Keeping up with Paul Morphy

Keeping up with Paul Morphy

Gserper
GM Gserper
Dec 25, 2011, 12:00 AM |
71 | Tactics

Last week you had the chance to compare your chess skills with the famous American GM Frank Marshall.  This time your task is harder as the new benchmark you are supposed to keep up with is the legendary Paul Morphy. In one of my previous articles (http://www.chess.com/article/view/the-best-chess-game-ever-played ) I already described my first encounter with one of Morphy's games and the deep impact it had on me. But it should be mentioned that one of the first chess compositions I ever saw was also composed by Morphy even though I didn't know it at that time. Here is this little gem: White starts and checkmates Black in two moves. 

 

Now I am going to give you 10 positions from Morphy's games.  Try to find how Morphy managed to defeat his opponents there.  The positions are arranged from elementary ones (with some brief notes for our less experienced members)  to extremely difficult to solve.  Good luck!
( Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list.")
I hope you knew this basic tactical pattern called 'smothered mate'. It is very beautiful and worthy to remember since it happens in tournament games more frequently then you might think. You'll have a proof very soon :)
This elementary tactic is called 'deflection'. It is very common in chess.
The following puzzles are slightly more difficult, but still should be easy to solve.
The next two positions are even more advanced, but still solvable:
The last combination is incredible and really difficult to find.  If you manage to solve it and anticipate all Morphy's moves before you start actually moving pieces on the board then you should be very proud. You are probably a very strong Master or a Grandmaster!
I hope that all chess.com members regardless of their level enjoyed the combinations and also learned something new from the great chess genius.
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