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Paul Morphy vs James Thompson
Knight Odds match (1859) (unorthodox), New York, NY USA, rd 4, Jun-??
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-27-05  OJC: Morphy was down +0 -3 =0 when this game was played in the Q-knight odds match vs. James Thompson.

Final score of the match: +5 -3 =1 for Morphy.

Morphy decided to switch strategy for this game and opened with 1.f4. Evidently it unsettled Thompson who did not play nearly as well as in the first 3 games.

Morphy opened 1.f4 in the next two games (he was always white) and won both of them as well. Unfortunately the last three games were not recorded except for the ending of one of Morphy's remaining wins.

Thompson was a fairly strong player so Morphy's match victory at knight odds is most impressive.

Jan-05-08  JimmyVermeer: According to Philip Sergeant, White's 31st move was Be5, not Be4. Can anyone verify which is correct? Be5 would seem to make more sense as it wins both of Black's rooks.
Jan-05-08  Calli: Yes. 31.Be5 is correct. Originally published by Morphy himself in The Chess Monthly for July 1859. In the old notation, the move is given as "31. Q. B. to K. fifth".
Jan-28-09  WhiteRook48: was 1. f4 meant to surprise Black?
Feb-08-09  WhiteRook48: it would be funnier if White did not take off the knight. Morphy would actually be playing Bird's Opening!
Feb-15-09  WhiteRook48: 2. e3 is also shocking
May-17-09  Calli: Thompson lets the advantage slip away until finally 25...Qh2?? loses. He still has a wonderful save with 25...Qb6! The Q can't be taken (if Rxb6?? Rc1 mate) and he threatens Qg1+.

click for larger view

May-19-09  YoungEd: 20. ♗xd4 is the move which gets White back in the game, it seems. If Black plays 20. ...♘xd4, then 21. ♕b7+ puts Black in a difficult spot. Black correctly retreats with 21. ...♕b8 to protect the a7-♘, but White's game is much more active then. Gotta love Bird's opening, even in odds games!
May-19-09  AnalyzeThis: <whiterook48: was 1. f4 meant to surprise Black? >

I think the idea was that it is a slow buildup, which keeps a lot of pieces on the board. That gives his opponent a chance to make a mistake.

May-19-09  mig55: Calli, how does Morphy saves himself out this after Qb6!! I dont see it.
May-19-09  ARival: 26.Bb2 Qg1+ 27.Kc2 is that any good?
May-21-09  Calli: <mig55> White does have Bf1 on Qg1+, so I thought 25..Qb6! 26.Rc4 and if 26...Qg1+ Bf1, but didn't really analyze the position at that point. Unclear?
Jun-05-21  paulmorphy1969: OJC:There is a real confusion regarding the match with Thompson, if the published game where there is only the final position in Chess Montley and declared as 3rd game,The Chess Monthhly Vol 3, July 1859, pages 221 then Morphy has lost the first 2 games and not the first 3 then the continuation this could also be as reported by member Calli May 23 to June 17 1859
Morphy 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 - 5
Thompson 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 - 3

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