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Paul Morphy vs Alonzo Morphy
"How to Beat Your Dad at Chess" (game of the day Jun-15-2014)
Casual game (1848), New Orleans, LA USA
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit Greco Variation (C33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dom> As are some of his detractors.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Dom, (again)

Well it's not too bad for an 11 year boy who never had that much in the form of chess literature to learn from.

In them days Black was still playing White.


There is 50-50 chance that the board set up in the Morphy house on that day after 1.e5 e4 2.f2 was this.

click for larger view

You could win a £10 bet by asking who was White in the 'Immortal Game'. It was Kieseritzky, Anderssen had the Black pieces but moved first.

So who taught Morphy?

I don't agree with the school who think Morphy could be in the top 20 of today's players and on another day I could build a case that the Morphy hype over-shadowed other developments that were taking place in chess.

But no Morphy....unthinkable. He left us such wonderful insructive games and I've heard too many comments from beginners to GM's who say they fell in love with the game thanks to playing over a Morphy game.

Type that at half time - c'mon Argentina.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Type that at half time - c'mon Argentina.> The Bozzies weren't bad, though, were they? I hope they both go through.

And, OK, Morphy wasn't bad either (!).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: 2-1 and £90 for me. That started off as a £5.00 roll up along with Italy, Holland and Brazil. Just needed France and Argentina to roll it home.

For a moment when it was 1-0 and Messi nearly knocked out a flood light with a free kick I was thinking here is someone else beginning with the letter 'M' who really is overrated........then he scored. (thank you Lionel Messi).

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Ninety quid should buy you a pint down at the corner.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The plan is keep £20 back for more gambling on the world cup (I like gambling with their money) a nice 6 team £10 roll up on the favourites next round (Holland-Spain was the gamble last round.)

Think I'll buy the David Janowski's best games book, it's one of the very few game collections I don't have and I've always rated him as a player.

And yes a couple of pints and a 5 minute session in Sandy Bells are in order.

The drink of course will be Murphy's Irish Stout. And apparently it's not a pun on Morphy. According to Edward Winter there is a link.

C.N.5068. Morphy and beer

Did you see how nicely I swung that back onto the Morphy topic.

I don't just cobble these posts together in slap-dash fashion. Forum posting is an acquired skill.

Jun-16-14  Shams: <And yes a couple of pints and a 5 minute session in Sandy Bells are in order.>

Well, wear protection.

Jun-16-14  kevin86: Son beats father (at chess)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Sally> -- <The drink of course will be Murphy's Irish Stout. And apparently it's not a pun on Morphy. According to Edward Winter there is a link.>

The crime novelist John Connolly (his recurring hero is named Charlie 'Bird' Parker) set one of his books around New Orleans ... where there was an Irish-American cop called Morphy, "descended from the chess champion".

What Connolly overlooked was (1) the absence of Morphy descendants in real life, and (2) the fact that the Morphy family were posh Spanish-American lawyers ... not Micko cops.

Connolly is from Dublin -- I've interviewed him for a paper -- and should know better.

Murphy's Stout, of course, is from Cork, like me. Though I don't like the stuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Dom,

Winter does link Morphy with Ireland on the fathers side and the coat of arms displayed in the link does seem to show this.

Worked with Edward Winter once on one of his notes. Never met such a meticulous man. He ordered and bought a non-chess book just to double check one referernce.

Chess should be very glad we have him. His site is the best thing on the net.

Been listening for chess references in the World Cup. 'it's like a game of chess' or 'stalemate.'

Currently halfway though a column where I use football terms in chess notes.

'Sick as a parrot', 'A Knight offside' etc.... (lost pieces are those sent off, promotions are the subs coming on...sounds totally crap I know but it will look OK when it's finished.)

Just looking for a 'game of two halves' and I'll have it done.

Not too fond of Murphy Stout either prefer Guiness.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Sally S.> Got one ... John Giles on RTE TV, Colombia vs Ivory Coast ... "bit of a stalemate".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: "It's the accumulation of things that lead to consequences" -- Eamon Dunphy.

Hmm. Could be football, or a Steinitzian approach to chess?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: "Almost like a game of chess at the moment, looking for the next move that will open it up" -- RTE commentator on Iran v Argentina.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Dom,

I did it, finished it yesterday.

Some of the moves you see there will turn your hair white.

Missed mates in one, castling into mate in one (both King and Queenside.) These are not blitz games. The players actually had 20+ days to make a move!

It turned out OK. Even came up with a new term: The Maradona Mate. (nothing to do with the 'Hand of God' that was a poor ref's decision - 20 years earlier one gave England a goal in the World Cup Final. In Football, as in Chess, what goes around comes around.)

Re TV Commentators:

I wish one would say something like:

"This game is liking watching the Exchange French between two grandmothers."


"Brazil are attacking like Morphy did when playing the Evans Gambit. A joy to watch, unless you are the opponent."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Sally> -- The chess/football thing doesn't always work, of course. Take this position:

click for larger view

If the White King is the penalty taker or striker, the pawn is the ball, and the Black King is the opposition keeper, then the solution is simple: smash the pawn forward into the net.

But the chess solution is different: you must leave the 'pawn' on the spot, run out in front of it with 1.Kd5, elbow the opposition player aside, and only then let the ball roll into the net.

Hmm ... come to think of it, they're not so different after all. A pawn/ball mindlessly kicked straight ahead will be saved. The key in both games is to pick your spot...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Dom,

It was all, as always, mixing a bit of fun with instruction. I do wish though that football commentators would not refer to boring matches as like a game of chess.

In your posted position the White King runs into space wrong footing a defender so the ball (at the pawn's feet) can be slotted home.

This position would cause a problem.

click for larger view

Mutual Zugzwang. Who ever has the move loses.

One could say everytime England kicks off they are in Zugzwang.

Jan-28-16  juanhernandez: good game !!!
Aug-19-16  talhal20: Why are Morphy games are so much commented on/written about than any other players say Fischer/Kasparov/Capablanca/Alekhine/Carlsen. Can any one explain?
Jan-08-18  yureesystem: Morphy's dad wasn't very good. Final position Morphy wins the queen or mates. :) 18...Qd8 19.Re8 + double check and mate. 18...Qf7 19.Re7 Qxc4 3.Qxc4+ wins the queen.
Jul-12-18  romancitog: Paul Morphy certainly would not do badly in today's chess world even without opening a book. Once a genius, always a genius.
Jul-12-18  JPi: Sure Paul Morphy could learn modern chess opening theory in only few months. He could remember most of every thing he wants. It would be indeed very interesting to see how much he enjoys Indian defences or hypermodern chess approach.
Aug-11-18  bschak8178: Morphy actually missed a devastating move with his 8. Qd3 d6=. Instead, 8. e5! and the best bad move for Black is the embarrassing 8. ... Ng8 after which White takes a massive lead in space and development. If Black tries to save material without retreating the knight, he’s in for a world of hurt: 8. e5! Nh5?
9. Nd5 Qd8
10. g4 fxg3? (better to sac the N with d6)
11. Bg5! f6? (better to sac the Q with c6)
12. exf6 gxf6
13. Qe1+ Kf7
14. Nxf6+ Kf8
15. Bh6+ Ng7
16. Bxg7+ Kxg7
17. Qxg3+ Kf8
18. Nxh7+! Rxh7
19. Qg7+ Ke7
20. Re1+ Kd6
21. Qd5#
Aug-11-18  sudoplatov: Fischer also had some comments on how to play over Morphy's games (and those of Steinitz, etc.) He would set up a board and take the opponent's side. They (like in solitaire chess) he would try to find good moves. Of course, one does get to play lots of inferior positions later on in games.

Fischer commented that it sometimes took 20 minutes to find a proper plan to meet Morphy's ideas. It might be interesting to have a "solitaire chess" type of book; maybe entitled "Can You Lose More Elegantly than NN?"

Nov-26-20  paulmorphy1969: This game in the book of Macon Shibut - Paul Morphy End Evolution Of Chess Theory are date of 1847
Jul-05-23  generror: This seems to be one of the earliest recorded games by Paul Morphy, and he already shows that he's an amazing talent. Yes, Alonzo seems like a very average amateur player making it very easy for him, but Paul already shows that he's playing in another league. Just check out the position after how 10.Bxf4!

I do prefer another early game, Morphy vs E Rousseau, 1849, as being more illustrative of his incredible combinatorial skills, although that game also shows that he wasn't the soundest players ever, while I dare say he's completely accurate here.

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