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Johann Jacob Loewenthal vs Paul Morphy
Morphy - Loewenthal (1858), London ENG, rd 9, Aug-02
Spanish Game: Classical. Central Variation (C64)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Tamar> Löwenthal does not analyse Qg6. Here are his notes, algebraicized for your protection :->

"41.c6 bxc6 42.dxc6

A) 42...Qe6 43.b6 axb6 44.axb6 Bxb6 45.Rxe5 dxe5 46.Rxe5 Qf6 47.Qb3 (47.Rxf5 would be inferior; 47...Qxc3 48.Bxc3+ Kg8 49.Rxg5+ Kf7) 47...Rxc6 48.Rxf5 Rc1+ 49.Bxc1 Qxf5 50.Bb2+ Rf6 51.Qxb6 Qb1+ 52.Nf1 Qxf1+ 53.Kh2;

B) 42...Qf6 would lead to no better result.;

C) 42...Rb8 43.Qb4 Qe6 44.Rd2 Rfd8 45.Rd4 and Black has no means whatever of checking the advance of the pawns, which must, therefore win." - J. Löwenthal

Dec-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Calli> What I hadn't realized is that Löwenthal believed the combination on e5 was unstoppable against any queen move, because he could deflect the bishop on c7 with 43 b6

It is a neat idea, but fails against ...Qg6 and computer defence.

41.c6 bxc6 42.dxc6 Qg6 43 b6 axb6 44 axb6 Bxb6 45 Rxe5 dxe5 46 Rxe5

Now we have the same situation as with the queen on e6 or f6 with the crucial diffence that the queen is not threatened

so 46...Rf6 with winning chances.

Dec-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Tamar> Yes, I see the attack peters out. Would Morphy have found Qg6? An unknowable, but fascinating question.
Dec-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Yeah, unknowable.

But games like this where Morphy is crushed, but still wins may explain the passage in Anderssen's letter to Lasa where he says,

"He who plays with Morphy must not only renounce every hope of concealing even the subtlest traps, but he must also start with the idea that Morphy will clearly see through all, and that there can be no question of a misstep."

Actually I think if 42...Qg6 occurred in the game, Löwenthal would play 43 Rd1 and Morphy must still be careful.

for example after the preliminary 41.c6 bxc6 42.dxc6 Qg6

43 Rd1 Rb8 44 Qc4 Bxa5 45 Rxd6! (But of course Morphy would hardly fall for that either, but the tactics limit his counterplay.)

Sergeant says this game took 20 hours.

Dec-06-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: A further note

Löwenthal, before the analysis to c6 says

"The position, of which we give a diagram on account of its interest, was closely examined by some of the best analysts in the metropolis..."

I gather that it really bothered him that he didn't win this game and all the London players tried to find the right method.

Dec-06-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <"The position, of which we give a diagram on account of its interest, was closely examined by some of the best analysts in the metropolis...">

Not a bad effort, but I wonder who the analysts were. Did Staunton somehow get included?

Dec-06-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Herr Löwenthal does not name the analysts. I imagined he rounded up the usual suspects like Owen, Barnes et al. It would be interesting to know if Staunton annotated the game in his newspaper column.
Dec-07-05  Boomie: 41. c6 bxc6 42. dxc6 Qg6 leads to equality. That leaves the line starting cxd6 with the resource Bd4 as white's best winning chance.

41. c6 bxc6 42. dxc6 Qg6 43. Ng4

(43. b6 axb6 44. axb6 Bxb6 45. Rxe5 dxe5 46. Rxe5 Rf6=/- (-0.61/13))

(43. Rd1 Rb8 44. Qc4 h5 45. Kg1 Rg8=/- (-0.39/14))

43...Bxg4 44. fxg4 Rb8 45. Rxe5
dxe5 46. Rxe5 Bxe5 47. Qxe5+ Kg8 48. Qd5+ Qf7 49. Qe5 Qg6=

Dec-10-05  tolow4y: So much for saying morphy wasn't as adapt in the closed game.
Jan-10-06  morpstau: I have a very significant question. Why didnt lowenthal play for a good opening advantage with 4. nxe5! instead of the passive, buildind move 4. c3. ? the game would continue i believe with the second player ...4.bxf2+ 5. kxf2 ...nxe5 6. d4!! with advantage to the first player ( + -)) (Any comments))
Jan-10-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Wait a minute--how do we know Morphy played Black? This looks a lot like one of Steinitz' baffling defensive masterpieces.

Seriously though, we sometimes forget how versatile Morphy could be, and how advanced his thinking was. Look at how he finishes the game. If you were shown the position after 49...h5 and asked to name the opening and the decade in which the game was played, wouldn't you say it was a King's Indian Defense from the 1950s?

Jan-10-06  morpstau: morphy could play any opening our position he just simply did not like or favor the closed game compared to the open game.
Mar-06-07  tonsillolith: yes I agree he could play closed positions. After he opens and defends for a few moves he makes his position look really organized and then continues to make it look more organized and aesthetically pleasing until around move 29 when the game begins to look a little more like his usual chaos.
May-21-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 150 years after the fact, has anyone looked at Morphy's 35...Nh6?

The more I look at this move, the less I like it. The Knight did well at f7, supporting both the d6 and e5 pawns, which are vulnerable to a potential c4-c5, and after a possible g5-g4 (which has been played thousands of times in the King's Indian Defense), the Knight has g5 available. I wonder if 35...h7-h5 would have been better. Morphy can follow with the g4 pawn sac, ...Kh8-g7, and Rg8-h8. Another alternative at move 35 is 35...a7-a6, which you sometimes see in the main lines of the KID.

Incidentally, notice how Morphy uses a prototype of the same combination of ...Kh8, ...Rg8 and ...g7-g5 that he later used in his famous win vs. Paulsen.

Jun-12-08  Pawn Ambush: Steinitzian like play from Paul Morphy.
Jul-15-08  Boomie: <An Englishman: Good Evening: 150 years after the fact, has anyone looked at Morphy's 35...Nh6?>

Good Evening to you, sir.

Just looking at the position, my first impulse would be to play h5 before Nh6. The knight in front of the pawn just doesn't look right to me.


click for larger view

I was surprised to find Rybka's top two lines are Nh6 and h5. So many moves that look good to me are shown to be bogus under scrutiny. h5 is the "thematic" move to continue the pawn storm and shut out the knight on h2. But I am loathe to pronounce it superior to Morphy's move. Morphy may have seen something 15 or 20 moves ahead which favored Nh6. He possessed the finest memory of any player in history in addition to his creative skills.

Rybka's top two lines at 18 depth are:

1. = (0.21): 35...h5 36.c5 Rg7 37.c6 bxc6 38.dxc6 Be6 39.Kg1 Nh6 40.Rfd1 Rd8 41.Rd3 Nf5 42.Qd2

2. (0.36): 35...Nh6 36.Qd3 Rgf8 37.c5 Re7 38.a6 b6 39.c6 Bc8 40.Rc1 Nf5 41.Nf1 h5 42.Kg1

Notice that in the Nh6 line, Rybka prefers 36. Qd3 to the Re2 played in the game.

The real joke on Rybka here is the position after the Nh6 line is clearly better for black. In fact after the pawn sac 42...b5, black is probably winning. 41. Bxf5 equalizes.

Fritz 11 evaluates the position as better for white.

Analysis by Fritz 11 at 20 depth:

1. (0.62): 35...h5 36.c5 Nh6 37.Kg1 Nf5 38.Rc1 Ng3 39.Bd3 Nf5 40.b5 Ne3 41.c6 bxc6 42.dxc6 Be6 43.Qb4 Nd5 44.Qe4 Re7

2. (0.88): 35...Rgf8 36.c5 Nh6 37.Qd3 Nf5 38.Bxf5 Rxf5 39.c6 bxc6 40.Qa6 Bb8 41.dxc6 Be6 42.Ng4 Rf7 43.Qd3 Bc7 44.Kg1 Kg7

Unlike previous versions, Fritz 11 tends to rate positions at least as conservatively as Rybka. Clearly both engines are a bit at sea in this position.

This is a good example of how deceiving computer lines can be especially in closed positions or endgames. The final judgement on Nh6 vs h5 or some other move would require analysis in depth. For now I tend to trust the Morphy program over Rybka or Fritz.

Apr-06-12  schnarre: ...Been looking for this game for a while now. Though I'm no 1....e5 player I might give this line a try someday.
Apr-06-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Very hard to believe that this is Morphy playing. His opening play in particular was completely different from usual and white had a huge advantage early on in the game - close to +3 according to Fritz 12.

I agree with the above that this was King's Indianesque too. But again, virtually impossible to believe it is Morphy playing as it is so contray to his usual style. Are the sources etc verified?

Apr-07-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Qe7 5.0-0 f6 6.d4 Bb6 7.Na3 Nd8 8.Nc4 Nf7 9.Ne3 c6 10.Nf5 Qf8 11.Bd3 g6 12.Ng3 d6 13.a4 Bg4 14.a5 Bc7 15.h3 Bd7 16.Qb3 Nd8 17.Re1 Be6 18.Qc2 Ne7 19.b4 Qg7 20.c4 Nf7 <20...0-0 21.Be3 Nf7 22.d5 Bd7 23.Rad1 Kh8 24.Kh1 cxd5 25.exd5 f5 26.Bc1 Rae8 27.Bb2 Ng8 28.Qc3 Nf6 29.Bb1 Rg8 30.Rd2 Qh6 31.Nh2 f4 32.Ne4 Nxe4 33.Bxe4 g5 34.f3 Qh4 35.Rf1 Nh6 36.Re2 Nf5 37.Bxf5 Bxf5 38.c5 Qh6 39.Rfe1 Rgf8 40.b5 Rc8 41.Qa3 Kg8 42.b6 axb6 43.cxb6 Bd8 44.Rc1 Rxc1+ 45.Bxc1 Qg6 46.Qb4 Bd3 47.Re1 Be7 48.Ng4 Re8 49.Bb2 h5 50.Nf2 g4 51.Qc3 Bf5 52.fxg4 hxg4 53.hxg4 Bxg4 54.Nxg4 Qxg4 55.Rc1 Kf7 56.Qh3 Qxh3+ 57.gxh3 f3 58.Rf1 e4 59.Bd4 Bf6 60.Be3 Ra8 61.Bd2 Bd4 62.h4 Kg6 63.Kh2 Rf8 64.Kg3 f2 65.Kg2 e3 66.Be1 Kh5 67.Kg3 fxe1Q+ source: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1858.09.04 source: Paul Morphy. Skizze aus der Schachwelt., 1859, p177-178 source: Paul Morphy's Gewonnene Schachwettkämpfe, 1859, p118-124 source: Paul Morphy. Skizze aus der Schachwelt, 2nd ed., 1881, p144-146 source: Paul Morphy, Maróczy, 1909, p170-172> 21.Be3 0-0 22.d5 Bd7 23.Rad1 Kh8 24.Kh1 cxd5 25.exd5 f5 26.Bc1 Rae8 27.Bb2 Ng8 28.Qc3 Nf6 29.Bb1 Rg8 30.Rd2 Qh6 31.Nh2 f4 32.Ne4 Nxe4 33.Bxe4 g5 34.f3 Qh4 35.Rf1 <35.Rc1 Nh6 36.Re2 Nf5 37.Bxf5 Bxf5 38.c5 Qh6 39.Rce1 Rgf8 40.b5 Rc8 41.Qa3 Kg8 42.b6 axb6 43.cxb6 Bd8 44.Rc1 Rxc1+ 45.Bxc1 Qg6 46.Qb4 Bd3 47.Re1 Be7 48.Bb2 Re8 49.Ng4 h5 50.Nf2 g4 51.Qc3 Bf5 52.fxg4 hxg4 53.hxg4 Bxg4 54.Nxg4 Qxg4 55.Rc1 Kf7 56.Qh3 Qxh3+ 57.gxh3 f3 58.Rf1 e4 59.Bd4 Bf6 60.Be3 Ra8 61.Bd2 Bd4 62.h4 Kg6 63.Kh2 Rf8 64.Kg3 f2 65.Kg2 e3 66.Be1 Kh5 67.Kg3 fxe1Q+ (...) source: Spirit of the Times, 1858.09.11> 35...Nh6 36.Re2 Nf5 37.Bxf5 Bxf5 38.c5 Qh6 39.Rfe1 Rgf8 40.b5 Rc8 41.Qa3 Kg8 42.b6 axb6 43.cxb6 Bd8 44.Rc1 Rxc1+ 45.Bxc1 Qg6 46.Qb4 Bd3 47.Re1 Be7 48.Bb2 Re8 49.Ng4 h5 50.Nf2 g4 51.Qc3 Bf5 52.fxg4 hxg4 53.hxg4 Bxg4 54.Nxg4 Qxg4 55.Rc1 Kf7 56.Qh3 Qxh3+ 57.gxh3 f3 58.Rf1 e4 59.Bd4 Bf6 60.Be3 Ra8 61.Bd2 Bd4 62.h4 Kg6 63.Kh2 Rf8 64.Kg3 f2 65.Kg2 e3 66.Be1 Kh5 67.Kg3 fxe1Q+ (...) source: Morphy's Games, 1860, Appleton, p97-99 <67...fxe1Q+ source: Morphy's games of chess, and Frere's problem tournament, 1859, p22-23 source: Paul Morphy's Match Games, 1859.08, p24-26
source: Morphy's Games, 1860. Bohn, p92-96
source: Paul Morphy and the Evolution of Chess Theory, game 30>
Apr-07-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Thanks for putting my mind at rest! Still, it's hard to believe it's Morphy.

Cheers,

-Garech

Apr-08-12  schnarre: This game also appears in Morphy's Games of Chess, by Phil Sergent if I recall correctly.
Jan-23-16  joddon: my most favourite game ever.....a very computerised fashion game....very positional with the knight....no dull opening moves with the pawns ....then an almost Alekhine vs Capablanca type middle and endgame.....very tight, and finished to the last drop...no holes until the last move....i like that!!
May-14-16  talhal20: thi game i an example what Morphy could have done with preent day grand mater had he had computer to aid him. I jut hudder to think that.
Jun-19-16  capafischer1: great game. Paul Morphy was awesome. No wonder Fischer praised his talent so much.Fischer said if he was alive today all he would need is less than 6 months to study modern openings and he would beat everyone . very accurate player who almost never blundered.
Sep-30-16  Xeroxx: Strange looking Ruy Lopez.
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