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Paul Morphy vs Samuel Smyth
Blindfold simul, 4b (1859) (blindfold), Philadelphia, PA USA, Nov-11
French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-01-05  ckr: While everyone knows who Paul Morphy was I thought I would post something about his antagonist in this game.

Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant was the leading chess player in France after the death of Bourdonnais. He learned chess from his mentor Wilhelm Schlumberger who was one of the last operators of the 'Turk'. In 1834 Maelzel was exhibiting the 'Turk' in the Masonic Hall , on Chestnut Street. Mr. Samuel Smyth, one of the most popular frequenters of the Athenaeum Chess Club, then a youth of eighteen, played a game with the automation and won. A gentleman, among the spectators, then caused quite a stir, rushing out of the room and running up Chestnut Street to publish the rare phenomenon of a victory over the invincible 'Turk'.

Sep-01-05  ckr: Frequently some claim that many of Morphys opponnets were patzers. I just thought I would credit this relatively unknown as having accomplished something extraordinary and raising him above the level of 'Just another patzer'.
Sep-01-05  RookFile: The way Morphy conducted the attack has a very modern look to it.
Feb-09-06  Whitehat1963: Great little puzzle, perhaps a Monday-Wednesday puzzle, after 31...Qxb5. It's not quite as obvious as you would think. Check it out.
May-07-07  MrMelad: I don't like 12..O-O. I don't think a modern player would play that or would ever open as badly as black did. This guy may have been good for his time as you all say, but he was a patzer by today's standards...
Dec-22-07  nimh: Rybka 2.3.1 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

Morphy no mistakes!

Smyth 8 mistakes:
9...Qe7 0.85 (9...0-0 0.12)
12...0-0 1.69 (12...a6 0.86)
20...g5 2.37 (20...Rc8 1.70)
23...h5 2.40 (23...Nf8 1.88)
24...h4 3.00 (24...Nc4 2.37)
28...Nc4 4.08 (28...Ne6 3.07)
30...Qe8 6.94 (30...Kf8 4.08)
31...Qxb5 #5 (31...Na5 6.92)

Feb-07-09  heuristic: <I don't like 12...0-0> actually, the annotators back in 1898 didn't like this move either. and in fact, suggested Rybka's move!

more fun facts about this game :
- the annotators regard the game as lost for BLK by move 24.

- the game took 3.25 hours

- Morphy didn't see the forced mate until 34.Rf8+ when he announced mate in three.

Feb-07-09  Calli: <Morphy didn't see>

It is worth mentioning that Morphy played blindfold. He made the decision not to do any more blindfold exhibitions but he made an exception in Philadelphia. Proceeds went to the Mt. Vernon Fund which was established to restore George Washington's home.

Feb-07-09  heuristic: <Morphy played blindfold> yes, in fact; this game was one of four. (all members of the athenaeum)

my observation about not seeing the forced mate was to highlight his ply depth. your comment highlights my poor choice of words!

i'm curious about the relative differences between "old" versus "new" masters. One possibility is that "new" masters rely on "chunks" and "old" masters rely on "search". so this comment about Morphy's ply depth was simply a data point.

Feb-08-09  Calli: Here are the other games:

Game Collection: Morphy's Blindfold Exhibition in Philadelphia

<heuristic> Knew what you meant, but used it to make another point. A cheap trick on my part! However, playing blindfold probably does explain why Morphy did not "see", meaning depth, the mate in five.

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