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Daniel Harrwitz vs Paul Morphy
"The Pipes Are Calling" (game of the day Jun-27-2010)
Morphy - Harrwitz (1858), Paris FRA, rd 3, Sep-09
Dutch Defense: Rubinstein Variation (A84)  ·  0-1



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Given 40 times; par: 107 [what's this?]

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

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-27-10  Calli: Morphy's 49...Kh5! reminds me of Capa's maneuver against Tartakower in 1924. He gives up the pawn to get the King in position. He could have given up another pawn with 52...Kxe3 to continue the idea, but Morphy had probably stopped calculating anything new at that point and continued a line he planned a few moves before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Harrwitz was a great improvisor and could well appreciate how Morphy used tricky short moves like 25...Rb6 and 29...b5 to turn an equal game into a better one.

His knight sortie Na5-b7-d8-c6 is calculated to win time for his King to cross over and stop the c pawn, but Morphy calculated further, and saw ...Rc3 comes just in time.

I don't think the actual move 40...Rc3 came as a surprise to Harrwitz, who was hyper vigilant, but there was no other way for him to play once Morphy proved the knight was in danger.

Jun-28-10  newzild: Interesting to see Morphy play a closed game - and play it well, too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Morphy is good in the ending too-ouch!
Jul-01-10  Knight13: <ughaibu> Thank you for the clear-up, bro.
Jul-01-10  ughaibu: My pleasure.
Dec-01-10  KingG: This game really appears to be ahead of it's time.
Apr-11-11  erniecohen: Not sure what people are smoking here. 27. Qb3 looks like the losing move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <erniecohen: Not sure what people are smoking here. 27. Qb3 looks like the losing move.>

Show a drawing line. With ...b5 Black has a clear plan for getting a protected passed pawn on c5 against most anything.

May-14-11  erniecohen: <<tamar> Show a drawing line. With ...b5 Black has a clear plan for getting a protected passed pawn on c5 against most anything.> 27. ♖b1 b5 28. g4 hxg3 29. hxg3 bxc4 30. g4 ♕d7 31. ♖b6 ♖a8 32. gxf5 ♕xf5 33. ♖xd6 and the passed pawn is no longer protected.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <erniecohen: <<tamar> Show a drawing line. With ...b5 Black has a clear plan for getting a protected passed pawn on c5 against most anything.> 27. Rb1 b5 28. g4 hxg3 29. hxg3 bxc4 30. g4 Qd7 31. Rb6 Ra8 32. gxf5 Qxf5 33. Rxd6 and the passed pawn is no longer protected.>

That is true, but you haven't shown a draw either.

Here is the position at the end of your line.

click for larger view

The rook has removed the d6 pawn, but has no clear exit, while Black has an open Kingside to attack.

After 33...Bc8, Black has to give up an exchange just to survive into an ending.

Jun-23-11  erniecohen: <tamar>
Okay, how about 33...♗c8 34. ♖d8+ ♔h7 35. ♔f2 ♕h5 36. ♖xc8 ♖xc8 37. ♕xc4 ♖d8 38. ♕xe4+ ♔h8 39. a4 ♕xd5 40. ♕xd5 ♖xd5. Looks drawn to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <erniecohen> That precise sequence of moves looks like a draw.

27. Rb1 b5 28. g4! hxg3 29. hxg3 bxc4 30. g4! Qd7 31. Rb6 Ra8 32. gxf5 Qxf5 33. Rxd6 Bc8 34. Rd8+ Kh7 35. Kf2 Qh5 36. Rxc8 Rxc8 37. Qxc4 Rd8 38. Qxe4+ Kh8 39. a4 Qxd5 40. Qxd5 Rxd5

But to hold the draw Harrwitz would have to play on both sides of the board, using the rook on the b file interspersed with the surprising g4! moves. Then...he would have to find the exchange sacrifice to clench the draw.

Harrwitz was sporadically brilliant, and it is possible he could have held this game, which would have terribly frustrated Morphy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Harrwitz' chief error was playing not aggressively enough.

18 Bc6 would have put pressure on Black, as exchanging it gives White a passed pawn.

In retrospect, we now accept Edge's account that Morphy was super-confident, even after 3 straight losses ( the first not part of the match), but had Harrwitz won this game, or even drew, the course of the match may have been different.

Nov-20-12  Llawdogg: This game does really appear to be ahead of its time. Morphy plays in a modern style. It seems like it could be taken from a Lasker or Capablanca collection.
Oct-27-13  Chessman1504: This is one of the games that proves the assertion by Capablanca that Morphy's style was simple and logical.
Mar-18-14  RookFile: Every now and then you read that Morphy couldn't play positional chess. Reality is that the great masters who wanted to learn positional chess started with games like this from Mr. Morphy and took careful notes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: In reexamining this game, I now wonder if Morphy should not have played 16...Bb7. The pawn formation, quite similar to a closed KID, seems to call for leaving the Bishop on c8, unpinning the f-pawn instead, playing ...Nd7-f6, ...g7-g5, and finally ...f5-f4 (not necessarily in this order and not necessarily all of these moves). In other words, the usual insane assault. In many KID games, the Bc8 does not move at all until it sacrifices itself on h3.
Oct-21-16  Jambow: I enjoy this revealing game very much. We see that both players were far ahead of their time in positional understanding of the game. We get a glimpse of the tactical genius hiding behind the tactical monster in Morphy.

My thoughts are that Harrwitz knew full well and understood completely that he was superior to his contemporaries in that aspect of chess. Then from across the board he becomes cognizant of the fact that even his superiority in that arena was now in question. So his psychological distress affects his physical well being and the match is soon over. Harrwitz as brilliant as he is goes the way of Staunton, where words can not be matched by deeds. Morphy had no equal...

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Jambow: I enjoy this revealing game very much. We see that both players were far ahead of their time in positional understanding of the game. We get a glimpse of the tactical genius hiding behind the tactical monster in Morphy.>

What <positional understanding in advance of its time> do you detect in Harrwitz's play in this game?

Oct-21-16  Jambow: His entire style is more positional than tactical, he switches play from the queens side to the kings side probing for a small advantage with his pawns. This is not the typical style of brutal all out attacks of that era. The late attempt to reach into Morphy's position, even if thwarted. Trading down material when an attack is not imminent etc...

Or so that is how it looks to me.

Dec-31-18  HarryP: Morphy's use of the Dutch caused me years ago to fall in love with it. Except for brief stretches when I've played the QGA or the QGD, I've stuck with it. The Indian defenses? Not for me!
Sep-09-19  utssb: If some top GMs played this game in a blitz tournament today noone would bat an eyelash.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <utssb: If some top GMs played this game in a blitz tournament today noone would bat an eyelash.>

*The soft bigotry of low expectations.*

Sep-10-19  RookFile: Harrwitz's Ba4 and Bxd7 wasn't bad, although somebody pointed out that Bc6 was better. With 19. Qd3 white would have had an easier time of it than in the game.
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