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Paul Morphy vs Schrufer
"Smother Nature" (game of the day May-14-2017)
Paris (1859), Paris FRA, Mar-31
Italian Game: Scotch Gambit. Anderssen Attack (C56)  ·  1-0



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Given 193 times; par: 39 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Dirkster: The more I study Morphy's games, the more I'm in awe of his chess genius! What was with that guy, anyway?!?
May-14-17  Jack Kerouac: <Dirkster> Liberal thinker. Not conservative thinker. And that's where art comes from....
May-14-17  sukebe: Chauffeur got parking ticket
May-14-17  schnarre: ...Morphy's use of the Knight pair was absolutely devastating here!
May-14-17  savagerules: Never seen this Morphy game and another brilliant romp over his hapless opponent from the greatest of all time chess artist. He's an artist not a butcher. Paul, why did you have to go crazy at such a young age? Just think of all the games we missed seeing if he kept playing.
Jan-10-18  sonicboom: of course the black blundered on moving 19....Kc8 rather playing 19....Ke8.

It shows that Morphy didn't calculated everything, because there was not a way to force the victory after his combination.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <sonicboom>19...Ke8 loses as well, unless you think a free rook is worthless:-)
Jan-11-18  john barleycorn: <sonicboom: ...

It shows that Morphy didn't calculated everything, because there was not a way to force the victory after his combination.>

I see it differently. It was a won game for Morphy. Schrufer tried to avoid the prosaic loss of material and game. However, he most likely did not see the elegant solution that would follow.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I see it the same way as you John.

click for larger view

Morphy played the best move in the above position, 19. Ne6+ (what more can you ask of him) his opponent saw 19...Ke8 lost the a8 Rook. He also noted the discovered check did not win the Queen or the a8 Rook so decided to ride out the discovered check.

The fact Morphy could have won the Black Queen a few moves later instead of mating Black shows how badly Black calculated in this game.

Of course had Morphy taken the Queen instead of the smothered mate then we could have cause for complaint. As it is Morphy finishes with an instructive flourish.

The dodgy bit (for me anyway) was here.

click for larger view

Morphy played 17.Nf7+ saccing the Knight to bring the c1 Bishop into the game and set up the mate. 17. Ne4 looks a much better winning try.

Maybe Morphy saw he had at least a perpetual and went for it hoping his opponent would save the a8 Rook.

It's not a dazzling or brilliant game. It is what it is. An off hand game between a superbly gifted player and a novice. Instructive in the way Morphy refuses to win a Queen instead he sacs his Queen.

A nice example of sitting on your hands and looking for a better move played 3 years before Tarrasch was born.

Jan-11-18  WorstPlayerEver: If Morphy had not showed up, we still would have been playing Rice Gambit tournaments.
Jan-11-18  Petrosianic: The Rice Gambit actually came after Morphy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: After 19.Ne6+ Ke8 20.Nxc7+ Kd8 21.Nxa8? Bxg5 22.Qxg5+ Kc8 the knight doesn't survive. But 21.Ne6+ is still a draw.
Dec-25-18  HarryP: I'm proud to say that I've pulled off this mate four times. I'm just an ordinary player, but I guess if you play long enough and play enough games you can eventually do most things. On one occasion I even mated someone in a K, B, N vs. K endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here is some good advice.

If you have the choice between mate and taking the queen, take the queen: then the mate is easy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: A novice will hang one move threats. Black no novice here. Morphy was a beast in this game.
Apr-04-19  Saniyat24: Rufer...? Schrufer..! ha ha...!
Aug-04-19  gambitfan: a magnificent smothered mate !
Aug-04-19  Granny O Doul: The first smothered mate I ever played was against a deaf kid in an inter-school match. As we were all basically novices, we would announce check and mate novice-style, so his teammate had asked me to point out checks with my finger. Luckily, my opponent was bright enough to see it was mate, so I didn't have to point out each potential flight square and the fact that it was was occupied and thus unavailable to his king.
Oct-13-20  paulmorphy1969: [Max Lange gives the name as "S --- r." The game was played on the evening of a dinner offered to Morphy by August Ehrmann.] Real names are Schrufer Probably Franz Schrüfer, also spelled Schruefer (Ahorntal, March 17, 1823 - Bamberg, August 6, 1909), was a German chess composer.
Oct-21-20  talhal20: Many kibitzers say that Morphy could win because his opponents were weak. Morphy played against the opponents - weak or strong - available during his playing days. Like wise Carlsen the present World Champion will play the opponents available during his playing days and not the opponents of the 22nd century. Why drag Morphy from 19th century to 21st century and make sweeping comments on him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MSteen: I have been playing over this collection of 57 of Morphy's best games, and every one is an astonishment! In game after game, I see threats to a major piece that would have me retreating in terror. And, every time, Morphy just ignores it and goes about crushing his opponent with a tactical genius that boggles the mind. Love this guy!
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Cute game. I didn't think Black played that badly. The opening is so sharp - the smallest inaccuracy can be fatal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <plang>, in my playing days, I preferred 8....Qa5.
Jun-28-23  seuoliva: nice knights!
Jun-28-23  Whitehat1963: Morphs seems to be constantly just a few moves away from mating his opponents. I don�t know if that�s his hyper-aggression or his opponents� weakness. Whatever it is, it�s always entertaining!
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