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Paul Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard
"A Night at the Opera" (game of the day Dec-02-07)
Paris (1858)  ·  Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1-0
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Last move:

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Given 360 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

Annotations by Robert James Fischer.      [17 more games annotated by Fischer]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Life Master AJ> <RookFile> <offramp> Hey thanks for your thoughts. Guess with someone like Bobby having something memorized is no big deal, since his mind is able to almost memorize at sight. I know how I feel when I've practiced something over and over (rote) I don't want anything in front of me, basically I want to prove to myself, that I don't need the notes. Example: If I were to perform a musical piece, I'll have all ready practiced it, many times, so having notes in front of me defeat the purpose, but that's just me. thanks for your responses!!
Oct-21-13  LIFE Master AJ: You are definitely welcome ... I had no idea anyone even cared. I know that - for me, personally - seeing that video was a real joy. To be honest, if not for Bobby Fischer, I would probably be your next-door plumber, and not involved in chess today.

Poor Bobby, so talented, such a brilliant mind. It still bothers me that he ended the way that he did.

However, I can ALWAYS separate the man from his games. Bobby's games - for me - are like jewels that only grow brighter with age.

All the best - aj

Oct-21-13  RookFile: Fischer showed one variation in the video involving Qd5+ and Qxa8 that I don't remember seeing in anybody's else's notes to the game.

I liked LL Cool J’s:

“Going Back to Colle”

Jan-07-14  paramount: make 13.Rxd7 a POTW. Maybe friday...?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: A great discovery! These days the German ChessBase-author MARTIN WETESCHNIK has found out some very interesting details with regard to the partner of Duke Karl with whom the foregoing had formed the legendary duo that wanted to face great MORPHY ... only to suffer that painful bashing during that fateful "Night at the Opera" 1858:

# the COMPLETE NAME of that very <Count Isoard> - ATTENTION: the correct way of writing his family name is "Isoard" without the "u"!! -, namely --> <Count Marc Leon Bruno Joseph Gustave d'Isoard-Vauvenargue>;

# both the years of birth and death of <Count Marc Leon Bruno Joseph Gustave d'Isoard-Vauvenargue>, namely <1804-1883>.


A superb find!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: thanks Nightsurfer, amazing that no one had discovered it before.

translated from the article on Isoard

<Only these five letters left over from those decades -long friendship. The two friends may have written hundreds of such small writing. One of these (dated October 26, 1867) by Charles II to his friend , the Count dIsoard is , :

Dear Count ,

I have every day sent someone to find out news from you , and I'm very sorry to know that you are still suffering .

In the event that you are back on your feet , I inform you that Paul Morphy to come to-night in the box at the opera today, and I 'll send you a card. But please do not come if you are not recovered properly , and you might catch a cold and backslide.>

Feb-19-14  Sally Simpson: Well of course I have to add this game to my favourites.

The most famous game ever played?
The most reprinted game ever played?

You do know of course know that the game was between Morphy and Count Isouard only.

The Duke was only watching and never actually suggested any of moves. (except those he made the Count take back when Morphy was off buying the choc ices.)

This is all explained quite cleary here.

Feb-20-14  RookFile: Morphy was annoyed because he wanted to watch the Opera instead. As a result, his play is very ruthless and direct here. There's one more thing: it's also very beautiful.
Mar-08-14  Levo: One of my very favorites.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: < RookFile: Morphy was annoyed because he wanted to watch the Opera instead.>

Can you tell us anything else about Morphy's state of mind?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <offramp>

From Frederick Edge's account of the evening.

<H. R. H. the Duke of Brunswick is a thorough devotee to Caissa; we never saw him but he was playing chess with some one or other. We were frequent visitors to his box at the Italian Opera; he had got a chess-board even there, and played throughout the performance. On our first visit "Norma" was performed. The Duke's box is right on the stage; so close, indeed, that you might kiss the _prima donna_ without any trouble. Morphy sat with his back to the stage, and the Duke and Count Isouard facing him. <Now it must not be supposed that he was comfortable. Decidedly otherwise; for I have already stated that he is passionately fond of music, and, under the circumstances, wished chess at Pluto.> The game began and went on: his antagonists had heard _Norma_ so often that they could, probably, sing it through without prompting; they did not even listen to most of it, but went on disputing with each other as to their next move. Then Madame Penco, who represented the Druidical priestess, kept looking towards the box, wondering what was the cause of the excitement inside; little dreaming that Caissa was the only _Casta Diva_ the inmates cared about. And those tremendous fellows, the "supes," who "did" the Druids, how they marched down the stage, chaunting fire and bloodshed against the Roman host, who, they appeared to think, were inside the Duke's box.>

Mar-10-14  LIFE Master AJ: This is the most famous game of all time, more people know/recognize this game than any other game in chess.
Mar-10-14  Petrosianic: <Sally Simpson>: <Well of course I have to add this game to my favourites. The most famous game ever played?
The most reprinted game ever played?>

Certainly in the Top 5, and certainly a strong candidate for #1. I doubt that any actual polls have been taken to show that more people recognize it than, say the Immortal Game or the Evergreen (or even the Fools and Scholar's Mates).

Mar-10-14  LIFE Master AJ: I did not make up the above fact.

Marshall, Reinfeld, Chernev ... and many others, said it first.

Mar-10-14  solskytz: Or Reti-Tartakower, 1910
Mar-11-14  LIFE Master AJ: <sol> Reti vs Tartakower, 1910.

Is that the one that you were referring to?

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Since it was first played this game has been repeated many times. So I suppose Morphy may have played this game before.
Mar-13-14  john barleycorn: Morphy had his warm-up in this game

Morphy vs Harrwitz, 1858

Concerning the foolowers of this game - <Rene Gralla> here has seemingly played a copy of almost every spectacular game in chess history. Just see his page.

Mar-20-14  solskytz: Sure, <AJ>
Mar-20-14  RedShield: <‘Paris, 13 Nov. Yesterday, Duke Charles of Brunswick caused a great scandal at the Théâtre des Italiens. He was playing chess with his companions during the performance and making so much noise that the theatre’s director had to demand that he be quiet.’>

May-12-14  satkul: a very instructive game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Talking of your last posting, dear <John Barleycorn>, please do not exaggerate! Those very few cases of - partial! - replays that I was lucky enough to recognize OTB are less of one-tenth of a percent of all those games in more or less goofy style that me, a bloody amateur, I have played during those years since I have learned the rules of chess.

On the other hand I firmly believe that those very few cases of - partial!! - replays that can be checked out on my personal page are quite instructive since they help to demystify the game of chess a little bit. For they are proof of the fact that a game of chess can be defined as being a stringing together of recurring so-called "chunks", that is to say: typic constellations of the pieces, and you "only" have to recognise those chunks ... ;-) ... but the latter fact, that is the problem of course, in all too many cases I have overlooked even the most basic chunks.

The tragedy of a hopeless PATZER!

Premium Chessgames Member
  MindCtrol9: There was no player, before or now, that can be equal to Murphy in what attack and abilities to conduct it is.The only one close to him M Tal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Love this game. This is my absolute favorite mating pattern, the Opera House mate.
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