This is a list of notable chess games sorted chronologically.
- 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 Queen for two minor pieces and a promising position.
- 1834: McDonnell–La Bourdonnais, 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.
- 1843: Staunton–St. Amant, 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."
- 1844: Hoffmann–Petrov, Warsaw. Petrov wins with a queen sacrifice and a relentless king hunt, in a game known as "Petrov's Immortal."
- 1851: Anderssen–Kieseritzky, London "The Immortal Game" Kieseritzky neglects his development and Anderssen sacrifices his queen and both rooks for a win.
- 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."
- 1857: Paulsen–Morphy, New York Morphy gains an advantage in development and transforms it into a powerful kingside attack with a surprising queen sacrifice.
- 1858: Morphy–Duke of Brunswick & Count Isouard, Paris "The Opera Game" Morphy wins brilliantly in this legendary miniature, mating on the 17th move with his last two pieces.
- 1872: Hamppe–Meitner, Vienna, the "Immortal Draw" between Carl Hamppe and Philipp Meitner, involving an enigmatic queen sacrifice.
- 1889: Lasker–Bauer, Amsterdam, a game between Emanuel Lasker and Johann Hermann Bauer was the first example of the famous double bishop sacrifice.
- 1895: Pillsbury–Tarrasch, Hastings A brilliant game from Pillsbury's surprising victory at the great Hastings 1895 tournament. The young chess genius managed to take clear first over Lasker, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Chigorin, and other top players of the time.
- 1895: Steinitz–von Bardeleben, Hastings This game is famous for an amazing thirteen-move mating combination, which Steinitz didn't get the chance to play all the way through. Von Bardeleben, seeing what was about to happen, opted to leave the playing area and lose on time. Steinitz then demonstrated the beautiful combination for the onlookers.
- 1895: Pillsbury–Gunsberg, Hastings The final round game with which Pillsbury clinched first place. The game reaches a simple endgame that appears to be a dead draw, but Pillsbury is able to work his magic and wins with amazing combinative play.
- 1895: Pillsbury–Lasker, Saint Petersburg Lasker won the brilliancy prize for this amazing game.
- 1907: Rotlewi-Rubinstein, Lodz Rubinstein wins this game with one of the most famous and amazing combinations ever played.
- 1912: Edward Lasker–Thomas, London With a startling 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 a simple advance of his king.
- 1912: Levitsky–Marshall, Breslau - Levitsky versus Marshall: Marshall wins this game with what many consider the single most amazing move ever played.
- 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).
- 1923: Sämisch–Nimzovich, Copenhagen "The Immortal Zugzwang Game".
- 1924: Capablanca–Tartakower, New York One of the most famous and instructive endgames ever played.
- 1924: Richard Réti–José Raúl Capablanca, New York The game that ended Capablanca's incredible 8 year run without a single loss in tournament play.
- 1925: Réti–Alekhine, Baden-Baden An intense, complicated battle between the two chess greats.
- 1930: Glucksberg–Najdorf, Warsaw In this game, dubbed the 'Polish Immortal', black sacrifices all four minor pieces for victory.
- 1934: Canal–Unknown, Budapest "The Peruvian Immortal", sees Peruvian master Esteban Canal demolish his amateur opponent with the sacrifice of two rooks and queen.
- 1935: Euwe–Alekhine, Amsterdam This decisive game from the 1935 match for the world championship was dubbed 'The Pearl of Zandvoort' by Tartakower.
- 1938: Botvinnik–Capablanca, Rotterdam Botvinnik obtains a strong initiative against the great Capablanca and brings the victory home with a beautiful combination.
- 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)
- 1954: Botvinnik-Smyslov, Moscow An incredibly complex battle from the 1954 World Championship Match.
- 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 brilliant 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.
- 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.
- 1959: Tal–Smyslov, Yugoslavia 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.
- 1959: Fischer-Petrosian, Zagreb The only prominent game in which four queens were on board for 7 moves!!Match ends with draw by agreement.
- 1960: Spassky–Bronstein, Leningrad "The Blue Bird Game" Spassky plays the King's Gambit and wins with a brilliant sacrificial attack.
- 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.
- 1972: Fischer–Spassky, Reykjavik In this, the 6th game of the 1972 World Championship Match, Fischer shows a mastery of queenside play and delivers a crushing attack. Spassky joined the audience in applauding Fischer's win and called it the best game of the match.
- 1972: Spassky–Fischer, Reykjavik Game 13 of the highly publicized World Championship Match. Fischer comes out on top in this intense, double-edged battle.
- 1985: Karpov–Kasparov Game 16 of the 1985 World Championship Match. Kasparov obtains a dominating position for his knight (which Raymond Keene referred to as 'The Octopus Knight') and wins in brilliant fashion.
- 1995: Cifuentes–Zvjaginsev, Wijk aan Zee Black wins with a stunning series of sacrifices that force white's king up to the 6th rank. Known as "The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee".
- 1996: Deep Blue - Kasparov, 1996, Game 1, the first game in which a chess-playing computer defeated a reigning world champion using normal time controls.
- 1997: Deep Blue - 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 over several games.
- 1999: Kasparov versus the World, in which Garry Kasparov, the reigning world champion, faced the rest of the world in consultation, with the World Team moves decided by vote. Over 50,000 individuals from more than 75 countries participated in the game.
- 1999: Kasparov–Topalov, Wijk aan Zee. Rook sacrifice with 15+ moves forced sacrificial combination. One of the most commented chess games ever, with extensive press coverage.
- 2000: Kasparov–Kramnik, Classical World Chess Championship 2000, Game 3. Kramnik revives the Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez (which had fallen out of favour), 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.
- 2005: Anand–Topalov, Sofia. This stunning game, played in MTel Masters 2005, was called "23rd Century Chess" by Kramnik.
- 2006: Deep Fritz–Kramnik, World Chess Challenge: Man vs. Machine, Game 2, Bonn, Germany. Reigning world champion Vladimir Kramnik overlooks a mate in one against the Deep Fritz chess computer, in what Susan Polgar called the "blunder of the century".