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Paul Morphy vs Daniel Harrwitz
Morphy - Harrwitz (1858), Paris FRA, rd 6, Sep-18
Philidor Defense: Exchange Variation (C41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-30-05  RookFile: I guess you mean 11... Ke7, because
black also played Ke7 on move 21, 27,
and 31.

The f7 pawn is under attack, and needs
defense. There appear to be drawbacks
to all of black's choices: Re7 allows
a nasty pin with 12. Bg5, and Rf8....
well that's no place for a rook, white
can either 0-0-0 first and play Bg5,
or play Bg5 right away.

Aug-25-07  sanyas: Calculated to a nicety. White wins thanks to Black's superfluous pawn. 48...h2 49.Qg3+ Kh1 50.Qf2 h4 51.Qf1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ConfusedPatzer: what's with Ke7?>

It protects the pawn on f7 and helps the king get out of the free-fire zone in the center.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: A discussion about the finish of this game can be found here:

May-29-10  Boomie: From then end of the chess history in the previous post:

"If the Preti book were correct, it would mean that, in the diagrammed position below, Morphy too missed 50 Qf2 and 51 Qf1 mate, during the game."

Not bloody likely!

Dec-30-10  Elsinore: The only complaint that I have in these Morphy/Harrwitz games is that Morphy never played the Kings Gambit, Evans Gambit ect. Perhaps he knew that Harrwitz was too strong? Maybe, but he did play them against Anderssen and I don't think anyone considered Harrwitz to be stronger than Anderssen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Elsinore: The only complaint that I have in these Morphy/Harrwitz games is that Morphy never played the Kings Gambit, Evans Gambit ect. Perhaps he knew that Harrwitz was too strong? Maybe, but he did play them against Anderssen and I don't think anyone considered Harrwitz to be stronger than Anderssen.>

Harrwitz always played the Philidor against Morphy, so the Evans Gambit wasn't a possibility.

In match games (as opposed to offhand games), Morphy played the Evans once against Anderssen, and lost. But Anderssen only played 1....e5 twice.

Morphy tried the King's Gambit a couple of times in match games against Lowenthal, who declined to accept the pawn.

See the collection by <amadeus> -- he's done lots of wonderful match collections.

Game Collection: Match Morphy!

Dec-30-10  Elsinore: <keypusher> You're right. What I meant is that I wish the Morphy/Harrwitz games <were> played like some of Morphy's other games; Evans gambit, Kings Gambit. Harrwitz was definitely Morphy's toughest opponent and it's unfortunate that more games weren't played between the two; poor Harrwitz and that damn <"illness">.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <elsinor>

<Harrwitz was definitely Morphy's toughest opponent >

I'm not sure he was, though he had the best record. He won their first three games and then never won again. Some of those losses are downright embarassing, e.g. Morphy vs Harrwitz, 1858. Harrwitz is lost after seven moves. He got "sick" for a reason, I think.

Dec-30-10  Elsinore: <keypusher> When I go through these games, it seems like Harrwitz gave Morphy the most trouble out of all of his opponents. Morphy eventually came back, but Harrwitz did take some early games and put the pressure on. I think Harrwitz gave Morphy a tougher time than Anderssen did and certainly Lowenthal.
Dec-30-10  Calli: Morphy did not start his matches well. Even the informal series against Barnes was reported to be even after about 10 games. Barnes won only one or two more with PM reeling off the last 8 or 9 in a row.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: SBC, if I recall correctly, speculated that Morphy often started badly because he was susceptible to travel illnesses.

Harrwitz on the other hand had a history of claiming illness when he trailed during a match.

I have always thought that this was a sham, and a strategem, but when I go over Fischer's matches in 1971, all of his opponents got ill, and collapsed in the way Harrwitz did- Taimanov, Larsen, and Petrosian.

I now think Harrwitz' ailments were as real as theirs, brought on by trying too hard against a superior player.

His feat of winning the first three games they played was remarkable, but after game 3 and especially 4, it dawned on him he was doomed against Morphy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Courtesy of <SBC>, here was Morphy's comment after his third loss to Harrwitz:

<"How astonished all these men are going to be. Harrwitz will not win another game.">

And so it proved. I think Morphy had a pretty good fix on Harrwitz's strength.

Morphy vs Harrwitz, 1858

Dec-30-10  Elsinore: <keypusher>

<"How astonished all these men are going to be. Harrwitz will not win another game.">

That is an all time bad-ass quote. I haven't bought Edge's book, but I googled it a while ago and was able to read most of it off a link. The entire <affair> between Morphy and Harrwitz was very interesting, from the <pulse> incident to that quote above and plenty in between and around the edges.

If I remember correctly, Harrwitz had postponed the game due to <illness> more than once. When Harrwitz went home sick and never came back (lol), there was a bit of a problem. I think that Morphy had refused to <take> the victory right away; perhaps he wanted to beat Harrwitz in the agreed upon number of games (probably). Refusing the victory meant that Morphy also refused the <winnings> from the match. This caused a problem because many others had <bet> on the match. Morphy refusing the victory and money didn't put an official end to the game, so the ones who had <bet> that Morphy would win couldn't collect. Eventually, Morphy was convinced by others that he had to claim victory and officially end the match.

After I wrote that, I now have to go and buy Edge's book lol. It was <very> interesting and I want to be able to read it while sitting on a couch, not lopped in front of a computer (hurts my eyes).

Mar-09-11  ariel el luchador: lo único que puedo decir que en este encuentro Morphy no necesito usar el gambito de rey porque de 4 defensas filidor ganó 3
Mar-18-14  RookFile: I appreciate Elsinore's comment above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: This looks like a Fischer game. Fischer frequently played R & B vs. R & N endings (see Fischer vs Taimanov, 1971 and Fischer vs Taimanov, 1971) where he slowly crushed the life out of his opponents.

Here Morphy heads immediately into a Queenless middlegame after the careless 4...Nf6, takes advantage of Black's uncastled King to seize the Two Bishops, then trades that for a superior pawn structure with fewer pawn islands, and then exploits Black's pawn weaknesses to force his pieces into passive positions, then figures out the precise moment to swap minors so that his King can invade and win.

This game deserves a thorough examination by the silicon monsters. It does not seem possible that 4...Nf6 was the only mistake of the game, and it would prove interesting to learn where either player might have had better moves available.

May-05-16  talhal20: What a game by Morphy. He brought his king into play fairly early to advance his a- pawn to queen and win the game. A great end game strategy by Morphy.
Jan-21-18  bkpov: Very precise.
Very focused. No flashiness, no risk, all gain.
Aug-30-18  Judah: <keypusher: Courtesy of <SBC>, here was Morphy's comment after his third loss to Harrwitz: <"How astonished all these men are going to be. Harrwitz will not win another game.">>

I just read this quotation in Edge's book (, where it is given as "How astonished all these men will be <if> Harrwitz does not get another game." [emphasis added]

The "if" makes a great difference to the tone, IMO.

Aug-30-18  Petrosianic: I heard that Morphy pointed to a fence as he said this. Nobody could figure out why.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: Steinitz was famous for saying the king is a fighting piece. Obviously Morphy knew this as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Steinitz said Blackburne was a fighting POS.
Aug-16-20  superstoned: Perhaps Black resists more tenaciously with 33...fxe6
Apr-18-22  mifralu: Jay Whitehead DB has

< 26. ... Ke7 27. Re3 Kd7 28. Bd5 h5 29. h4 (Annotator 4160 and 472) >

Game is here "Le Monde illustré, 30 October 1858, p. 287"

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