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James Thompson vs Paul Morphy
1st American Chess Congress (1857), New York, NY USA, rd 1, Oct-08
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-11-05  InspiredByMorphy: By move 7 black has a controlled center, and superior development. I remember watching this game in my first year of playing and being surprised by 22. ...Bxf2+ . Morphy had one thing on Thompson right off the bat. Morphy's play was offensive while in this game Thompson played defensively.
Sep-03-05  OJC: Nice zugzwang finish.
Sep-03-05  aw1988: <OJC> You're right! Zugzwang by Morphy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  heuristic: 22.Qc1 Qxc1 23.Rxc1 Re2 seems okay. The purpose of 22.Ed3 is unclear; it weakens the back rank and Morphy punishes WHT with 22...Bxf2+!

28...Bxd4 29.Nd6 Bxb2 30.Nxb7 Ba3 seems stronger.
But 29...Re1 does adher to the principle, "when ahead in material, exchange pieces."

35.b3 f5 36.g4 Kd5 37.Nd8 f4 38.Kg2 Ke4 39.Nf7 keeps WHT in the game.

as i understand it, the final position is not zugswang. WHT has already lost; any move loses, but not making a move also loses.

Sep-03-14  princecharming: I love Morphy, but he missed a relatively simple combination in this game--at least compared to the legendary combos in many of his other games!

On move 26, he played 26...Qxd4, exchanging queens. Instead, he could have gotten a nicer, quicker victory with 26...Rxh3+ 27.gxh3(forced)Qf3+ 28.Kh2(also forced)Qg3+ 29.Kh1(where else?) Qxh3#.

Awesome play up till that point though, and great zugzwang at the end!

Sep-10-14  princecharming: Wait--did the score change since my comment..? I was sure Morphy's King was played to h7 on move 25...Oh well, the combo obviously doesn't work if his King is under attack.
Nov-19-14  Ke2: finish reminded me of Saidy vs Fischer, 1964. don't be a noob and just win a piece up endgame. get a queen.
Mar-21-16  CountryGirl: Obviously not the same accuracy in the opening as today - but this game has quite a modern feel as it progresses. Morphy plays in a very controlled manner, wins his pawn and converts: A-B-C. Nice!
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: 22... Bxf2 and white is put to Zugzwang!
Jul-14-17  Duracell: If you wanna see a real zugzwang position, skip to the end. Black could win with 46...a1Q but he preferred to put his opponent into zugzwang. Once White will have no more kingside pawns, either the king must unprotect his knight or the knight must move, enabling promotion.
Just remove the kingside pawns to get the idea!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Lovely. Black always intends to queen the a pawn, but through zugzwang he can do it without the Q being recaptured
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfessor: I liked 37. ...a5! and 38. ...a4! immobilizing the pawn before attacking it. Clearly Morphy had studied up on his Nimzovitch.
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