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Johann Jacob Loewenthal vs Paul Morphy
Morphy - Loewenthal (1858), London ENG, rd 11, Aug-12
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Szen Variation (B44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-23-04  InspiredByMorphy: The only Sicilian game as black that Morphy
ever played. Interesting seeing my favorite player play my most disliked opening. He didn't like it much either. He must have wanted to shock Lowenthal. In my opinion it is odd he would play it against one of his top 4 strongest opponents ( the others being Anderssen, DeRiviere and Barnes ). He was aware of Lowenthals strength too, so its almost as if he was more interested in seeing Lowenthals treatment of the sicilian than his own victory! Thats a love of chess! Reminds me of when I go to the coffee house and play the latvian gambit, and/or the philidor countergambit, and am interested more in seeing how different people handle it, than the end result. He plays a very old form of the sicilian (3.d6 in response to 3.Nf3), and couldnt seem to get the kind of development or attack he was looking for.
Apr-23-04  Benjamin Lau: 5...a6? was of course a strange opening error on Morphy's part. It is curious he missed 6. Nd6+ since Morphy often employed the Qd3/Qd6 maneuver with a similar idea against his poorly developed contemporaries (i.e. against Paulsen in some of their famous games.)
Apr-24-04  InspiredByMorphy: <Benjamin Lau> Im sorry for my behavior. You were giving me good advice on kibitzing shorter variations with alternate moves, and I was being too stubborn to hear it. I agree with the strangeness in Morphy's playing 5.a6 I believe this is the game you were speaking of with Paulsen Morphy vs Paulsen, 1857
Apr-24-04  Benjamin Lau: <InspiredByMorphy> I'm sorry for my behavior too. There is more than one way to play chess well and you had the right to your own opinion regarding the conditions of an IQP's strength and weaknesses. I am only an 1850-ish strength player and I have a lot to learn too. I hope we can get the old incident behind us and even if we do not always agree with each other's analyses, I am sure we can respect the reasons for our differences. :) And yes, thanks, I was referring to that game. Morphy pulled that trick off a couple of times against other masters as well.
Apr-24-04  iron maiden: <InspiredbyMorphy><<Benjamin Lau> Im sorry for my behavior.>

<Benjamin Lau><<InspiredByMorphy> I'm sorry for my behavior too. There is more than one way to play chess well and you had the right to your own opinion regarding the conditions of an IQP's strength and weaknesses. I am only an 1850-ish strength player and I have a lot to learn too. I hope we can get the old incident behind us and even if we do not always agree with each other's analyses, I am sure we can respect the reasons for our differences. :)>

Wow! How often do you hear something like THAT on this site?! I think you two have just made history! :-)

Apr-26-04  InspiredByMorphy: <Benjamin Lau> Cool. Im about the same rating! :) I have a question for someone who know their queens gambit and thought you would be the right person to come to. I was wondering which one(s) (if any) of the following countergambits to it you consider the strongest. <1.) The Budapest gambit> - Not as effective as I wish. I asked my teacher if 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.e4 Nxe5 5.f4 refutes it, becuase in my opinion it almost did. He assured me it does not, but I cant find much for black after 5.f4 < 2.) Benko gambit> - Haven't played it yet. < 3.) The Englund gambit> 1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 d6 - Great for online because most play 3.exd6 which allows Bxd3 developing the first (and a good) piece for sacrificing a pawn. 3.Nf3 is much stronger as its hard to find much after it. < 4.) Most importantly, the Albin countergambit.> I am considering playing it over the Tarrasch defense in tournament play this next month, but not quite sure. By the way, honestly, before you showed me I didnt know the Rubinstein variation of the queens gambit declined tarrasch defense. Even though Ive played the Tarrasch defense a bunch on line, I guess thats why Im here and not playing on that site any more. Thanks for your opinions.
Apr-26-04  Benjamin Lau: IBM: Glad to establish a friendly conversation again. The Benko gambit is considered the most sound today, but any of the above would work for us non GMs. ;) If you plan on playing any of the above openings, here is a list of the supposed "refutations" (i.e. the lines that GMs claim give white the best chances. It's debatable of course whether it's a real "refutation," but you might as well know what is considered the "best.")

Albin Countergambit:
Van der Wiel vs Tiviakov, 2001
Lasker vs Alekhine, 1914
Very good explanation of general theory by Helloween, Sneaky, and Nikolaas: Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit (d08)

Englund Gambit:
Nikolai Pelagejchenko vs Evgeny Maratkanov, 2000 (White countergambits a pawn in this line for superior development, but with a slight queenside weakness.)

Benko Gambit (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5!?):
Today in the Benko Gambit, there are three main weapons that black supposedly fears: the f3 Samisch-like line (I don't remember if it has a name), the Rb1! line in the Benko accepted fianchetto, and the b6!? line.

f3 Samisch:
Gelfand vs Adams, 1993 (I personally think this line is overrated, but it is still scary for black if white plays sharply)

Rb1! line
R Dautov vs Abdel Razik,K, 2002
(This rook move has recently become the bane at the GM level for the Benko. It gets the rook out of the way of black's KB and allows white to activate the dormant queenside majority. It probably isn't as dangerous at our level though for black.)

b6!? (White countergamibts a pawn to keep black's a file closed, so black has a hard time breaking out.) Kiril Georgiev vs Topalov, 1992
Shabalov vs Fedorowicz, 2003

Of all the gambits, the Benko is the one that players are most likely to use at the GM level. There is no "refutation" yet though. Black gives up a queenside pawn for good development and control of the queenside files.

Budapest Gambit:
Bisguier vs Ljubojevic, 1971 (3...Ne4 line) Nikolai Afanasiev vs Alexander Konev, 2001 (3...Ng4 line)

Some of the "refutations" just guarantee a good advantage though and the advantage may not be significant at our level.

Apr-26-04  Benjamin Lau: And yes, 5. f4 in the Budapest looks very dangerous to black for me too and is probably another candidate for a "refutation." Of all the gambits you mentioned, I think the Benko is probably the most difficult for white to deal with if you play it right. Btw, I am surprised you did not mention the Slav Winawer Countergambit. It's very similar to the Albin, except it may be actually sound. Ask Sneaky about it, it's like his favorite opening and he probably has all the lines memorized. ;)
May-02-04  InspiredByMorphy: <Benjamin Lau> Thanks for the games. They were great. I would rather ask you than sneaky about the Slav Winawer Countergambit though. How does it go?
May-02-04  Benjamin Lau: It goes about the same as the Albin, except that I find the Winawer Countergambit more difficult to handle, although perhaps it is because I rarely play against it. Dzindzichashvili vs Tal, 1990 Slavko Mikuz vs S Jeric, 2002 are two of Sneaky's favorites wins with the black pieces. Shabalov is a famous modern practitioner of this line I think. It's very double edged and some players with quieter dispositions elect to avoid it with 1 or 2. Nf3.
May-02-04  Benjamin Lau: Kasparov vs P Nikolic, 1992
Epishin vs Shabalov, 1993 are two interesting wins with the white pieces, one featuring perhaps the greatest opening expert ever, the other featuring a very complicated Shabalov loss.
Jan-10-06  morpstau: paul morphy had a famous quote for the closed games. he hates them and only wants to see play and hear of open games. Why is that so? can anyone give me some feedback?
Jan-10-06  whatthefat: <morpstau>
Well, open games were what he could do best. One tends to most appreciate what one is good at.
Jan-11-06  morpstau: Thankyou whatthefat and i highly appreciate your kind response, God bless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: Wow strange game by Morphy. Loewenthal violated basic opening principles against Morphy and still won!. Moved his queen 12 times out of his first 24 moves! Moved a Bishop just once during that move sequence. Maybe Morphy was just blitzing out moves and not taking Loewenthal's queen adventures seriously?
May-04-07  wolfmaster: < Inspired by Morphy>I would advise the Benko and the (perhaps) Albin Gambits.
May-04-07  Marmot PFL: I think the colors may be reversed in this game and that Morphy was playing white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Marmot PFL: I think the colors may be reversed in this game and that Morphy was playing white.>

Nope. This was Game 11 of their match. Morphy was leading 7-2 with a draw and may not have been fully focused. Understandable to think Morphy wasn't playing Black -- not near his normal standard, and this is his only Sicilian.

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