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Najdorf's Evergreen Game

  • GM Julio_Becerra
  • | Aug 5, 2009

Miguel Najdorf (1910-1997) was born in Warsaw, Poland. He was playing at the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1939 when World War II broke out, and decided not to attempt to return home, taking Argentine citizenship.

Today I want to share with you a mysterious history around the game Glucksberg-Najdorf, Warsaw 1928, 1929, 1930 or 1935! Some sources assure that this game was never even played! Rather, that it was the product of Najdorf’s imagination! It is well-known that Najdorf was a joker! Najdorf himself called this game “The immortal” of the twentieth century!!

For example I couldn’t find this game in either Chessbase or Chess Assistant databases! At last I found the game in Chess Academy database. Of course this game appears in many books, but the authenticity is not clear.

True or False, this game deserves to be awarded as one of "The 10 Most Beautiful Short Games of Chess (Miniatures) Ever Played.”

Irving Chernev wrote: "In this delightful game, which Tartakower called 'The Polish Immortal,' Najdorf sacrifices all of his minor pieces to mate with a Pawn. A work of art which would deserve high ranking on any critic's list of brilliancies.”



  • 3 years ago


    Immortal... Really Immortal...

  • 4 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    Polish Immortal  game (Glucksberg - Najdorf) was played in 1930 (probably in January) in tourney A second category in Warsaw:

    1.Jagielski 2.Mlynek 3.Klepfisz 4.Najdorf 5.Czerniak 6.Dobrzanski 7-8.Melamed and Zahorski 9.Chojnacki 10.Glucksberg

    First published by Tuhan-Baranowski in "Dzien Polski" in 1930 (in August). Tartakower after his match with Najdorf(Torun 1935) published this game in Wiener Schachzeitung (1935, p226) with mistake: "Gespielt in einem Turnier zu Warschau 1935"....

  • 5 years ago

    IM dpruess

    you don't capture the bishop on h2 because if you do after ng4+ and qxg5, you know that you are simply losing without any counterchance. that is why players often accept sacrifices and end up getting brutalized later-- they can't see to the very end of the complications, and they know that declining the sacrifice lets the opponent win without a struggle. yes, in hindsight, it is better to play on down a pawn or two, or with a positional disadvantage, than to get mated, but at the time, who sees that it is mate in 20?? so you accept fairly quickly, and put the onus on the opponent to accurately calculate difficult winning lines while their clock is ticking.

  • 5 years ago


    I also wondered why white didn't simply capture the bishop on h2.

    9...Bxh2 10.Kxh2 Ng4+ 11.Kg1 Qxg5 12.Nf4 Qh4 13.Nh3 seems to stop mate.

  • 5 years ago


    The middle-game was beautiful, but it was only possible because of white's curious choice to play 10.Kh1 instead of 10.Kxh2. As ShusukeFuji pointed out, there is no real threat to white's king had he played the capture (aside from the continuation 10...Ng4+ and 11...Qxg5, but this is as far as it goes). The pressure is completely alleviated.

  • 5 years ago


      MaczynskiPratten: Have made a comment about this game on the internet that I would like to quote kere.  "I would speculate that some of Najdorf's moves in the middle were made on general principles and pattern recognition, rather than working out tactical lines to the end - especially if this was an offhand game. After 11 f4, OK Black may be losing the Bishop, but White has so opened up his kingside that Black must have sufficient compensation. I think on playing the Qe8-h5 manoeuvre he would have seen Bg1! as this prevents White's Rh1 which is otherwise awkward. He could visualise the position at move 15 with White's King trapped on f3 and think, "on principle, there must be a win here". He must smash the Kingside open and get his QB and QN into play, so moves like e5 would appear, again on principle. And once he foresaw the position at move 18, he may have worked it all out to the mate, or he may have instinctively felt, like Micawber, "something must turn up here". Either way, whether precisely calculated or done through a deep intuitive understanding of the position, it's great play".
  • 5 years ago


    saw that in the Gregory Serper article http://www.chess.com/article/view/do-you-believe-in-trap-after-trap.

    Very nice!

  • 5 years ago


    Brilliant play!!!!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    astonishing play!

  • 5 years ago


    Question; why didn't white capture the bishop at h2? And now I see that somebody else had the same question...thoughts? And the ending of that game caught me so completely off guard it took me a second to realize that it was checkmate; I kept trying to see the next move!

  • 5 years ago


    yea is very wild...

  • 5 years ago


    beutiful but it can be simple today...now a days, many stronger player may easy seek that combination...

  • 5 years ago


    My favorite game of all time.

  • 5 years ago


    Either he was an absolute genius or had balls of steel, to sacrifice all your minor pieces to get mate ... wow

  • 5 years ago


    I had never heard of this game, so I did some quick checking on the Internet (and as we know, information there is ultra-reliable).

    If chess were a democracy, it seems that most eligible voters would agree that this game is authentic.  But it does appear to have a dubious pedigree.  According to Winter it was first published in 1930, although the game may have been played at a tournament in 1929 or 1928.  However, the source of the game score seems to be Najdorf exclusively.  Apparently there is no other record of it.

    This might be a good subject for an investigative history book.Smile


  • 5 years ago


    Hmm...I'm bored today -let's create the most beautiful game of the century!  What do you guys think?  It's no longer the 1900's - let's make a new immortal!  :-)  I love this game - great use of the Dutch, and of the initiative...

  • 5 years ago


    k2BCM3:  Nimchi already post the answer here.


    Rxd5!! Qxd5 Qxf7+ Qxf7 Nd7# HAHA a smothered mate:)

  • 5 years ago


    What is the solution to the second puzzle; nothing works for me?   Thanks.

  • 5 years ago


    Wow, amazing play by Miguel Najdorf!


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