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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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Given 154 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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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...
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: This is an example of a Smothered Mate, Philidor's Legacy.

Comments by Reshevsky:

The first eight moves have been played many times. Instead of the text move, Black can obtain a satisfactory position with either 8...Q-QR4 or 8...Q-Q1. After the text move, White regains his piece immediately and remains a pawn down, for which he enjoys the better development. Eventually, Black is forced to give up his extra pawn -- the QB.

9.NxN Better than 9.RxN+ (giving check is not always beneficial), B-K3 10.NxP QxQ+ 11.NxQ 0-0-0! pinning the N-Q4 with the better prospects

10.B-N5? Black has delayed castling long enough. The correct move therefore would be 10...0-0-0.

12. NxKP White has given up a rook for a bishop and a pawn -- not an equal exchange ordinarily, but, in this case, White has prevented Black from castling, subjecting his king to harassment.

14.Q-K2 Threatening 15.NxBP+ or NxNP+

15...K-B1 would have been the lesser of two evils.

19...K-B1?? The only try would have been 19...K-K1.

20...K-N1 If 20...K-Q1 21.Q-Q7#

This is the well-known "smothered mate." The legendary Morphy knew how to exploit his opponent's weak play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Tal would have been proud to have been white in this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: One more case of the SMOTHERED CHECKMATE in modern times - well, it is just the opener of that killer that has decided the game V Vasilescu vs N Stanec, 2012, just check out the opener <35.Rxd3! ...> and the follow-up <36.Qb3+ ...> there!
Jan-18-16  talhal20: Morphy was too much for Schrufer.
Jan-18-16  talhal20: Carlsen the present world champion will certainly beat Schrufer but will not be able to engineer the smothered mate Morphy brought about. That is the difference between Morphy and the 21st century grand masters.
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