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Paul Morphy vs Thomas Barnes
"Barnes Storming" (game of the day Aug-19-2006)
Simul, 5b (1859) (exhibition), London ENG, Apr-26
Bishop's Opening: Boden-Kieseritsky Gambit (C27)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-19-06  Manic: <mpl> u overlooked that on move 36, the queen can't take the rook...
Aug-19-06  mpl: <Manic> Thanks. You're right of course. I talked about a totally different position, so I will kill my foolish message.

Aug-19-06  EmperorAtahualpa: I don't get today's pun. Can someone explain, please? Thanks.
Aug-19-06  Ziggurat: <emperor> There is a word "barnstorming", see e.g.
Aug-19-06  TheBB: Really? I thought it was a pun on "brainstorming"... LOL. Cool game nonetheless.
Aug-19-06  Marmot PFL: Exciting game but full of mistakes (looks like time pressure but they didn't use clocks then). By today's standards neither player would be even master level. Of course I know it's unfair to judge past players by these standards.
Aug-19-06  kevin86: A rare Morphu defeat. Barnes even used Morphy's tactics vs the man himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Marmot> remember, it was a simul -- Morphy was playing four other top-level masters at the time! Also, they both made mistakes, but they also both made quite a few master moves. And even the mistakes have panache; 31...f5 is an error, but it's an error that only a player with great tactical imagination would make.

<Pawn and Two> You're absolutely right about 36. Rxd6+. The win is given in Vukovic's _The Art of Attack in Chess_ and Shibut's _Paul Morphy and the Evolution of Chess Style_, and probably other places as well. Curious that Soltis didn't see it or acknowledge your letter.

Aug-19-06  SBC: <Calli>
<The simul was cover in The London Sunday Times>

<Pawn and Two>
<My connection with this game first occured about 25 years ago.>

Hey. Thanks for the insight!

Sep-07-06  patzer2: This game has a number of key turning points, due mainly to subtle oversights and blunders by these two great players:

-- Early chances to improve for Morphy might include 9. Bd3=, 21. c4 = and 22. Be3=.

-- What should be the final key turning point of this game was Morphy's blunder 26. Rd4?? (26. Rd5! holds for White), allowing 26...Qh5! with a strong attack.

-- However, Barnes almost throws it away with 31...f5? (allowing 32. Rxc4!=), but Morphy returns this blunder with one of his own in 32. Qxc4? to allow the amazing decoy and deflection move 32...Qf1+!! for what should be a clearly decisive attack.

-- But Barnes makes another mistake with 34...Qg2+? (allowing 35. Rg4 ), when he should have played 34...Qg1+!! with a deep mating attack.

-- Morphy, not to be outdone, misses a deep winning mating attack combination with 36. Rxd6+!! cxd6 37. Qg8+ .

-- Morphy might have tried a last chance to complicate and put up resistance with 37.Qf8+ Qe8 38. Rxd6+ cxd6 39. Qxd6+ Qd7 40. Bd6+ Ke8 41. Qxh2 . However, after 37. b5?! and Barne's solid reply 37...Qd7! it's all over.

Sep-07-06  patzer2: Since Morphy was playing a simul, his oversights here are understandable. Still, it's interesting to see that at least at rapid level play, even the greatest players missed brilliant combinations that today's computers find almost instantly.
May-15-08  CharlesSullivan: A footnote by John Nunn in Vukovic's "The Art of Attack" says that "the position would indeed have been unclear" after 32.Rxc4! However, Black has a forced win after the stunning, problem-like 32...g5!!

click for larger view

33.hxg6 Ke7! 34.g7 Rg8 <Black threatens mate-in-6 beginning with 35...♕f1+. White can only postpone mate with> 35.Bf2 Rxf2 36.Rce4+ <If 36.♖xf2 then 36...♕xf2 and the threat of 37...♕xh2# forces mate> 36...fxe4 37.Rxe4+ <and now we finish with an appropriate queen "sacrifice:"> 37...Kf6!! 38.Rxe1 Rxh2+ 39.Kg4 Rxg7+ 40.Kf3 Rg3+ 41.Ke4 Rh4+ 42.Kd5 Rg5+ 43.Re5 Rxe5#.

Dec-28-08  YoungEd: Thanks to <Pawn and Two> for the interesting comments and analysis. I'm not sure I see the win after the proposed 36. Rxd6+, though. Can't the Black king hide on c6 to avoid a queen check on g6? I don't see a forced win after that. I must be missing something, of course; if anyone sees it please let me know. Thanks.
Dec-28-08  Emma: ..f6 was a pretty terrible move
Dec-28-08  whiteshark: Barnes, not Noble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <YoungEd> In your proposed variation, the Black King cannot remain on c6 long. After 36.Rxd6+ cxd6 37.Qg8+ Kd7 38.Qxg7+ Kc6, White plays 39.b5+, and it will soon be mate.
Mar-12-09  WhiteRook48: clever Barnes
Nov-26-09  josejoasm: After 26... Qh5 I would play 27.Qxc3 and not 27.Rf4, 27...e3 Morphy still can prevent the advance of pawn with the rook in 28.Re1
Jun-01-11  Calli: <Pawn and Two> You might be interested that 36.Rxd6+! was published in the December 1918 American Chess Bulletin, page 277. The analyst was Frank Marshall. Here is the text from the article:

Frank J. Marshall contributes a position from a game won by Barnes from Paul Morphy in England, which the latter should have won, had he followed up his advantage as shown in the diagram. It appears as Game No. 259, Page 303, in the collection of Dr. Max Lange, and, again, as No. 263 on Page 306 of the Maroczy edition. Morphy played 36 Q—B7 and lost, whereas he had a win by means of 36 RxBch as worked out by Messrs. Marshall and Basil Soldatenkov at the latter's residence in Paris in 1914. Incidentally, Maroczy makes no mention whatever of this move."

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Emma: ..f6 was a pretty terrible move>

It looks awful but it's standard. I played 5....Be7 (which is OK) and lost in 15 moves in one of my first tournaments.

Jul-11-11  David2009: <calli, patzer2> Morphy vs T W Barnes, 1859

click for larger view

I can find the draw starting 36. Rxd6+ cxd6 37. Qg8+ Ke7! but not the win. What have I missed? Link to test the variations:

Jul-11-11  Calli: David2009: continue 38.Qxg7+ and then you should be able to capture the d6 pawn with check, then the bishop can move into play and the game is won.
Jan-31-12  morphyesque: My favourite Thomas Wilson Barnes game vs Morphy (incidentally he had the best record in casual games against Morphy) is game 86 recorded on pages 157/158 of P.W.Sergeant's "Morphy's Games of Chess".The occasion was the only simultaneous exhibition Morphy gave (not blindfold) in his career, played in London on 26th April 1859.Barnes offered his black queen on move 32.Sergeant has the following comment:" A beautiful move and one which it must have been an additional satisfaction to have brought off against Morphy.If 33.RXQ Black mates on the spot." (by ...RXH2).

Nevertheless Morphy should have won this game.In "Morphy Gleanings"(1932) by the same author,Sergeant quotes some anaysis by Ernest Clarke & A J Fink from the "San Francisco Chronicle", showing Morphy could have mated Barnes in 52 moves after a virtually forced sequence.This does not however take away the kudos of this win by Barnes in 38 moves.

Jan-31-12  MORPHYEUS: Hello there, Uncle.
Jul-29-14  Ke2: Of course Morphy would have looked at 36. Rxd6, what he must have missed was after Qxg7+, the queen covers b7.

The bishop covers b8 and b6, creating a wall on the b file. The King must go into either the deadly b5+ by moving forward, or a very long mate if he moves back.

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