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Napoleon Marache vs Paul Morphy
"Two Knight's the Knight" (game of the day Oct-18-09)
New (1857)  ·  Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Pierce Defense (C52)  ·  0-1
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find similar games 2 more N Marache/Morphy games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: One thing I like about Morphy is that he nearly always seems to be moving forwards. Every move seems to develop a piece or move a piece to a better square.

And with your army better developed and further up the board than the opponents', combinations are bound to appear.

The star move for me here is 11...Bf5. This develops his last minor piece, blocks the b1-h7 diagonal and joins up the black rooks. The drawback is that it allows white the exchange winning tactic of 12. Bxf5 Nxf5 13. Bh3 Qg6 14. Bxf8 Qxg5

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White has won the exchange, but just look at the development of the pieces! Black has four pieces in play to white's one. And white is going to have to spend another move to get his Bf8 to safety. Surely the exchange is not worth that amount of black development?

Black's next couple of moves increase his advantage. 15. Ba3 dc! I love this move. It opens the d file for the black rook to harass the white queen and it temporarily entombs the white knight and Ra1. The only safe square for the white knight is on a3, but that is already occupied by white's greedy bishop.

By the time the play spools to 18...Ncd4 we have almost total black domination. His pieces dominate almost every useful square and the white queen has nowhere safe to run to. She has to stay near the Bf4 or e2 to stop Ne2+ from forking king and bishop. 19. Qc1? is clearly rubbish. 19. Qd1 allows 19...c2 forking queen and knight. And 19. Qe4 allows Morphy's pretty queen sac/ knight mate.

And as always, Morphy makes it look so easy... just keep moving forwards....

Premium Chessgames Member
  gauer: Weird is that just 2 years later, Mandolfo vs Kolisch, 1859 0-1 had a similar configuration of leaping Knights across the Pawn shield.
Oct-18-09  weisyschwarz: "...ain't nobody's gonna stop Paul now."

Oct-18-09  JG27Pyth: Napoleon Dynamited!
Oct-18-09  WhiteRook48: some sources say the game ended at 19...Ng3!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Now 19...Ng3! is a really neat discovered attack!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An immortal by Morphy-spookingly similar to Marshall's gem a few years later.

KNIGHT MOVES!!! (BTW,a good Movie,starring Christopher Lambert,deals with chess.)

Aug-06-10  LIFE Master AJ: My analysis of this game ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: White had the chance to take the N on g3. So not a fool's mate; but a mate for a fool.
Dec-25-11  Llawdogg: Wow! What an amazing finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: N Marache vs Morphy, 1857

Egads, what an *enormous* <LEAD IN DEVELOPMENT> Morphy has.

17 ... ♖a8-d8

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"The serene nineteeth beams on you, and seems almost to spell an artful, patronizing Q.E.D."> -- William Ewart Napier, "Amenities and Background of Chess-play".
Apr-28-13  JimNorCal: The Napier book does not seem to be available on Amazon, a pity. Will you be providing a brief review on the Napier bio page?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <JimNorCal> You might look for it as "Paul Morphy and the Golden Age of Chess". Horowitz and Reinfeld issued an edited version under that title, and it would probably be the only version available today. It's the one I'm actually using, but I'm trying to stick to the Napier part. Those aren't hard to pick out.
Apr-28-13  JimNorCal: <Phony Benoni> Thanks! Yes, Golden Age is rare but available.
Aug-10-13  EvanTheTerrible: A great attack and final position.
Apr-05-14  Whitehat1963: What an amazing finish! Morphy's skill at finding killer combinations is unparalled.
Aug-26-14  naresb: 19. Ng3 was excellent. Suddenly it was revealed that it wasn't Ng3 which was vulnerable but Qe4 was and that too paved way for a mate.
Sep-09-14  Sanjeev Thakur: One of the best games
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Napoleon Marches to Waterloo
Dec-12-14  posoo: EXTRORDANARY

DIS is da kind of move dat we fools can only DREAM OF.

Even tho it is SIMPAL. it eludes your si,poe mind. DAT IS RITE.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Joules: This game appears in a chess column in the Houston Weekly Telegraph of Jan. 5, 1859, which suggests Marache resigned after move 19. An interesting problem is also posed with the alternate move 19. Qa4. Is there a forced mate? If so, in how many moves?

The subsequent column with the answer, if any, is missing from the Chess Archeology collection at

I don't see a forced mate, but the image of the clipping is an interesting insight into how chess was covered during Morphy's playing career. Two weeks later, another Morphy game is featured.

More recently, regarding chess coverage, Shelby Lyman's syndicated weekly chess column was removed from the Houston Chronicle in 2013.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joules: Here is a curiosity. For fun, I entered the game from the 1859 newspaper account using my iPhone Shredder app. On comparison, I discovered a move out of order. In the 1859 published account, White castles at move 6, not move 9, as in this and apparently many other published accounts, according to <LIFE Master AJ>'s excellent analysis. Black's following move is the same as in this account, thus 6. O-O Nge7 instead of 9. O-O Nge7.

I submit this as an oddity, not necessarily a correction. However, the 1859 article attributes the source to a letter from a reader while referencing Marache as the "chess editor of 'Porter's Spirit' [a popular sporting magazine of those times]." For me, this suggests Marache's own column might be the source for the moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joules: Further sniffing suggests the source of our move sequence. In the 1860 book 'Morphy's Games' compiled and edited by Johann L÷wenthal, on page 376 are the familiar and accepted sequence of moves.

As I said, just a historical curiousity.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Doing some research on this game and only popped on to correct verdi's 2007 post. (better late than never).

Marache was actually born 3 days and 3 years 'after' the Battle of Waterloo, not 3 days before it.

As usual a very good Wiki post FSR.

Pity there are no pre-1857 games by Marache.

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