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Paul Morphy vs Charles Maurian
Paris (1863) (unorthodox)
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Morphy's 34.a4!! is extremely subtle and goes right over Maurian's head, but don't blame Charles, its puzzling enough to analyze off the board.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: That is rather amusing! Maurian can make no move to prevent the mate in 4, so Morphy plays a4 for the heck of it.
Feb-23-04  uglybird: Yes Calli, if 34.Rg7+ Kh8 35.Nf8 right off, then black will draw by 35...Re1+ 36.Kf2 [36.Kg2 Rxa2+ 37.Kh3 (37.Kf3 Bd5+ 38.Kf4 Rf2#) Bf1+ 38.Kh4 Rxh2#] Re2+ 37.Kg1 (37.Kf3 Ra3+ 38.Kf4 Rf2#) Re1+ etc. Instead of 34...bxa3ep? Maurian could have drawn with 34...Rae8! 35.Rg7+ Kh8 36.Nf8 Re1+ 37.Kg2 Bf1+ 38.Kf3 Re8e3+ 39.Kf2 Re3e2+ 40.Kf3 Re3+ Kf2 etc.
Feb-23-04  uglybird: <InspiredByMorphy> Morphy the perfectionist does not play moves "for the heck of it". Calli is correct in giving two exclams to 34.a4, see my analysis above.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: UglyBird wins the prize of the day. The prize is ah, well.. nothing. But at least he feels good! He's right, a4 blocks the a-file and shields the king from perpetual check (or a loss if he tries to escape).

<InspiredByMorphy> Tsk Tsk :->

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <uglybird> 34...Rae8! 35.Rg7+ Kh8 36.Nf8 Re1+ 37.Kg2 Bf1+ 38.Kf3 Re8e3+ . What about 39.Kf4 here? (On 39..Re4+ 40.Kf5 Bh3+ he has g4)
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: Good call guys. My observation was only a glance, and once again I should have looked a little harder before speaking.
Feb-26-04  uglybird: <calli> I cannot find anything vs your line(39.Kf4) so there is no defence to Morphy's 34.a4!! By the way this would make an excellent puzzle of the day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <uglybird> I don't know for sure, the game is pretty complex after 34...Rae8. To me, Morphy's 34.a4!! is more brilliant than 10 other routine kingside sacrifices put together. How many of today's GMs would find this move over the board?
Feb-26-04  731: 33__ or 34__RAe8 feels like a logical move in this position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Another idea 34...Rae8! 35.Rg7+ Kh8 36.Nf8 Re1+ 37.Kg2 Bf1+ 38.Kf3 Be2+! and now if 39.Kf4?? Rf1# and after the forced 39.Kf2 Bh5 guards against Ng6. Maybe white still has the ad but interesting anyway.
Feb-26-04  731: maybe morphy's perfect 33 moves made the opponent tired so he did the impulsive bxa3ep and lost, I think he would have seen it otherwise.
Feb-26-04  731: Look at the nice "M" shape morphy has made with his pawns by move 10.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: <731> Funny...Ive never looked at a pawn structure and saw a letter ... until now. :)
Feb-27-04  731: he made the "M" shape just to show he can play with the initials of his name for fun and still win!
Feb-27-04  731: There's an "M" at move five too.
Jan-19-06  Ludamad: I'd like to see him win with a P :P
Feb-17-08  sambo: As noted above, 34. a4 is just beautiful. One of the most delightful moves I can think of- at first glance it's ridiculous because Morphy's attack is so strong on the king side. But a little examination reveals stunning conceptual understanding. Just gorgeous.
Jan-29-09  WhiteRook48: Morphy still has the attack
Feb-08-09  WhiteRook48: two rooks on the seventh rank are awesome
Mar-16-09  WhiteRook48: 36 Nf8!!! promising
Apr-05-09  heuristic: 14...f4 15.cxd6 Bg4 16.Rf3 Bxf3 17.Qxf3

21...Nf6 22.Nf4 Qd6 23.Rd1 Ne4 24.Qc4+

24.Re7 Nf6 25.Qe3 Qd6 26.Rd1 Rf7

31...Re3 32.Rd2 Be6 33.Nxf6+ Kf8 34.Kf2

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: If <> is listening, 34.a4 might make an interesting puzzle key.
Apr-27-16  Bobinator: I'm guessing black resigned. Can someone tell me how White would have finished black off.
Apr-27-16  suenteus po 147: <Bobinator> It's quite pretty:

If 36...Rxf8, then 37.Rh7+ Kg8 38.Rcg7#

If anything else, the white knight mates on g6.

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