An All Morphy Masterpiece

A photograph of Alonzo Morphy (Paul Morphy’s father.)

The famous Checkmate by Castling Game!

[Event “Friendly Game”]
[Site “New Orleans (USA)”]
[Date “1850”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Morphy, Paul”]
[Black “Morphy, Alonzo”]
[Result “1-0”]
[SetUp “1”]
[FEN “rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/1NBQKBNR w Kkq – 0 1”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

1. e4 {At the age of 13, Paul was already a much stronger player than his father Alonzo. So, to keep things interesting, Paul played this game with only one rook.}

Position after 1. e4

1… e5

2. Nf3 Nc6

3. Bc4 {A young Paul Morphy was a fan of the Italian Game.}

Position after 3. Bc4

3… Nf6

4. Ng5 d5

5. exd5 Nxd5

6. Nxf7 {The famous Fried Liver Attack!}

Position after 6. Nxf7

6… Kxf7

7. Qf3+ {Paul Morphy develops his queen by simultaneously
attacking the exposed king on f7 and the pinned knight on d5.}

7… Ke6

8. Nc3 {Again, developing with threats against the pinned knight.}

8… Nd4!? {What is normally considered a mistake, instead raises eyebrows when played at rook’s odds.}

Position after 8… Nd4

9. Bxd5+ Kd6

10. Qf7 {Threatening Ne4#!}

Position after 10. Qf7

10… Be6 {Alonzo Morphy makes a crucial mistake. Better was:} (10. .. Qe7 11. Ne4+ Kd7 12. Nc5+ Kd8 {and Paul Morphy is forced to start trading pieces.})

11. Bxe6 {Sometimes the only reasonable response to the fork is to eat off of it.}

11… Nxe6

12. Ne4+ Kd5

13. c4+ {Throwing the kitchen sink at black’s king is preferable to agreeing to a draw by repetition (Nc3+ kd6 Ne4+.)}

Position after 13. c4+

13… Kxe4

14. Qxe6 Qd4?? {The move that seals the deal. What looks to be a strong move for the queen in actuality steals the king’s escape route. If only Alonzo had played Kd3 instead. But then we never would enjoyed this game’s spectacular finish.}

Position after 14… Qd4

15. Qg4+ Kd3

16. Qe2+ {Attacking the king and his escape route on c4.}

16… Kc2

17. d3+ {A cute little discovered check keeps black’s king on the run.}

Position after 17. d3+

17… Kxc1 {Of course with perfect play, black could have survived longer. However, the opportunity to be checkmated by O-O doesn’t occur very often.} (17. .. Kb1 18. O-O Bc5 19. Be3+ Kxa2 20. Bxd4 Bxd4 21. Qc2 b5 22. b4+ Ka3 23. Rb1 bxc4 24. dxc4 Bb2 25. Qxb2+ Ka4 26. Ra1#)

Position after 17… Kxc1

18. O-O#

Position after 18. 0-0#, Mate

Below is the whole game animated:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: