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Adolf Anderssen vs Paul Morphy
"Grand Opening" (game of the day Aug-20-2015)
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 10, Dec-27
Anderssen Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0



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Given 51 times; par: 145 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Would anyone recommend playing 1.a3 in a blitz game (to try to catch your opponent off guard)?
Aug-20-15  RookFile: Sure. I think it's fine over the board too. In this game Anderssen essentially played the Sicilian Kan with an extra move. You have to be realistic in your expectations, i.e. white has no right to claim an objective adventage, but it may help you get the type of game you want.
Aug-20-15  andrewjsacks: Anderssen's play here is strong and remarkably "modern."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Penguincw: Would anyone recommend playing 1.a3 in a blitz game (to try to catch your opponent off guard)?>

For occasional surprise value, why not? Treat it as if you were playing Black with an extra a3 thrown in.

You would be giving away the slight advantage that white gets with his first move, but as compensation your opponent may have to think a bit more about whether his white openings still work so well if you have sneaked an extra move in.

Might also be good against an aggressive opponent if you intend to play a closed or hypermodern game.

Objectively, it's not as good as a more classical white opening, but OTB it might have some pragmatic benefits.

Aug-20-15  morfishine: The logic behind <1.a3> is simple: If the Sicilian is good, why not play it with a move in hand?


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Is this why that Anderssen is given "credit" for this passive, quaint opening?
Aug-20-15  mruknowwho: I guess Anderssen didn't want to give Morphy much space to work with. That's what I gather from the fact that he retreated his bishop on the 20th move rather than capture the pawn on f5.
Aug-20-15  newzild: I agree with <andrewjsacks> that this game is remarkably modern.

Both players avoid exchanging pieces at appropriate times, both players fight for counterplay in the ending, etc.

Really, a very interesting game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <morfishine> If you have your heart set on playing the Sicilian with a move in hand, 1.c4 probably accomplishes that more straightforwardly.
Aug-20-15  coolconundrum: If you just wanna play the Sicilian reversed though surely C4 is a better route to take.

A3 suggests a certain amount of romantic daring.

Aug-20-15  RookFile: Anderssen knew that Morphy wouldn't play something like 1...d5.
Aug-20-15  zanzibar: As already pointed out by <nimh>:

Anderssen vs Morphy, 1858 (kibitz #44)

Up to move 29 there's been some nice maneuvering, but White has the space advantage, and b-pair.

click for larger view

Maybe Morphy was growing impatient, and wanted to force a breakout on the K-side with 29...g5?

What Morphy didn't appreciate, and Anderssen didn't find, was the power of the X-rays, c2-c5, and c3-h8.

So, if Anderssen had found 31.c5! the b6-pawn falls (with best play), and Black has his hands full with a dangerous passer.

Otherwise, play over the game after 31.c5 bxc5 32.cxd5 Bf8 33.Bc4 Qe7 34.Ra8. Black is down a piece and a half due to the pins.

(White has a lot of options on move 31, but the move 31.c5 best crystallizes the weaknesses in Black's position. Precise and accurate.)

Aug-20-15  thegoodanarchist: Today's pun is much more clever than yesterday's Loch Ness/Look: Ne5 mess.
Oct-11-15  The Kings Domain: Excellent positional play by Anderssen at the start of the game, his pieces were poised for good attacks on both black's kingside and queenside. If his games were as sound as this throughout the match he may have won it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <kevin> 1.a3 is neither passive nor quaint.

'Passive' implies a lack of active play: but playing the Reversed Sicilian is a very active plan. 'Quaint' means old-fashioned: but this line can be very modern.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < Penguincw: Would anyone recommend playing 1.a3 in a blitz game (to try to catch your opponent off guard)? >

I certainly would not. It grants black the white pieces with colors reversed. That is to say that black then is for choice and can steer the opening wherever he wishes.

Feb-10-16  Sally Simpson: Hi Pawnsac.

Years ago I looked at ways of playing 1.a3 and playing your favourite Black as White with a3 played. It can lead to good Sicilians, Benoni/Benko's, French and of course no Ruy Lopez.

There are one or two lines in reverse where 1.a3 can be iffy.

In this variation of the Latvian Gambit, (and other openings like it involving Nxa8 ) Black often traps the Knight on a8 if it takes on c7. In reverse with the pawn on a3 the a1 Knight gets out on b3.

G Chandler vs G Bucher, 2007

Probably the best reply to 1.a3 is 1...a6.

Feb-10-16  john barleycorn: Is it not *amazing* (regards to <morfishine>) that every amateur gets told that this 1.a3 hands over the initiative with occupation of the center etc. pp to the opponent and one of the greatest player teaching the world the importance of development is not able to convert it into something tangible?

I mean with computers starting with Genius2 or Fritz3 we know that all this is not that easy and some 60-80 % of what was learned can be from the expert teachers and analysts can be disposed properly.

Chess like music does not only make you happy but it also shows that we almost always start at the beginning (Grade1)

Feb-17-16  saturn2: Morphys exchanges on move 8 and 14 dont seem to be the best choices. 8...NxN is an exchange of a piece that has moved twice for one that has moved once. I would not haved expected Morphy to do that in the opening. 14...BxN gives up the bishop pair. I would have rather kept the white squared bishop. For NxBd6 was no real threat because this black squared bishop was obstructed by several pawns.
May-17-17  Calli: The Deutsche Schachzeitung has a slightly different move order at move 67. They have 67.Kf3 Rd1 68. Ke4 Re1+ 69.Kf5 Rd1 70.Be6 Rd4 71.Ke5 Rd1 72.f5 Rh1 73.f6+ Kxh7 74. Kd6 Ra1 75.Ke7 Ra7+ 76.Bd7 resigns. Thus the game ends one move earlier on CG. Anderssen, by the way, was one of the editors of DS. Are there other differing scores of this game?
May-17-17  Calli: I forgot the DS link

Note: DS numbered the ranks in reverse. Max Lange just is trying to mess with us! [8-o

Oct-16-17  spazzky: <mruknowwho> I guess Anderssen didn't want to give Morphy much space to work with. That's what I gather from the fact that he retreated his bishop on the 20th move rather than capture the pawn on f5.

He can't capture on f5 because he will lose the bishop after 20...g6

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: One thing that stands out in this game is how circumspect Anderssen is. He'd already gotten two great positions with this opening but had wound up with only a loss and a draw to show for it. Here he was determined to give Morphy no scope for complications, passing up opportunities like 31.c5. Morphy almost saved the ending anyway...

SF makes an interesting find at move 41.

click for larger view

Macon A Shibut gives 41.Bf8 an exclamation point, writing <Surely Morphy regretted ever sending his rook down that blind alley on the kingside! Black is almost out of moves.> <Paul Morphy and the Evolution of Chess Theory> at 46.

But it looks like 41.d5 is stronger. The idea is 41....cxd5 42.Bb5! Nd6 43.Rxc7 Nxb5 44.Rb7 and the knight has nowhere to go. 44....d4!? 45.exd4! (45.Rxb5 d3 is a little harder for White) 45....Nxd4 46.Bc3 turns out to be just another way to lose a piece. And if something like 41....h5, then 42.d6! Bxd6 43.Bc3+ Kg5 44.Bf7 wins the exchange and eventually the game.

Shibut, by the way, takes 11 pages of his book to annotate this battle, nearly half of those pages on the complicated ending arising after move 54. As with Lasker vs Ed. Lasker, 1924, it feels like the whole world of chess somehow got packed into a single game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The engine finds a million refinements. For example, on move 42, instead of Anderssen's eminently reasonable Kf2, how about Kf1? The justification is that after Morphy's fine rook-activating maneuver, 42....h4 43.gxh4 Rg4 44.Ra7! Rxh4 45.Ra6 Rxh2 isn't check. 46.Rxc6+ Kg5 47.Be7+ Kg4 48.Be2+ Kg3 49.Rg3+ Kh3 50.Bd1!! (threatening Ba4, of all things) leaves Black helpless. But what human, then or now, could see all that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The previous game of the match, Morphy vs Anderssen, 1858, was Morphy's spectacular 17-move win. That game was over so quickly that they were able to play this on the same day.

While the 9th game is very famous, I believe you can make an argument that this was the better game played that day. Anderssen played well, and Morphy put up a much better fight than Anderssen did in the previous game.

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