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Paul Morphy vs Adolf Anderssen
"First Fall of the Wall" (game of the day Aug-20-2021)
Anderssen - Morphy (1858), Paris FRA, rd 3, Dec-22
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Given 140 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Lowenthals's total lack of understanding of "pawns don't go backwards" seems to be missing from his virtual reality fantasy comments of this game.

It seems at move 17, if black didn't commit to the irreversible damage pawn move g5, then black would be nearly absolutely fine:

E.g. Qd6 - a useful "unpinning move":

143: Paul Morphy - Adolf Anderssen 1-0 3.0, Anderssen - Morphy 1858

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 14:

1. ⩲ (0.53): 18.a4 b4 19.Na2 a5 20.h4 h5 21.Nc1 Rh6 22.Nd3 Re8 23.Nf4 Bd7 24.Rxe8+ Bxe8 25.Re5 Rf6 26.g3 g6 27.Rxd5 Qc7 28.Qe3 Bc6 29.Rg5 Qd8 30.b3 Rd6 31.Qe5 Rxd4 32.Qh8+ Ke7 33.Nxg6+ fxg6 White is slightly better

(Gavriel, 09.08.2021)

I think that all pawn moves generally when annotating games - especially more positional games need to have justification evidence because they are the irreversible decisions of the chess board.

Aug-20-21  Brenin: This game is not a great advertisement for the reputation of either player. Despite some fairly dreadful moves (17 ... g5 and 18 ... Qf6, for example), Black still has a more or less equal position after 19 ... Kg7.
Aug-20-21  Brenin: First? Early, but surely not the first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 20...Qxe6 21. Rxe6 fxe6.

Now what? How does white finish?

Aug-20-21  goodevans: <al wazir> The Q and N are a particularly effective combination, far more so than a pair of Rs. It might take a while but both players knew that White would eventually overwhelm Black.

The same would hold if Black were to choose 20...fxe6 21.Rf3 Qxf3.

Aug-20-21  Brenin: <al wazir>: I agree with <goodevans>. After 20 ... Qxe6 21 Rxe6 fxe6 White needs to create some diagonals for his Q, expose weaknesses in Black's position such as the pawns on b7 and e6, and move his N to a more active square, such as c5 or e5, before Black can connect his Rs and double them on the c- or f-files. I think 22 a4 would be a good start, e.g. 22 ... bxa4 23 Nxa4 and 24 Nc5, or 22 ... b4 23 Na2 a5 24 Nc1 followed by Nb3 or Nd3, or Qe2 and Qb5.
Aug-20-21  nalinw: Good pun for a historic game ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <Brenin: First? Early, but surely not the first.> First time Morphy beat Anderssen, in that match and in general (two previous games were a win by Anderssen and a draw). Wall refers to the defense obviously (Anderssen being German adds a little spice to it).

Agree with <Brenin> and <goodevans> on the finish although I couldn't have put it so clearly. It's resignable especially against Morphy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I was curious what the first Berlin in the database is. And....I found a bad link. If you go to Opening Explorer, you'll find a link to the debut of the Berlin in 1803.

Opening Explorer

But the link in fact is to this 1930 game:

H Hesse vs NN, 1930

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <goodevans: The Q and N are a particularly effective combination, far more so than a pair of Rs.>

After 20...Qxe6 21. Rxe6 fxe6, white has ♕+♘ vs. ♖+♖+♙ -- a big advantage, usually a winning advantage, but not an easy win.

I tried playing out the continuation. Black stations one ♖ on the seventh rank to defend the ♙ on h7 and the other on e8 to defend the ♙ on e6. The ♔ shuttles back and forth to help with the defense. Black's ♙s severely restrict the movement of the ♘.

I don't see how to win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Shankland in his Chessable course on the Berlin offers the surprising 5...c6! as the cleanest equalizer, the point being 6.Bc4 exd4 7.e5? Qa5+!
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