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Daniel Harrwitz vs Paul Morphy
Casual game (1858), Paris FRA, Sep-04
King's Gambit: Accepted. Kieseritsky Gambit Anderssen Defense (C39)  ·  1-0



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Given 47 times; par: 79 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: White could have played also 39.Ke4 threatening Rc7. Then 39...Rg4+ is bad for 40.Nf4 threatening 41.Qe6+. After 39...Rg6 40.Qf5 Rh2 41.h5 Rgg2 42.Rc7 or 41.Nf4 Rxf2 42.Rc8+ white wins easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Who knew the most theory was an issue even in 1858.

9 Bb5+ was a novelty that induced Morphy to err with 10...0-0

8...Nh5 was well known to both players. Staunton wrote enthusiastically about it after he played it against Von der Lasa, winning in only 14 moves Von Der Lasa vs Staunton, 1853

Bird played 8...Nh5 against Morphy who came up with 9 Nc3 and won nicely, so he must have had something against that move as well as the 9 Nxg4 that Lasa had played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Lol. This KG stuff is something else. I have no intuition for it. It's like if two different games were played, remotely resembling each other -- one is called Chess, the other KG accepted.

There is this Monty Pythonish quality to KG: "Sir, you just blundered a pawn." "I did not! It's just a flesh wound; I sacrificed that pawn..." In normal chess, one usually has some feel for what is a blunder and what is a sacrifice (even when that sac is a "virtue forged of necessity"). But in KG settings, I have no clue: Did Morphy sac the g4- and f4-pawns intentionally, <10...O-O>, or did he just missed it?

Or was Morphy actually bating this impromptu game to Harrwitz for greater purposes?

Mar-08-05  aw1988: Don't get me started on Monty Python.

You fight with the strength of many men, Sir Knight.

I am Arthur, King of the Britons.

I seek the finest and the bravest knights in the land to join me in my court at Camelot.

You have proved yourself worthy. Will you join me?

You make me sad. So be it. Come, Patsy.

None shall pass.


None shall pass.

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight, but I must cross this bridge.

Then you shall die.

I command you, as King of the Britons, to stand aside!

I move for no man.

So be it!

<arthur chops off the left arm>

Now stand aside, worthy adversary.

'Tis but a scratch.

A scratch? Your arm's off!

No, it isn't.

Well, what's that, then?

I've had worse.

You liar!

Come on, you pansy!

<arthur chops off the right arm>

Victory is mine! We thank Thee Lord, in Thy mer--

Hah! <kick> Come on, then.


Have at you! <kick>

Eh. You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine.

Oh, had enough, eh?

Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left.

Yes, I have.


Just a flesh wound. <kick>

Look, stop that.

Chicken! <kick> Chickenn!

Look, I'll have your leg. <arthur chops off right leg>

Right. I'll do you for that!

You'll what?

Come here!

What are you going to do, bleed on me?

I'm invincible!

You're a looney.

The Black Knight always triumphs! Have at you! Come on, then.

<arthur chops off the last leg>

Oh? All right, we'll call it a draw.

Come, Patsy.

Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: It is somewhat comical how Morphy refuses to concede that 10...0-0 was an awful blunder and nevertheless regroups his forces again and again in powerful groupings to test any chance for success.

Harrwitz thrived in these hectic tactical battles, but saw something he didn't like in Morphy's resurgence even in a no hope situation. Morphy had no chance to repeat the position in the match, and show the defects of 9 Bb5+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <aw1988> Excellent delivery -- you put me in stitches!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <tamar> In that whole 10...O-O transaction Morphy lost three pawns and one tempo, got into a couple of pins, and got shattered remaining pawns. No wonder he could not orchestrate a comback.

I'd love to see Morphy play against the 8.Bb5+ when he was 'on'. I suspect he would have offered the exchange: 10...bxc6 11.Nxc6 Nxc6 12.Bxc6+ Bd7 13.Bxa8 Qxa8(Ng3) .... White is up X, but sure looks lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Gypsy> The 9 Bb5+ c6 10 dxc6 bxc6 11 Nxc6 Nxc6 12 Bxc6+ variation had a brief revival in the 1860's, but Black's attack was unstoppable, with either 12...Bd7 or 12...Kf8 as in this game- J Rosanes vs Adolf Anderssen, 1863
Jun-07-05  Knight13: Dang man. Morphy screwed up on his opening play.
Jun-07-05  aw1988: O-O by Morphy was a bad move, indeed.
Mar-07-07  James Bowman: Very nice game bt Harrwitz indeed, the power of advanced pans in an open game can be devastating.
Nov-03-07  nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33.

Harrwitz 3 mistakes:
19.Bxa6 2.27 (19.Bf2 3.75)
23.Qb5 1.82 (23.Bf2 2.92)
39.Ke2 0.00 (39.Ke4 9.43)

Morphy 7 mistakes:
10...0-0 2.65 (10...bxc6 -0.60)
13...Qb6 3.78 (13...Qc8 2.70)
23...Qd8 2.95 (23...Qxb5 1.82)
26...Rdg7 5.52 (26...Nh6 2.89)
30...Bxd3 6.17 (30...R2g7 4.91)
33...Rh2 8.99 (33...Rxe1+ 6.71)
39...Rxf2+ 3.08 (39...Rhh2 0.00)

Feb-25-09  Judah: <nimh>, the evaluations that you posted make no sense. 39...Rhh2 would lead to the position after move 37: if that position is evaluated at 0.00, why is it not evaluated that way the first time?
Apr-29-09  number 23 NBer: I would assume the engine believes a threefold repitition is coming.
Apr-29-09  WhiteRook48: and Harrwitz wants a win
May-11-09  Judah: <number 23 NBer: I would assume the engine believes a threefold repetition is coming.>

But it would only be the second repetition; what prevents White from getting it right this time? (Unless it counts on the opponent behaving the same way in the same situation?)

Jun-14-09  number 23 NBer: Computers do seem to count on that.
Nov-13-09  josejoasm: Judah, the position is not the same in 37 because black are in check and therefore the score has to be different ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Vinpi: I don't think 10. ... O - O is so bad. Morphy gives a pawn to control the a8 - h1 diagonal. 30. ♖d3 ! a crazy move. I call it a sacrifice of defense.
Apr-29-12  Llawdogg: Love the Monty Python reference!
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: The link to the von der Lasa - Staunton game mentioned in <tamar>'s post appears to have broken; here it is again (it's fifteen moves, though): Von Der Lasa vs Staunton, 1853

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