Meek,Alexander Beaufort – Morphy,Paul
This game is ideal for explaining the general rules of openings.
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4
This is a gambit. The reason behind playing gambit is to develop forces rapidly whilst on the other hand the opponent is investing a move to capture the material (usually a pawn).
Q: What are the general strategies to play against gambits?
A: In the opening players try to dominate the center so it is good to accept a center pawn rather than wing pawn. Another strategy could be to return the extra material at the right time.
A mistake, in the opening you should try to introduce a new piece into the battle with each move. By moving the same piece here white is losing control of the center too.
Q: How would you defend black’s position, with Ne5 or Nh6?
A: Nh6 is the right one as with this move you are defending with developing move whereas Ne5 is a mistake as you are moving same piece twice without any proper reason.
5…Ne5? 6.Nxf7 Nxf7 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxc5(Position 1)
6.Nxf7? Nxf7 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxc5 (Position 2)
Now compare position 1 with position 2.
Q: Which one is better for black?
A: Position 2. In position 1 your knight is still at g8 while in position 2 it is already been developed.
Attacking the queen and therefore getting time to develop another piece on the next move.
Pressure on the center. In general it is good to place rook on files where opponent king or queen is placed.
This move only helps Black. 0–0 was better instead.
Using the fact that e4 pawn is pinned.
This forces White to unpin Black’s d5 pawn.
13.Qd3 dxe4 14.fxe4 Qh4+ 15.g3 Rxe4+
15…Qxe4+ is also a winning endgame but Morphy prefers Rxe4.
16.Kf2 Qe7 17.Nd2?
Q: How would you punish this mistake?
A : It is necessary to protect the e2 square in order to avoid mating net with Re2+ followed by Bh3 and so on. Here Morphy punishes his opponent with Re3.
18.Qxd4 Re2+ 19.Kg1 Bh3 etc.
19.Qxa5 Re2+ is also winning after 20.Kf3 Qe3#, 20.Kg1 Qe3+ 21.Kf1 Qf2# or 20.Kf1 Re1+ 21.Kg2 Qe2#.
Or 20.Qxh3 Re2+ 21.Kg1 (21.Kf3 Qe3+ 22.Kg4 h5+) 21…Qe3+.
Another piece into the battle, remember this.