13 February 2015

Lesson of the Week

My clubs and several private students this week have examined a position from Thompson -- Morphy, 1857. This game was the third in Paul Morphy's first match during the First American Chess Congress, which he went on to win.

As last week, we are anticipating threats and seeking to understand necessary defensive measures. Last week, Alexander's Alekhine's defensive measures muted White's threats and led to a position that he was able to win. In this week's lesson, Thompson's response to Morphy's threats ended the immediate crisis, but still left Morphy with a technical win.

With the beginning students, we have only looked at the immediate threats. More advanced students have also seen this game through to Thompson's resignation.

White to move

White has two concrete problems to solve: 1) the queen is attacked, and 2) Black has a checkmate threat.

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