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Paul Morphy vs James Freeman
Morphy Blind Simul 8b, Birmingham (1858) (blindfold), Birmingham ENG, Aug-27
Bishop's Opening: MacDonnell Gambit (C23)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Johann Jacob Loewenthal.      [28 more games annotated by Loewenthal]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-07-05  prinsallan: <> Something is wrong with this game ;(
Jun-07-05  Granite: What's wrong with it? Seems to be just fine to me.
Jun-07-05  sneaky pete: James Freeman has an extra <n> added to his name.
Jun-08-05  prinsallan: Works for me now as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Freeman, unlike most of his contemporaries, seemed to have known something of how to play defense. His 8th and 9th moves lose the game, of course, but he puts up a good hard fight. I wonder how he felt after move 22: his blindfolded opponent has three pieces en prise, yet Morphy is winning material!

This looks like a neglected Morphy classic. Thanks to prinsallen for finding it.

Jun-08-05  sneaky pete: 8... Nxe4 is okay, black should have continued 10... Qd7 (Steinitz) or 10... f6 (Max Lange). According to Steinitz 15.Ne6 .. is a mistake after which black could have won with .. Bxe6 l6.Qh5 Qf4 and if 17.Rxe6 Nd7 "against which there is no satisfactory continuation". However, Steinitz also claims 15.Be6 .. is a forced win (15... fxe6 16.Qg4+ Kf7 17.Qg7+ Ke8 18.Nxe6 ..; 15... Bxe6 16.Re5 ..; 15... Qf4 16.Be5 ..). 15.Ne6 .. may be winning as well with Maroczy's improvement 16.Qd2 .. preventing .. Qf4.
Jun-08-05  prinsallan: Thank U <An Englishman> I think all the 8 games that were annotated in the serie I found is excellent games. J Lowenthal has quickly become one of my favourite annotators, not quite as strong as Ray Keene, but I love his wit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <15.Ne6 .. may be winning as well with Maroczy's improvement 16.Qd2 ..preventing ..Qf4>

Anyone know if Maroczy gave analysis?

I checked with Shredder for a few hours.

16 Qd2 Bxf2+ (the threat of Qg5+ makes this an only move)

17 Qxf2 Nd7

18 Bb3 Rfe8

19 Qh4 Bf5 (to block with ...Bg6)

20 Qg5+ Bg6

21 Be7 Qd4+

22 Kh1 Qc3

23 h4! wins because the bishop has no answer to h5

So it appears Morphy's idea with 15 Ne6 was sound, and not losing as Steinitz claimed.

Dec-08-05  Boomie: Other than Alekhine, I can think of no one who played blindfold so confidantly. Any GM would love to have played such a game sighted. To produce it under these conditions is astonishing. As I learn more about Morphy's games I find myself believing that his was the finest chess mind ever. The combination of creativity, calculation, and common sense with a photographic memory is seen only in world champions. At least as a symbol, Morphy embodies for me everything that a world champion should be.
Dec-08-05  ughaibu: How about Blackburne?
Mar-06-07  tonsillolith: The position of the white bishop on f6 was so strong that it prevented the black queen from being able to capture the light-squared bishop because it controlled the four crucial dark squares e5, g5, g7 and h8. g7 and h8 are to restrict the black king. The transfer of the rook to g5 by way of e5, both controlled by the bishop, allows the removal of the final square from the black king resulting in mate.
Jul-26-08  heuristic: 12.Nd6 is interesting.
12...Qe5 13.Bxf7 Rxf7 14.Nxf7 Qxd4 is one possible continuation.

<17...Qf4+ would have effectively relieved Black from his embarrasments> 17.Kxf2 Qf4+ 18.Qf3 Qxf3+ 19.gxf3 leaves WHT in good shape. 17...Qxd5 18.Re5+ Qd2+ 19.Kg3 Qc3+ and the game is equal.

18...cxd5 19.g3 fxe6 20.gxf4 Rxf6 21.Qe8+ and the game is very interesting!

20.Re4 Bxb2 (Nf6 21.Rxf4 Nxh5 22.Rxd4 Nf6 23.Rh4) 21.Rxf4 Bxa1 22.Bxf7+ Kg7 23.Qg4+ looks crushing.

Mar-26-10  SharpAttack: I am just struck with awe! Morphy's brilliance is is way beyond my words. It would not be an overstatement to call him the biggest chess genius of the 19th century and maybe ever! If he had the resources of today, I don't think anyone would have been able to beat him. I wonder how today's blindfold players would have fared against such enterprising play?!
Dec-01-10  KingG: <Boomie> <Other than Alekhine, I can think of no one who played blindfold so confidantly.>

While this game is incredible, I think many top GMs could probably play like this blindfolded. For example, out of Kasparov's rare public blindfold games, this one is pretty good: Kasparov vs Mephisto, 1985

Note that it was in a 10 board blindfold simultaneous game against a computer who is not going to make any obvious tactical mistakes.

May-16-14  capabull: Oh ... my ... god, ohmygod. Never seen a game like this before. Morphy seems a gentle player, for the first two moves. But then, ...
May-16-14  RookFile: An otherworldly effort from Morphy, truly unbelievable.
Sep-18-17  drollere: i don't see the point of 10... Qe8, losing the Qp and the chance to recover the piece. why not 10... Qd7?
Jun-16-22  wrap99: <KingG> Greetings from 2022 -- u will be amazed by what occurs. Buy something called Bitcoin as soon as you can in 2010 and hang onto all of it until it reaches 69k. As far as GM blindfold play, I would suggest that the stronger the GM, the less he loses in rating points when playing blindfold. I have heard of a GM beating half a dozen masters simultaneously while he was blindfolded -- I wonder if a 2700 become, say, a 2500 in a blindfolded simul (up to a certain number of opponents).
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < tamar: So it appears Morphy's idea with 15 Ne6 was sound, and not losing as Steinitz claimed. >

< Boomie: Other than Alekhine, I can think of no one who played blindfold so confidently. ..astonishing. Morphy's ..was the finest chess mind ever. >

< capabull: Oh ... my ... god, ohmygod. Never seen a game like this before. >

< RookFile: An otherworldly effort from Morphy, truly unbelievable. >

Bobby Fischer said Morphy was the most accurate player who ever lived. That's quite a claim. Yet when I play over his games, if I didn't knowing who it was, I'd think he was a modern day GM. So I'm just as impressed as all of you.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < 10. ..Qe8 > ?

He plays for the center fork trick then abandons it?? ..Qd7 would win back the piece. Better yet.. 8. ..Nbd7 instead of ..Nxe4

but I guess it doesn't matter. Morphy makes beauty of it either way.

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