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Paul Morphy vs Adolf Anderssen
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 3, Dec-22
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Given 133 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

Annotations by Johann Jacob Loewenthal.      [28 more games annotated by Loewenthal]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-20-04  Vischer: I got this one in half a second. These puzzles are getting to be so easy *I* can get them fast!
Apr-20-04  ruylopez900: <notyetagm> Good explanation, certainly makes the solution seem a whole lot simpler :D
Apr-20-04  Minor Piece Activity: Easy puzzle! =D Maybe could one day make two "puzzles of the day?" One hard one for people with too much time on their hands and one for players like me. =D
Premium Chessgames Member
  marcusantoinerome: In Seargent's book on Morphy, he states that "Anderssen shows none of his high talent in this game." He also notes that the game took 2 hours.

As stated above, they played without clocks, but did record the total time elapsed.

Wonderful play by Morphy!

Apr-21-04  masterwojtek: Awesome game! (But you must study it carefully to see its beauty)
Apr-21-04  Vischer: , Minor Piece Activity: Easy puzzle! =D Maybe could one day make two "puzzles of the day?" One hard one for people with too much time on their hands and one for players like me. =D > that is a good idea.
Jan-26-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: Here's a link analysis by Silman
Feb-24-06  DeepBlade: Thanks <Timothy Glenn Forney>!

The annotation was really usefull for me. I also begun to understand Morphy's view on chess.

Feb-27-06  Timothy Glenn Forney: No problem,I love analyizing games too. Check this out:A J Mestel vs Gufeld, 1986
Jul-24-06  waddayaplay: Some analysis to weigh up the Morphy-centric notes of Silman. Comments are welcome.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d4 Nxd4?!

Leads to equality. Other moves would have given black the initiative:

..exd in Bird vs Anderssen, 1862 0-1 and Fressinet vs Kramnik, 2002 0-1

or ..Nxe4 Showalter vs Pillsbury, 1898 0-1 >

5.Nxd4 exd4

as Silman points out, 5..c6 is also playable

6.e5 c6

also playable is 6..Nd5 and 6..c5!?

7.O-O cxb5 8.Bg5 Be7 9.exf6 Bxf6 10.Re1+



..Kf8 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.c3!

Probably best. Yet no more than


like Silman says, the bishop becomes passive. 12...b6 is a serious alternative. >

13.cxd4 Be6 14.Nc3 a6 15.Re5 Rd8 16.Qb3 Qe7 17.Rae1 g5?

With the textmove, black creates a weakness which makes defence very difficult.

Better is 17..Qd6. According to Silman this is refuted by 18.a4 b4 19.Na2 a5 20.Nc1 "when the threatened Nc1–d3-c5 maneuver is very hard for Black to meet.". However, in that line black should play 20..g6 and the position is defensible. Black will continue with Kg7 and Rhe8 to complete his development. A white Nc5 is answered by Bc8. >


Ne2 is more accurate, because it prevents any eventual Kg7 on account of Ng3, while the queen is also more powerful on the queenside -- if black for example responded 18..Qf6 then both 19.a4 and 19.Qa3+ would be good alternatives.


Qf6 19.R1e3?!

Gives black chances to consolidate. A more thorough method is to move the knight to the kingside, and to create a weakness on the queenside with a4, Qd3, etc

For example, 19.a4 b4 20.Ne2 (preparing Qd2) h6 21.Ng3 Rc8 22.Nh5 Qg6 23.f4 and black will have difficulties defending all his weak pawns and his exposed king.



Perhaps Anderssen didn't believe in the defence, but objectively after 19..Kg7 there is much play left. Black would then proceed with something like Qg6, h6, f5, Bf7 and Rhe8 to consolidate. >

20.Rxe6 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Does anyone else think Anderssen should've played on(Q+N v.R+R)?
Nov-15-07  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

Morphy 1 mistake:
19.R1e3 0.12 (19.Ne2 0.56)

Anderssen 2 mistakes:
17...g5 0.65 (17...g6 0.13)
19...Rg8 3.33 (19...Rd6 0.12)

Feb-07-08  HNP: "An easy trap to see,maybe Anderssen was awed so much by Morphy,that he was attacked by panic or chess blindness."

Hardly. This was the third game of the match and Anderssen led 1.5 - 0.5.

Jan-14-09  WhiteRook48: but then Morphy won a lot of the others.
Aug-12-10  sevenseaman: At the end the game pivots quickly in favor of White but do note the preparation. The tailing R has to be on e3.
Jan-13-11  Tigranny: No offense, but what caused Anderssen to play much worse than he did in the Immortal and Evergreen games?
Feb-23-11  Llawdogg: No offense, but the Immortal Game was not played against Morphy. Morphy simply wouldn't allow Anderssen any opportunities to attack. And Anderssen acknowledged as much.
Feb-25-11  M.D. Wilson: Morphy was much better than Anderssen, but the match result was really lopsided for a player of Anderssen's strength.
Jul-15-11  lemaire90: After 6 ... c6, Lowenthal notes that it was a weak move. That exact move was Houdini's suggestion...

The only read blunder was 19. ... Rg8, Instead Anderssen should have played Kg7, getting out of the skewer that is available after 20. ... fxe6 21. Rf3.

Feb-22-14  tranquilsimplicity: Morphy is sooo..good that he makes it look easy! #
Mar-20-14  RookFile: Had Anderssen played a better 17th move, this would have been a great struggle. Should he play ...Qd6, or maybe ...h5 with the idea of ...Rh6? It's too bad, the game was just getting interesting.
Nov-24-14  yurikvelo:

this game Stockfish analysis

Oct-11-15  The Kings Domain: Poor 6th move by Anderssen, perhaps a flawed opening experiment or overconfidence on his part. He sure payed terribly for it.
Feb-19-16  yurikvelo: <After 6 ... c6, Lowenthal notes that it was a weak move> 6. ..c6 + Nd5 (or Nd5 + c6 transposition) is best (and the only good) move according to SF7@D=38 and K9.3@D=32

Next move 6. ..Ne4 or Ng8 is a gap worse

<Poor 6th move by Anderssen> best 6th move, it is poor only because followed by 7...cxb5?, not 7...Nd5/Ng8

<8... Be7 The only correct reply ©Lowenthal> also 8... d5

<Instead Anderssen should have played Kg7> Rd6 is much better than Kg7+g4 (or g4+Kg7 transposition)

After Rd6: QN vs RRB is very hard for white to advance and a lot of possibilities for mistake (for both sides!). If black was modern engine I forecast white could even draw or lose.

Jul-29-20  nummerzwei: After 15...g6! 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Rxd5 Kg7 ⩱

click for larger view

Black has a very comfortable position: his inferior minor piece has disappeared, and White's d-pawn is more of a weakness than a strength - a weakness that has to be defended in order to maintain material equality.

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