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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...

May-21-09  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!
Sep-16-09  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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