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Paul Morphy vs Johann Jacob Loewenthal
Morphy - Loewenthal (1858), London ENG, rd 14, Aug-21
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Mackenzie Variation (C77)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-05-05  ConfusedPatzer: What's with 18. ...Bf5? a bunch of other very obvious moves would have won for black... Am I missing something here?
Oct-12-05  Averageguy: <ConfusedPatzer>White was threatening Qc3, forking rook and bishop. My 500th post! YAY!!!
Jan-10-06  morpstau: this has to be one of morphys top ten games and is in the convincing style of capablanca an fischer combined
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I agree with morpstau. I first found this game about a quarter-century ago and could not believe Morphy's pawn sacrifice. The play he gets for the pawn seems so nebulous, but it is awfully hard for Black to shake the initiative.
Mar-06-07  tonsillolith: after Black's pawn grab Morphy plays 18. e6! demolishing Black's kingside pawn structure using the threat of Qc3 which forks the c2 bishop and h8 rook. Then he attacks the newly created weaknesses relentlessly.
Apr-23-07  Ulhumbrus: 18 e6 opens the long diagonal a1-h8, and has the effect of transforming the move Qc3 from a single attack upon the Bishop on c2 into a double attack upon the Bishop on c2 and the Black King's Rook on h8. It thus creates a threat of playing the move Qc3. One point worth noting is that opening the long diagonal creates the threat of occupying that diagonal. 28 Qe3 both supports an advance by the Rook and gains access to c5.33 b3 is a move which does nothing, nothing to develop a piece further that is. This suggests that Black is in zugzwang. This is probably one of the games which Bobby Fischer learnt lessons from in his youth.
Jul-12-07  sanyas:

"The real, the profound Morphy" - Tartakower

Jul-19-08  heuristic: 17...Qb4 stops the Qc3 threat and has Qb6 as an active defensive move. (with the exchange of Qs as well as stopping the Qa7 response to 0-0-0)

18.Rf2 Bh7
18.Rac1 Bh7
18.e5 Qb6
18.f5 0-0-0 (if 19.Qa7 Qb6+)

Apr-23-09  Marmot PFL: <We may ask, "Would Morphy be able to obtain such positions against a modern master?"> Imre Konig
Nov-20-12  Llawdogg: Sanyas, thanks for the link to the Valeri Beim article analyzing this game.
Aug-10-14  Ke2: The K&P ending if QxQ, KxQ, RxR, PxR should be winning. Lowenthal inaccurately defended with R-N3?, P-B3 is more solid and leads to an active rook, instead of an entombed rook.
Jul-16-17  whiteshark: Beim has analysed this ♕♖ endgame in his book "Lessons in chess strategy" in the chapter <Zugzwang>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "Hmm. How shall I play this ending? I know! I'll just lie down and play dead!"
Dec-01-19  Chesgambit: endgame strategy
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: An old Chess Notes article discusses Morphy's Defence in the Ruy Lopez (3 ...a6). In it, a researcher from Oregon makes a persuasive case that this game inspired Morphy to take up Black's third move, despite Black's loss in the game. A little respect for poor ol' Loewenthal!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi Willie, I found the Edward Winter article.

At the bottom of the piece a rather sharp letter and answer to it complaining about Walter Korn calling it the 'Tarrasch Defence.'


Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: <Tommy Side Four Track Two> Thanks for the link! I just read the news clipping you mention. Agreed with the correspondent - Korn's argument doesn't hold water. Morphy's treatment of 3 ...a6 against Europe's best seems revelatory enough to have earned the honor. In MCO-13, it appears that Korn decided to avoid the matter entirely by dividing the named variations of the Ruy Lopez into "systems without 3...a6," and those following "Morphy's 3...a6". Hah! Can anyone be more stubborn than a guy who writes about chess openings?
Sep-30-20  sudoplatov: Lowenthal is ranked by EDO as #3 at this time (2629) vs Morphy #1 (2798) and Anderssen #2 (2636) and #4 Paulsen (2628) so Morphy was steamrolling some of the better players of the time.
Jul-31-21  paulmorphy1969: On Saturday 21st August 1858 they concluded the match with the last victory for Morphy which thus ends the match with + 9-3 = 3. On the date of the last day of the match there is a bit of confusion and uncertainty. Maroczy in his book from August 21, Lawson p. 112, gives the date of the last game on August 21, 1858; Fiske and Di Felice give the end date to August 22, 1858. Edge mentions the Era giving the end date to August 22, 1858. The Sunday Times of August 29, 1858 (supplement, p.3) gives the end date to the August 24th. 1858 Morphy won the £ 100 bag, but Morphy didn't play for money so he bought a set of furniture worth £ 120 and gave it to Löwenthal's family for their new apartment.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Another contribution to the debate over how well Morphy would have fared playing today. Revisited this game after studying a number of Carlsen's recent games in which he sacrificed exactly one pawn, as happens here.

If you showed the position after 15...Bf5, but not the score of the entire game, to a very strong player today and asked him/her to identify White and the opening, honestly believe that player would say something like "Magnus Carlsen playing the Ruy Lopez versus the Berlin Wall."

The play from move 15 onwards looks exactly like the sort of pawn sacrifice Carlsen would play with the sort of vague, "can't-quite-shake-the-pressure" compensation he tends to get in return.

Morphy played 21st Century chess in this game. Have always believed that had he been born in 1990, he would have achieved a 2800+ rating (Morphy with a computer? Yikes!). This game suggests that he might have fared well even if he had travelled from 1858 to 2021 via time machine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimmy720: An extremely modern game...
Apr-08-22  RookFile: Karpov plays 27. h3 and follows up with Kh2. Oh wait a minute, it's actually Morphy.
Apr-08-22  sudoplatov: Stockfish computes that after 18...0-0 it's a draw. Leaving the King exposed can cause problems even without a direct attack being in the offing.
May-12-22  Calli: Daniel King has a video on this game:
Sep-11-22  BarakSaltz: It was the 1st game in "Chess from Morphy to Botwinnik: a Century of Chess Evolution" (1951, New York City) by Imre König and also featured in "500 Master Games of Chess" (1952, London) by Tartakower and du Mont. Both books missed indicating 31. ... Qg8 as saving the game for Black. Ironically, König wrote a book on the Queen's Indian Defense, translated and edited by du Mont and published in English in 1947.
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