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James McConnell vs Paul Morphy
"Applied Morphology" (game of the day Mar-02-16)
New Orleans (1850)  ·  French Defense: Advance Variation (C02)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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Given 404 times; par: 19 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-17-11  SeanBurdine: McConnell's real problem in this game is that 8 of his first 9 moves were Pawn moves. Morphy got a huge lead in development and his game played itself from there.
Jun-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: It's seems remarkable at first to see 13-year-old Morphy playing 3...c5, attacking the base of a pawn chain more than a half-century before the hypermoderns showed up. Morphy seems to be demonstrating a strategic understanding far ahead of his time.

However, attacking the base of a pawn chain wasn't exactly a new strategy in 1850. In fact, 3...c5 goes back more than 200 years before this game - take a look at the following effort from Greco, played in 1620:

NN vs Greco, 1620

Dec-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A strikingly modern approach to the Advance by Morphy -- playing ...Nh6, and developing the queenside pieces rapidly with ...Nc6, ...Qb6, ...Bd7, and ...Rc8.

Except at the point where most players settle down to a positional grind, Morphy unleashes a tactical cascade.

Almost enough to convert me to the Morphy cult. Though it's as addictive as its derivative, morphine.

Dec-14-11  JoergWalter: <domdaniel> yes, a modern set up. however, after 5.f4? white is loosing.
Dec-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Joerg> Worse, yes, certainly: 5.f4 is a weak move. But 'losing'? I don't think White is actually losing until 11.Qd3?

11.Qd2 leaves Black with a slight advantage, but no direct win in sight.

Dec-15-11  JoergWalter: <domdaniel> 5.f4 was a big mistake. Allows for Nh6 without any chance for f5. Further mistakes shorten the game but I think after f4 white's downfall is a matter of time.
Feb-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Naniwazu: All those pawn moves in the opening (5. f4, 7. a3, 8. b4) wastes a lot of time.
May-17-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

J McConnell vs Morphy, 1850.
YOU ARE PLAYING THE ROLE OF MORPHY.
Your score: 25 (par = 19)

LTJ

Aug-24-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: According to Sergeant, this is the only known example of Morphy playing the French defense. Makes sense from the result: Morphy appears confused, checkmating the White Queen instead of the King!
Sep-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: Good one, <morfishine>. I love the French, but I didn't know this wonderful game.
Apr-25-15  Mating Net: Morphy connects with the spirit of Nimzowitsch...36 years prior to Nimzo's birth. This game is a quick crash course in positional and tactical chess in a tidy 14 moves.
Jan-29-16  juanhernandez: them bcoz friendship is not an opportunity its a
sweet responsibility.
Mar-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Obviously Morphy was not comfortable playing the French, and wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.
Mar-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: White is making pawn moves while Morphy is getting pieces out. And you just know that it's going to hurt. A lot.

An astonishingly mature French for 1850. I am not so sure that I would criticise white for 5. f4. It's not a great move, but it does have some logic. White wants to support his pawn centre if/when black nibbles away at it with c5 and f6.

White's bigger problem is that he made too many pawn moves and didn't develop his pieces. For me, <domdaniel>'s comments are spot on.

Mar-02-16  The Kings Domain: Nice to have a Morphy as game of the day. It's always fascinating to chart the progress of a prodigy.
Mar-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A complete thrashing by PM. The queen is harassed at home and has no place to go!
Mar-02-16  dark.horse: A rather comical finish.
Mar-02-16  mruknowwho: I smelled trouble for White as soon as he played 5.f4. This happens quite often in Chess, at least at the amateur level; Somebody tries to overwhelm the board with pawns and then the opposing player gets through the pawn wave and everything goes downhill.
Mar-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: 12 or 13, something like this. Try and find a move of Morphy's that is not completely modern.
Mar-02-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: When no less a figure than Botvinnik praises Morphy's conduct of open play and posits that no significant improvements have been made by masters in that branch of the game since his time, not much more to say.
Mar-02-16  newhampshireboy: This was a murder! Morphy was incredible.
Mar-11-16  thegoodanarchist: Because I studied the grain morphology of copper interconnects in grad school, I really really enjoyed this GOTD title.
Mar-11-16  thegoodanarchist: Usually, if you are playing the French, you only lose when you castle.

But often players in the mid-1800s only lost because they were playing Morphy.

Mar-19-16  caligula64: Cool f4 move!
Jul-22-16  KID Slayer: My favorite player from the 19th century, Morphy, uses my favorite opening, the French, on a rare occasion. Quite the demolition from a guy who favored the Open Game and rarely ventured into the French (in less than 15 moves!).
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