The Greatest Chess Game Everyone MUST Know

The Greatest Chess Game Everyone MUST Know


Hi and welcome into the lesson “The greatest
chess game everyone MUST know”. Millions of games have been played during over the history
of chess, but there is only very little percentage of games that will be the most influential,
most important and most instructive. And every aspiring chess player just MUST know these
few games. Today, we will talk about one of them. The game played by Paul Morphy, one
of the greatest chess players of the US, I think, together with Bobby Fischer. These
two are by far the greatest players of the US, and maybe for the entire world as well.
Just to give you an idea of his power, Morphy played handicapped games – giving the extra
pawn and extra move to any of his opponents. I really doubt that Magnus Carlsen will be
able to do the same ‘trick’ today. I’m Igor Smirnov, International Grandmaster and a chess
coach from the Remote Chess Academy. And my point today is, not just to show you the game
played by Paul Morphy, but to show you the main ideas he used in his games, so that you
can do the same in your own practice and get the same brilliant results. We’re going to
see the game between Paul Morphy and Dukes played in Paris, in the opera house. And let’s
just go ahead and get started. Now the game started with 1.e4 1.e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4. And
that’s the first moment one I’d like to start by highlighting the fact that Morphy was playing
in a very straightforward, yet very effective style. Now we know that the purpose of the
game is to checkmate the opponent’s king. And that’s what he really tried to do. He
always tried to target and attack the opponent’s king. Of course there were some games that
ended in an endgame, but I’d say that he normally tried to finalize the game by the direct attack
of the opponent’s king. And if you can attack the opponent’s king, it’s great and you should
DO that! If you can’t attack the king right now, then at least attack something. At least,
attack opponent’s pawns or pieces or whatever you can! And here by playing d4, White starts
to attack the Black’s pawn. So now Black already has to react somehow. And that’s the first
MAIN RULE that you need to remember about this style of playing – always ATTACK, especially,
the opponent’s king. So let’s go ahead and Black played Bg4, dxe5. Now if Black doesn’t
want to lose the pawn, he has to take White’s knight. You see that while playing attacking
moves, White always FORCES the opponent’s reaction. Black can’t do what he wants, he
only has to react. Now what would you do here as White? Still, ATTACK, so White played Bc4
and now the goal is to take Qxf7, winning the game in one move. Black replied with Nf6.
How would you play here? Remember, your goal is to attack and primarily, attack the opponent’s
king. So White played Qb3. This time, this is a double attack, both to the f7-pawn and
the b7-pawn. And already Black suffers because he can’t protect both of his weaknesses. Black
replied Qe7, protecting his king. And let me ask you the same question once again. How
would you play here as White? I’m pretty sure that most of the players would like to grab
that pawn on the b7. You just take the pawn and you attack the rook and everything looks
awesome. After that however, Black will play Qb4+, will trade off the queens and although,
of course, White has the serious advantage in an endgame due to his extra pawn, still
the game goes on. And as we already know, Morphy tried to attack the opponent’s king.
He was not that much enthusiastic about playing long endgames. I really want to develop on
this topic. Because these principles that I’m going to tell you right now was one of
the critical points of the whole ‘Morphy Strategy’. Let’s use an analogy. Imagine you’re a commander
of the army and you want to start a war to defeat your enemy. WHEN will you start your
attack? Obviously, it is better to do that when your opponent is unprepared..when his
forces are dozy. And that’s why lots of wars was started before the sun rise, somewhere
around 4 A.M. Well, I hope that you will not initiate the real war..you would better apply
these principles for chess games. 🙂 Anyway, the bottomline is still the same. You want
to attack when your opponent’s forces are unprepared..when they are dozy. And that’s
what Morphy always tried to do in his games. If he is seeing that his opponent’s forces
are dozy on their initial squares, he always tried to rush for the attack and begin that
assault as quickly as possible. And that’s why he played Nc3. The lesson you can learn
here is that you need to value quick development more than material! You value QUICK DEVELOPMENT
and ACTIVITY of your pieces more than the material because you want to deploy your forces
quickly and start the attack when your opponent is still unprepared. Okay, let’s move on,
Black played c6, protecting his b7-pawn. Now Bg5, White continues to develop his pieces.
Black answered b5. Now that’s another critical moment of the game. How would you play here?
Well, when your opponent just played b5, attacking your bishop, then the very natural reaction
is just to go back..to play Bd3 for example. But, we already know that you want to play
quickly…you want to attack when your opponent’s forces are dozy on the last rank. So you don’t
want to lose time, making backward moves. So that’s one thing. And there is another
thing. Let me ask you this question. How can White attack Black’s king in this position?
It’s not so easy to find any direct way. Well, you can say some moves that you can prepare..you
can do this and you can do that..somewhere in the future, you may hope to attack the
king. But if you want to attack it right now, how can you do that? That’s a tough question.
And here comes another principle of Morphy Strategy. He was always willing to sacrifice
a material to open up a position and start a direct attack. That’s why in this position,
instead of retreating, he took Nxb5! This sacrifice helps him to continue developing
his pieces in a quick manner and at the same time, right now, White can start attacking
the Black’s king directly. Now the bishop is attacking the king and if required, the
queen can join. So you can see that when you open up the position, it enables your direct
attack towards the opponent’s king. Black covered his king with Nbd7, 0-0-0, attacking
that d7-knight once again. Black has to protect it with Rd8. Okay, now let me ask you another
question. We know that one of the key elements of Morphy Strategy was to deploy all of your
forces into the battlefield as quickly as possible. At the moment, most of the White’s
pieces are very active. Except for the rook on h1 which is still doing nothing. How can
bring this piece into play? Well, ideally speaking, you would like to have it on the
d-file where it can support White’s pressure along the d-file. And one way to do that is..for
example move the d1-rook to d2 and then bring another rook to d1 – double the rooks along
the d-file. And that’s a good plan, generally speaking. But the drawback is that you have
to waste one move on the preparation..on playing d1-rook to d2. So now let’s reformulate the
question. You know that you want to deploy the forces as quickly as possible. Using the
situation that your opponent is still unprepared..that his forces are dozy. So the real question
is – how can you bring the h1-rook into the battle without wasting time? And the answer
is Rxd7! White is vacating the d1-square without wasting any time. Because now after the exchange,
White simply brings the rook and it attacks the opponent’s rook on the d7-square. And
here I’d like to tell you another concept which is quite unknown and many players misunderstand
it even though Morphy understood it 150 years back! Okay, let me ask you one question. How
do you evaluate a chess position? Well, you look at the board and you see how many pieces
White have, how many Black has and then you compare and decide who is better. Right? Something
like that. Of course, you may evaluate other factors like activity, king safety and so
on. But anyway, you look at the board and you see who is better. There is another idea,
though. We know that the goal of the chess game is to checkmate the opponent’s king.
And therefore, the area around the opponent’s king has the greatest value. You don’t have
to dominate on the whole board. You need to dominate only in the narrow territory around
the opponent’s king. So let’s narrow our focus to the area around the Black’s king and evaluate
the white’s pieces that influence this territory and the Black’s pieces that influence this
territory as well. If we talk about the Black’s pieces, he has the knight on f6 protecting
the rook, the rook itself covering the king and the queen protecting the rook. So Black
has those 3 pieces in defense. Yes, Black also has the rook on the corner and the bishop,
but they are on their initial squares doing nothing. So we can disregard them for the
moment. If we think about the White’s pieces that are attacking..then these are the 2 bishops
– both of them exert strong pressure, the d1-rook, definitely very active. And the queen
on b3, although not doing much right at the moment, but still it’s quite active. It can
go to b8, for example, after Bxd7+ or it can go to a4 and increase the pressure. Therefore,
the queen also takes part into the White’s assault. We may conclude that White has four
attackers against the three defenders. And those three defenders are actually quite miserable
because the rook is pinned, the knight is pinned, so those defenders are very much restricted
and can’t do anything. And that’s why when you focus your attention on the battlefield,
the area around the opponent’s king, you can very easily understand what you need to do.
You need to get domination in this area. If you get it, you will win the game easily.
Black played Qe6 trying to somehow unpin his pieces. White took the rook and now let me
ask you to find the final blow. In fact, White can win the game in 2 moves. Can you find
the checkmating continuation? It’s Qb8+, well if you want to find a checkmate, you need
to look for checks, right? So Qb8+, Nxb8 and Rd8# Brilliant finish of the brilliant game!
Now let’s sum up the main key takeaways that you need to remember from the Paul Morphy
Strategy so that you can apply them in your own games. The first rule that Morphy used
in his games was to ATTACK. The purpose of the chess game and the ultimate goal is to
check your opponent. And that’s why you want to attack, especially, attack the opponent’s
king. That’s pretty simple and very effective. Secondly, bring your forces into the battlefield
QUICKLY. You need to attack while your opponent’s forces are unprepared..when they are dozing
on their initial positions or if they’re stuck somewhere on another side of the board, and
you need to quickly get domination in the area around the opponent’s king and start
the attack there. The third rule is to sacrifice material for activity and opening of the position.
Sacrificing material for activity should now be something natural for you. You know that
you need to value quick development and advantage in activity more than material. You don’t
need to have so much material. You just need to have domination in the narrow territory
around the opponent’s king. And if we talk about sacrificing material for opening of
the position, then it’s pretty logical as well. It connects to the first item – if you
want to attack the opponent’s king, first of all you need to break up his defense. You
need to open up the position. Only then, your forces will be able to target the opponent’s
king directly. So these 3 rules are the essence of everything that Morphy did in his games.
And just by following these 3 simple ideas, he managed to devastate all of his opponents
whether huge score. And if you follow these rules in your games, you will definitely achieve
some good results. Otherwise, if you don’t follow Morphy’s rules, you will fall into
Murphy’s rule. Sorry, I’m just kidding! 🙂 And to end up the lesson, let’s test your skills
with one another brilliant position from the game of Paul Morphy. Here is another game
of Paul Morphy – he is playing White. Now your task is to find the right move for White.
Of course, it’s not that you just guess the move – apply the rules that we discussed previously,
and find the right move. Then, write your answer in the comments area below. Once you
have found your solution, then below the video you can find the link for the solution, click
there and check yourself. Thank you for watching! I really hope it will help you win a lot of
brilliant games and see you in the next lessons. Bye-bye! 🙂

13 thoughts on “The Greatest Chess Game Everyone MUST Know

  1. To me the most important move seems like either trading white's g pawn with black's f pawn, or pushing it up to trade with the h pawn. I would prefer to trade with the f pawn and get the knight queen and rook working together on an attack on the king. Not sure exactly how the attack would work, my weakest point is tactical reading. The rook and the light square bishop look like they could both be advanced under the knights protection.

  2. Carlsen could do more than that if his opponents were as patzerly as Murphy's. In every game I've seen from Murphy his opponent somehow manages to screw his position by a crappy move, especially in the opening- here Nf6 for example.

  3. is there a way to turn off the bloody subtitles so one can see the screen. he has a funny accent but it's completely comprehensible

  4. Oh Igor is so sexy that he almost convinced me i want to attack. But actually i dont wanna attack 🙁 i want to sit and wait for my opponent to make a mistake. perhaps we can have lessons for this style too?

  5. I'd say knight to G6. Threaten the queen, so black could either move the queen away or take the knight with his king. I'm guessing he would take the knight as moving the queen leaves a very bad position for black. Then you take the pawn in F5 with your pawn in G4, check by pawn in F5 and rook in G1. So black's only move is King to F7. Then take the next pawn E6 with the pawn in F5, check again. After that, I'm not sure what would happen as black has more possibilities to play. But all in all, up to that point, you manage to get from a very balanced and closed looking position from both sides, to a clearly favorable position for white, having moved black's king to the middle columns and opening the board.

  6. More than millions of games have been played, I'd dare to say billions, also Carlsen could give odds to a 2400 or 2500.

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