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Francois Philidor vs NN
Philidor Chess Program (1990), Unknown
King's Gambit: Accepted. Greco Gambit (C38)  ·  1-0



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sac: 13.gxf4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-24-04  fred lennox: This game is extraodinary. If someone told me this is a game where Botvinnik played the King Gambit, I think I would of believed him. Steinitz claimed if he could establish a knight on d6 or e6, he could go to sleep and the game would win by itself. Apparently, Phillidor felt the same way. That explains 12 gxf4.
Jun-23-04  Jesuitic Calvinist: I like the Botvinnik comparison. In games like this, Philidor's positional understanding is very deep, especially for 1790.
Jun-23-04  square dance: how far ahead of his time do you guys think philidor was?
Jun-23-04  holierthanthou: As said in the much quoted (Samuel Maverick's?) top ten list of greatest chess players so far:

<1. François-André Philidor- The only choice. Most of the greatest players were five to ten years ahead of their time. Philidor was fifty years ahead of his.>

I'd say Philidor was even more ahead, about 75 years perhaps?

Jun-23-04  square dance: <holierthanthou> good point. makes me wonder how philidor would have done against the players of the first half of the 19th century. dare i ask how he would have fared against morphy? hopefully he wouldnt have used philidor's defense, we all saw what happened in the game against the count & duke!! im sure philodor would have played better in that game though. arent philidor's only recorded games from his later years?
Jul-05-04  Jesuitic Calvinist: Yes, almost all of Philidor's surviving games are from his last years, when he was presumably well past his best - as well as sometimes playing blindfold and/or simultaneously. It is noteworthy, though, that in the (perhaps) only surviving game by Young Philidor - Philidor v NN, 1749 - Phil's style is recognisably the same as in the later games.
Jul-05-04  Jesuitic Calvinist: I think Philidor would have been too strong for the early 19th century players like Deschapelles, De La Bourdonnais, etc - they would have found it hard to get the sort of attacking positions they were good at playing. Phil would probably have been able to consistently get the slower, more closed positions that he liked and he would probably have won those sorts of games against them fairly easily. And I think P's games show enough to make us conclude that he was a strong endgame player. Staunton would have been a tougher opponent, but I think Philidor would have been too strong.

As for Philidor v Morphy - a tough call. I think they would have been very evenly matched, in a great positional v attacking struggle, a bit like Karpov v Kasparov. Again much would depend (as it does today) on the opening battle - Morphy would not obtain the regular big opening advantage as he was used to - and M would have had to tough it out in slower, more positional games and endgames. M developed those skills as he went on in his brief career - as in some of the Harrwitz games, compared to M's fairly poor endgame play in some of the Lowenthal games, as someone pointed out on this site a while ago.

So - overall, I think Philidor and Morphy would have been level after many games.

Sep-05-04  Knight13: Black lost the queen, or checkmate.
Sep-05-04  John Doe: I think it's checkmate either way, QxQ, or QxR. What else is there for black?
Sep-06-04  Knight13: <John Doe> Nothing eles is there for black. You are right. Black is checkmated.
Feb-05-05  RookFile: Insted of 14... Qe7, I'd be in favor
of 14...Ne7, even though after 15.Qh5+ Kf8 black has forfeited castling rights. He's running his king towards his extra piece rather than away from it. I see black as having a solid defensive setup once
his knight gets to f5.
Mar-13-05  goldthread: I agree with <RookFile>. After 14...Ne7 Black is ahead in development and material and if his King safety is compromised by being driven to f8, the White King is pretty open too. With the black King's Knight on f5 - among other things keeping an eye on d6 - it would have been difficult for White to justify the piece sacrifice. There is the problem of the White Bishop going to a3 with check but Black might manage to close the diagonal with c5, b6, Rc8. Play 14...Ne7 and make him prove the mate.
Jul-25-09  just a kid: A rule of thumb.If you have a knight on d6 or e6(d3 or e3) and you're not getting mated,you're probably winning!
Feb-13-14  tranquilsimplicity: Philidor v. Morphy?

I would have put my money on Morphy. As much as I am impressed by Philidor and even feel he was of Grandmaster calibre, I feel that Morphy was a bit special; a true Chess genius if ever there was one.#

Feb-22-15  Christoforus Polacco: Great game of Philidor.
Respect !
Philidor vs Morphy ?
Morphy - the most talented player of ever.
Interesting match it would be between de la Bourdonnais and Morphy. And young - for example 18 years old - Tal vs Morphy. But match only in open position (not queen gambit and others) And very young Fischer (16) and Paul.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Unlikely to be a Philidor game. It can be found in this data dump (2002 thread):


Jul-14-16  juanhernandez: excellent game !!!
Jul-26-18  Isilimela: Hate to dampen the "Philidor fervour" but if you pop this game into an engine, it shows a big plus for black most of the game (moves 12 to 27)! Lovely queen sac to finish off all the same.

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