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Charles Maurian vs Paul Morphy
New Orleans (1854)
Chess variants (000)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-20-04  Elrathia Kingi: It never ceases to amaze me what crazy positions Morphy seems to create and dominate.
Nov-13-04  Bobak Zahmat: Morphy is awesome but I don't think he's opponent is a player of much pontentions.
Nov-13-04  SBC: <Bobak Zahmat>

<Morphy is awesome but I don't think he's opponent is a player of much pontentions.>

His opponent is Charles Amedee Maurian, Morphy's best friend. Maurian, in 1854 when this game was played, was just learning the game. Maurian was also one of Morphy's few opponents as he got older. Maurian continued to play Morphy at knight odds and eventually became too strong for Morphy at those odds.

Maurian also held his own against some of the best players of the day. He became the New Orleans Chess, Checkers and Whist Club champion after Morphy retired from public play. He was the chess editor of the New Orleans Times-Democrat newspaper and wrote Morphy's obituary.

Sep-08-05  RookFile: And Maurian beat Steinitz at a normal game.

Steinitz vs Maurian, 1883

Nov-08-05  schnarre: What shall we uncover next, I wonder?
Dec-13-05  shortsight: While Morphy was the best of his time, this game did little to suggest that, as it seems like Maurian was indeed at the beginning of learning the game. Maurian in this game seems playing for a lose rather than a win.
Dec-14-05  schnarre: At times playing with odds can have a psychological impact, especially if the one giving odds plays the game well.
May-30-06  crwynn: 18...Qxg4! The start of a pretty combination. Incidentally, Maurian was probably not at the *very* beginning of his chess career, or he wouldn't have played 21.Bxe6 - meaning, at least he could calculate far enough to see 21.Bh3 Ne5 22.Rg3 h4, which is the point of 18...Qxg4.
May-30-06  crwynn: The most elegant feature of his idea is that first Morphy induces the KR to block the KB, denying it a good retreat square - its only retreat square being h3, where it...blocks the KR, denying it a good retreat square in turn (that is, anywhere along the third rank where it guards the Nc3).
Dec-31-08  WhiteRook48: wow. why did Maurian resign?
Jan-01-09  WhiteRook48: another great Morphy win and happy new year! I seriously doubt this happened on Dec 31, 1854.
Feb-07-09  WhiteRook48: 21. Bxe6?! is weird
Dec-24-10  meppi: 21 Bexe6 is to clear the h3 square for the white rook.

IE: if instead 21Bh3. Black can play

21.Ne5 attacking the rook. The Rook must not leave the 3rd rank or the white horse on c3 will be killed.


22. Rg3

and black plays h5.

White gets into trouble if the bishop doesn't 21.Bxe6

Feb-12-11  Dredge Rivers: Hey! Some of the pieces are MISSING!

What gives?

Jun-10-11  lemonadepawn: @Dredge Rivers - It is an odds game, that's why some pieces are missing.
Dec-16-13  CaringLuv: Was Morphy's second move wrongly recorded? How could he have played 2....Nf7 when his f pawn has not been moved? The moves recorded read: 1.e4 Nh6 2.d4 Nf7. Clearly, Black's second move must have been recorded wrongly.
Dec-16-13  BareKing: Clearly, the f7 pawn was missing from the start, since this was a rook + pawn odd game.

Look at the starting board carefully :-)

Dec-16-13  Poulsen: Games like this - upon which much of Morphy's fame is based - is simply rubbish.

If it did not have this weak glimpse of historic value - I would certainly move for a deletion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Poulsen> That's not true at all.

Morphy's fame has to do with his record against the top players of his day, and the Maurian games are discounted by almost everyone.

1...Nh6 and 2...Nf7 do not inspire confidence, but with all moves losing, Houdini confirms that this is one of the best ways for Black to play to avoid immediate loss.

Morphy understood that he had to be active against such tremendous odds, but even more important was not to expose his pieces so that White could gain an initiative.

Dec-16-13  RookFile: I can't think of a word to change in what tamar just wrote.
Dec-18-13  Poulsen: <tamar><Morphy's fame has to do with his record against the top players of his day>

No, that is - at best - only half the truth. Many of Morphy most hailed games are off-hand games against weak opposition. You can start with the "Notable games" list if you like.

It is true, that Morphy would not have had this unreal Godlike Genius status, if he had not been able to beat the best players of that time.

In around 40 serious games he scored around 70 % agaínst the best players available.

Thats good enough to consider him the strongest player in the world at the time by a comfortable margin. But it is not an awesome result. He was in that respect not much more dominant than other players had been before him or after him.

So there is more to it, than him being strongest of all. Much of his fame - obviously - lies in games like Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 - or the games against Maurian.

Dec-18-13  RookFile: How does winning a simul against 4 of the top ten players in the world rate?
Jan-29-16  juanhernandez: none could be more beautiful view
than the door that leads to u
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