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Rene Gralla vs Stevan Stojanovic
Cafe Hamburg-Midnight Casual (2008), Hamburg, Germany, Apr-25
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-29-10  Autoreparaturwerkbau: This finish reminds me of one of the greatest classic games of all times. Complete copy, it seems. Darn, what game was it??
Mar-29-10  1. h4: <Autoreparaturwerkbau>

I honestly hope you're joking.

You are, right?!

Mar-29-10  Autoreparaturwerkbau: No, serious. I'll find it ;)
Mar-29-10  1. h4: <Autoreparaturwerkbau>

I'll save you the trouble. :)

Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858

Mar-29-10  Autoreparaturwerkbau: <1. h4> You're the man! :) That's exactly *the* game.

Curiously, the sequence is somewhat different. Interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Hi <Autoreparaturwerkstatt> and <1.h4>, you've got it, that match is a very strange case of replay. Of course I have known Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 before, and I have replayed that famous Opera-match many times. But I would have never dreamt of ever getting the chance of a 90 per cent replay at the board. Then there was this night at a Serbian Cafe in 2008, and I played a friendly match with Stevan Stojanovic who is one of the dominating personalities of the strong Serbian chess community in Hamburg, Germany. We started to play, I started the game with 1.e4 and 2.Nf3, he tried out the dubious move 3. ... Bg4!? in the Philidor Defense, and as the match rolled on I could hardly believe my eyes: There it was again, on a real board with real pieces, that match of Morphy versus Duke Karl / Count Isouard! Unbelievable!
Well, the 12th move 12. ... Qe6 was a novelty, but not a good one, and now I wanted to try to reach the same constellation that had been the climax at the Opera in Paris 150 years ago. Therefore I chose the weaker response 13.Bxd7+ Nxd7 14.Qb7 ..., and I hoped for the somewhat logical reaction 14. ... Rb8. And there it came, indeed - and so I had the chance to apply that nice sacrifice that I had learned by studying the historic Morphy match. The Universum of Chess is full of mystery!
Mar-29-10  1. h4: Hello <Nightsurfer>:

It sounds like you're this Rene Gralla person, right? Do you think that your opponent knew about the Morphy game and tried to copy it? Even though he failed, of course. :)

Mar-29-10  Spell Binder: Unbelievable indeed. If this wasn't prearranged, maybe this was a blitz game. 14...Rb8?? is an obvious blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Hello <1.h4>, hi >Spell Binder>, no, my opponent obviously did not know about the Morphy game before, thus answering your question, dear <1.h4>, and, no, the game was not pre-arranged, why should we have done that, that would have made no sense, I think you agree, <Spell Binder>, right?! Well, it was not a blitz match, but a casual game at midnight in a Serbian cafe, with some beer and some smoke, therefore the blunder 14. ... Rb8??, but that kind of blunder is kind of characteristic for my opponent, he is an impulsive guy from Serbia, he attacks by trusting his instincts, and he has had the vision of a counter attack via the b-lane against the long and vulnerable flank of my castle. On the other hand this match demonstrates that the plan that Duke Karl and Count Isouard have tried out for the first time in 1858, is not that goofy as it seems to be from hindsight. Their moves have been kind of logic, and therefore people like my opponent tend to get the same ideas even today. So it makes sense to study the old masters, maybe sometimes you will have the chance of a STRANGE ENCOUNTER OF THE SECOND KIND ... You have just to watch out!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: There have been some tries to improve Black play in the <4. ... Bg4>-scenario: instead of 6. ... Nf6 that has been played at Paris 1858 during Morphy's "Night at the Opera" (Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858)and exactly 150 years later (!!) now in this game here at Hamburg, Germany 2008 (R Gralla vs S Stojanovic, 2008), Black has put 6. ... Qf6 on the board sometimes, once in Elmshorn, Germany in 1975, on the occasion of the Championship 1975/76 of the Elmshorn Chess Club (please see R Gralla vs H Kroeger, 1975), and the second time 35 years later during the Chess Olympiad (Women) at Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia in 2010, please compare Ana Margarida Ferreira vs Miyanda Mweetwa, 2010). But the final result was always the same: Black lost no matter how hard she and/or he tried!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: Stunning cases of replay are more likely than one might assume. This game here <Rene Gralla vs Stevan Stojanovic, 2008> is a funny replay of Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 - and one more remarkable case of replay is Greco vs NN, 1620 that is (knowingly or unknowingly) a kind of remake of P Damiano vs NN, 1497 - 123 years post festum!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Bronstein commented in <200 Open Games> that he'd repeatedly tried to replicate Morphy vs. the Duke and Count in his games, but had never quite succeeded. In high school, I had two or three casual games that also came close. I've duplicated NN vs M Bier, 1905 move for move twice - once in an offhand game in high school, another in an Internet blitz game a few years ago.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <FSR> Very interesting, I did not know that <Bronstein> had tried to replicate the <Morphy vs The Duke and The Count>-game! And I think that it is highly improbable that a real 1:1-copy takes place on the board, there are too many eventual crossroads on the way to a 1:1 copy so that it is more probable that the course of things will take a different direction ... therefore I have been stunned, for sure, when I have played that guy <Stevan Stojanovic> back then in 2008 and when we have come that close to the original that <Morphy> has put on the board against <The Duke and The Count> 150 years before our encounter in that smoke-filled Serbian pub at Hamburg!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: This game here <Rene Gralla vs Stevan Stojanovic (2008)> is not the only case of a more or less replay of Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 - since there is one more case of making the ghosts of the past coming alive again, just see R Schnelle vs H Niemoeller, 2001 ... at least until Black move no. 14 (in: R Schnelle vs H Niemoeller, 2001) when Black tries the new riposte <14. ... Qb4>, though that has not saved Black's day anyway ...
Jan-22-14  rickycota: what if 8.Qxb7?
Feb-02-14  DarthStapler: Qb4+ trades queens
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Nightsurfer> Great stories about your visits to the Opera House. If I had been White here I probably would have gotten confused and played 14.Qb8+??.

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