MORE WORLD CHAMPIONS, MORE IMMORTALS
Ever since writing the original list of famous chess games every player should know, I have been receveing emails and comments about why I haven't included this or that game.
Therefore, I have decided that the time has come to write part two. The games I am going to mention are perhaps not mentioned in literature that often (compared to Anderssen's Immortal and Evergreen games, for instance).
The reason is partly that Anderssen's games are trully unique, but there is also some truth in the fact that some of the games that will be featured on this list have been played in the recent years, so broader chess public hasn't had the time to evaluate them properly and give them the credit they deserve.
Still, I have realized that the previous post hasn't mentioned many games from the World Champions. Therefore, I will try to correct that oversight this time.
Although, to be honest, I imagine that people who follow chess more or less regularly will be quite familiar with the Carlsen - Ernst or Krasenkow - Nakamura brilliancies.
For those of you who aren't, read on and feel lucky because you will experience immense chess satisfaction in the next couple of minutes 🙂
1. POLUGAYEVSKY - NEZHMETDINOV 1958., "NEZHMETDINOV'S IMMORTAL"
I have written about the genius of Rashid Gibiatovich Nezhmetdinov... and about his hard-to-spell-correctly name previously, but it is worth mentioning and analyzing his most famous creation one more time.
2. BOTVINNIK - CAPABLANCA, AVRO, 1938.
Probably the most famous game on this list. The famous encounter between Botvinnik and Capablanca from the AVRO 1938. tournament (the mother of all tournaments) features a devastating move Ba3!!, a "kamikaze" bishop sacrifice that results in a winning attack.
3. BELIAVSKY - NUNN, WIJK AAN ZEE 1985, "NUNN'S IMMORTAL"
John Nunn is a famous chess composer and problemist, but he was also a very strong "ordinary grandmaster" in the past.
In this game against Beliavsky, he managed to create a problem like masterpiece. Playing a rook down for the majority of the game, he paralyzed White completely and performed the textbook example of the domination of the opposing forces.
4. SHIROV - POLGAR, BUENOS AIRES, 1994, "POLGAR'S IMMORTAL"
Alexey Shirov is widely regarded as a brilliant tactical player (just remember his Bh3!! brilliancy). However, in this particular game he went from frying pan to fire as the strongest female player ever, Judit Polgar, essentially killed him in 18 moves with Black!! with the help of some top class opening preparation.
5. IVANCHUK - YUSUPOV, BRUSSELS, 1991., "YUSUPOV'S IMMORTAL"
Probably the least correct game on this list. But this daring kingside attack by Yusupov deserves it's accolades very much. Being able to sacrifice your rook with check, and win the game afterwards is always rewarding.
6. BAGIROV - GUFELD, KIROVABAD, 1973., "GUFELD'S IMMORTAL"
I have found out about this game just a couple of days ago. But that is a big blunder on my part, since the game features one of the most attractive double piece sacrifices I have ever seen.
Actually, starting from the early opening, the game is a tactical clash at it's finest, where Black in the end manages to navigate his way through complications more successfully.
7. KRASENKOW - NAKAMURA, BARCELONA, 2007., "NAKAMURA'S IMMORTAL"
The game that has become famous even though it is only 10 year old. The Qf2 queen sacrifice can safely be regarded as Nakamura's visiting card.
8. KARPOV - TOPALOV, LINARES, 1994., "KARPOV'S IMMORTAL"
Karpov's 11/13 result in the 1994. Linares tournament is easily one of the greatest results in the history of chess competitions.
And he surely obtained this many points in his typical, strangling, positional, manner, right?
In this game, he threw the kitchen sink at the master of tactics Topalov himself and blew him off the board. Just watch and enjoy.
9. CARLSEN - ERNST, CORUS C GROUP, 2004., "CARLSEN'S IMMORTAL"
It would be quite a shame not to include any of the games by the current World Champion.
Long time ago, before becoming the grinding endgame machine he is today, Carlsen had the tendency of going "all in" against his opponents and displaying Tal-like play.
In this encounter with Sipke Ernst he did precisely that, sacrificing a rook and a piece and obtaining a winning attack in return.
It is probably unfair to expect similar things from him today when he is playing much tougher opponents.. But there is a certain "why don't you play like this today" feeling when going over this brilliant game.