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Theodore Lichtenhein vs Paul Morphy
1st American Chess Congress (1857)  ·  Dutch Defense: Raphael Variation (A80)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 57 times; par: 69 [what's this?]

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find similar games 11 more T Lichtenhein/Morphy games
sac: 32...Bxb3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-16-05  InspiredByMorphy: Interesting endgame. Morphy gives up his bishop for two pawns and leaves white (although a piece up) with a hopeless position.
Feb-19-05  RookFile: I don't get it. Are you sure that
black, Paul Morphy, didn't resign
here? White plans Kc3, Nd4, Nxe6.
Feb-19-05  aw1988: You know, I think RookFile has a point.
Feb-19-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: This is not the complete score. Sergeant writes "Black eventually won, though there is no further score of the game. The advance of the Q side pawns must decide the issue, enabling Black to turn the hostile centre."

<rookfile> gives a natural plan Kc3 and Nd4 for White, pressuring e6. What is Black's winning sequence?

Feb-19-05  RookFile: It seems tricky.... how would it
go? Something like 34... b5
35. Kc3!? with this Nd4 and Nxe6
idea?
Feb-19-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Rookfile> That's it. Morphy had to have played 34...b5 and either gotten two connected pawns or if 35 Kc3 bxc4 36 Nd4 Kd5 and Black is winning.
Feb-19-05  RookFile: I think you're right. 34.... b5
35. Kc3 bxc4 (!!) 36. Nd4 Kd5
37. Nf3 c5! 37. Nd2 and it seems
like black is too fast in eating
white's kingside pawns before white
eats black's queen side pawns.

Thinking back on this, what an
amazing concept this is by Morphy!
By all appearances, Lichtenhein
set a trap for him, winning a piece,
yet Morphy sees that he's winning
anyway! Very deep!

Feb-20-05  beatgiant: I tried to save this for White after 34...b5 35. cxb5 cxb5 36. Ng1, with the idea of liquidating the kingside pawns so Black's remaining passers will be closer together and easier for the knight to deal with.

But it doesn't quite work after 36...a5 37. Nf3 a4+ 38. Ka3 Kd5 39. h4 gxh4 40. Nxh4 Kxe5 41. Ng6+ Ke4 42. Kb4 e5, followed by 43...Kd4 followed by the advance of the e-pawn, etc. and Black is still winning.

Mar-15-05  csmath: I just refuse to believe Morphy was able to calculate the ending completely. He might have seen that he cannot lose, which I guess would be good enough to try. In either case absolutely remarkable ending. I don't get why did Lichtenheim resigned without trying further.
Mar-15-05  RookFile: tamar says he did try further,
but this is all the moves we have.

This ending is a fantastic
conception from Morphy.

May-10-05  Jaymthetactician: Ahhh! So Morphy was a Dutch player? I heard the 2.Nc3 is objectivly best.
May-10-05  Jaymthetactician: I meant Aha!
Dec-19-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: After 33...c6


click for larger view

Rybka2.3.2a
(29-ply)
1. (0.00): 34.Na2 b5 35.Kc3 bxc4 36.h3 a5 37.Kd2 Kd4 38.Nc3 Kc5 39.Ne2 Kd5 40.Ke3 Kc5 41.Ke4 Kb4 42.Nd4 a4 43.Nxe6 a3 44.Nd4 Kc3

2. (0.00): 34.Ne2 b5 35.Kc3 bxc4 36.Ng1 a5 37.h3 a4 38.Nf3 Kd5 39.Kb4 c5+ 40.Kxa4 Ke4 41.Nd2+ Kd4 42.Kb5 c3 43.Nb3+ Kxe5 44.Kc4 c2 45.Kc3 Kf4 46.Kxc2 Kg3 47.Nxc5 Kxh3 48.Kd3

Apr-29-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: This is game #4 of the semifinal match of the American Chess Congress.
May-08-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: since engines declare this a draw, then with Sergeant's comment in mind; the losing strategy might have been to switch the roles of K & N. Since I perceive the drawing strategy is to have the N watch the passed Q pawns and the K defend the middle.

then something like :
34.Ne2 b5 35.cxb5 cxb5 36.Kc3 b4+ 37.Kb3 a5 38.Ng3 Kd4 39.Nh5 Kxe5 40.h3 Ke4 41.Nf6+ Kf3 ...

so the "advance of the Q pawns" is stopped by the K; but this leaves the N as a poor defender of the middle and its pawns.


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