I'm searching for some games to explain 3rd/4th grade kids the concept of "good control over the center" opposed to "bad center control". Since I want them to somehow see that concept, I'm searching for a couple games where player's strength level is very different (some GM vs Intermediate in simul games or similar).

1 Answer 1


Morphy's games are easy to understand the ideas for his moves. Frisco Del Rosario's A First Book of Morphy uses a collection of Morphy's games to illustrate key ideas in the opening, middlegame, and endgame.

In the opening portion of the book, one of the key themes he specifically highlights is controlling the center. You'll find illustrative & annotated games with this theme.

I recall at least a few games where Morphy is playing an amateur. In the other games, the skill gap between Morphy and contemporaries is so large, I think those games will also serve your interests.

Book cover for "A First Book of Morphy"

Morphy's play is very clear, so there are many games. A few examples:

  • Morphy-Dominguez, Havana, 1864 (blindfold simultaneous exhibition by Morphy)
  • Anderssen-Morphy, Paris, 1858
[Event "Blindfold simul, 3b"]
[Site "Havana CUB"]
[Date "1864.02.16"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Paul Morphy"]
[Black "Placido Dominguez"]
[ECO "C55"]
[Title "Morphy-P. Dominguez, Havana, 1864, 1-0, Blindfold Exhibition"]
[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. O-O Bc5 6. e5 Ne4
7. Bd5 f5 8. exf6 Nxf6 9. Bg5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Re1+ Ne7
12. Ne5 Bxe5 13. Qh5+ g6 14. Qxe5 Rf8 15. Nd2 c6 16. Ne4 d6
17. Nxd6+ Kd7 18. Be6+ Kc7 19. Nxc8+ Qd6 20. Qxd6# 1-0
[Site "Paris FRA"]
[Date "1858.12.29"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Adolf Anderssen"]
[Black "Paul Morphy"]
[Title "Adolf Anderssen-Paul Morphy, 1858, 0-1"]
[FEN ""]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.e5 d5 5.Bb3 Ne4 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.O-O
Nc6 8.Ba4 g5 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.d4 c5 11.c3 Be7 12.b4 cxb4
13.cxb4 O-O 14.Qb3 Rb8 15.a3 c5 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.Qxc3 cxb4
18.axb4 Bxb4 19.Qd3 a5 20.h4 h6 21.hxg5 hxg5 22.g3 Rb6 23.Ra2
Rg6 24.Rg2 Bh3 25.e6 Bxg2 26.exf7+ Kg7 27.Kxg2 Qc8 28.Ne5 Rh6
29.gxf4 Rfh8 30.fxg5 Rh2+ 31.Kg1 Rh1+ 32.Kf2 R8h2+ 33.Ke3 Rh3+
34.Nf3 Rxf3+ 35.Rxf3 Qxc1+ {36. Kf2 Qg1 37. Ke2 Qe1#} 0-1 
  • 2
    Strongly Agree. In general I recommend look to the 19th century for model games of the starting fundamentals. These principles have been well understood by masters for 100 years so the best example lines are now in the footnotes rather than played over the board. Curious to see what other answers there are with more current games. Nov 9, 2023 at 13:05
  • 1
    Ya, I find SecretAgentMan answer very appropriate. In the same book I think also the first game presented (Morphy vs Carr) suits very well. This Morphy - Dominguez is quite interesting. And I don't know if I'm wrong but very different player's level strength explain clearly the concept. Nov 9, 2023 at 15:51

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