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Paul Morphy vs Charles Maurian
"Against All Odds" (game of the day Jun-16-2008)
New Orleans (1854) (unorthodox)
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: On 25. ...Bxf6 26. Qh7+! Qxh7 (or ...Kf8 Bh6) 27. gxh7+ and the King is powerless to stop the h-pawn.
Mar-08-02  The Young Learner: oh thats why! When black resigned I studied this for 10 minutes wondering why. I wasnt even paying attention to that bishop! Well, I feel pretty ignorant to not pay attention to that. I just kept thinking how black had enough pieces and he could somehow stop that pawnand free the king and as far as the other pawn white had he could capture a piece but could go no further than that and black would still be winning. The only thing I still question is why do you say the king can't stop the pawn? oh ok I re-analyzed it and now I see if the king goes in the corner to temporarily stop the pawn then white's other pawn captures bishop with mate to follow. You were right Sneaky! Shouldn't have doubted you! Andrew age 16
Dec-17-03  Hidden Skillz: very aggressive game by morphy..
Dec-17-03  MoonlitKnight: When you're down a rook and a knight from the start, you don't go into a hedgehog! :) But Maurian didn't play chess, he just moved his knights around, so no problem for Morphy.
Dec-21-03  Hidden Skillz: ye dat was funny wit the knights..
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: To do that well in 25 moves down a rook and knight is remarkable!
Mar-03-04  TrueFiendish: To gets his knights 'out of the way' Maurian stashes them on the queenside... :-|
Mar-03-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: ye dat wuz funny wit da knights dawg


Jun-23-05  blackjacki2: Why did he castle on the side that still had a rook and knight???
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The knight at c6 completely put the kibosh on black's position. He probably didn't want to castle but there weren't many other moves available.
Nov-08-05  schnarre: Even at odds the French succumbs!
Jun-16-08  offtherook: That is pretty beastly to play at rook and knight odds and STILL win fast enough that it's a miniature.
Jun-16-08  Travis Bickle: No wonder Fischer once said "Morphy was probably the greatest genuis of them all".
Jun-16-08  thathwamasi: Nice GOTD. Is this Morphy week? Any particular reason?
Jun-16-08  Autoreparaturwerkbau: "Against all odds" - Phil Collins
Jun-16-08  MostlyAverageJoe: 15.Rg1+ is a rather bad blunder by Morphy. 15.Qg2+ would win much faster.

If 15...Kh8, then forced mate in 9.

Otherwise, 15...Bg5 16.fxg5 and the white attack is unstoppable, with all white pieces able to attack and/or aid the passed pawn(s) (black to move):

click for larger view

Jun-16-08  mezzieh: Looks like has switched back to romantic era... Morphy yesterday, Morphy today, who knows what's going to be tomorrow?

But Mr. Maurian has little idea how effective Knights can be when comes to defend his own King. And, of course, moves like 4...Nec6, 7...f5, 9...Na5, 12...Nb6 only help White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: While everyone else is admiring a win in 25 against a grown man starting from R+N odds...

<<MostlyAverageJoe> wrote: 15.Rg1+ is a rather bad blunder by Morphy.>

<MAJ>, your clarity of vision is terrifying :)

Jun-16-08  RookFile: <15.Rg1+ is a rather bad blunder by Morphy. 15.Qg2+ would win much faster.>

Morphy must have forgotten to plug the position into Fritz.

Jun-16-08  Vollmer: ... I think this just shows how bad Morphy's competitors were .
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Morphy gives away half the farm in this one and still wins in 25 moves!
Jun-16-08  Judah: <RookFile: <15.Rg1+ is a rather bad blunder by Morphy. 15.Qg2+ would win much faster.>

Morphy must have forgotten to plug the position into Fritz.>


Jun-16-08  Iamsuperman: <Morphy must have forgotten to plug the position into Fritz.> lol
Jun-16-08  Chessmensch: By stashing those knights where he did, black for all intents and purposes came close to "evening the odds" so in a sense Morphy wasn't actually playing down the two pieces. Did Maurian do that intentionally?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There is actually a sad story attached to this. Charles Maurian was a lifelong friend of Morphy and they played many games together.

After Morphy's withdrawal from serious chess, he would play no-one else apart from Maurian. And Morphy continued to play at odds (usually a knight) even when his own strength failed and Maurian grew stronger. Here are the scores from their last 4 matches in 1869 (in chronological order):

Morphy 6, Maurian 3, drawn 2
Morphy 3, Maurian 3
Morphy 7, Maurian 10
Morphy 0, Maurian 4, drawn 1.

And then Morphy gave up chess altogether. He died in 1884.

Between this game (in 1854) and the last series of matches (in 1869), Morphy went from crushing Maurian at rook and knight odds, to be being regularly beaten at just knight odds.

What a decline for one of the natural strongest players that the world has ever seen. Perhaps that is why he is known as the pride and sorrow of chess.

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