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Charles Henry Stanley vs Paul Morphy
Casual game (1857), New York, NY USA
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit Bryan Countergambit (C33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-03-03  InspiredByMorphy: This is the only game out of 12 that Stanley won on even terms ( not odds games ).
Feb-07-04  Calchexas: Bears: Doubt it. Morphy (like others of his time) loved the Evans Gambit. But, as Black, he couldn't play it here. But he offered his b-pawn in a gambit move anyway. Except for the absolutely terrible development, he plays almost exactly like Morphy.
Jul-22-04  InspiredByMorphy: Strange how Morphy after winning the exchange on move 12, doesent just develop his pieces ( I would usually say, and defend, but he probably wouldnt have even needed to do that ).
Jul-22-04  HailM0rphy: I said that exact same thing to myself inspired..I still dont think Morphy was black no matter what chesslab says.
Jul-22-04  SBC: <I still dont think Morphy was black no matter what chesslab says>

well, Philip Sergeant (Morphy's Games of Chess) agrees with chesslab.

Think of it as proof that Morphy was human.

Jul-22-04  HailM0rphy: <Think of it as proof that Morphy was human> IMPOSSIBLE!!
Oct-07-04  morphy234: maybe Morphy was drunk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <InspiredByMorphy>:
<20. Bd8 21. Rf5 Rf8 22. Bxf4 Qg6 23. Bxg3 Qxg4 24. hxg4 Nd7 25. Bxd6 Be7 26. Bf4 Nf6 27. b5 Nxe4 28. bxc6 Bd6 29. c7 Rc8 30. Bd5 Nf2+ Where is Morphys losing position now?>

Probably 20...♗d8 21. ♕c8 threatening ♕b7 , winning material.

Oct-07-04  Seraph88: It's kind of hard to believe that Paul Morphy lost. He was most probably drunk. (funny) :)
Oct-07-04  fantasticplastic:, this game is as genuine as Keanu Reeves is an actor. It is published in Sergeant's book on Morphy (Dover Publications), and listed as Stanley's one win against Morphy against a dozen losses.
Oct-09-04  sneaky pete: The final position is utterly lost for black. Maroczy gives 20... Bd8 21.Rf5 Rf8 22.Nf3 Nd7 23.Bxf4 Qg6 24.Ng5 .. as a winning line. Not very convincing, but white can improve with 23.Bxf7+ .. etc. Simple 21.Qc8 .. as <beatgiant> suggests seems better still.

After studying the second part of the game I believe Morphy is playing white here. 11.d4!.. (development; a minor piece is at least as good as an unactive rook) and 15.a3! .. (opening lines; if 15...bxa3 16.d5 ..) are typical Morphy, it's inconceivable Stanley would find such moves. 14... d6? and 19... Bg5? on the other hand are moves that anyone might play, except Morphy.

What may have happened: during the post mortem of C Stanley vs Morphy, 1857 Morphy suggested 11.d4 .. would have been better than 11.Ke2... Stanley was skeptical, because it would lose the exchange, so they played with reversed colours from move 11 on. This improved half of the game then found it's way in the world as a second game along with the original, and in both versions Stanley was credited as being white.

Oct-09-04  ancienregime: Hmmmm...well, Stanley lost a lot of games to Morphy and it's no surprise that someday he would have seen this keen move. Stanley-Morphy 1857 with 11. Ke2 happened before Stanley-Morphy 1857 with 11. d4, but this game is genuine because even Lowenthal ackowledged its veracity. However, with much respect for sneaky pete's idea, Morphy's shortest game, a 10-mover again Bottin, was examined by both players during the post-mortem. They played several games from move 8 to "see what would have happened." After Morphy beat Lowenthal in the 1857 ACC (in the ending where Morphy had a Bishop/pawns vs. Lowenthal's Bishop/pawns), they played several back games in the post-mortem as well. Lowenthal managed to draw a few of these, though of course none of these "after-the-fact" encounters have been preserved. We should also remember that Stanley, and not Morphy, is America's first "official" chess champion, having held the distinction from 1845-1857. Only the "chess historians" would know that fact (winks).
Oct-09-04  ancienregime: I mean, after Morphy's 1857 ACC game with Liechtenstein, not Lowenthal...
Oct-09-04  SBC: This game was played in New York, not New Orleans as stated. It was a casual game and of the 12 even games between Morphy and Stanley, it was Stanley's only win.

I don't think either Stanley, who beat out Rousseau, nor Morphy, who beat out Stanley were official US champions. I think that distinction might belong to Showalter. But it's probably debatable.

You can read something about Stanley here:

and see some pictures of early American champions here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: McCool -- clink on the link in SBC's post immediately above yours.
Aug-28-06  poptart: <Maybe Morphy was drunk> He was probably sober in this one, drunk in all of his other games. How else would he be able to dream up those brilliant wins =) ? Of course, maybe he wasn't human, and occasionally lost to confuse us.
Sep-29-09  UnicornChessman: I guess Morphy sucked at blindfold chess... (This was a blindfold game)
Nov-15-09  eogord: On sifting through games by the masters like this, it gives me courage as a duffer, after a losing streak with a friend, that I am in great company when I lose, and improvement is waiting, perhaps around the corner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 19...Bg5 was just a blunder though the position of black was already quite lousy. After 20...Bd8 21.Bxf4 Qg6 22.Qc8 black position is a ruin.

13...g5 with intention Bg7 and 0-0 could have been better.

Oct-05-12  Conrad93: Morphy was a gambler, and this time his gamble didn't pay off.

He was not a player of accuracy, but rather a player of risks.

Sep-07-16  jimcrickman143: Such a thing as Morphy, Capablanca, or Fischer ever losing seems "impossible", but it happened...many times.
Jun-28-18  The Kings Domain: Strange game.
Aug-10-18  deSitter: This is Morphy's first recorded loss under even conditions (no odds, use of eyes).
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Staunton in the <ILN>, October 7th 1871, p.339:

<In the year 1857, during Morphy's visit to New York, he played several games with Mr. Stanley, then, as a player, the mere wreck of what he had been, and, of course, won nearly all. The following Game, which has never seen the light until lately, was one of the few gained by Mr. Stanley. It is not a very brilliant affair; but, as a solatium to a once fine player, Mr. Morphy's admirers might well have allowed it to be published.>

Staunton says of <19.Ra5>, <A good move; almost the only one of which that can be said throughout the skirmish.>

On Morphy's resignation, he quotes a variation from the Berlin <Schachzeitung> (presumably his source for the game), the same as given by Maroczy above: <20... Bd8 21.Rf5 Rf8 22.Nf3 Nd7 23.Bxf4 Qg6 24.Ng5>.

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