List of chess games

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This is a list of notable chess games sorted chronologically.

pre-1700[edit]

  • 1475: Castellvi-Vinoles, Valencia 1475. The first documented chess game played with the modern queen and bishop moves; the moves were described in the poem Scachs d'amor.[1]
  • 1619: Greco–NN, Rome 1619. Gioachino Greco mates on the eighth move with a queen sacrifice.[2]

1700s[edit]

  • 1788: Bowdler–Conway, London. Thomas Bowdler offers the first example of a famous double rook sacrifice.[3]
  • 1790: Smith–Philidor, London. François-André Danican Philidor, who was quoted as saying "Pawns are the soul of chess", demonstrates the power of a superior pawn formation.[4]

1800s[edit]

  • 1834: La Bourdonnais–McDonnell, 50th Match Game, London. Reuben Fine in The World's Great Chess Games describes it as the first great immortal game of chess. The victor trades his queen for two minor pieces.[5]
  • 1834: La Bourdonnais–McDonnell, 62nd Match Game, London. Perhaps the most famous win of the match (considered an unofficial world championship), La Bourdonnais shows how a rolling pawn mass can overwhelm all of his opponent's major pieces.[6]
  • 1843: Staunton–St. Amant, 5th Match Game, Paris. Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint-Amant resigns in this unofficial world championship match game with Howard Staunton, in which Staunton remarked, "The latter portion of this game is conducted with remarkable skill by both parties."[7]
  • 1844: Hoffmann–Petrov, Warsaw. Petrov wins with a queen sacrifice and a king hunt, in a game known as "Petrov's Immortal".[8]
  • 1851: Anderssen–Kieseritzky, London. "The Immortal Game" Kieseritzky neglects his development and Anderssen sacrifices his queen and both rooks for a win.[9]
  • 1852: Anderssen–Dufresne, Berlin. "The Evergreen Game" Anderssen mates with what Savielly Tartakower called "[a] combination second to none in the literature of the game."[10]
  • 1857: Paulsen–Morphy, New York. Morphy gains an advantage in development and transforms it into a powerful kingside attack with a queen sacrifice.[11]
  • 1858: Morphy–Duke of Brunswick & Count Isouard, Paris. "The Opera Game" Morphy shows the virtue of quick development and wins by sacrificing lots of material, mating on the 17th move with his last two pieces.[12]
  • 1862: Steinitz–Mongredien, London. This game won the tournament's brilliancy price.[13]
  • 1872: Hamppe–Meitner, Vienna. The "Immortal Draw" between Carl Hamppe and Philipp Meitner, involving a queen sacrifice.[14]
  • 1883: Zukertort–Blackburne, London[15]
  • 1889: Lasker–Bauer, Amsterdam. This game between Emanuel Lasker and Johann Hermann Bauer was the first famous example of the double bishop sacrifice.[16]
  • 1895: Pillsbury–Tarrasch, Hastings. Pillsbury's kingside attack breaks through by a single tempo against Black's queenside play.[17]
  • 1895: Steinitz–von Bardeleben, Hastings. This game is famous for its thirteen-move mating combination, which Steinitz didn't get the chance to play all the way through.[18]
  • 1895: Pillsbury–Gunsberg, Hastings. In the final round of this prestigious tournament, Pillsbury secures overall victory by triumphing in an instructive endgame.[19]
  • 1896: Pillsbury–Lasker, Saint Petersburg. Lasker won the brilliancy prize for this game by exposing Pillsbury's king with the sacrifice of both rooks on the same square.[20]

1900–49[edit]

  • 1904: Lasker–Napier, Cambridge Springs. Both players show great ingenuity. After a complicated web of tactics, Lasker simplifies into a winning endgame.[21]
  • 1907: Rotlewi–Rubinstein, Lodz – Rotlewi versus Rubinstein: Rubinstein wins this game with one of the most famous combinations ever played.[22]
  • 1909: Rubinstein–Lasker, Saint Petersburg. Rubinstein's brilliant play culminates in 17 Qc1!! subsequently forcing Lasker to enter a rook endgame down a pawn which Rubinstein wins in masterly fashion.[23]
  • 1912: Edward Lasker–Thomas, London. With a queen sacrifice, Lasker exposes Black's king and with a series of checks drives it all the way to the other side of the board before checkmating with an advance of his king.[24]
  • 1912: Levitsky–Marshall, Breslau. Marshall wins this game with what many consider the most amazing move ever played.[25]
  • 1914: Lasker–Capablanca, St Petersburg. Lasker defeats Capablanca in a smooth positional game where his winning strategy seemed to flow right out of the opening to the end. Capablanca, himself renowned as a master of simple positions, was sufficiently rattled to lose in the next round as well, handing the tournament victory to Lasker.[26][27]
  • 1920: Adams-Torre, New Orleans. Likely composed by Carlos Torre as a tribute to his teacher E. Z. Adams, this game features the most famous back rank mate combination in chess literature, involving six consecutive offers of the queen.[28]
  • 1922: Bogoljubov–Alekhine, Hastings. Irving Chernev called this the greatest game of chess ever played, adding: "Alekhine's subtle strategy involves manoeuvres which encompass the entire chessboard as a battlefield. There are exciting plots and counterplots. There are fascinating combinations and brilliant sacrifices of Queens and Rooks. There are two remarkable promotions of Pawns and a third in the offing, before White decides to capitulate." (The Chess Companion, Chernev, Faber & Faber Ltd, 1970).[29]
  • 1923: Sämisch–Nimzovich, Copenhagen "The Immortal Zugzwang Game".[30]
  • 1924: Capablanca–Tartakower, New York. One of the most famous and instructive endgames ever played. Capablanca sacrifices two pawns with check to support his passed pawn.[31]
  • 1924: Richard Réti–José Raúl Capablanca, New York. The game that ended Capablanca's eight-year run without a single loss in tournament play.[32]
  • 1925: Réti–Alekhine, Baden-Baden .Alekhine initiates a stunning combination and foresees the final position resulting more than 15 moves later.[33]
  • 1929: Glucksberg–Najdorf, Warsaw. In this game, dubbed the 'Polish Immortal', Black sacrifices all four minor pieces for victory.[34]
  • 1934: Canal–Unknown, Budapest. "The Peruvian Immortal", sees Peruvian master Esteban Canal demolish his amateur opponent with the sacrifice of two rooks and queen.[35]
  • 1935: Euwe–Alekhine, 16th Match Game, Zandvoort. This decisive game from the 1935 match for the world championship was dubbed 'The Pearl of Zandvoort' by Tartakower.[36]
  • 1938: Botvinnik–Capablanca, Rotterdam. In this game from the AVRO 1938 tournament, Botvinnik obtains a strong initiative against Capablanca and brings the victory home with a long combination.[37]
  • 1938: Parr–Wheatcroft, London. Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld described this as "one of the greatest combinative games on record!" (Fireside Book Of Chess, Simon & Schuster, 1949, pp. 392–93)[38]
  • 1943: Molinari–Roux Cabral, Montevideo. This game from the 1943 Uruguayan Chess Championship, dubbed the "Uruguayan Immortal", sees Luis Roux Cabral sacrifice the exchange twice, followed by sacrifices of two minor pieces. After 33 moves, all three of his remaining pieces are en prise—and his opponent cannot stop checkmate.[39]

1950–99[edit]

  • 1954: Botvinnik–Smyslov, 14th Match Game, Moscow. Smyslov sacrifices his queen for three minor pieces and coordinates them superbly to force Botvinnik's capitulation.[40]
  • 1956: D. Byrne–Fischer, New York, "Game of the Century". Byrne makes a seemingly minor mistake on move 11, losing a tempo by moving the same piece twice. Fischer pounces, with accurate sacrificial play, culminating in a queen sacrifice. When the smoke has cleared, Fischer has a winning material advantage – a rook and two bishops for a queen, and coordinates them to force checkmate.[41]
  • 1957: Sliwa–Bronstein, Gotha. "The Immortal losing game" between Bogdan Sliwa and David Bronstein. Black has a lost game but sets some elegant traps in attempting to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.[42]
  • 1958: Polugaevsky–Nezhmetdinov, Sochi. In one of the most celebrated games of all time, Nezhmetdinov sacrifices his queen on move 24, and goes on to win the game with a king hunt.[43]
  • 1959: Tal–Smyslov, Bled. Tal initiates complications early in this game and obtains a strong attack. Smyslov defends well, but eventually stumbles with one erroneous move and Tal delivers the winning tactical blow.[44]
  • 1959: Fischer–Petrosian, Zagreb. The only prominent game in which four queens were on board for seven moves. Match ends with draw by agreement.[45]
  • 1960: Spassky–Bronstein, Leningrad, "The Blue Bird Game". Spassky plays the King's Gambit and wins with a sacrificial attack.[46]
  • 1963: R. Byrne–Fischer, New York. Fischer executes a deep sacrificial attack to win in this miniature. Many of the players in the press room thought Fischer's position was hopeless and were surprised when they heard Byrne had resigned.[47]
  • 1968: Poole versus HAL 9000 A fictional game from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, based on a tournament game between A. Roesch and W. Schlage, Hamburg 1910. Astronaut Dr. Frank Poole plays against the supercomputer HAL 9000. The computer executes a strong sacrificial attack and wins in 15 moves.
  • 1970: Larsen–Spassky, Belgrade. Spassky finds immediate punishment for Larsen's opening experiments, sacrificing a knight and a rook to create a passed pawn, winning the game in just 17 moves.[48]
  • 1972: Fischer–Spassky, 6th Match Game, Reykjavik. Game 6 of the highly publicized World Championship Match. Fischer launches an opening surprise by opening with 1.c4 instead of his favorite 1.e4. Spassky joined the audience in applauding Fischer's win and called it the best game of the World Chess Championship 1972.[49]
  • 1972: Spassky–Fischer, 13th Match Game, Reykjavik. Game 13 of the highly publicized World Championship Match. Fischer comes out on top in this complex, double-edged battle.[50]
  • 1978: Liu Wenzhe–Donner, Buenos Aires. "The Chinese Immortal". Liu Wenzhe becomes the first Chinese player to defeat a Western grandmaster.[51]
  • 1985: Karpov–Kasparov, 16th Match Game, Moscow. Game 16 of the 1985 World Championship Match. Kasparov employs a daring gambit and obtains a dominating position for his knight, stifling Karpov's forces and finishing off with a mating attack.[52]
  • 1991: Ivanchuk–Yusupov, Brussels, 9th Matchgame. Yusupov sacrifices the house in his quest for the attack and breaks through after Ivanchuk's inaccuracies. In 1996, a jury of grandmasters and readers, voting in the Chess Informant, chose this game as the best game played in the years 1966–96.[53][54]
  • 1995: Cifuentes–Zvjaginsev, Wijk aan Zee. Black wins with a series of sacrifices that force White's king up to the 6th rank. Known as "The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee".[55]
  • 1996: Deep Blue versus Kasparov, 1996, Game 1, the first game in which a chess-playing computer defeated a reigning world champion using classical time controls.
  • 1997: Deep Blue versus Kasparov, 1997, Game 6, the last game of the 1997 rematch. Deep Blue won, making it the first computer to defeat a world champion in a match.
  • 1999: Kasparov versus the World, in which Garry Kasparov, the reigning world champion, faced a group of players in consultation, who decided moves by vote. This group included 50,000 individuals from more than 75 countries. Kasparov won.
  • 1999: Kasparov–Topalov, Wijk aan Zee. "Kasparov's Immortal" features a rook sacrifice with a sacrificial combination lasting over 15 moves. One of the most commented chess games ever, with extensive press coverage.[56]

2000s[edit]

  • 2000: Kasparov–Kramnik, Classical World Chess Championship 2000, 3rd Match Game, London. Kramnik revives the Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez (which had fallen out of favor), in which the queens are exchanged on move 8. The queenless endgame is difficult for Kramnik to defend but limits Kasparov's options, and the game ends in draw by agreement.[57]
  • 2005: Anand–Topalov, Sofia. Amazing in its complexity, this game finally ended in a hard fought draw and was called "23rd-century chess" by Kramnik.[58][59]

2010s[edit]

  • 2013: Aronian–Anand, Wijk aan Zee. In this game reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand exhibits a combination with a rook sacrifice and two more offered sacrifices to beat Levon Aronian, then ranked No. 3 in the world. ChessBase wrote that "[it] might surely go down as the game of the year",[60] and The New York Times described it as "a game for the ages".[61][62]
  • 2015: Wei Yi–Bruzon, Danzhou. In this game, chess prodigy Wei Yi plays a rook sacrifice that forces Black to take a king walk. Several quiet moves eventually force Black to throw in the towel. This game has been compared to Kasparov's Immortal and the Game of the Century, and described as the "21st-century Immortal".[63][64]
  • 2017: Bai Jinshi vs Ding Liren. In this game, Ding Liren created a stunning tactical crush of his young compatriot Bai Jinshi, in just 32 moves with the black pieces, sacrificing his queen and culminating in a spectatular king hunt.[65][66]

References[edit]

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