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Alexander McDonnell vs Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais
La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 2nd Casual Match (1834), London, rd 34
Sicilian Defense: McDonnell Attack (B21)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Stockfish (Computer).      [31722 more games annotated by Stockfish]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-08-04  Knight13: 50. Rc6? Was black trying to forfeit the game? 50. Rc5 was better. But anyway the a7 pawn is extremly dangerous. I would give MacDonnel a good game for the beautiful attack among the castled queen side with the pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Knight 13> Your suggestion of <50...Rc5?> loses immediately to 51.Nb6+ Kb7 52.a8Q+.

Black is completely lost no matter what he plays at this stage.

Aug-15-05  Knight13: Playing 13. Kf2 must've been un comfortable. But it's not a bad move. But 49. Nxg3+ sure is a bad move. That's not the way of getting out of the 50. Nb6+ threat.
Feb-26-08  wolfmaster: McDonnell grabbed a lot of space in the opening and early middlegame, and because of it, he got the extra pawn and won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: The opening turns itself into an Advance French Defence. A Black ...d4 would keep the game in the realm of a sicilian defence, and keeps white from getting a solid gain in space through his own d4.
Feb-03-12  Knight13: I don't agree with 9...O-O-O. He ought to have continued with ...a5, ...f5, and play ...Kf7 instead. Black's activity belongs on the queenside.
May-24-22  spingo: I think this was the last of Morphy's annotations to the McD-LaB match; i.e. this is the last of the 2nd match.

<User: profK> says that the opening starts at the Sicilian but it becomes a French.

There is a very interesting moment, a crucial moment, in this game.

click for larger view

Alexander McDonnell now played 24. Nxe5.
Paul Morphy gives this note:
<24.Rhb1 has justly been pronounced White’s best play at this juncture. The move is fruitful of interesting variations and would, we think, have left the advantage with the first player.>
As usual Morphy gives no variations at all. We do not WHO Morphy is talking about who "pronounced White's best play". It could be a bunch of Joe Schmoes.

Anyway, Morphy reckoned that 24. Rhb1 is the best move.

click for larger view

25.a6 axb6
26.axb7 Kxb7
27.Bb4 Qxb4
28.Ba6+ Kc7
29.Rxb4 Bxb4
30.Bxc8 Rxc8 ⩲.

click for larger view

But here is the oddity: Morphy and people pronounced the best move, and they missed it, completely. The best move by miles is:
24. a6!

click for larger view

It's funny that Morphy missed that move because he knew the ....a6 concept.
I think he was pretty bloody lazy when he did the annotations.
It's worthwhile looking at the variations after 24. a6!

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