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Augustus Mongredien vs Paul Morphy
Paris m/1 (1863), Jan-16
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit (C33)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-01-04  InspiredByMorphy: A fine example of Morphy choosing superior development over material. 8. ...Bd6 guards the extra pawn but instead Morphy gives it back and develops another piece.
Jun-28-05  Jgamazo: I think InspiredByMorphy was speaking about another game.

This is the last year Morphy would play serious chess against the best players in Europe. His opponents must have studied his games and prepared strategies and yet ... Morphy triumphs.

This was apparently the first game of a match, but the other games are not on this site. Morphy never declines a pawn in a King's Gambit. 3. ... d5 Morphy begins to open the center, even though he is black and has not castled. 3. ... Nf6 was good here too, but that's not Morphy's game.

Mongredien plays well and keeps the game balanced, trying to slowly tip it in White direction.

4. ... Nf6 Morphy developes with a threat.

6.0-0 White castles to safety, instead of 6.Qe2 to pin the bishop.

Morphy played 7. ... Bxd5 and not 7. ... Qxd5 exposing his king. Maybe he was looking for a Queen trade: 8.Qe2+ Qe7 9.Qxe7+ Kxe7? White wasn't biting, he plays 8.d4 to secure space in the center. Morphy counters by developing with a threat 8. ... Nc6.

9.Bxf4 White gets his pawn back, and Morphy developes his bishop and prepares to castle.

10.Nbd2 White must know that after Morphy castles he usually begins an attack. White shores up the defence of the knight on f3, but 8.Nc3 was better.

10. ... 0-0 Morphy castles, instead of challenging the bishop on f4. Safe kings are more important than trading pieces.

11.c4 White fights for the initiative, but Morphy counters by taking the knight 11. ... Bxf3

12. ... Bf6 Morphy trains his sights on the d pawn. 13.d5 is almost forced. But now the b pawn is under pressure.

White decides to end the threat with 14.Be5, but 14.Qb3 was better, threatening the black b pawn and preparing Rad1. If materials are even, trades help black by cutting down the number of attackers.

14. ... Nf5 Morphy sees a fork of queen and rook on e3. The trade will still be there on the next move.

15.Qd3 protects e3 and attacks the knight. So Morphy protects his knight 15. ... g6.

16.Bxf6 White cracks under the pressure. 16.Rae1 was better.

17.Qb3? Morphy could trade Queens with 17. ... Qb6+ but that would lessen the chances of mate and give him doubled pawns. Instead 17. ... Rfe8 controls the only open file, the only way to get the rooks in the game.

White challenges the rook 18.Rae1

18. ... Nd4 Morphy needs to get rid of the knight on f3, and drive the king into a corner.

20. ... Rxe1 Morphy wastes no time begining an attack. The tempting 20. ...Qf2 brings 21.Qc3!

After 21.Rxe1 Qd2 White should have played 22.Qg3 to keep the game equal, but he played 22.Rf1 a badly conceived attack on the f pawn.

22. ... Re8 Morphy sees his chance to seize the initiative for good.

23.Qf3 f5 the pawn is protected and the stage is set for an attack on the king.

24.Qd1? Better was 24.d6 cxd6 25.Qxb7 Qf2 26.Qd5+ Kh8 with some play but black can just start eating pawns.

24. ... Re2 White resigns in veiw of 25.Qxd2 Rxd2 26.Rb1 Rc2 27.b3 Rxa2 29.Kg1 Kf7 and the white pawns fall. Black uses his majority on the kingside to get a passed pawn.

Feb-26-08  JimmyVermeer: I don't get why Mongredien resigned here. It seems he still had a chance at a draw, all it would take is for Morphy to make a little mistake, which he often does.
Feb-26-08  Riverbeast: The win is elementary with a rook on the 7th...a 1600 ELO player could probably win this position
Feb-27-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: The game did continue, but the moves were not recorded.
May-19-12  e4 resigns: White's position is a bit more passive, his king and rook are stuck on first. It seems in most of these games against Morphy, Morphy grabbed an extra pawn and exchanged as fast as he could.
May-19-12  AVRO38: Every one of Morphy's moves is brutally efficient. He achieves so much more with each of his moves than his opponent does. This gives his games an aesthetic quality that no other player has ever been able to match.

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