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Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais vs Alexander McDonnell
London (1834), rd 1
Center Game: Accepted (C21)  ·  1/2-1/2
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Annotations by Paul Morphy.      [30 more games annotated by Morphy]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-03-08  tcooke: Referring to tpstar's comment above: Cary Utterberg's annotations on this game from his book also indicate (wrongly) that 48.Kxg6 h4 loses for White, stating that "the knight cannot hold against the king and pawn on the kingside." This is somewhat surprising, as Utterberg knew about Morphy's annotations, and could have consulted an end-game database (which confirms the draw).

Also, I agree with some of the computer analysis above... the position after 39...h5?! appears theoretically drawn, and 39... Nc5 appears to give more winning chances. I'm interested whether anyone can find an actual win for Black here. I've been able to win against Fritz from this position by luring the White king away from the centre with my knight, then saccing it for the opportunity to take the g4 pawn and pushing my connected passed pawns. However, if White plays sensibly, and defends the g4 pawn with his king, the game still seems drawn.

Jan-03-08  bigpawn: I'm currently working on a "Histrical Players, Places and Games" category on my blog at http://onlinechessstore.com/ Theres going to be stories and bios about the old timers and places and whatnot. You guys are for the most part intelligent, so come on a post something if you want.
Aug-16-08  Boomie: Morphy's annotations were published in his chess column in The New York Ledger from August 6, 1859 until August 4, 1860. The text of his first column including a marvelous statement of purpose, a best move puzzle and this game can be found at http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skitt....
Sep-21-08  just a kid: Amazing how many missed winning chances there are in this game.
Nov-18-08  desiobu: Morphy says in the annotations that 46. Nxe7 was also drawing for white, but how?

If the white king tries to race across, black's h pawn promotes. If it takes the h pawn the black king wins the race.

Feb-22-09  thebribri8: in the annotations, who is "we"?
Feb-22-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: <thebribri8>, "we" in this context is sometimes called the "Royal We." Morphy uses the Royal We instead of simply writing "I." Supposedly, English monarchs have been saying things like "We are not amused" for centuries.
Feb-22-09  thebribri8: That's sort of pretentious on Morphy's part, isn't it?
Feb-22-09  MaxxLange: It's also called the "editorial 'We'", and Morphy was writing this for a newspaper. It may have just been the expected style; prose from the 19th Century often sounds stilted to our ears.
Feb-24-09  thebribri8: <desiobu> That's not true. The king can take the pawn and make it to the a-file in time.
Jul-12-09  WhiteRook48: 46 Nxe7 Kxe7 47 Kxh5. king can defend at a1
Dec-09-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: We think Morphy's vocabulary is magnificent. Anyone here ever *ameliorate* a position?

Sigh. A Great courtroom lawyer lost to chess.

Sep-08-10  twin phoenix: domdaniel yeah i loved the use of ameliorate also! alas, i have done it far too many times!
May-03-11  squaresquat: re Domdaniel: Not just lost to law, but lost to the diplomatic corps. Putting Morphy on the Southern diplomatic front, might have secured European recognition for the Confederacy. Victory for the South would have meant the end of the evils of big federal government. Slavery is not economicly viable in a prosperous society of small businesses. If what capitalism says about itself is true, slavery would have died out without the sacrifice of half a million men and boys. But without the great rebellion of the south and the funds generated through war profits our system of railroads would have remained unbuilt
Feb-01-12  Knight13: GM Znosko-Borovsky half-disagrees with Morphy about 2. d4. In <How to Play the Chess Openings>, he points out its flaws and recommends the reader not to play it.
Jan-06-14  Oliveira: Hmm, I would have gone 25.♖xb7, a typical wood-pusher's move. And after 25... ♖ad8 26.♖xa7 e2 27.b4 ♘d3 28.♖b1 ♘c1 29.♔f2 ♖d1 30.♖xc1 ♖xc1 31.♘e1 h6 32.a4 ♖e4 33.b5 ♖f4+ 34.♔e3 ♖xe1 35.b6 ♖e4+ 36.♖xe4 ♖d1, I would have blundered a perfectly drawable position. Yep, La Bourdonnais and I are different in that aspect.


click for larger view

Position after 36... Rd1

Apr-22-14  dernier thylacine: If after the 28th white move, instead of losing a tempo with 28...h6, Black had immediately played 28...b5, the saving continuation of White was no more possible: after 29.Rd4?! (29.Rc7 is now better but does not save the day after 29...Nd3...)29...Rxd4 30.Nxd4 Nd3 and if 31.Re2? Nf4! and the fork is lethal.

In fact, White was lost after 28...b5 (or 28...Nd3), but Mac Donnell had to see better the chessboard than at the end of the secund game: so it seems he could win the three first games in a row instead of only drawing them!

Nov-27-14  Knight13: <<If 48. Kxg6?? then 48... h4 49. Kg5 h3 50. Kg4 h2 51. Kg3 Ph1=Q 1-0. I like this game.> <aw1988: Knight13, no one chases after a pawn when their king is outside of the square. It looks like the knight comes back in time to stop that pawn.>> 48. Kxg6?? h4 49. Nc5 h3 50. Nd3 h2 51. Nf2 Kd7 52. Kf5 Kc6... and Black wins the a4 pawn, then march his King to the Kingside, take White's Knight and promote the pawn. 52. Kg5 Kc6 53. Kg4 Kc5 54. Kg3 h1=Q 55. Nxh1 Kb4 56. Nf2 is no better.
Nov-27-14  sneaky pete: <Knight13> In that last line you give, after 56... Kxa4 57.Nd3 ... it's still a draw. I'm afraid that Morphy patzer is right this time. Where have you been all these years?
Nov-27-14  Knight13: <sneaky pete> I missed that note by Morphy somehow. It was not my intention to argue against him as if I knew better. Thanks for correcting me.
Feb-18-15  Oliveira: <tcooke: Referring to tpstar's comment above: Cary Utterberg's annotations on this game from his book also indicate (wrongly) that 48.Kxg6 h4 loses for White, stating that "the knight cannot hold against the king and pawn on the kingside." This is somewhat surprising, as Utterberg knew about Morphy's annotations, and could have consulted an end-game database (which confirms the draw).>

That a fact? I've been meaning to buy Utterberg's book for a good while, but honestly, am not sure now. Anyways, it must be just one more proof of the abyssal gap there is between immortals like Morphy and commoners of the chessboard; a rapid sideway glance must've been enough for him to be sure it was a dead draw.

Feb-18-15  Oliveira: <dernier thylacine: If after the 28th white move, instead of losing a tempo with 28...h6, Black had immediately played 28...b5, the saving continuation of White was no more possible: after 29.Rd4?! (29.Rc7 is now better but does not save the day after 29...Nd3...)29...Rxd4 30.Nxd4 Nd3 and if 31.Re2? Nf4! and the fork is lethal.>

<Position after 28.h3>


click for larger view

Had McDonnell spotted the winning move, the game might have continued: 28... ♘d3 29.♖b1 e2 30.♘e1 ♘f4+! 31.♔g3 [31.♖xf4? ♖d1] ♖d1 32.♖cc1 ♖d4. 33.♘f3 ♖de4

<The battering ram is all set up>


click for larger view

Feb-18-15  Oliveira: Now, would somebody please explain me why the heck is this very game included among La Bourdonnais's notable games on this site?
Feb-19-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: <La Bourdonnai's notable games>

the term "notable" is defined here:

Chessgames Help

HTH!

Aug-06-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  dernier loup de T: Not to buy Uttersberg's book because some mistakes in his annotations, Oliveira?? Please, do not do that!! Mssakes like this one are seldom in his serious and giant work, both personal and a compilation: generally he's no NOT neglecting Morphy's annotations, believe me!! Nor the ones of Saint-Amant and of Staunton;

Maybe Utterberg is not a GM, but his work is lovely and deserving a lot of respect; not using a computer was too an interesting choice, at least I think so; and if if you suspect my opinion is unfair, get any other pieces of information before taking your decision; and, additionally said, don't forget the annotations of Morphy are covering only the two first matches;

at last, consider nobody is an all knowing genius; God doesn't exist, Oliveira, hoping I d'nt offend your religious sensibility by saying it, LOL; for instance, even Morphy oversaw that La Bourdonnais could win the 13th game by playing 68...Bg2 (or 68...Bb1, or even 28..Kg4)...

And in the present game, he oversaw too that 28..h6 was a terrible tempo wasting! Sorry for my bad english, but using french would be less effective, I guess...

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