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Felix Sicre vs Paul Morphy
Havana (1862), Havana CUB, Oct-17
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation (C77)  ·  0-1



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Given 62 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-03-04  InspiredByMorphy: If 28.Nf2 or Ng3 dxc3 29.Rc2 or Re2 Bxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Rxd1 and wins.
Apr-20-04  InspiredByMorphy: Sorry, in the above post I meant to start with move 27.Nf2 or Ng3 dxc3 28.Rc2
Apr-20-04  Lawrence: López Esnaola's "Morphy--Su Vida y 353 Partidas" identifies the opponent as being Felix Sucre, whose freed slave Jose Maria Sucre also played against Morphy.
Mar-08-08  JimmyVermeer: According to Philip Sergeant, Felix and the slave were both named Sicre.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: That's right <Jimmy>. Batgirl also reports that Jose Sicre was a slave in Felix's household.

In addition, Felix Sicre was regarded to be the "Cuban Chess Champion", but little is known about this.

Edward Winter link on Felix Sicre:

Batgirl link on the Sicres:

Dec-03-10  jubairx2010: I have both a clarification and an intriguing historical question about this game. The clarification is that Morphy played and won the Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defense, Anderssen Variation (C77) against both Felix Sicre and his freed slave JM Sicre in Cuba during 1862. The second game with JM Sicre is accessible on ChessCalisthenics or The intriguing historical problem is that the two games are identical through move 27, after which Felix Sicre resigns; but JM Sicre continues on independently through move 34 before he ultimately also resigns. It appears that, for whatever reasons, JM Sicre replicated Felix's game exactly and then attempted to improve upon Felix's apparently lost position, trying for a draw perhaps or maybe even a win. If so, what strategic sense do the moves in JM Sicre's continuation make, if any? Does he in fact have any chance of even drawing the game; or is the game fated for loss back at Felix's move 15, Ne4, as Philip Sergeant's annotation (?) suggests? Although it is true that Felix Sicre was the first recognized Cuban champion (1860, 2 years before his matches with Morphy), Cuban sources state that JM Sicre had beaten Felix often and may have been the better player. What does a comparison of the two games tell us about what's going on here?
Dec-04-10  Calli: It's a mistake or rather two mistakes. It was Felix Sicre who continued this game to move 34. Chessgames simply does not have the complete score. The other sites err in assigning the game to J.M. Sicre.
Dec-05-10  jubairx2010: If indeed the second Ruy Lopez game has been mistakenly assigned to JM Sicre on some sites, perhaps the root of the error can be traced back to Philip Sergeant's book Morphy's Games of Chess [pp.293-94], where Felix Sicre's game is recorded through move 27 only (and by inference incompletely)--with the annotation that black [Morphy] then moves "and wins," but without stating explicitly that Felix Sicre has resigned. Where then, is the complete Ruy Lopez game with Felix Sicre authoritatively recorded? The only authoritative source, consequently, for a Morphy game with JM Sicre then appears to be the Spanish book by Andres Clemente Vazquez, La Odisea de Pablo Morphy in La Habana (1893), where JM plays the French Defense against Morphy and lasts 29 recorded moves before officially resigning.
Dec-05-10  Calli: <Where then, is the complete Ruy Lopez game with Felix Sicre authoritatively recorded?>

The complete score is also in "La Odisea". Vasquez gives his source as the Havana newspaper "Diario de la Marina" of October 19, 1862.

I don't how J.M. was assigned to the game. Probably someone entering Morphy-Sicre games assumed there was only one player by that surname.

Note the annotation here at move 27 is "..." indicating an incomplete score.

Dec-06-10  jubairx2010: Since Vasquez's complete record apparently resolves the discrepancy of the two versions of Morphy's Ruy Lopez games with a Sicre, what can then be said about which of the two Sicres was actually the stronger player? If we compare Felix's play as White against Morphy in the offhand Ruy Lopez game with JM Sicre's play as Black against Morphy[blindfold] in the French Defense Exchange Variation (which is posted in Sergeant through 27 moves, and in Vasquez through the finish at 29),what evidence if any is there for the claim in Cuba that JM was a stronger player? Sergeant identifies a bad knight move by Felix at his 15th move in the Ruy Lopez; and his annotations note JM's errors with a bad king move at 13, followed by a mistake with his knight at the 17th move in his French Defense.
Dec-07-10  Calli: Don't forget that there is a second Felix Sicre game played in 1864 on the occasion of Morphy's return from Paris. Felix played even worse than the first game. It's difficult to assess the players on the basis of one game or two. Since Vasquez was able to find Morphy game scores in newspapers, I wonder if anyone has looked for other non-Morphy games in the Havans press.
Sep-30-15  machuelo: Félix Sicre was the strongest Cuban chess player until the Spaniard Celso Golmayo arrived in 1863. His slave was José María Sicre. At the time slave's had the surname of their lords. When Morphy returned to New Orleans in 1864 had a stopover in Havana, and one more time played against Félix Sicre, but this time blinfolded. About José María Sicre he did not play against Morphy in 1864. You can see the full story in the book "José Raúl Capablanca, A Chess Biography", by Miguel A. Sánchez, McFarland 2015.
Jul-18-21  paulmorphy1969: where is it written that this game was played blindly? In Capablanca's book he gives it as an even game .Edo chess also gives it as an even game even if he claims 2 games have been played .. All the books give it as an even game. The one of 1864 is blind this should be on equal terms. Link: pag 17
Premium Chessgames Member
  mifralu: The game continued < 28.dxe5 Rxd2 29.Rxd2 Rf1 30.e6 Kg7 31.Rd4 Re1 32.Rd2 Nd5 33.e7 Kf7 34.Rf2+ Kxe7 0-1 >

< Cette partie et la suivante de Paul Morphy sont inconnues du monde des Echecs; elles ont été découvertes à la Havane, où elles ont été jouées, par M. A.-C.Vazquez. La première jouée le 17 octobre 1862 a déjà été publiée dans un journal local El Diario de la Marina du 19 octobre 1862; l'adversaire de Paul Morphy, M. Félix Sicre, était à cette époque le champion de Cuba. >

Source "La Stratégie, 15 May 1893, pp. 130-131"

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