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Paul Morphy vs Johann Jacob Loewenthal
"Tonight, Let it be Lowenthal" (game of the day May-21-2009)
Morphy - Loewenthal (1858), London ENG, rd 8, Jul-30
Philidor Defense: Boden Variation (C41)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-06-07  Judah: I must be making some mistake, but wouldn't 35 Kh7 be the natural move to play?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Judah>
On 35. Kh7 Kf7, Black can shuffle his king between f7 and f8, and the result is an immediate draw. In this ending, Morphy was trying a little too hard for a win.
Apr-05-07  Judah: Ah, thanks.
Aug-10-07  frank124c: When I was being taught to play by "Chessmaster" Richie--who by the way is the star of a YouTube video--I was told that one should play for a draw. This game proves that he was right, at least in some instances, because here we see Morphy, the Master who is worshipped above all other chess masters, play for a win when the position was drawn and thus he lost. He aspired to the stars but in this instance he crashed and burned. Alas such is chess a cruel, cruel game.
May-21-09  NewLine: Puns are overrated. <Yawn>
May-21-09  PolishPentium: "Newline": Au contraire.^^ Puns are punderful. As a friend used to say: "No punishment if 'no pun ish meant'"...Heheh.

Back to chess. To be honest, PP was / is shocked that Morphy lost this. As LifeMaster AJ implies at various points above, there were several surprising inaccuracies in his play throughout the game. Highly atypical, it seems...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: hard to believe this was a match game. Morphy usually played better blindfold games than this.
May-21-09  randomsac: Great endgame maneuvering with a very bad pun.
May-21-09  tatarch: <jakaiden: According to Basic Chess Endings(Fine) White must play 30. Kh3! to save the tempo, and after 30...g5 31. fxg6+ Kxg6 32. Kh4, etc. white wins.>

Thanks for pointing that out, very instructional.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Beating Morphy with the Philidor--way to go, JJ!

I've been using the Philidor more and more, lately--even though one of the first things I was ever taught in chess was, "Don't play the Philidor, it's weak, it cramps Black's game," etc. I've never had much trouble beating the Philidor, but now I find it's winning a disproportionate number of games for me as Black.

It's well worth while to study Morphy's games as Black with the Philidor. Far from cramping his style, he used it as a fearsome weapon which provided him with opportunities to seize the initiative early in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: For the winner here,it was slamming the dunk on LeBron or MJ (in his prime).Loewenthal upsets Morphy!!

An elongated pawn game-with the last nonpawn disappearing on move 26. In fact at that time,there were fourteen pawns and two kings.

May-21-09  lisbon67:
May-21-09  drpoundsign: Morph should taken the rook on the back rank and made check in the process no??
Premium Chessgames Member
  shalgo: <drpoundsign> <Morph should taken the rook on the back rank and made check in the process no??>

I assume you mean that he should have played 23.♖xd8+. But Black would have played 23...♕xd8 24.♗xc5 ♕d1+ 25.♔f2 ♕xc2+ followed by capturing the bishop on c5.

May-21-09  wanabe2000: When reviewing the game I thought 18.Rfd1 was the best play. Upon lookong at former posts I saw that LIFE Master AJ pointed that out in 2005. This was a very instuctive endgame on the king "opposition" and "distant opposition".
May-21-09  WhiteRook48: I can't believe it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  nasmichael: Following up on 'distant' opposition. Glad to have these games here, accurate or not, to see what others have done.
Jan-01-11  josejoasm: I had played 48.Ke2 to attack pawn c5 and win the game ;-)
Jul-15-11  horseboat: Horribly botched endgame by Morphy. Perhaps this is why he's not a LIFE Master, no?
Jul-15-11  DrMAL: <horseboat> Yes you are right, Morphy was definitely not a LIFE Master LOL. He was a mere GM who would have surely been the first WC likely retaining this title into the 20th century.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: So you think Morphy would have been champion from 1850s to 1900s?
Apr-04-14  yureesystem: This is an easy draw, Morphy try too hard to win this game.
Jun-23-15  MindCtrol9: May be Morphy gave him that point because with <47..Kh4> it was an easy draw with the opposition of Kings.Morphy killed everyone he played and Loewenthal was no exception.
May-05-17  hudapri: Really fascinating game. Morphy obtains a great position out of the opening, but 18.Qg4 is actually a blunder! The surprisingly forcing idea of c6, Bc5 liquidates all the material, and shuts down any threats of Bxh6. And with 22... Rd8 Black survives by a tactical hair and completes liquidation.

So now a very unusual endgame where White has a symbolic "advantage" of having an advanced King. Morphy presses on with 43. a5, creating complications. After he establishes opposition, Black again survives by a hair by being able to play 45... a4! and 46... a5! All other moves lose.

Now the Kings dance around for a while and in search of complications, 51. Kg1?? And again by a hair, Black is winning. Especially unusual to win with a rook pawn.

So Morphy made 2 errors. 18. Qg4, going from a good to a drawn position. Then 51. Kg1, going from drawn to lost. And from move 18, Lowenthal played perfectly.

May-05-17  hudapri: Even when the great Morphy blunders it's instructive! And credit to *Loewenthal!
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