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Paul Morphy vs Alexander Beaufort Meek
1st American Chess Congress (1857), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Oct-14
French Defense: Normal Variation (C00)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-23-04  Pawn Ambush: Note Morphy's original opening moves,and check out how he handles the closed position. He would of been just fine in the closed games of today!
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Yes, note how Morphy uses a formation which became popular 80 years later, after Alekhine's win over Capablanca (AVRO 1938). That game started 1.e4,e6; 2.d4,d5; 3.Nd2,Nf6; 4.e5,Nfd7; 5.Bd3,c5; 6.c3,Nc6; 7.Ne2! By developing his Knights behind the pawn wall, he can easily redeploy them as the formation solidifies (14.Nf3). You wouldn't know it from this game, but Meek was a strong player. Nonetheless, he's up against a player literally decades ahead of his time.
Dec-07-07  micartouse: Fischer said Morphy was a very theory-savvy player (insofar as they existed at the time). Perhaps he was imitating White's development in Anderssen vs Staunton, 1851.

It's an interesting idea. It would be worth playing around with against such passive openings. Basically, it allows for pawns before pieces with some flexibility.

Dec-07-07  Riverbeast: "If the meek want to inherit the earth they'll have to get in line!"

-Nicky from 'Donnie Brasco'

Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: for this amateur, Morphy's attack preparation seems _too_ much. The attack starts 1-2 moves later than _i_ would! since Morphy is better than me, i'm trying to understand him.

for instance, why 17.Qe1 instead of the immediate Nh4? if you play Meek's plan, then 17.Nh4 Nc6 18.Nxg6 Kxg6 19.gxf5+ Kf7 20.fxe6+ Kxe6 21.f5+ Ke7 and 22.Nf4 Qb8 23.Qe2 seems as strong as the game continuation.

maybe 18.Nh4 was not the intent behind 17.Qe1. after 17...Nc6, Meet is making it "clear" that the clearance sacrifice is either not noticed or evaluated as not a high threat. The latter seems correct as 18...Qf8 (instead of 18...Ne7 or ...Qe8) shows that Meek still doesn't perceive the danger of the clearance sacrifice.

if the above rambling is correct, then 17.Qe1 is to get the Q to h4. something like 17.Qe1 -- 18.Qh4 Kh8 19.Ng5 (19.gxf5 Nxf5) Qe8 (orQf8) 20.Nxe6 Qf7 21.Nxg7 Kxg7 22.g5 h5 23.Ng3 and WHT has material, but not open lines around the BLK K.

it's too bad about 22...Ke7. this allows Qh4+ and now Qe1 is justified! but 22...Kf7 23.e6+ Ke8 24.exd7+ kxd7 25.Nf4 Qf7 and BLK is still in the game.

all in all, an instructive game. Morphy's style of 1) minor piece & pawn development, 2) King protection, 3) heavy piece placement and finally 4) K attack is in full display (to me!)

It's quite interesting that Meek resigns after _his_ move. He saw that the move's result was a forced mate in three.

Premium Chessgames Member
  The Long Diagonal: heuristic: <It's quite interesting that Meek resigns after _his_ move. He saw that the move's result was a forced mate in three.>

It's more likely that Meek did not resign himself but Morphy declared a mate in three. Back in those days, it was allowed to win games by talking instead of playing to the end. That rule was abolished somewhere in the 1870's or 1880's I think. I remember reading of at least one game where another player's mate declarement was incorrect but his opponent believed him and resigned right away. If I remember correctly they were both top players of the era, possibly Adolf Anderssen being the losing part, but this is something I'm not sure any more.

Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: This is game #2 of the second round (quaterfinals) of the American Chess Congress.
Mar-19-11  Amarande: 7 choices for mate in 3.

How often does this happen in a serious game? ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A little question for the Morphy Pros out there, after <13.Bc2>:

click for larger view

I'm going through the newspaper chess columns at Pope's <Chess Archaeology> site. This game was published in the "Baltimore American" for Februrary 3, 1884, and Black's 13th move is given as <13...a5>. We have <13...a6>.

Yes, I know it makes no difference as the game goes. I'm just wondering what the Truth is.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Fiske gives a6 in the T-book
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Calli> Good enough. Thanks.
Nov-18-12  Llawdogg: Morphy's first six moves were very symmetrical.
Aug-28-16  talhal20: Will any one explain Morphy playing 10h3 and 11h2l
Aug-28-16  sudoplatov: 10.h3 is to defend the Pawn-to-be on g4.

12.Kh2 is to clear g1 and h1 for Rook deployment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Aug-28-16 talhal20: Will any one explain Morphy playing 10h3 and 11h2l> White wants to play g2-g4 & Rg1 (which he does do on his 15th and 16th move, respectively).
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