Sunday, October 05, 2008


Combinations 08.10.05

Morphy against Golmayo in an 1864 Havana simul.

After the 14th move, Morphy has a knight pinned to his opponent's King. The manner in which Morphy adds an attacker to the immobilized knight is very instructive. Enjoy.


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Sunday, August 17, 2008


Combinations 08.08.17

Morphy-de Riviere Paris 1863.

"To this day Morphy is an unsurpassed master of the open games. Just how great was his significance is evident from the fact that after Morphy nothing substantially new has been created in this field. Every player- from beginner to master- should in this praxis return again and again to the games of the American genius." ~ Mikhail Botvinnik
In this game Morphy will twice remove a defender of the g5 square and then twice setup a skewer of the c7 square.


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Sunday, August 03, 2008


Combinations 08.08.03

Now for something completely different. NoTB - vlandre, a FICS 5 minute blitz game from yesterday. NoTB is my handle at FICS. Certainly not the same quality as a Morphy game but still "interesting." I was inspired by all of the Morphy games I have been reviewing to play an Evans Gambit. The opening went well, for a while...See if you can spot the mate in one (!) that I missed at the end.


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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.


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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.

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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?


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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...


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Monday, July 07, 2008


Daily Tactic July 7, 2008

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


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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.


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Saturday, July 05, 2008


Daily Tactic July 5, 2008

Paul Morphy - Henry Bird. London, 1858.
Bird plays ...f6 and Morphy demonstrates why that is a mistake. Do you see Morphy's move?

And the whole game:



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