forced, if 22..Kd8; then mate occurs
instantly on the d7-square.

23.Qc8+ Rxc8; 24.Nd7#.
A nice mate by Morphy ... however,
this game did not hold up well
under computer assisted analysis.

1 - 0

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: After 11.Nxe6! fxe6 12.Rxe6+:

click for larger view

Rybka 3: <19-ply>

[+1.71] 12...Kd8 13.Qe2 Qf5 14.Re4 Bd6 15.Bd2 Kc8 16.Re1 Qd5 17.Qd3 a6 18.Nxd4 Nxd4 19.Rxd4 Qf7 20.Bb4 Bxb4 21.Rxb4 Kb8 22.f3 Qf6

[+1.88] 12...Kf8 13.Bf4 h6 14.Qe2

May-10-10  wals: Rybka 3 1-cpu: 3071mb hash: depth 14:

Black - Rook for Knight
+1.36 12...Qf7. better Kd7, +0.12.

White - Knight for Rook
+0.27 14.Qe2. better Bf4, +1.55.
Knight and pawn for Rook
=0.00 17.Nf7#. better Ne4, 0.84.

Black - Rook for pawn
+#6 19...Kc8. better Ke8, =0.00.
+#4 20...Kb8. delaying, Qf5 or Qe6, +#6.

As effective as Nc5#, was Nf8#.

May-10-10  wals: Taking a wild guess I'd say that a few of the kibitzers here suffer from recurring headaches, caused by constantly bumping into reality.
May-10-10  msmith5: It's a smothered mate.

Qc8+ Rxc8 (forced)

Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: <patzer2: <David 2009> In Morphy vs Schrufer, 1859, after 19...Kd7 20. Re1! how does Crafty play for the win> If you open the link ( you will see Crafty continues 20...h5.

click for larger view

I have no idea what should happen next. 20 Re1! is a nice move and very much in Morphy's style.

Have you considered activating your premium membership forum? - that is a better place for these discussions.

Jun-20-10  Gambit All: I believe if ...19♕xe6; 20. ♕xe6, ♗xg5; 21. ♕d5+, ♔e8; 22. ♕xg5, ♖d8 23. ♕g7, ♖f8; 24♕xh7 and Black's probably lost, but he can hold out much longer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: I have first learned of THE GREAT SMOTHERED MATE - as Mr. ADDICTION-TO-CHESS has labeled that constellation in his corresponding game collection - by studying a German-language book on famous matches, a fine compilation that had been composed by Martin Beheim-Schwarzbach. The first match in the collection is this brilliancy here by Our God Morphy versus deeply-shaken Schrufer, and that was the first time that I have ever seen the constellation of the SOMTHERED MATE. I was impressed, so I tried to learn the moves of that match by heart, and I deeply hoped and prayed for that I would ever get the chance to execute a final blow like that too. And the miracle took place one year later when I have got the chance, FOR REAL! Well, the circumstances were quite murky, but in the end, there it was coming up, that GREAT SMOTHERED MATE ... B Koester vs R Gralla, 1971 ... :-) ... And only many years later I have found out that it had not been my beloved Morphy who had first executed that knock-out by combined force of Queen and Horse on the board, but the legendary Greco round about 1625 ... with some extra trick, since back then the demise of poor King did not take place in some ugly corner of the battle ground but in full daylight, under the treacherous shining sun right in the center of the board ... NN vs Greco, 1625 ... :-) ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Even the girls know how to brutally finish off their opponent's King by THE GREAT SMOTHERED MATE, just have a look at an incidence during the Chess Olympics at Calvia 2004: S Duron vs V Garcia-Castro, 2004 ... 145 years after Morphy vs Schrufer!
Apr-17-11  lalla: i don't understand. 18. Ne7 by black kills all chances of attack. How does white win in that case?
Jun-18-11  dull2vivid: White would win by Ne6+, Followed by Re1, then Qxd5, then look at all of whites pawns, and you are Paul Morphy, and the other guy is lacking sooo much chess knowledge. Morphy wins by bringing his pieces in and being morphy. It all flows naturally. I see that you checked your lines with a computer, but you failed to check what the computer doesn't automatically consider. Check the potential for white. White can still fight for a win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: The technique of capturing Black King in this game here <P Morphy vs Schrufer, Paris 1859> is called "Philidor's Legacy".

But with regard to "Philidor's Legacy" one has to know that the MATRIX of THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1 has first been published by LUCENA in 1497, that is to say: more than 200 years before Philidor.

Herewith the matrix of that situation - I have found that position in the great book "The Art Of The Checkmate" by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn ... and I have been too lazy to try to find that very position in the online edition of LUCENA's book.

I am talking of the basic position of THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - VERSION NO. 1

Herewith the starting-out position that has been composed by LUCENA in 1497, please check out Luis Ramirez de Lucena:

click for larger view

The final moves will be as follows:

1.Qe6+ Kh8 2.Nf7+ Kg8 3.Nh6++ Kh8 4.Qg8+!! Rxg8 5.Nf7# 1-0

Now we see: That very GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1 has to be called "LUCENA's Legacy", in case that we are talking of the notorious "legacy" with regard to THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1 ... whereas Old Philidor has done a lot for teaching chess tactics and chess strategies, for sure, but there is no justification to link Philidor's name to THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1 since it has been LUCENA who has first composed that nice teamwork by Queen and Knight in order to hunt down the King on the opposite side of the board.

Since 1497, LUCENA's Matrix of THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1 has been put on the board over and over again. In the following two parallel cases - out of a million (or so ...) of parallel cases.

First of all - the original after the decisive 1.Qe6+ Kh8 2.Nf7+ ...

click for larger view

Now the striking parallel case that has been put on the board 362 years after LUCENA having composed THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1, namely in this game here <P Morphy vs. Schrufer, Paris 1859>, after 21.Nd7+ ...

click for larger view

... with the only difference that the sides have been reversed and Black King gets cornered on the right Black wing this time.

Last not least the game B Koester vs R Gralla, 1971 , no more and no less than 474 years after LUCENA having composed THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1: In the following the diagram after 22. ... Nf2+ ...

click for larger view

... with the only difference that the colours have been reversed (in comparison to LUCENA's original composition).

And finally one more modern example, namely K Bischoff vs K Mueller, 2004 , therefore it is a good idea to be alert and to watch out for LUCENA's legacy of THE GREAT SMOTHERED CHECKMATE - BASIC VERSION NO. 1!

Oct-27-11  JoergWalter: <Nightsurfer>

<The final moves will be as follows:

1.Qe6+ Kh8 2.Nf7+ Kg8 3.Nh6++ Kh8 4.Qg8+!! Rxg8 5.Nf7# 1-0>


1.Qe6+ Kh8 2.Nf7+ Kg8 3.Nd8+ Kh8 4.Qe8+ Qf8 5. Qxf8++

Oct-29-11  JoergWalter: Another Morphy game with the same mate pattern

Morphy vs T J Bryan, 1859

Jan-21-12  naruto00122: 20.Nf8+ is also crushing
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: Beautiful knight dance from move 18 on. Ooh... why don't games like this happen anymore?

10...O-O-O has been established as the standard response to 10.Neg5. Morphy obliterated 10...Bb4 with his usual attacking prowess.

Apr-22-12  SBC: .

I've only ever Morphy's opponent called "F. Schufer." I'm curious if this would be Franz Schrüfer of the Bamberg Chess Club?

Oct-29-12  Conrad93: Morphy took the e6 pawn with the wrong piece.

It's hard to appreciate this game once you realize that Morphy's opponent has several chances to refute Morphy's attacks.


Jul-03-13  lolchessaments: When discussing strong players I feel bashful using the term "blunder"... especially in regards to a strong attacking position. I like "Fancy Play Syndrome" much better. And as others have pointed out Morphy "fancied" away the advantage more than once in this game and if it wasn't for mate pattern this could go down as one of his worst games.

I think it's worth pointing out because the thing that always impressed me about Morphy is he didn't fall victim to the fancy moves, especially relative to the other strong attacking players of his era. Anderssen will have fifty pieces hanging, while still maintaining a winning attack, but analysis will show a much more direct yet less fancy win while Morphy didn't go in for those types of shenanigans.

Feb-18-14  bkpov: the goal in any chess game is to capture the king or to make its position untenable. Morphy used to do it straight away and without any fuss. those who talk about theories and positions and defenses are big windbags who have never succeeded at the highest level. Morphy epitomizes the true spirit of chess.
there can be none like him.
Apr-02-14  Cyborg1939: Morphy's legendary photographic memory made him him the best ever. In my book.
Sep-26-14  capafischer1: Morphy was super accurate. according to Bobby Fischer Murphy was the most accurate player in the history of chess
Premium Chessgames Member
  MSteen: I can't imagine playing "Guess the Move" for a Morphy game. The way he sacked pieces with wild abandon for a brilliant combination would leave me guessing wrong at almost every turn. I remember one of my own OTB games (casual), though, in which I was able to pull of this smothered mate pattern. I even said to my younger opponent, "watch this and remember it; it's really cool." Even he was impressed.
Feb-23-15  Clasher123: Wondefully Played by Morphy and all the great sacks which Schrufer couldn't refude
Feb-25-15  Cactusjuice: Morphy's tactics can beat anybody alive today...
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