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Paul Morphy vs Charles Henry Stanley
Casual (1857), New York, NY USA, Oct-22
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Morphy Attack (C51)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: Developement, center and open lines are the hallmark of Morphies games especially give a pawn for attack. A hidden queensaricifice: if 11. ... exd4 12. Re1 Be6 13. Qb3 Na5 14. Bxe6! Nxb3 15. Bf5+ and wins.

At move 18 Morphy in fact made a rare mistake in an attacking position. 18. Qe4, 18. Qe5, 18. Nxe7 or simply 18. QxQ and Nxe7 was winning.

Sep-06-03  unclewalter: wow! that is a big miss...but i'm glad he missed it...the game that ensued was amazing.
Nov-18-03  lordazol: If a game has a name this game name was "Cat and Mauce"
Sep-25-04  joebassin: 10. e5? better is d5 and if 12...Qd7 instead of the stupid Be6 black is in the game
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: <e5 is bad>
well, 9...Nf6 is a rare line.
although 10.d5 Ne5 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Ba3 Nd7 is better, 10.e5 allows Morphy to post the blkB on the a3-h8 diagonal, something he did in a few other games of this time (during the congress)

<clever Q sacrifice> although 11...exd4 12.Re1+ Be6 13.Qb3 Na5 14.Bxe6 Nxb3 15.Bf5+ Qe7 16.Rxe7+ is a clever sequence, there are better moves in the tree. 13.Ng5 d3 14.Bxe6 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Qd4+, 14.Bb5+ c6 15.Rxe6 Kd7 (15...fxe6 16.Qxe6+ Qe7 17.Qxe7#) 16.Rd6+ Kc8 17.Rxd8+ Rxd8 18.Qxf7 dxc3 19.Qxg7 are examples

<rare mistake>
it looks like 17.Nd5 should be considered another mistake. 17.Bxe7 Qxe7 18.Qg4 dxc3 19.Qxg7 or 17.Rad1 Qd7 18.Qxd7+ Kxd7 19.Rxd4+ are both stronger.

i've seen this in 2-4 games now. Morphy could have played the best move one move earilier. curious....

21.R6e4 is interesting. 21.R6e4 c6 22.Rxd4 Kc8 doesn't look as strong as 21.R6e5 c6 22.Bd6 Nh6 23.Nf4 b6 and is still filled with tactical possibilities.

according to an engine, both players lost their way on move 34. 34.h4 b5 35.Rh6 Kb7 is not as strong as 34.Rg7 b5 35.Rxg6 a4 36.h4 Ka7 and 34...Rg8 is not as defensible as 34...b5 35.Rg7 b4 36.Rxg6 Kb7 37.h5 a4 38.Rd6 b3

it looks like WHT's strategy should be to push the g & h pawns and ignore its a pawn and BLK's strategy should be to ignore its g pawn and push the a & b pawns!

I don't like 35...b5 because i would think the K needs to get more mobile. But I don't know what the BLK K should do, either assist its pawn push or attempt to stop WHT's pawn push? in this game, BLK loses because the R can not defend the R+P by itself.

i don't trust engine analysis when in the endgame, so i just work it out OTB....

Sep-02-08  chocobonbon: I appreciate the work (It would be so for me) you've put in on your analysis but speaking of "curious" what diagonal is the "a3-h8"? About Morphy often making the best move one move late, I offer this possibility: A great many of Morphy's casual games (as this one was, for example) relied upon his virtual photographic memory for the scores. This is according to Edge. Reinfeld is said to have had a photographic memory but when you find examples of well known games in his "1001" books there is often an inconsequential misplacement of a Pawn,etc. Suggestion: there is no such thing as an infallible memory, however reknowned. Of course the same can be said of chess ability, too.
Jan-10-09  WhiteRook48: interesting game. Stanley might have seen h8Q+ (fork) but hoped Morphy wouldn't see it but that's taking too much chances.
Aug-17-14  Ke2: White wins by 1 tempo - Conclusion, White wins Chess by force.
Jan-05-15  Ke2: Morphy even in the endgame makes incredible things happen
Jan-30-16  talhal20: Morphy was and remains unsurpassed master of Evans Gambit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <joebassin: 10. e5? better is d5 and if 12...Qd7 instead of the stupid Be6 black is in the game>

SF thinks 10.e5 is best and practically a forced win for the reasons Morphy demonstrates. 10.d5 and any of ...Ne7, ...Na5, or ...Ne5 leave Black much better off than he was in the game.

12....Qd7 blocks the QB and leaves black in knots. 13.Rae1 Na5 14.Nxe5! is a familiar combination: 14....Nxb3 15.Nxf7+ Qe6 16.Bxe6 Bxe6 17.Nxh8 and White is winning. Black doesn't have a good move at this point.

It's interesting to look this variation up in my old copy of Botterill's <Open Gambits>. 9....Na5 was all the rage in the 1890s, and it seems to be SF's favorite too. After 9....Nf6, Botterill thought 10.e5 dxe5 11.Ba3 as in this game was unclear after 11....Na5. But in fact 12.Nxe5 is crushing: 12....Nxc4 13.Qa4+ Bd7 14.Qxc4 Be6 15.d5 Nxd5 16.Rad1, and if 16....c6 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Qe2! Qf6 19.Rxd5 cxd5 20.Qb5+.

Notice how powerful the B on the a3-f8 diagonal is in all those lines.

Jan-19-18  RookFile: Stanley hang in there nicely as black for much of the game. But how could he not play 34... b5? I think most masters would have played this move instantly.
Jun-28-18  The Kings Domain: Quite the pileup on this one, and some fine endgame play.
Aug-27-18  Jambow: The depth of play here is remarkable to my eyes and it just continues, reply with counter reply until the end. Stanley did himself well against the maestro of this opening... Makes me want to return to it although the gambit is most often declined these days.
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