When a Loser Becomes a Winner

  • GM Gserper
  • | Feb 23, 2014

There are chess games that have their own names. Everyone knows the 'Evergreen Game', the 'Immortal Game', the 'Opera Game', etc. We enjoy the genius and tactical skills of the winners and their names are engraved in the Golden Book of Chess. But what about the hapless losers of those games? Is it fair that Jean Dufresne for example will always be known as 'the guy who lost the 'Evergreen Game'? 

Today I'll try to prove that almost every single chess gem has its 'evil twin' where the yesterday's loser becomes a winner and the genius is reduced to a mere mortal. Let's start with the most famous chess game: the 'Immortal Game'. Since it is probably the most analyzed game ever (it has been analyzed for over 160 years!), let me offer it as a quiz:

Adolf Anderssen | Image Wikipedia

The game is indeed very beautiful even if not flawless. But if you had an impression that the opponents were of the absolutely different chess level, think again. Anderssen and Kieseritzky played about a dozen of games and the score is about even. Look for the next game for example. It looks like Adolf Anderssen is about to produce another attacking gem. Try to find the Kieseritzky's answer:

And how do you like the picturesque final position from another game played by the same players?

Lionel Kieseritzky | Image Wikipedia

Now let's proceed to another famous game of Anderssen: the 'Evergreen Game'. This time the combo is more complicated, but try to find it anyway:

Unlike Kieseritzky, Dufresne was definitely not a match to Anderssen. They have played over thirty games and Anderssen won about three quarters of them. And yet, the next game could be Dufresne's own 'Immortal Game'. Try to find the impeccable finish of Black's attack:

To be continued...

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  • 21 months ago


    The last game was excellent!!

  • 21 months ago


    Nice article with nice combinations

  • 21 months ago


    Thank you !

  • 21 months ago


    very good from defresne in under 15 talk about annilation

  • 21 months ago


    It's completely true! The history of chess, you know as a game, has always been so bloody with wars and conflicts constantly circling the misdemeanours. But I tell you, both these men were AMAZING geniuses! My personal favourite chess player of all time is William Hartnell.What a great man!

  • 21 months ago


    Thank you for a article!

  • 21 months ago


    Great games... Loved the last one..

  • 21 months ago


    Excellent post !! This simply proves at any stage of life u can get a beautiful checkmate ...

  • 21 months ago


    Wow that last one...... crazy stuff. 

  • 21 months ago


    @ Kingramsesii

    But it takes longer because of checks black can give, point is often to find the fastest mate (and in that case also the beautiful one with queen sacrifice)

  • 21 months ago


    The 1st puzzle has another solution:

    1. Qxf7 & mate can not be prevented afterwards.

  • 21 months ago


    ترجمه فارسی این مقاله در اینجا

  • 21 months ago


    I got all except the h pawn mate myself. Never thought of mating on that file that way, was too focused on the Queen and was going "wtf? I got nothing!"

  • 21 months ago


    That last puzzle was fantastic.  To be able to mate with the h-pawn.  Sweet!

  • 21 months ago


    hahahaha @ too liberal because of the number of "!"

  • 21 months ago


    Great article! But perhaps too liberal with exclamation marks.

  • 22 months ago


    The times when positional & opening theory were non-existant Laughing

  • 22 months ago



    That was only the analysis of the dufresne game.

    See the link in my previous post.

  • 22 months ago


    Dufresne's Immortal game is identical to the game Anderssen vs Max Lange 1859

  • 22 months ago


    Nice article.

    To see how the last game would have ended see the analysis between Anderssen and Max Lange.


    Also Dufresne was a student of Anderssen.This possibly explains why his score waas pretty bad.

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