28 November 2012

Lesson of the Week

Paul Morphy found the correct move after Johann Jacob Loewenthal blundered. This game is not a strong example of Morphy's play, but reveals that he sometimes groped through the darkness. In the end, however, Black's failure to attend to king safety led to his defeat.

In the Wednesday and Thursday classes, I plan to do as I did in the Tuesday classes. The second diagram will be on the demonstration board. In order to offer a solution, students need a ticket: completion of the nine problems on the worksheet Beginning Tactics 7. These "beginning" problems are growing more challenging. Several problems in Beginning Tactics 7 employ the tactic of removing the guard. There are forks, too, a skewer, and a forced checkmate in two using an X-ray.

Morphy,Paul - Loewenthal,Johann Jacob [C43]
London 1858

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.e5 Ne4 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nxd4 c5 7.Ne2 Nc6 8.f3 Ng5 9.f4 Ne6 10.0–0 Qb6 11.Kh1 Be7 12.Nbc3 Nc7 13.b3 Nb4 14.Ng3 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 Qc6 16.f5 g6 17.Bf4 Bxf5 18.Nxf5 gxf5 19.Qxf5 Qg6 20.Bg3 h5 21.Qxg6 fxg6

White to move


Morphy offers a pawn that Black should have refused. Advancing the pawn also creates a discovered attack on the knight.


22...0–0–0 would have maintained equality.

23.Rae1 Rf8??

Another Black blunder, and now White has exactly one winning move.

White to move

24.Rxf8+ Nxf8 25.Nxd5 1–0

Had Loewenthal played on, the game might have continued 25...0–0–0 26.Nxe7+ Kd7 27.Rd1+! Kxe7 28.Bh4+ only move Kf7 29.Rxd8 and White is ahead a rook.

Beginning Tactics 7 (sample)

Find the correct move for White in each diagram.

Update 22 March 2017: All of the beginning tactics exercises and solutions can be purchased for viewing on Kindle readers. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XKG1VZD

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