Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Paul Morphy vs John Owen
London m2 (1858)
Owen Defense: General (B00)  ·  0-1


explore this opening
find similar games 9 more Morphy/Owen games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Olga is our default viewer, but we offer other choices as well. You can use a different viewer by selecting it from the pulldown menu below and pressing the "Set" button.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-25-04  N. Cline Plane: - every source I've consulted has Morphy over Owen +5 -0 =2; what was the source for this game Morphy supposedly lost?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 5-0-2 was the score of the match. There are three other Morphy-Owen games. This is one of them and Morphy won the other two.
Feb-25-04  TrueFiendish: Morphy shouldn't have lost this ending, but he had a quite heartening desire (rare nowadays) to win at all costs. And Owen outplayed him...
Feb-27-04  N. Cline Plane: <calli> Thanks, I don't know what I was thinking.
Feb-27-04  fred lennox: Owens Immortal. The exchange sacrifice 27...Rxf2 may of came as a surprise to Morphy though it was forced, any other move looses. Either Owen was lucky or he went deeper strategically. I give him credit for the latter.
Feb-27-04  drukenknight: Wow! what a great game by Owen. He also played this on Paulsen and lost a good game.

BTW: HOw is this one supposed to end? or did Morphy have to catch a plane or something?

Owens small pyramid formed by d7/e6/f7 is matched by Morphys huge zuggarat formation c4/d4/e5/f4/g4 Its funny how these patterns form when good moves are played. Why did Owen 00 anyhow? His K is fine right in the middle.

Feb-27-04  fred lennox: 47 Kd3...Kf5, the f4 pawn is gone and a2 pawn is vunerable. 0-0 is not just for king safety. It connects the rooks and enables the king rook help control the central files.
Feb-28-04  drukenknight: why 47 Kd3, not 47 Ke3?
Mar-01-04  fred lennox: 47 Ke3 makes more sense...Kf5 48 Rf2...Re4+ 49 K moves and the f pawn is gone.
Mar-01-04  drukenknight: why would morphy play it that way? As white he is behind in material and so he needs to get in the first check. the way you put the R as a mere defender, but he is behind in material anyhow he doesnt want to do that...

47 Ke3 Kf5 48 Rd2 I would guess.

Mar-30-05  RookFile: I agree that Morphy could have played some more moves here, before resigning.
Jun-29-05  Knight13: This is a friendly game Owen played against Morphy for the first time. After Owen beat Morphy, they both had a match, which, Owen didn't win a single game in the match.
Jun-29-05  InspiredByMorphy: I think 25.Nd6 gives white the advantage. If black tries to respond with 25. ...Bf3 then 26.Rd3 . Morphy's line of play was more elogant, but unfortunately more complicated as well.
Apr-24-07  Pragmatist: The end position is hopeless, that is why Morphy resigned. If white tries to activate his rook, the a2-pawn falls and with 2 connected passed pawns the win is trivial. If he doesn't activate his rook, black just wins white's f-pawn, pushes white's king further back, and advances his e-pawn. 47.Ke3 Kf5 and now 48.Rd2 which drunkenknight mentions, is only marginally better than 48.Rf2 as 48.Rf2 will lose a tempo after black captures white's pawn on f4. However, white is threatening nothing with 48.Rd2. There is no threat of check, or of attacking a pawn. True, white can theoretically interpose with Rd3 when black check's on the 3rd rank, but that loses miserably to either Rxa2 or exchanging rooks. Here is a simple trap that Morphy might have played for: 47.Ke3 Kf5 48.Rh2!? and now if black plays 48...Rxf4 white has some drawing chances with 49.Rh5+ Kg4 50.Rh4+! Kxh4 51.Kxf4 and white might capture all of black's pawns. However, instead of 48...Rxf4 black has the much better and simpler 48...Ra3+ (or 48...Re4+ is good too) 49.Kd4 is forced and now just 49...Kxf4 when 50.Rf2+ Rf3! wins easily as the exchange of rooks is immediately fatal and avoiding the exchange loses time and allows the advance of black's e-pawn.
Dec-11-07  sambo: Why not 35. Kg3, in an attempt to get a piece towards black's h pawn?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: This was the first game between Morphy and Owen. Following this game, they played four additional games, with Morphy winning all four.

In Lawson's book, "Paul Morphy" he states, <Morphy contested several games with him on July 3. Of the three games played that day, Owen won the first and Morphy won the last two. Later, they played two more games, Morphy winning both.>

Regarding Morphy's match with Owen, Edge reported, <Owen states that he does not look upon the result of the match with Lowenthal as conclusive of Morphy's superiority, not does he think that Morphy having gained of himself 4 out of 5 offhand games, in which Owen took an average of 1/4 hour to a move prove anything>.

Edge noted that Staunton often played Owen at odds of Pawn and move, and lost the majority of those games. Edge also noted that Owen had boasted, that if Mr. Staunton could not beat him at those odds, certainly Morphy could not. Edge then stated that Owen was so confident that he said to Morphy, <"Were it not for my position [as a clergyman] I would willingly play for 1,000 pounds">. Fortunately for Owen the agreed stakes were not 1,000 pounds, but instead were a set of ivory chessmen.

The result of this match, with Morphy winning +5-0=2, probably reduced Staunton's interest in a match with Morphy.

Dec-15-07  timhortons: owen beating the great morphy....i likewise like timman- handling in owen spassky
Jul-01-08  Whitehat1963: Player of the Day beats Morphy with black.
Sep-21-08  just a kid: I found it funny that morphy sac'd the exchange back.
Sep-21-08  just a kid: 25.Nd6 would be better.
Sep-18-09  WhiteRook48: 1...b6!!
Mar-07-10  sneaky pete: 25.Nd6 Nf3+

click for larger view

is rather messy. 26.Kf2 Qh4+ or 26.Kf1 Nxh2+ and black's knight, queen and bishop (as long as he remains on the board) will co-operate very well. I can imagine Morphy didn't fancy all this.

May-08-10  Xeroxx: <1...b6!!>
That is a sunday puzzle move.
May-02-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: 1. e4 b6 wins against morphy!!!!
Dec-20-12  Morphischer: Morphy got Owened.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
Reverend John Owen plays ...b6
by alter
Owen Defense (B00) 0-1 Exchange sac, Rook ending
from Dean Owen is here today! Hip, Hip, Hoorah! by fredthebear
Reverend John Owen plays ...b6
by rudiv
1. e4 b6 wins
1. ...b6 Owen's Defense
from Weird Openings by inlimbo777
Owen Defense (B00) 0-1 Exchange sac, Rook ending
from EG Rook Plus Endgames by fredthebear
London 1858 (Owen Defense)
from Favorite Games from (1515-1916) by wanabe2000
Reverend John Owen plays ...b6
by rudiv
The 19th Century's counterpart to Karpov-Miles.
from Fire Baptisms by Nasruddin Hodja
Chessman1's favorite games 5
by Chessman1
John Owen (1827-1901)
from Player of the day: notable game III by nikolaas
For Switching Qulythulg!Owen plays the Owen.
from Namesake openings. by just a kid
The original
from The best 1...b6 games by SwitchingQuylthulg
Morphy loses to the Owen Defence
from Famous champs lose to infamous openings by Fischer of Men
from L.J.Davison's favorite games by L.J.Davison
interesting games
by Rimrock

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC