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Morphy's Muzios

The Muzio Gambit: 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.0-0



    
The Muzio Gambit was quite popular during the 18th and 19th century, although it was most often employed as a tool of strong players against weaker ones.
For an overview of some theory, history and representative games see:

Muzio Madness Part I  for a little theory and history;
Muzio Madness Part II
for various notable games of the Muzio and
Muzio Madness Part III for the Double or Wild Muzio.

 

     We have 16 recorded Muzios played by Morphy. Of these, 11 were played giving odds or either a Rook or a Knight and 4 were played during blindfold simuls. Only one surviving game was played on even terms with one opponent, but the opponent, the venue and the situation are unknown. Morphy won every game but one, played at Kt odds against Charles de Maurian, which was a draw.

     Here are Morphy's 14 Muzios:

Rook Odds:

 












Knight Odds:

    Charles Amédée de Maurian had the distiction of being the only person who learn chess from Paul Morphy. Despite that fact that he always accepted a minimum of Knight odds from Morphy (chessgames.com erroneously gives 2 games even - duplicates of a Muzio given here), de Maurian developed into a very strong player.







 












       Anonymous amateur in an off-hand game at the 1st American Chess Congress.

 






     Preston Ware, born in Boston, moved to Baltimore where he eventually founded P. Ware, Jr., & Co., one of the leading boot and shoe dealers in Baltimore.  He was also one of the founders of the Baltimore Chess Assciation. He moved his family back to Boston and became one of the members of the Order of the Mandarins of the Yellow Button.   He was president of the Boston Chess Club from 1868-1873. Ware took part in second, third and fifth American Chess Congresses and in the international tournament at Vienna in 1882 in which he defeated, among others, Max Weiss and William Steinitz and drew with Capt. MacKenzie and Mikhail Tschigorin.






     Chevalier St. Leon - a French amateur about whom nothing seems to be known





Blindfold Simul Games:

     One of 5 boards played against members of the New Orleans Chess Club:

 





     One of four boards played against members of the New Orleans Chess Club:

 





     One of eight boards played at the London Chess Club:
     On April 13, 1859, the London Chess Club entreated Morphy to give a blindfold simul and Morphy agreed. Eight strong players joined the exhibition with the Rev. J. P. Jones as probably the least known. The demonstration started at 5:00 pm  and ended at 1:00 am due to the lateness of the hour. Morphy won 2 and drew 1. The rest were never finished. The game against Jones, which took five hours, was the first one completed.





     One of four boards played at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with proceeds going to the Mt. Vernon Fund for the preservation of George Washington's home.

Morphy's opponent, like Morphy, studied Law.  During the soon-to-occur Civil War, Tilghman served the Union as a breveted Brig. General. He is best emembered as the inventor of the sandblasting process.  In chess, he was one of the promising students of Philadelphia chess guru, Prof. Henry Vethake, at the Aethenium, which housed Philadelphia's first chess group.




     Even Game about which nothing is known:

 



Kommentare


  • vor 17 Monate

    batgirl

    Melvinbluestone,  thanks for the Rook-odds Muzio.  I missed that one AND the following one (I'm going to incorporate them both into the article for completeness):


    Charles de Maurian accepted Knight odds from Morphy until the end of their recorded games.  Morphy admitted, however, that Maurian was too strong for such odds (in the last year they played, Morphy won 10, lost 14 and drew 2).  Maurian played 5 EVEN games with Wilhelm Steinitz in 1883. Steinitz won 3, drew 1 and lost 1.   



  • vor 17 Monate

    melvinbluestone

    Holy smokes, batgirl! I didn't even notice the rook was missing! Maybe that's why I drop them so often in my own games........Laughing

    I also noticed that some DBs further denote Muzios as the 'Ghulam Kassim' or 'Quaade' gambits. The first and second blindfold simuls shown here are in that catagory. I posted a topic on the Quaade, KGA, the Quaade Gambit, but nobody seems to be very interested in it. Maybe they think it's about Dennis Quaid or something.

    Here's another Morphy Muzio I found, played at rook odds. I don't know the circumstances, other than the year and place.

     
  • vor 17 Monate

    batgirl

    I don't think it's so surprising that de Maurian won at Rook odds, but more so that the game was played in 1855 and Morphy lost so quickly. Up until almost 1855, Morphy gave de Maurian a variety of odds, from R+P+move to R+N. It seems like it might have been a good way to teach de Maurian chess since he advanced so quickly.

    I think, but I'm not certain (I read it somewhere but never tried to confirm), that the Short-Kasparov was not only a thematic but a rapid format.

  • vor 17 Monate

    melvinbluestone

    @batgirl:  I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I should also apologize for my somewhat out-of-place anti-war tirade. Chalk it up to one too many screwdrivers.Wink

    The Deacon affair is quite amusing. Frederick Deacon seems to have been a player of some talent, but certainly not in Morphy's league. His claims of even drawing with the master lack credibility, and can't really be taken seriously. I think Deacon could be regarded as sort of the Han van Meegeren of chess.......

    As for the Bryan counter-gambit, declining the pawn with 5.Bb3 is a reasonable alternative to Bxb5. But you know what they say about gambits and how to refute them........ The two games in Game Explorer with the 5...Nf6 6.Nf3 line are quite interesting: Raphael vs Morphy Paul and Short Nigel D vs Kasparov Garry . Morphy wins quite handily, but Kasparov loses. The Short-Kasparov game is thematic, though, but I don't know if the theme was just the Bishop's Gambit, or extended to the Bryan counter with 4...b5.  Chessgames.com also has Morphy losing with the black side in 12 moves against Charles Maurian in 1855. But the circumstances are unclear, and as they were great friends, they might have just been experimenting with some ideas.

  • vor 17 Monate

    batgirl

    I understand that compared to the monumental urgency of war, the importance almost anything else pales, but people are people and often the mundane, the profane and the trivial become just as important to individuals as the turmoil around them.  Even soldiers in the field will argue over nonsense, play games and carry on in ways one would under normal circumstances.

    But beyond that, the Deacon affair took place from December 1859 through the Spring of 1860. Lincoln hadn't yet been elected and the Northern War of Aggression was over a year in the future.

    BTW, I forgot to mention that I liked your 2 Bryan Counter-gambits. I think the book is out on it's soundness, but Black certainly gains something for that pawn.

  • vor 17 Monate

    melvinbluestone

    It certainly is refreshing to learn that the 19th century, much like the 20th and now the 21st century, was peopled by a bunch of petty, small-minded imbeciles who had nothing better to do than squabble over black or white, north or south, win or lose, etc. Of course, it's foolish to blame chess players for the carnage of the Civil War. But at the same time, it's astonishing to realize that the 'Deacon controversy' was contemporaneous with such an event...... Sadly, it's apparent people had the time and energy to argue about things like board games, but they couldn't manage to avoid the horrors war........

  • vor 17 Monate

    batgirl

    The Deacon Controversy isn't anything of conjecture.  Frederick Deacon falsified two games, published by Staunton, in which he claimed to have beaten Morphy.  Morphy vigorously denied these games. A summary of the controversy can be found HERE.

    The counter-gambit in the Bishop's Gambit was indeed named after it's inventor, Thomas Jefferson Bryan, a Philadelphian player. Bryan moved to NYC and opened an art gallery, the Bryan Gallery of Christian Art.

    HERE is Morphy playing Bryan in 1859.

  • vor 17 Monate

    melvinbluestone

    @batgirl: I'm certainly looking forward to your post on the Bishop's Gambit!

       I've seen the Deacon game before, and I agree..... It looks suspicious. But who knows? Maybe Morphy was having an off-day. Maybe someone slipped him a mickey or something. I like to think they did stuff like that a lot in the 19th century......

       As you probably know, 4...b5 in this line is called the Bryan Counter-gambit to the Bishop's Gambit. I doubt that it's the namesake of the guy who ran for president a couple of times, William Jennings, but it's almost as intriguing. I found this example of the opening as played by a couple of wild and crazy guys of the 19th century:

    Of course, I have to show off my own ridiculous misadventures with this line. I actually got away with this dubious sac, 11...Nc5!?, twice in blitz games:

    In this game, 14.Be2 seems to make more sense than 14.exd6 e.p., but it still backfires!




  • vor 17 Monate

    batgirl

    Melvinbluestone, the Harrwitz-Kieseritsky game is a Bishop's Gambit, one of the most intriguing variations of the King's Gambit.  I have an entire posting on that opening waiting in the wings.
    HERE are 22 games of Morphy playing Black in the King's Gambit. Morphy has 5 losses (the Deacon game is spurious and shouldn't be there at all).

  • vor 17 Monate

    batgirl

    " bat girl i see all of your blogs and they are all about kings gambit "

    deepmac, I have about 610 blog entries.  Of these, about 10 deal with the King's Gambit, my pet opening (and a staple of the 19th century, my pet chess era). This is less than 2%.  I'm about as far from being a mathematician as one can be, but even I can see that's much less than "all."

  • vor 17 Monate

    deepmac

    i mean bat girl i see all of your blogs and they are all about kings gambit 

  • vor 17 Monate

    melvinbluestone

    Terrific article, as usual.

    I was curious about how Morphy fared against the Muzio himself, but couldn't find any games where somebody was crazy enough to try such a mercurial line against the master. However, I did come across a few games  where Morphy played the black side against the KG Bishop's gambit. He played the strange 4...b5 on occasion, which is an interesting sort of countergambit. Against Charles Stanley he scored a win and a loss (!):  Stanley Charles vs Morphy Paul and Stanley Charles vs Morphy Paul.

    Here's an even crazier try with 4...b5 from the always hilarious Victorian Era:

  • vor 18 Monate

    batgirl

    deepmac, I don't understand the question.

  • vor 18 Monate

    deepmac

    batgirl u are fun of kings gambit?

  • vor 18 Monate

    morphys_petmonkey

    Morphy is the Boss!!!

  • vor 18 Monate

    dashkee94

    It was great going over some of these games again, a few for the first time. That draw with Maurian--I would never have even considered 20.hg6.  Thanks, BG!

  • vor 18 Monate

    Reshevskys_Revenge

      How interesting! I used to employ the MacDonnell Gambit (or a facsimile) in blitz without knowing what it was called. It served me well.

      I always enjoy driving down Morphy Ave.  It takes me back (day dreaming) to those days when he was the "king" of American Chess.

      I also taught a class ( about 30 years ago) during the summer, at the college where Paul Morphy graduated.  Thanks for this post, I still have more examples to go over - I look forward to doing all of them.

  • vor 18 Monate

    minital

    this was really good. Thanks again bat girl!

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