Play to Get Center Control

Move 1: e4, e5

Standard king’s pawn opening

Move 2: f4, exf4

The king’s gambit, one of Morphy’s weapons when he first started.

Move 3: Bc4, Qh4

Morphy develops his bishop and allows his dad to give this check.

Chess Question: Why does he allow this?

Move 4: Kf1, Bc5

Best to move your king f1 and lose the right to castle.

Move 5: d4, Bb6

This move gives Morphy great control of the center which he is able to convert to a win with correct play. 

Move 6: Nf3, Qe7

Morphy develops with a threat and attacks the queen with a tempo. White loses the right to castle, but is able to get his pieces out fast and get an attack on the queen. 

Move 7: Nc3, Nf6

Both players bring out their knights. But black has made a mistake with Nf6 and Morphy misses the best move here.

Move 8: Qd3, c6

Morphy develops the queen and defends the e4 which is also a good move. We should always strive to push our opponents pieces back to worse squares.

Move 9: Bxf4, d5

Morphy brings out his dark square bishop and wins a pawn. His dad plays a bad move and lsoes a pawn and position. 

Move 10: exd5, O-O

Alonzo tries to get out of the center as soon as possible which is a good idea. Anytime you have a queen and king on the same file you should look for a pin with a rook. 

Move 11: d6, Qd8

Morphy attacks the queen and keeps his pawn in the center. There is no doubt about who controls the center in this game. 

Move 12: Re1, Re8

Develop, develop, develop! Morphy wastes no time and gets all his pieces out. Black makes a bad decision and decides to trade one of the few pieces defending his king.

Move 13: Ng5, Rxe1+

When the rook on f8 moves there is a new weakness and Morphy focuses on it with haste. Black is outnumbered and the game ends quickly.

Move 14: Kxe1, Qe8+

Chess Question: Where is the best place for Morphy to move his king?

Move 15: Kd2, Be6

The safest square for white’s king. Black tries to get his pieces out in haste but it’s too late.

Move 16: Ng5, d5

White’s knight attacks the f7 pawn and there is no good way to defend it, we must block with a pawn. 

Move 17: Nxe6, fxe6

This is the right way to capture as we set up for a very strong attack that cannot resign with too many pieces missing from his army.

Move 18: Rxe6

Morphy’s father resigns.

Chess Question: Why does Morphy’s father resign?

Why should we play to get center control?

In this game, the young Morphy shows us the power of the center. He develops his pieces and controls the center and pushed back his dad’s pieces until they are backed up into a corner. When you control the center your pieces have more squares to maneuver to and you limit your opponents pieces movements and attacks.