At a very young age Morphy became the best player in the USA and set off to conquer Europe, where all the top players were.
At the age of 21 he shocked the world by defeating all the top masters there, including Lowenthal, Harrwitz, and Anderssen in matches.
Though the best player in the world, he soon gave up chess completely, leaving behind disappointed fans and hundreds of brilliant games.
Morphy,Paul – Hampton,Thomas Inglis
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.0–0 Bb6 8.cxd4 d6
Both sides complete their tasks. White gains the strong center, when black remains a pawn up.
White has easy development; therefore black has to play extremely carefully.
A dubious decision The best alternative was 9… Bg4, while 9… Nge7? Can’t be recommended as after 10.Ng5! 0-0 11.Qh5 leads to a winning position for white.
This pawn sacrifice opens up the lines around the opponent’s king, a theme that became typical after a few classical games performed by Morphy.
The other option 10… d5 we will be discussed later.
White has a huge positional compensation for the small material deficit. I don’t see any easy way for black to get rid of white’s terrific initiative.
Too little, too late. White easily frees his knight from this pin.
12… Bh5 13.dxe5 Ng4
Black somehow manages to finish his Queenside development, however, it is clear to see the drawbacks of his position – A complete disharmony amongst his pieces and a fatal weakness on f7 to boot.
It’s important for white to bring the rooks to the center. The ideal place for the two rooks is on e1 and d1. From these two squares they support a potential breakthrough in the center.
Morphy displays an important lesson here: Utilizing his quick development to create strong pressure over the center which is very important in the opening phase.
14… Qc8 15.e6!
Very direct! After this pawn’s move the black’s position collapses.
15…f6 16. Qb5!
It was already hard for Black to find a good continuation.
Unexpectedly black has no defense against the killing 18.Bc6+ move.
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