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Johann Jacob Loewenthal vs Paul Morphy
Casual game (1859), London ENG, Apr-12
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense (C78)  ·  1-0



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Given 50 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-10-03  refutor: any opinions on 13. Bxf6? is it suicide to open the g-file for morphy's rook?
Jan-10-03  magerk: i don't have anything concrete but the opening of the g file looks like it sits black up with a great attacking position.
Jan-11-03  pawntificator: It looks like Morphy was trying to entice such a trade on f6, but there is no immediate danger from it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: My guess is he may have been looking at Queenside castling, and therefore wanted to open the g-file for his rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: Morphy had a strong continuation had he played 21.cxd4

21. ... cxd4
22. Bxf6+ Qxf6
23. Qxf6+ Kxf6
24. Rac1 Ne7
25. Ne5 Rc8
26. Nxf7 Rxc1
27. Rxc1 d3
28. Re1 Bd4
29. Nxh6 Bxb2
30. Re6+ Kg7
31. Ng4 Rd7
32. Ne3 d2
33. Rxa6 Bd4
34. Bd1 Bxe3
35. fxe3 Nd5
36. Ra3 Nf6
37. Kf2 b4
38. Ra5 Ne4+
39. Kf3 Nc3
40. Bc2 d1=Q+
and wins.

Dec-27-04  Whitehat1963: Morphy's lone loss playing the Ruy Lopez.
Jun-23-05  blackjacki2: What's the deal with the annotation of "..." at the end?
Jun-23-05  Elrathia Kingi: How is Kf8 superior to O-O for Morphy?
Jan-10-06  morpstau: kf8 is superior due to the simple fact that o-o leaves the kind far to exposed and indeed the game would not have proceded out of the late opening.
Apr-19-06  Poulsen: <InspiredByMorphy> A 20 move variation trying to prove, that Morphy could have won? Who are you trying to fool? Why not simply this: 21.-,cxd4 22.Qxb6??,Qxb6 and black wins!!?

At move 21 white clearly has the better position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <Poulsen: At move 21 white clearly has the better position>

Actually at move 21, it is Black that has the better position.

Lowenthal's move 20.Qb7, gave away all of his advantage and permitted Morphy to gain the advantage if he had replied 21...cxd4!.

Fritz 9 provides the following evaluations and variations:

After 21.Qc6 cxd4 (-.46) (19 ply) 22.Bg3 Ne7 23.Qc1 d3.

Now an updated evaluation shows additional advantage for Black (-.78) (18 ply) with a suggested continuation of 24.a4 g4 25.Nd2 Ng6.

At this point Fritz's evaluation is at (-1.19) (18 ply).

Another variation is: 21.Qc6 cxd4 (-.52) (19 ply) 22.Ra1d1 Nxe5 23.Rxe5 Rd7.

Now an updated evaluation again shows additional advantage for Black (-.83) (19 ply) with a suggested continuation of 24.a4 bxa4 25.Bxa4 d3.

At this point Fritz's evaluation is at (-1.32) (18 ply).

Both of these lines are considerably in favor of Black. Additional work would be needed to determine if White can hold the draw in either variation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: So is this the first recorded game using, ...a6....hence the name Morphy variation?....thanks in advance
Nov-08-08  thebribri8: What deep annotation! Very insightful.
Dec-24-08  WhiteRook48: this is an annotated game and what do I get?
Jun-11-16  Albion 1959: Move 37 is not really a sacrifice at all in the true sense. It is merely a little two move combination to exchange and simplify into an easily won pawn ending. I am surprised that a tactical player like Morphy should have missed this !
Premium Chessgames Member
  fearlessone: Wow. What a game by Lowenthal. Maybe one of his best games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  monopole2313: Tonight, let it be Lowenthal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Williebob: Hahaha <monopole>! Morphy picked up 3 ...a6 from Loewenthal during their earlier match, then had the good taste to lose this game.
Oct-16-20  Boomie: According to the CG database, 3...a6 first appeared in 1845 in E Rousseau vs C Stanley, 1845. Stanley was from England but lived in the US. According to his bio here "Rousseau’s second was Eugene Morphy, Paul's uncle. Paul Morphy attended the match at the age of 8 and became interested in chess." Morphy's memory was essentially flawless. All the games of this match would have been the start of the enormous collection stored in his mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <blackjacki2: What's the deal with the annotation of "..." at the end?>

It's meant to indicate that the game didn't end at that point. Often it's clear from the original source that a game continued, although it's not uncommon to encounter <and wins> or the like, which could also simply be an alternative to <resigns>. I've now taken to highlighting it as <(...)>, but I suspect many here are none the wiser. Even if there are no other annotations, the system (IMO, wrongly) designates the game as annotated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: According to Boden in the <Field> (May 21st 1859), afterwards Morphy advocated <22...Nxe5 23.dxe5 Ng4>, but the computer favours <22...Nxe5 23.dxe5 Nd5 (threat Rc7) 24.Rad1 Nb4 25.Qe4> with an edge for White.

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