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Paul Morphy vs Samuel Lewis
Blindfold simul, 4b (1859) (blindfold), Philadelphia, PA USA, Nov-11
Owen Defense: General (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 4.Nh3!? justifies itself twice in Morphy's further play: first, when he can play 7.f4 and 8.f5 unimpeded; second, when he can play Nef4 followed by Nxf4. I'm impressed by some of the variations Morphy had to calculate in the final combination: 23.Ng5+, Kg7, 24.Nxf7 followed by Qh6; or 24.Rxf7+,Rg7, 25.Rxg7+,Kxg7, 26. Rxg5, and the g6 pawn is pinned and can't take the White Queen. The g6 and h6 pawns take turns getting pinned in all of the variations, and White has to keep track of all of this in his head, blindfold, while thinking of 3 other games. Elegant.
Feb-07-09  heuristic: these
15...Qe8 16.Rg3 Kh7 17.Rf1 Nd7 18.Qg4
16...Qe8 17.Rg3 Nd7 18.Ne2 Rc8 19.Nhf4
19...Qe8 20.Qh3 a5 21.Nh5 Qe6 22.Rxf7
seem better for the defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Better but still losing.

Morphy all along seems to have had his eye on the vulnerable g7 square, and Lewis' options narrow once both rooks reach the third rank.

For example, 19...Qe8 20 Rg3 Kh8 21 Rff3 Rad8 22 Rxg7 mates

and even the improvement 21...Rg8 22 Rg5 a6 23 Rf5 Ra7 24 Rxf7 Nxe5 25 Rxa7 Nxf3+ 26 Qxf3 Qe1+ 27 Qf1 Qxf1+ 28 Kxf1 Rf8 only prolongs the game into a lost endgame +2.04/21 Rybka

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: The pattern Rf3-Rg3-Rff3 recurs in almost all variations, giving the attack an inevitable feel.

If 18...Qe8 suggested by <heuristic> 19 Rg3 c5 (19...Nxe5 20 Re3) 20 e6! Nxf4 21 Nxf4 fxe6 22 Qxh6 Qf7 23 Rff3! threat Rxg7+

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Most intriguing of Morphy's feats were these blindfold simultaneous games.

Rybka bears out that his conceptions were sound and the variations not played are amazingly rich.

Dec-11-10  sevenseaman: Cool, very cool! like a surgery under anaesthesia.
Mar-25-11  Llawdogg: 4 Nh3! is a move that looks amateurish, but in this particular situation is actually a great move. Morphy develops the knight without blocking in the f pawn, prepares to castle, and controls the f4 and g5 squares. Morphy's pieces always work so beautifully together. Amazing.
May-17-12  e4 resigns: In the same position, Capablanca played 4. Nf3. This was a simultaneous exhibition in 1927, according to killer chess tactics. 4...c5 5.0-0 cxd4 and Capablanca treated the opening like an inferior silician.

But with this game, Paul Morphy wanted Qh5 and f4 whenever he got the chance. It is included in How to think ahead in Chess. Morphy's opponent didn't even try to go for counterplay with ...c5, or ...Nf5. This is a textbook example on how to attack 0-0.

Aug-13-14  Ke2: Nh3 shows great understanding. And one of the very, very few times where Morphy's King's Knight doesn't go to the classical square.
Aug-13-14  Ke2: And he played it 4 / 4 times in this position.
Aug-13-14  RookFile: Beautiful chess by Morphy, started with his wise placement of the knight on h3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The beginner books are right, White's fourth move is crap. 4....c5 is the most accurate response. But a really wonderful and accurate game by Morphy, as tamar said years ago. Hard to believe he was blindfolded (Morphy, not tamar).
Premium Chessgames Member
  master8ch: 17.Rf6 is interesting. If 17...gxf6 18.Qxh6, threatening 19.exf6, winning easily, and 19.Ng5 if the f6 pawn moves . . . also winning easily. If 18...Nd7, then 19.Rxf6 Nxf6 20.Ng5, threatening the Black Queen. If 20...Qe7, to pin White's e5 pawn against the mate at e1, then White has 21.Nce4. The problem with all this, of course, is that Black is not forced to capture after 17.Rf6, because it doesn't really threaten anything after the Black Queen moves.
Mar-15-21  Z 000000001: I have a source claiming this was from a 5-board blindfold. What source gives a 4-board?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Are you disputing whether the Philadelphia exhibition was on four boards or five, or whether this game belongs to the Philadelphia display?
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: I was there but don't remember
Mar-15-21  Z 000000001: Ha!

Of course I'm really interested in the original sources for these plang-era games, but the question was about 4-b vs 5-b (in <missy>-speak).

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Following Lawson or Game Collection: Morphy's Blindfold Exhibition at Philadelphia, there's no doubt the display was on four boards. I don't know the original source(s) for the games.
Mar-15-21  Z 000000001: Thanks <Missy>, I'll hunt it down eventually.

(My source turned out to be rife with errors - I actually had to use <CG> to determine the moves - which tells ya how desperate I was!)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Some sources on Morphy’s early blindfold efforts are in another unfinished project: Game Collection: Blindfold Morphy
Mar-15-21  Z legend of CG: Nice, I'll be on it as soon as Ernest is done.
Jul-25-21  paulmorphy1969: any member have info abaut Dr.Samuel Lewis
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Jul-25-21 paulmorphy1969: any member have info abaut Dr.Samuel Lewis>

When I did a little googling I found a doctor
with the same name.

Aug-13-21  paulmorphy1969: I am writing an updated book on Morphy, and during the research I found 2 sources that say that the fourth opponent was Dr. Samuel Tiller and not Samuel Lewis, in one of these sources he claims that Samuel Lewis acted as referee, after I publish the links of my supplies
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I don't think there's any doubt it was Lewis. The referee, apparently, was <Lewis Elkin>.
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