Back to Back Issues Page
LCB, Issue #051 --, Ruthlessly Punish Those Who Break the Rules
August 01, 2019

Punish Those Who Break the Rules

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #051 -- GOTM #20

learn and play online chess
Paul Morphy was one of the earliest positional players. He understood what we now know as the core opening principles in a time when most of his contemporaries did not. Here in his hometown of New Orleans, he at the age of 12 destroys the unfortunate James McConnell, when he played 2...Qf6. Morphy with the White pieces demonstrated that the game was over already.

He stuck to the opening principles we know well today and ruthlessly exploited the misplaced Queen. He stole move after move by hassling and harrying the lady who should have stayed at home. The White pieces were mobilizing and entering the field while the Black army in contrast sat helpless and motionless as their Queen was chased from pillar to post.

Black must have been relieved when the Queens were exchanged but his problems were only starting. The exchange sequence which contained a sacrifice drew the King out into the open and now he would suffer the same fate as the Queen. The end was as inevitable as it was ignominious.

Punish Those Who Break the Rules

Morphy, P - McConnell, J [C40]

GotM #20 - New Orleans, 1849
[Connaughton, Ken]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6

This is just a bad move, White wins more than three quarters of games from this position. From this point, White gives a textbook example of how to slowly but steadily dismantle a compromised opponent, move by move, until his position is absolutely untenable.

(2...Nc6; 2...Nf6)

3.Nc3 c6 4.d4

White wants to break open the center quickly and punish Black for exposing his Queen.

4...exd4 5.e5 Qg6 6.Bd3

Now White will try to chase the Queen around and steal tempi, develop his forces while Black's pieces remain static.


Game position after 6...Qxg2

The Queen is already running out of safe havens as more and more White pieces come into the game.

(6...Qe6 7.Ne4; 6...Qh5 7.Ne2 f6 8.0-0 fxe5 9.Ng3 Qf7+-)

7.Rg1 Qh3 8.Rg3 Qh5 9.Rg5 Qh3 10.Bf1 Qe6

Has the lady made it back to safety?


No the attacks keep coming.

11...Qe7 12.Ne4

Game position after 12.Ne4

Nd6 with a check on the King looks like a prize within reach.

12...h6 13.Nf5 Qe6 14.Nfd6+

And there it is. The King is now stuck in the center and none of Black's pieces have move except his hapless Queen.

14...Bxd6 15.Nxd6+ Kd8 16.Bc4

Game position after 16.Bc4

Black's torment continues unabated and f7 cannot be held.

16...Qe7 17.Nxf7+ Kc7?

The game was already lost but now it's # in 7, no problem for someone like Morphy to find.

(17...Ke8 had to be played in order to prolong the suffering for a few more moves. 18.Rxg7 Kf8 19.Qg4 d5 20.Qg6 Qe6 21.Rxg8+ Rxg8 22.Bxh6+ Ke7 23.Qxg8 Qxf7 24.Qxc8 Qe6 25.Bg5+ Kf7 26.Qxb7+ Nd7 27.0-0-0 Rb8 28.Qxa7 Rg8 29.f4 Rg7 30.f5 Qxf5 31.Rf1 Ke6 32.Rxf5 dxc4 33.Qf2 Rh7+-)


Now the final act begins as the King Hunt commences.


(18...Kb6 19.Be3+ Ka5 20.b4+ Ka4 21.Bb3+ Kb5 22.Qd3+ Kxb4 23.Rg4+ Ka5 24.Ra4#)

19.exd6+ Kb6 20.Be3+

Game position after 20.Be3+

White's last minor piece joins the fight and the Black King is about to undergo the same torture that his Queen endured.

20...c5 21.Bxc5+ Ka5

(21...Kc6 22.Nd8#)


with deadly intent.

22...b5 23.Ra3#

Game position after 23.Ra3#

I bet Black was relieved it was finally over.


Morphy - McConnell (New Orleans, 1849)

If you do not have html based email software and you're using a text only system, you may find that the links are only partially highlighted and may not work. If this is the case, simply copy and paste the entire link into the browser and hit Enter. That should get you where you want to go.
Comments, ideas, feedback? I'd be stoked to hear from you.

Get in touch

See you next month.


Back to Back Issues Page