03 March, 2010

Cecil de Vere : The English Morphy Game 1

I'm reading a book about Cecil de Vere ( 1845 -1875 ) , a 19th Century English chess player dubbed "The Young Morphy" by Steinitz.

Little is known about him ( so a relatively slim book ) but he seems to have been a talented chess player, although inclined to indolence, and unwilling to put the effort into fulfilling his ability.

He died young, of consumption, but left a legacy of fine games, as well as good memories ( judging by the obituaries reproduced in the book ) to many of his contemporaries.

He played in few International tournaments, Baden-Baden 1870 being one, but had decent results against strong players such as Steinitz, Blackburne and Zukertort.

As I play through some of his games, I will post a few interesting ones.

Understandably, many games are 'romantic' gambits ( Evans is the top, with the Scotch, and unexpectedly few King's Gambits ) but also large numbers of the Spanish and French, and quite a few Sicilians ( which I look forward to playing through ).

Here's the first to enjoy.

A Philidor ( with an early dxe5 from White ) that shows Black making a mistake at move 9 with Ba6, leading to the break-up of his king-side.

 We reach move 26. What should White play ?

Instead of a neat combination that would result in a knight fork to win the queen (26. Rxd6) , de Vere plays 26.Rd2  that ensures a later victory.


Farbror the Guru said...

It is great fun to study the old masters!