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Paul Morphy vs Adolf Anderssen
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 1, Dec-20
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Pierce Defense (C52)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-12-11  Llawdogg: I think Morphy was seriously ill for the first two games of this match. There may even have been talk of postponing the match until he recovered. That may explain the loss and the subsequent draw.

After he was feeling better, Morphy reeled off five straight wins that really settled the matter. A draw, a very quick win, a 77 move loss, and the final win and the match was over (7-2-2).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Anderssen's first and only victory against Morphy with black.
Mar-31-11  JoergWalter: "Morphy was charmed with Anderssen's defence throughout, and has frequently cited it as an admirably conducted strategy. It proved to him that the Evans' is indubitably a lost game for the first player, if the defence be carefully played; inasmuch the former can never recover the gambit pawn, and the position supposed to be acquired at the outset cannot be maintained." That was the last first and last time when he tried the Evans against a master of the first rank.
May-02-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: Federer beaten by Nadal
Premium Chessgames Member
  Vinpi: 12. ♕a4?! and 13.♕xc6?! are not wonderful moves, it allows an attack to the white castling; the black queenside is very strong with the ♗ on b6 and the white center is difficult to defend.
Jun-24-12  ForeverYoung: This was a very toughly contested game by Morphy. Great credit to Anderssen for bring home the point after Morphy's heroic resistance. It appeared after his white's kingside was broken that he would go down, but he managed to find great fighting chances and forced black to play at his best to gain victory.
Mar-19-14  RookFile: This is really an excellent game, and has a modern feel to it. I think somebody like Kramnik would have been proud to have played the black pieces in this game.
Sep-19-14  Ke2: After Morphy lost the first game offering the Evan's Gambit, he remarked to Edge that the game "proved to him that the Evans is indubitably a lost game for the first player, if the defense be carefully played; inasmuch as the former can never recover the gambit pawn, and the position supposed to be acquired at the outset, cannot be maintained."
Nov-09-14  joddon: extremely dynamic queen play by Anderssen, making Morphys queen looking like a lost fly almost.....I guess b4 works if you have more counterplay in the center but blacks rook just seems to hold away almost any kind of threat that white can give like in most nowadays even major tournaments.this is a 150 years ahead of its time game....almost with every degree, this game holds the truth about every aspect of chess there ever will be. the knight havocs all through the opening not allowing any breathing chances for whits almost exposed king and position move 35 looks so solid for black as 3 powers are connected with both his rooks and queen combined giving white hell.WHAT A GAME!!
Nov-16-14  Ke2: <Ke2> Apparently 8. Ba3 is correct way to attack here.

<Morphy's love affair with the Evans was interrupted only for a short time after his loss to Anderssen. See his comment in the NY Ledger of from oct 8, 1859: "The move recommended by Herr Anderssen at this stage of the Evans and played by him in his first match game with Mr. Morphy, is 7...Nf6. We have analyzed the move with great care, and have found that 8 Ba3 gave White a very fine attacking game." The "we" is either Morphy and Arnous de Riviere or just the "royal we".> from McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834

Mar-16-15  Alex Schindler: Beautiful queen endgame for study here .
Mar-21-15  babakova: 56.Qh7+ is a very interesting resource.
...Kc6 (any other king move the queen just drops back and checks on the 8th) 57.Qc2+ Kb7 58.Qb2+ The point: e5 is protected and white can battle with his pawn on h7 unlike in the game.

58...Kc8 59.h7

might not be a walk in the park to draw from here but certainly looks like a good try for white.

Jul-06-15  choosea: >> Morphy was seriously ill for the first two games of this match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Anderssen believed the illness was a subterfuge that Morphy adopted for the purpose of giving Anderssen a few rest days after his travel.

"I admired from the very beginning as a very tactful diplomatic maneuver that he took to his bed when I arrived in Paris, and I have never changed my mind about that."

Edge's account though was that Morphy got seriously weak.

Jul-07-15  ughaibu: Interesting letter, thanks for posting it.

This is difficult to make sense of: "your "Erinnerungen" [Lasa on historical chess, published 1859 -Lawson] will produce this effect since the games recorded therein are preferable to the Morphy games in which faultless accuracy can, after all, be found only on one side of the players on account of their being correctly played by both parties"

And this is fun: "The onlookers were forced to abstain even from the slightest whispering - something unusual which to me was all the stranger as I am not aware of having been ever disturbed, during the game, by those surrounding me by any act of conversation (except barking of dogs and crying f children)."

Jul-07-15  Calli: Anderssen is referring Lasa's book:

He is saying the book contains games with strong play by both players unlike Morphy's games.

Jul-10-15  ughaibu: Okay, that makes sense. Thanks.
Oct-11-15  The Kings Domain: Love the simplicity of these old-fashioned games. Steady and impressive play by Anderssen.
Jan-23-16  joddon: 19.Qh4 just nailed him...i think in those days players werent too sure on which way the attack would go.....and which way to prepare a pretty sure there werent as many draws in games as there are in todays world....the really had no idea which direction to aim there rooks.... they obviously had more time to develop ideas about the knights and bishops because of the fact there werent too many players that were that im guessing they didnt go into too much theory about the rook pawn endings.....since beating players early was an easy task!!!!!however.....probably sonce there werent too many books written, trying new ideas led to more losses.....and not knowing too much about opening principals i guess life wasnt too good if you didnt get to a good start!LOL>>>>>>>>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  avtaplanit: 25...Bxd4 with the idea 26.QxN QxQ is good for black
Jul-26-19  Chesgambit: Anderssen make a a lot of dubious moves
he is super machine! ( in this game ) no mistake
Premium Chessgames Member
  HarryP: It's a shame Morphy lost this game. But we have to admire him for playing the Evans in the first game of this great match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: It was a long trip for Anderssen, from Germany to France, and he needed several days to 'rest up'? Just a few hours by train I would think, maybe even less (unless AA was coming from somewhere else).
Jan-04-21  Mithridates: "It was a long trip for Anderssen, from Germany to France, and he needed several days to 'rest up'? Just a few hours by train I would think, maybe even less (unless AA was coming from somewhere else)."

Anderssen leaved in Breslau, in the (far) east of Germany - in fact it is now part of Poland (Wroclaw). Even nowadays, with high-speed trains, it's 14 hours at best, as Google will tell you. Imagine what it must have been on mid-19th century steam trains.

Also, wasn't Anderssen 40 and Morphy 21? Anderssen certainly counted as middle-aged by the standards of the time (though he played excellently for many years after that). It makes sense that Anderssen generously thought that Morphy was being considerate to someone who was very much his senior.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: In 1858 it was already possible to by train from Breslau to Paris but it was very long and by far not easy trip then. And of course, there was no Germany yet in 1858. Breslau was then part of Prussia (Prussian Silesia), and it was necessary to go via Berlin, Magdeburg, Hannover and Duesseldorf to Cologne, and from there to continue to France over Belgium. Such a journey then could take easily several days.
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