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Paul Morphy vs Horace Richardson
Knight Odds game (1859) (unorthodox), New York, NY USA, May-17
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0



find similar games 3 more Morphy/H Richardson games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-28-09  WhiteRook48: a good example of "Semi-Smothered Mate"
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hello Again,

Came here because in the old days the lads rarely resigned and we get to see how the good lads wrap up games.

Play over the game from here.

click for larger view

Morphy has just played 24.a4

Then come back here and we will look at two positions.


Hello Again!

Did you enjoy that. Good Game. Back here.

click for larger view

Can you see what Morphy had in his mind if 24...axb4?

Morphy wins a piece.

I'll let you to work it out but look at the Undefended Bishop and Black's weak back rank.

(pretty easy...but note the Rb8 Nd7 trick, Morphy's games are loaded with such cute shots both played and unplayed. )


Here Black to play.

click for larger view

Obviously Black cannot play 1...Nxf2 2.Rxb6 and Kxf2.

But can Black take the f2 pawn with the Bishop without losing a piece.

Possibly suspecting the worse Black never took on f2 but it's positions like this one must look at and start asking questions.

OK let's play....


click for larger view

Of course the usual ploy is to now attack the piece defending the piece.

(That is actually chess in a nutshell. I attack something, (a piece or a square) you defend it, I attack the defender, you defend the defender....)

2.Re5 does not work 2...Nf6 3.Kxf2 Ng4+ and 2.Rb4 then 2...Nc5 3.Kxf2 Nd3+

But one works and it is 2.Rb4 because 2...Nc5 places the Knight on an unprotected square as opposed to chasing the Knight to f6 where it is protected.

You can now go away and see if you can work out how after 1...Bxf2 2.Rb4 Nc5 White wins a piece.

White to move and win a piece.

click for larger view

You will learn somehing about loose Bishops and Knights and Rook and Knight co-operation.

Don't concern yourself with anything else, just win a Black piece, nothing more.

So off you go.


You still here?

You did not think you would get all the answers for nothing, you have to feel burn before you learn.

Go. I'll still be here when you get back.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hello Yet Again!

How did you get on?

2.Rb4 Nc5 3.Rb8

click for larger view

The Black Knight was tactically holding the f2 Bishop but now with the Rook on b8 there is no Knight forks and the defensive roles have been reversed.

The Bishop must now protect the Knight else White will play 4.Ne6+ and Nxc5.

3...Bd4 is no good because of 4.Ne6+ and 5.Nxd4 so we are down to only moves.


click for larger view

4.Kf3 Bg1

click for larger view

The Bishop and Knight are shackled. The Bishop is very short of squares.


That check just took away the d4 square.

5....Kh7 6.Rb1 Bxh2 7.Kg2

click for larger view

The Bishop is lost.

Within most postions you disect you will find some lovely unplayed melodies. This why you should enjoy studying the game. You are gold digging, looking for a wee gem.....Good Hunting.

Mar-23-16  morfishine: <Sally Simpson> Nice posts! I hadn't seen this game and what I like about it is Morphy's ironclad grip on the positional aspect. Our defender, Mr. Horace Richardson plays stoutly here I think, for the most part, after all he was facing Morphy, so I think this game highlights Morphy's grasp of the strategic position with a view to tactics, which Richardson fends off the best he can, until he just can't anymore


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Morf,

This is not for you, it's for my new friend Not Not.

Here, look at what I've done to the cover of my 'The Most Instructive Games' and then do the chess crossword. (don't peek at the answers.)

Mar-23-16  not not: this tactical shots too complicated for me, Sally

it only make my head spin and then I blunder

that's why I prefer pawn grabbing

thanks for showing me how to overwhelm bishop and knight with a rook!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Not Not,

Tactical awareness is not a gift, nor is it the preserve of the GM's. At the grass roots level tactics decides 99% of the games.

It can be taught, studied and learnt. The head soon stops spinning. It's the bread and butter of the game.

You are denying yourself many hours of pleasure by not getting involved and are walking around the battlefield without a weapon.

I have a double-handed 'M' sword passed down to me from Morphy, Marshall and Mieses.(pity they never supplied a shield.)

You have a bagful of pawns. (no shield either, you have to tactically hang on to those pawns.)

Get to work young man then get out there and start swinging that sword...heads will roll.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Tactical awareness is not a gift, nor is it the preserve of the GM's. At the grass roots level tactics decides 99% of the games.

It can be taught, studied and learnt.>

Is the ability and capacity to study and learn a gift?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi MissScarlett,

It must be down to the individual. Certainly some people have the ability to soak up things quicker. If this is a gift. I don't know.

Test tend to show the younger you are the better in this respect.

I think you must enjoy playing over games that have a tactical flow or solving puzzles. It must be fun and not seem like graft.

You must want to do it.

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