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



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-28-04  ivan2kilu: This "morphy" guy is good.
May-28-04  Doctor Who: LOL!!! Yes, this "Morphy guy" seems to know a few things about chess!
May-28-04  harrwitz: Hi, be careful...Sergeant's book notes that 4...P-QKt4 is a poor move and that Black's exchange sacrifice "ought not to have been so effective, had not White been greedy on move 18." In short, White has a winning position on move 17, according to Sergeant.
May-28-04  harrwitz: ...Only to botch it up thoroughly, of course =)
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I don't think 18 ♕xf7 is too greedy. 18 ♕xf7 ♖f8 19 ♕b3+ ♔c8 has to be just winning for White, but only if he follows up sharply, say with 20 ♗xg5 grabbing another pawn. 20...♖xf3 21 ♕xf3 ♕xg5 does not help black as he is already down material. 20 c3 is the clunker. The ♕ never gets back into the game.
Oct-04-04  InspiredByMorphy: 17. Qb3+ Ka8 18. Nxg8 Rxg8 19. Qxf7 wins. It appears 15. ...Rc8 was necessary.
Apr-14-09  paulmorphy41: To Tamar; After 20.Nf3 Qb3 21.Bxg5 not Rxf3, but Nxd4 22.Nxd4 Qxg5 23Nf3 Nf4 24.g3 ne2+ 25.Kg2 Nf4+ 26. Kf1 Ne6. Maybe blacks still lost, but it is complicated
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <paulmorphy41: To Tamar; After 20.Nf3 Qb3 21.Bxg5 not Rxf3, but Nxd4 22.Nxd4 Qxg5 23Nf3 Nf4 24.g3 ne2+ 25.Kg2 Nf4+ 26. Kf1 Ne6. Maybe blacks still lost, but it is complicated>

Difficult for White to unwind, especially if Black plays 24...Qg4 in your line.

If you try to play White, you are trying to contain 4 developed pieces, with two of your own, but it is possible to do.

These kind of games bothered Steinitz, who could see that Morphy allowed lost positions, but it took many years for defensive technique to be developed.

BTW in my post 5 years ago (!) I probably meant 21 Bxg5 as the knight needs to come out to f3 on move 20 for any of it to make sense.

Apr-20-09  paulmorphy41: To Tamar your right on 24...Qg4 in my line probably draws by perpetual checks with the knight.
May-16-11  James Bowman: Where some players saw obsticals Morphy sees options, where others saw a plan Morphy saw a multitude of paths all leading to mate.
Jun-15-12  RookFile: This is all nice, but with proper play Morphy should have lost this game. I'm amazed he didn't get blown off the board.
Sep-22-14  rainingpieces: 21.c3 is bad. White had a good position before it. 21.Be3 seems to be the best move, since it frees up the rook and protects the d4-pawn. A complicated position still
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: A real swindle from Morphy. Raphael was a strong player (he finished fourth in the NY tournament) and you get the sense that Morphy was taking this game awfully casually, especially at the beginning.

Max Lange apparently suggested 11....g4 12.Ne1 f5 13.h3 Ng3 14.Rh2 Bxe5 15.hxg4 Qb6! (Sargeant), but that's just a fantasy variation. 12.Nh4 (12....Qg5 13.g3 f5 14.Bc4) and 13.exf6 are massive improvements.

The engine likes c2-c3 until the moment that Raphael actually decides to play it, e.g. 18.c3 Qg6 19.g4(!?) Nf4 20.Bxf4 gxf4 21.Nd3, and if 21...f5 22.h3 h5? 23.Nxf4. Not many humans would play that way. The machine also likes 20.c3 or 20.Qd5, in either event keeping White's massive advantage.

As <raining pieces> points out, 21.Be3 is good (21....Nf4 22.Bxf4 Rxf4 23.h3), or White can play 21.h3 at once.

21.c3 turned a win into a loss. Raphael must have missed or underestimated 22....Qd3. Mate is forced after 23....Nf4!, but it's also forced after 23....Qe2 -- just takes a little longer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Following on from Morphy vs G Hammond, 1857 (kibitz #13), this game appears in the <ILN> of November 19th 1864, p.523.

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