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Paul Morphy vs Adolf Anderssen
"Morphology" (game of the day Aug-25-2009)
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 9, Dec-27
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-15-13  disasterion: <TheTamale> Why thank you.

Now you've said that I can confess that it took me longer to find than I'd expected, and it's not such an obvious resignation as it first appears.

Mar-20-14  RookFile: This game looks like a Tal effort from white.
Jul-26-14  Xeroxx: Impressive.
Sep-23-14  vincepawn: nimh Nov 14.07 / identifies 2 mistakes by Anderssen using Rybka analysis. But the moves Anderssen plays (move ...14 and move ...16) have higher Rybka ratings than the moves recommended.

Typos? What's going on?

Sep-23-14  nimh: Scores are given from white's perspective.
Oct-11-15  The Kings Domain: Boy, Anderssen looked like a patzer there. It's no surprise his tournament record improved after this match; he certainly learned a lot from games like this!
May-16-17  Mr. Blonde: I just put Morphy and Anderssen personalities to play against each other in the Chessmaster GM Edition and they recreated exactly this game... Weird.
Jun-05-17  User not found: I can't quite believe black, one of the greatest players of his era took the Bishop on move 9!? My inner monologue went full Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap, it's a Trap!", lol.
Jun-05-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <User not found: I can't quite believe black, one of the greatest players of his era took the Bishop on move 9!? My inner monologue went full Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap, it's a Trap!", lol.>

Back in these days they often ate everything you throw in their mouth.It was a question of honour and principles.

Jun-05-17  User not found: <moronovich: <User not found: I can't quite believe black, one of the greatest players of his era took the Bishop on move 9!? My inner monologue went full Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap, it's a Trap!", lol.> Back in these days they often ate everything you throw in their mouth.It was a question of <honour and principles.>>

Honor and principles!? For what? The lack of intelligence, foresight and chess understanding to see you'll be chopped liver in under 7 moves, straight out of the opening! I guess after playing the head scratching f5? in the first place <against a well known tactical genius renowned for those king side attacks,!!> then f4 he may as well but he threw this game away quicker than I would lose. Real talk!

Jun-05-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Unf>

Back in these day you were sometimes seen as a pussy if you didnĀ“t accept the sacrifice.

Jun-05-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < moronovich: <User not found: I can't quite believe black, one of the greatest players of his era took the Bishop on move 9!? My inner monologue went full Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap, it's a Trap!", lol.> Back in these days they often ate everything you throw in their mouth.It was a question of honour and principles.>

I don't think that's true, at least not in serious match games. Loewenthal regularly declined Morphy's King's Gambit in their match, for example. Anderssen didn't try to hang on to the d-pawn here.

Jun-05-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <I don't think that's true, at least not in serious match games.>

I was talking in general.
Fortunately chess has moved on since then.But it takes time and effort.

Jul-20-17  talhal20: My guess is that Morphy himself framed at least 20,000 chess games with all the then known openings with variety of variations and with his extra ordinary memory could recall any move appropriate to the occasion and play in actual game. And if any player plays unknown move he has the answer for that too. It is nothing less than chess engines of today.Perhaps that explains his upper hand against any player played against him. Remember Adolf Anderssen was not an ordinary player.
Jul-20-17  TheFocus: <talhal20> Where would he have found 20,000 games in the 1850's?

There were not that many books or magazines then.

I doubt he had access to even a 1,000 games.

Just look at ChessBase and see how many games they have in it dated before 1850.

A lot of wishful thinking on your part.

Imagine trying to play through that many games.

Jul-20-17  offramp: <talhal20...My guess is that Morphy himself framed at least 20,000 chess games with all the then known openings>

I agree. I think he would have sorted out 20,000 of the best chess games ever played and written out the game scores in neat handwriting on very small and thin pieces of paper, a bit like cigarette paper. These he would have memorized. Then he would have rolled up the bits of paper into tiny balls and poked them into his body-holes. I mean his nostrils, earholes, belly-button and (mainly) his arsehole. Then, while playing, if he could not remember the game, he would have pulled the game out of his body-hole and examined it. It is cheating, in a way.

Feb-25-18  gpbear: This game took all of 30 minutes to complete.
Aug-28-18  RKnight: Despite Lowenthal's claim to the contrary, I don't really see a win for Morphy after: 14...Qxd5 15. Nfxd5+ Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 exf2+ 17. Kxf2 Bc5+ 18. Ke2 Rb8. He is a (backward) pawn up, but Andressen has two B's to Morphy's 2 N's heading to an endgame.
Mar-24-19  par5vin: White (Murphy) should have Checked with his Queen on 16th move (skewering Blacks Queen). 16. Qh4+ Kg6 17. Qxd8 Nxc2+ 18. Kf1 exf2 19. h4 Be7 20. Qxe7 Kh5 21. Qg5#
Aug-23-19  Patzer Natmas: Excellent play! Taking what the defense gives!
Jan-18-20  ketchuplover: 17...g6 18.RESIGNS!
Jan-18-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ketchuplover: 17...g6 18.RESIGNS!>

After 18.Raf1+ someone will be resigning shortly, true...

Jan-18-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <par5vin: White (Murphy) should have Checked with his Queen on 16th move (skewering Blacks Queen). 16. Qh4+ Kg6 17. Qxd8 Nxc2+ 18. Kf1 exf2 19. h4 Be7 20. Qxe7 Kh5 21. Qg5#>

16.Qh4+ g5 and White has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

<User not found: I can't quite believe black, one of the greatest players of his era took the Bishop on move 9!? My inner monologue went full Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap, it's a Trap!", lol.>

He was busted anyway, might as well take the bishop. But then Morphy "overcombined" with 11.Qf3+. No 19th century human could be expected to defend accurately after 14....Ke7, but the position seems to be equal.

Someone once said that Fischer's Game of the Century against Donald Byrne wouldn't have gotten any attention if it had been played in the Barnet league. I think that's a ridiculous comment about Byrne-Fischer, but less outrageous if applied to this game.

Feb-05-23  generror: People often defend Morphy's unsound sacrifices in the earlier games (why, anyway, do they defend him? he's long dead! do they identify with him? why? aren't they content with their own self? why? why??) saying he was only playing casually and having fun and taking risks in order to play beautiful move. But I don't believe this game, played in a match with what was deemed the best player in the world, was casual to Morphy. Sure it wasn't his father-figure Staunton that he felt he needed to beat, but still, this was probably the biggest match in his life.

The natural <11.Nxa8> would have given him a solid advantage, but he has to go and do <11.Qf3+?>. Now, if Anderssen had played <14...Ke7!>, the position would have been very muddled, but according to Stockfish, dead equal. Tartakower gives a good analysis in this <500 Master Games> (his analyses aren't the soundest, but this one is confirmed by Stockfish). The main line goes <14...Ke7! 15.Qh5 gxf6 16.Qf7+ Kd6 17.Nxa8 Nxc2+ 18.Ke2 Qe7 19.Qxe7+ Bxe7 20.Rac1 Nd4+ 21.Kxe3 Bd7 22.Rc7 Rxa8 23.Rxb7> (D), and White has a rook and two pawns for two pieces.


click for larger view

Now Tartakower wrongly gives <23...Bc6?> leading to complications which actually are good for white, the correct continuation would have been <23...Rc8> and after <24.Rxa7 Nc2+ 25.Ke2 Nd4+ 26.Ke3 Nc2+> it's perpetual check.

But of course, all this is quite theoretical. Over the board, Morphy plays really beautifully, and even today there aren't many players who would be able to refute his sacrifices. But then again, today not many would play moves like <7...f5?> against Morphy. Leave that bloody f-pawn alone, Romantics!

I also think that his sacrifices also had a demoralizing aspect on his opponents. At least I felt that Anderssen threw the towel unusually fast. It's like he felt he had no chance against this kind of chess. I guess that may have been another reason why he was able to blast through the top players of his time.

And yes, it would have been awesome to see how Staunton would have held up against him. I don't think he ever was the strongest in terms of creativity, but he was the most solid and defensive player of his times, and maybe he ego may have been big enough not to be disconcerted by a Morphy.

Feb-05-23  generror: <<User not found:> I can't quite believe black, one of the greatest players of his era took the Bishop on move 9!? My inner monologue went full Admiral Ackbar screaming "It's a trap, it's a Trap!", lol.>

Sure, but taking seems to still be the best thing. For example after <9...Rb8 10.Bd2 Nf6 11.Nbc7+ Kf7 12.Nxf6 Qxc7 13.Nd5 Qd8> (D), White is significantly better (Stockfish gives it +2.5).


click for larger view

The black king is quite exposed, and Stockfish would now start pushing his kingside pawns to open attack lines. Plus the d6 pawn is a major weakness, that whole central pawn chain looks bad. And White hasn't got any weaknesses, I really don't see how Black could generate counterplay.

OK, taking the bishop isn't much better (with Stockfish play, it results into a +2 position after <11.Nxa8>, see above), but at least Black has opportunity for counterattack, although that wouldn't matter much against Morphy :)

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