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Louis Paulsen vs Paul Morphy
1st American Chess Congress (1857), New York, NY USA, rd 4, Oct-29
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rosenthal Variation (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-14-04  InspiredByMorphy: Morphy had a very forcing continuation which would have won a piece. Strangely enough, this is the third game Ive analyzed in a row, where Morphy had a great position by the 21st move, and got over aggressive. 21. ... Rxg2+ is a moment of insanity. 21. ... Qxh3! threatening mate. 22. Nf6+ Kh8 23. Kf1 Qxg2+ 24. Ke2 Rxf6 winning the knight, with an open attacking position.
May-14-04  HailM0rphy: The only reason that was insane to me was the follow up move...and btw look, starting from move 37, 12 of his last 16 moves were queen moves.. including 9 in a row.
May-14-04  InspiredByMorphy: <HailMOrphy> Your right. Thanks for the input. It made me go back and re-evaluate the move 21. Rxg2+ and its not insane, but very strong! Its just that the following move (as you pointed at looked bad to you) is one move to early. Im amazed he would see 21. ... Rxg2+! and not 22. ... Qg6+! In the following I have done my best to find the strongest replies possible for white. Now I feel I can say with certainty that Morphys 21. Rxg2+ is forcing and wins. 22. ... Qg6+! 23. Bg5 offering a bishop to keep black from winning the queen via Bxe4+, and indirectly developing the rook on e1 which guards the e4 square. Black now plays f5 with great effect. ... f5 24. h4 fxe4 25. Qe3 Bf4 26. Qe2 e3+ 27. f3 Bxg5 28. h5 Qxh5 29. Rf1 Rf4 threatens mate. A resignable position, as white must give up the queen to prolong the game. Black has a forced mate in 4. 30. Qc4 Rxc4 31. Rf2 Rg4+ 32. Kf1 Qh1+ 33. Ke2 Bc4#
May-15-04  HailM0rphy: wow.. thats a pretty deep analysis and probably what should have happend..But it still goes back to why didn't Morphy play qg6? It's pretty obvious so I doubt he just didn't see it..Maybe he played rxg2 then forgot why he did it?
May-15-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 22...♕g6+ 23. ♔f3 ♕f5+ 24. ♔e2 ♗xe4 25. ♕xa6 ♖b8 26. b3   (eval -1.55; depth 13 ply; 1000M nodes)
Dec-05-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: To chessgames.com:

There appears to be an error in the score of this interesting Paulsen-Morphy game. The score in this database has for White's 19th move Be3. However, according to the score of this game which appeared in The Book of the First American Chess Congress, 1857, White's 19th move is Bd2. This is also the move that chessbase.com has in its database. In the annotations to this game in the above mentioned book, it says that "if B to K3d, Black would get a great attack by 19. Q.B. takes Kt., and 20. Q. takes R.P."

Dec-05-04  SBC: <Ron>

Sergeant's "Morphy's Games of Chess" also gives 19. B-Q2.

Dec-26-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: The gamescore has been corrected by chessgames.com, thanks.

On Morphy's 23rd move, the following comments are from The Book of the First American Chess Congress: "A most unfortunate slip. As soon as the second player had touched the Queen he remarked that had he taken the Knight the contest could not have been prolonged a dozen moves. And that he had the winning combination in his mind he proved by playing over the following variations immediately after the close of the game. Black's error consisted in reversing what should have been his twenty-third and twenty-fourth moves."

But did Morphy have a winning combination if he had moved 23 ... fxe4 I submitted this position to computer analyis, tried different variations, and it seems that Morphy did not have a forced mate after 23 ... fxe4. However, that move indeed is far superior and Morphy would, though not have mate, would have an objectively won game. Here is one line for example:

23. ... fxe4
24. Re1xe4 Qh5-g6+
25. Bd2-g5 Qg6xg5+
26. Kg2-f1 Qg5-g3
27. Kf1-e2 Qg3-g2+
28. Ke2-d1 Bd5xe4
29. Qd3xe4 Rf8xf3
30. Qe4-e8+ Bd6-f8
31. Qe8-e6+ Kg8-h8
32. Qe6-e2 Rf3-f2
33. Qe2xf2 Qg2xf2

Apr-13-07  wolfmaster: After learning that Paulsen was the first master to stress defense, it's obvious why: he often played Morphy and had to learn how to defend against ferocious attacks!
Oct-05-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Very interesting game!
Nov-17-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

Paulsen 10 mistakes:
17.Bg5 -0.95 (17.Bd2 -0.58)
20.Ng5 -0.54 (20.c4 -0.15)
21.Ne4 -3.23 (21.c4 -0.22)
23.f3 -19.06 (23.Qf3 -3.29)
27.Qc2 1.18 (27.h5 2.12)
34.Bc1 1.15 (34.Bc3 1.86)
40.Qh3 1.55 (40.Rh3 2.90)
42.Qe3 1.57 (42.Qh8 2.19)
43.Qh3 0.00 (43.Qd2 2.01)
53.Rh2 2.46 (53.Rd7 3.94)

Morphy 12 mistakes:
17...Qg4 -0.43 (17...h6 -0.95)
23...Qg6+ 1.14 (23...fxe4 -19.06)
26...Rd8 2.12 (26...hxg5 1.17)
31...Kf7 1.59 (31...Rd4 1.00)
32...Bc8 1.76 (32...Rd4 1.40)
33...Bb7 1.86 (33...Rd4 1.37)
34...Rd4 1.60 (34...Bf6 1.15)
39...Kg6 2.90 (39...Qe6 2.05)
40...Be7 2.22 (40...Bf8 1.55)
42...Qd8 2.01 (42...Qd4 1.57)
43...Qd4+ 1.40 (43...Qd7 0.00)
50...Qc6 3.48 (50...Kf7 2.27)

May-12-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: This is game 2 of the final round of the 1st American Chess Congress
Mar-04-09  WhiteRook48: why exactly were they playing random moves?
And it is surprising to see Morphy made more mistakes than Paulsen
Oct-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: A slip which throws away the win after the perfectly sound Rook sacrifice. After <23...fxe4!! > it is already over.


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Oct-07-10  morphy2010: On Morphy's 23rd move, the following comments are from The Book of the First American Chess Congress: "A most unfortunate slip. As soon as the second player had touched the Queen he remarked that had he taken the Knight the contest could not have been prolonged a dozen moves. And that he had the winning combination in his mind he proved by playing over the following variations immediately after the close of the game. Black's error consisted in reversing what should have been his twenty-third and twenty-fourth moves."

But did Morphy have a winning combination if he had moved 23 ... fxe4 I submitted this position to computer analyis, tried different variations, and it seems that Morphy did not have a forced mate after 23 ... fxe4. However, that move indeed is far superior and Morphy would, though not have mate, would have an objectively won game. Here is one line for example:

23. ... fxe4
24. Re1xe4 Qh5-g6+
25. Bd2-g5 Qg6xg5+
26. Kg2-f1 Qg5-g3
27. Kf1-e2 Qg3-g2+
28. Ke2-d1 Bd5xe4
29. Qd3xe4 Rf8xf3
30. Qe4-e8+ Bd6-f8
31. Qe8-e6+ Kg8-h8
32. Qe6-e2 Rf3-f2
33. Qe2xf2 Qg2xf2

Jan-23-15  Tal1949: Morphy is just lucky that he was not playing Magnus in this game. He would have got smashed.

Stockfish has Paulsen up +2.90 when the draw was declared. Keep playing Louis!


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