Thursday, July 31, 2008


Daily Tactic July 31, 2008

Morphy-Julien, New York simul, 1859.
This knight odds game features a double attack and multiple deflections.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Daily Tactic July 30, 2008

Morphy-Jefferson, New York simul, 1859. I am giving away the ending, but the game ends with the mating pattern know as Philidor's Legacy. Morphy sets it up with two Deflecting moves. To help learn this pattern and solidify it, practice going over the final moves in your head from move 19 to the end. Once you learn the pattern or if you already know it, go over the game in your head from move 17 onwards to practice your visualization skills.

Deflecting is forcing an enemy piece away from some useful position. In this game Morphy deflects the black queen off of the d8-h4 diagonal. Decoying is attracting an enemy piece to a square useful for you. In this game as part of the final mating pattern, a black rook is decoyed to the f8 square.


Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Daily Tactic July 29, 2008

Morphy-Conway, New York simul, 1859. This game is played at rook odds and features the tactical device of zwischenzug.
The zwischenzug (German for "intermediate move"), is a chess tactic in which a player, instead of playing the expected move (commonly a recapture of a piece that the opponent has just captured) first interpolates another move, posing an immediate threat that the opponent must answer, then plays the expected move.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Daily Tactic July 26, 2008

Another game from the Morhpy - Thompson match in New York, 1859 at knight odds. Today's game features a Double Attack and a Pin. In the final position there is a nice mate in two. Can you spot it?


Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 25, 2008


Daily Tactic July 25, 2008

Morphy - Thompson, New York, 1859.

How good a chessplayer was Paul Morphy? Let’s look at a match he played against James Thompson, a man thought to be one of the top dozen American players. Giving him the outrageous odds of a Knight, Morphy beat him 5-2! After looking over Morphy’s games, Fischer said that, given time to study modern theory and ideas, Morphy would beat any modern player (except Fischer, of course!).


Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Daily Tactic July 24, 2008

Morphy-Anderssen, Paris, 1858.

Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen ... is generally considered to have been the leading chess player in the world from 1851-1858 and 1861-1866. He was "dethroned" temporarily in 1858 by Paul Morphy, who announced his own retirement from chess in 1859...

For the next few years Anderssen was considered by many people to be the world's best player, ... Then in late 1858 he was beaten 8-3 by the American champion Paul Morphy in a famous match held in Paris, France (2 wins, 2 draws, 7 losses). Although Anderssen knew as well as anyone how to attack, Morphy understood much better when to attack and how to prepare an attack...

Anderssen played the curious opening move 1. a3 in 3 games of his match against Morphy, and broke even with it (1 loss, 1 draw, 1 win). This opening move, now referred to as "Anderssen's Opening", has never been popular in serious competition.

Morphy made it look easy against the second best player in the world. In the final position, Morphy played a strong move and then Anderssen resigned. What was Morphy's winning move? It does involve a Deflection followed (in the main line) by a Pin.

Update: I am in the process of adding a mute/unmute button and when that is done I will have more posts with sound/voice.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Semi Daily Tactic July 23, 2008

On the home front we will be getting a new Air Conditioner installed Friday and will be much cooler after that. We are getting a respite from the heat with some rain and more possible soon (Hello, Dolly!). Actually, I don't think Dolly is expected to affect us much in Houston except for some additional, needed rainfall.

Today's game is Morphy-Lowenthal, 1858.
He was one of the first masters to play a match against Morphy after the latter's arrival in London in 1858. Morphy won with a score of nine wins, three losses and two draws. "...I am convinced that I was vanquished by superior strength," Löwenthal said about the match, as reported by the Englishman Frederick Edge. No doubt aware that chess was Löwenthal's only source of livelihood, and conscious to not be considered a professional player himself, Morphy after winning the match stakes of £100, presented Löwenthal with a gift of furniture valued at £120 for his new house.

The very last move of the game (which I have removed) is a nice tactic featuring a Deflection sacrifice that will win due to a Pin and Skewer. A Deflection is forcing an enemy piece to move away from an advantageous square. So, what is Morphy's winning move in the final position?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Daily Tactic July 19, 2008

Morphy-Potier in an 1858 Paris simul. Morphy uses a Space Clearance sacrifice and exploits a Pin to set up a fatal Discovered Check. Potier resigned before the discovered check could be played.


Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, July 18, 2008


Daily Tactic July 18, 2008

Morphy - Bornemann in an 1858 Paris simul. Morphy uses the tactical devices of a space clearance sacrifice followed by pinning the black queen to win this game.

Background music is Sonata No. 29 in B Flat Major Hammerklavier, Op. 106 - II. Scherzo Assai vivace from Musopen.


Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Daily Tactic July 17, 2008

Today's game is Morphy-Baucher from an 1858 Paris simul. It features two tactical devices: the double attack and demolition of pawn structure.

Turn up the sound and enjoy Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 - I. Allegro con brio.


Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Daily Tactic July 16, 2008

Morphy - de Rivière, Paris 1858.

Jules Arnous de Rivière (4 May 1830–11 September 1905) was the strongest French chess player from the late 1850s through the late 1870s. He is best known today for playing many games with Paul Morphy when the American champion visited Paris in 1858 and 1863.

Turn up the sound for Minuet - Notebook for Anna Magdalena written by Johann Sebastian Bach and performed by Aaron Dunn from Musopen.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 14, 2008


Daily Tactic July 14, 2008

The colors are reversed compared to yesterday. Today it is Morphy as White against Harrwitz in Paris, 1858. The opening transposes into a Ruy Lopez: C62.

After 30. c5 Harrwitz takes on c5 with his rook setting up a combination that would not work if the rook is still on the seventh rank -- do you see why? Morphy then delivers the fatal blow with 31. ?


Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Daily Tactic July 13, 2008

Harrwitz - Morphy, 1858 in Paris.

Harrwitz was born in Breslau (Wroc?aw) in the Prussian Province of Silesia. He established his reputation in Paris, particularly as a player of blindfold games. He lost a match in England to Howard Staunton in 1846 at odds of a pawn and two moves, and drew a match with Adolf Anderssen in Germany in 1848.

Harrwitz lived in England from 1849, and founded the British Chess Review. In 1856 he moved to Paris, where he won a match against Jules Arnous de Rivière. In 1858 he played a match against Paul Morphy in Paris. Harrwitz won the first two games, but lost the match 5½-2½. Harrwitz withdrew from the match, allegedly on grounds of ill health. He subsequently retired to the Austro-Hungarian county of Tyrol, dying in Bolzano in 1884.

In today's game I believe the simple maneuver (tactic) that Morphy executes on moves 39-41 is very instructive.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Daily Tactic July 12, 2008


Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 11, 2008


Daily Tactic July 11, 2008

The Opera Game was a famous chess game played in 1858 between the American chess master Paul Morphy and two strong amateurs, the German noble Duke Karl of Brunswick and the French aristocrat Count Isouard, who consulted, playing together as partners against Morphy.

The game is often used by chess teachers to demonstrate the importance of rapidly developing one's pieces, as well as other lessons.


Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Daily Tactic July 10, 2008

Again, Morphy-NN in a New Orleans simul, 1858. Look at the position after Black's 26th move. Can you follow the rest of the game in your head without moving the pieces? Do you think Morphy saw all of that before playing his 27th move?


Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Daily Tactic July 8, 2008

Morphy-NN in a New Orleans simul, 1858. Your basic king hunt. Major tactical operations begin on move 8 and continue until the end...


Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 07, 2008


Daily Tactic July 7, 2008

Paul Morphy - NN. New Orleans,simul, 1858.
Check out Morphy's 21st move!


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Daily Tactic July 6, 2008

Paul Morphy - NN. New Orleans,simul, 1858.
Something a little different today: just the whole game. There are several tactical moments but I especially like the sequence beginning with Morphy's 26th move.


Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 04, 2008


Daily Tactic July 4, 2008

Henry Bird - Paul Morphy. London, 1858.
In 1858 he lost a match to Paul Morphy at the age of 28, yet he played high-level chess for another 50 years. Although Bird was a practicing accountant, not a professional chess player, it has been said that he "lived for chess, and would play anybody anywhere, any time, under any conditions." In the New York tournament of 1876, Bird received the first brilliancy prize ever awarded, for his game against James Mason.
Bird plays Kb2 and Morphy (black) puts him away.

And the whole game:


Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Daily Tactic July 3, 2008

Medley - Morphy. London, 1858. Black (Morphy) to move and win a pawn.

And the whole game:


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Daily Tactic July 2, 2008

Another Morphy game against John Owen at "pawn and move" odds. Owen is known for Owen's Defense and was a strong chessplayer:

In 1858 he won a game against Paul Morphy, which led to a match between the two. Despite being given odds of pawn and the move (meaning he started the game with an extra pawn and always moved first), Owen lost the match 6-1, never winning a game.

His performance in the 1862 London tournament, the first international round-robin event (in which each participant plays every other) was more impressive - he finished third, ahead of future world champion Wilhelm Steinitz, and was the only player to win against the eventual tournament winner, Adolf Anderssen.

How incredible is it that Morphy could win a match at odds against a player of his caliber?

In today's tactic Owen takes Morphy's bishop on h3 (he should have played Qc5 instead). How does Morphy continue? And, bonus question, why does Owen resign when he does? I'll put Fritz's answer in the comments.


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Daily Tactic July 1, 2008

Morphy played this game in London, 1858, against John Owen at "pawn and move" odds -- as Black and without his f-pawn. Owen moves his rook to e3 to protect the vulnerable f2 square. Can you see how Morphy finished him off?


Labels: , ,

Monday, June 30, 2008


Daily Tactic June 30, 2008

In yesterday's Daily Tactic, Morphy and Barnes played an exhibition game against Staunton and Owens. Today Morphy takes on his partner from that consultation game: Thomas Wilson Barnes. Mr. Barnes is noted for eight career wins against Paul Morphy and the Barnes Opening and Barnes Defense:
Barnes Defense is named after Thomas Wilson Barnes, an English master who, amazingly, defeated one of the greatest players of the time, Paul Morphy, with it in an offhand game played in London in July 1858

In today's tactic, Barnes will develop his knight to a3 and then Morphy's next two moves are stunning! Can you find them?


Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Daily Tactic June 29, 2008

After Morphy's amazing victory at New York, some suggested that a European master should come to America to play him. ... On June 6, 1858, Paul Morphy went to Europe to challenge their best chess players.... He sailed from New York on board the S.S. Arabia. He landed in Liverpool on June 21, 1858.
Bill Wall's Chess Master Profiles - Paul Morphy

In London, 1858, Morphy and Barnes play an exhibition game against Staunton and Owens. Morphy and Barnes are black and play a strong forcing move after white moves 24. Rd1. Do you see the move?

For a more accurate second move in the series (per Fritz) see the comments.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Daily Tactic June 28, 2008

Another Morphy game from the the first American Chess Congress. Again, against Paulsen. But today we have a look at a Morphy loss! Morphy (black) moves his rook to attack the e-pawn. Can you see how Paulsen continued?


Labels: , ,

Friday, June 27, 2008


Daily Puzzles June 27, 2008

Today's tactic is from the First American Chess Congress in New York in 1857.
The first American Chess Congress, organized by Daniel Willard Fiske and held in New York, October 6 to November 10, 1857, was won by Paul Morphy. It was a knockout tournament in which draws did not count. The top sixteen American players were invited. First prize was $300. Morphy refused any money, but accepted a silver service consisting of a pitcher, four goblets, and a tray. Morphy’s prize was given to him by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

In this game Morphy is White and Louis Paulsen is black. After Paulsen moves his rook to safety, how does Morphy put him away quickly?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Daily Tactic June 26, 2008

Today's tactic is from a simul in New Orleans in 1857. White is Paul Morphy and black is Mr. Hart. In the game position Mr. Hart is about to play 16... Ne7. The game will be over in seven moves. See if you can find Morphy's moves as he finishes the game with surgical precision.


Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Daily Tactic June 25, 2008

Morphy versus Meek, New Orleans, 1857. Meek will recapture Morhpy's Rook then it is White to move and win. A nice little finish!


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Daily Tactic June 24, 2008

Maurian - Morphy, 1854 New Orleans. This is an odds game. White is in check and plays Kf3. Black to move :

Labels: ,

Monday, June 23, 2008


Daily Tactic June 23, 2008

We plan to feature games of Paul Morphy for the next month or so in Daily Tactic. We are going through his games in roughly chronological order. In today's game Rosseau plays d5 attacking Morphy's queen. Twelve year old Morphy plays this brilliantly! After ...d5 it is White to Move:


Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Paul Morphy and Daily Tactic June 22, 2008

Paul Morphy was born in New Orleans on June 22, 1837 (thanks BlunderProne).

Today's Daily Tactic is Paul Morphy against No Name in New Orleans 1849. Morphy is about 12 years old at the time.

No Name plays knight takes d4 with a double attack on Morphy's Queen. When you are in a situation like this, you have to ask, are you feeling lucky? What Would Morphy Do? Or, in this case, what did Morphy do?

Happy Birthday Paul Morphy!

In 1850, when Morphy was twelve, the strong professional Hungarian chess master Johann Löwenthal visited New Orleans. Löwenthal, who had often played and defeated talented youngsters, considered the informal match a waste of time but accepted the offer as a courtesy to the well-to-do judge. When Löwenthal met Morphy, he patted him on the head in a patronizing manner.

By about the twelfth move in the first game, Löwenthal realized he was up against something formidable. Each time Morphy made a good move, Löwenthal's eyebrows shot up in a manner described by Ernest Morphy as "comique". Löwenthal played three games with Morphy during his New Orleans stay, losing all three.wikipedia

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Daily Tactic and Coaching Secrets

Elizabeth Vicary is a successful scholastic chess coach, meaning that her students are successful. Impressive results. What are her secrets? How does she do it?

This interview at the USCF site reveals some of her methods.

But I think I have discovered her secret: She cares deeply about her students as you can see in this post about her eighth grade student Angelica Berrios.

Today's Daily Tactic is from a game of Angelica's. White has just played Rg5 attacking the Queen. What to do?(You can click the board to make Black's moves).

Bonus Game! This full game of Angelica's is annotated by Elizabeth. (When variations pop up to the side of the board you can click them to play them on the board or you can click in the text of any variation to play through it on the board).

Labels: , , ,

Friday, June 20, 2008


Daily Tactic June 20, 2008

Paul Morphy in 1849 New Orleans. His opponent does not put up the best defense but, I guess, the pain is over quicker that way and it makes for a prettier finish. Black to move.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Daily Tactic June 19, 2008

Today's tactic is from a game of Bobby Fischer's played in the 1955 USA Under 18 Championship. First we have the featured tactic, followed by the full game so you can see it in context.
Black (Fischer) to move:

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Daily Tactic June 18, 2008

I came across this puzzle at the excellent Streatham & Brixton Chess Club. This was their June 15 Sunday Puzzle.
This problem, inspired by Reti, is taken from Ian D. Mullen's chapter on endings in Master Chess: A Course in 21 Lessons (Pergamon Press, 1985).

White's position looks hopeless. It appears that he can't force his pawn through to queen and that he can't stop black's pawn. Yet, it is white to move and draw...

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Daily Puzzles June 17, 2008

This is a mate in 4 problem inspired by a position that arose in one of my games last night at the Houston Chess Meetup.

White to Move:

Labels: ,

Monday, June 16, 2008


Daily Tactics June 16, 2008

In both of these it is White to Move. You can enter White's moves by clicking the board. Need help? Press the right arrow button under the board and it will make the next move for you.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Daily Tactic June 15, 2008

This is a famous position from Fischer-Mjagmasuren, Sousse 1967.
White to move.

Labels: ,

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Daily Tactic

A pretty little study by H. Rinck from 1907. To win, White needs to promote one of the pawns, but how? The first move may be obvious -- save the g-pawn.

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 13, 2008


Daily Tactic

Black to Move. Make Black's moves by clicking on the board.

What do you think of this "Puzzle Mode" of the ChessFlash PGN Viewer?

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]