5 Perfect Chess Games Played By Humans That Would Make Stockfish Proud

5 Perfect Chess Games Played By Humans That Would Make Stockfish Proud

| 229 | Amazing Games

"Does that even exist?"

That was the response I got from my friend and coworker, GM Rafael Leitao, when I asked him to help me with this article about five perfect chess games played by humans.

Now, you need to have seen a lot of chess to become a seven-time Brazilian champion like Leitao. This is a person who spent his entire life studying the games of masters, reading books, and playing hundreds of thousands of games himself—he was still surprised when I showed him these five games that are literally as precise as they could be.

Check out this great video from FM James Canty III:

What you're about to see is probably the strongest evidence that we are, in fact, living in the Matrix. At this point, I guess the only question remaining is if they'd rather have us call them "Magnus Carlsen" and "Hikaru Nakamura" or simply Agent Smith.  

So, before you decide whether to take the blue or the red pill, keep on reading and enjoy these five engine-approved games curated by my colleague NM Jeremy Kane and me—all annotated by a shocked Leitao.

But first, let me explain what I mean by "perfect games."

What Exactly Is A "Perfect Game"? 

Let me just start by saying that engines can be brutal. 

Every now and then, I win a great game, one that I think there's no way could be improved. Proud of myself, I hit the Game Review button. In a matter of seconds, I get a detailed, move-by-move report that proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm an idiot.

This is not a perfect game
"Five great moves. Congratulations, you suck!" -Game Review.

For those who don't know, that little number you get after you review a game is called the CAPS score. It's a measure of how close you were to playing a game like Stockfish, the strongest chess engine today. The closer to 100, the more precise you were. 

To put it in perspective, let's look at Carlsen, the Nordic half-man-half-GOAT chess god. Chess pieces love him. His rivals fear him. His average CAPS score over the last year? Currently sitting at 88.76, according to his Insights. Yes, engines can be brutal.

Magnus Carlsen's average accuracy
Carlsen's average blitz accuracy over the past year.

Now, different from my shameful games or Carlsen's average game, we're talking about perfect play. These are all games with a 100 CAPS score. And yes, for this analysis, I used the mighty Stockfish 15 on I also set the depth to 30, so this is the most critical the engine could be.

In your face, machine! 

FM Niranjan Navalgund vs. IM Artyom Zubritskiy, 2021

5 Perfect Chess Games 100 CAPS accuracy

We start with an avalanche played by another friend and coworker of mine, FM Niranjan Navalgund. He's one of the calmest and kindest guys I've ever talked with. Still, this is the shortest game from this list—it only lasted 13 moves. Like an adorable chihuahua that looks innocuous until you come too close, Niranjan sacrificed two minor pieces and started a vicious king hunt that led to checkmate. 

Oh, and by the way... It was a blitz game. So, yes. Scary stuff.

GM Magnus Carlsen vs. IM J Deepan Chakkravarthy, 2004

5 Perfect Chess Games 100 CAPS accuracy

We all know how teenagers spend way too much time at the computer these days. When Carlsen was a teenager, however, he decided to be a computer. Nine years before becoming the World Champion, young Carlsen played this beauty against then-IM J Deepan Chakkravarthy. 

Siegbert Tarrasch vs. Georg Marco, 1892

5 Perfect Chess Games 100 CAPS accuracy

This might shock some people, but there was a time when people played chess without consulting the computer. Old-timers believe that those good old days were the golden era of chess. True, people had to think for themselves and couldn't accuse others of cheating by using computer assistance. But we also missed the chance to see Siegbert Tarrash doing a TikTok dance to promote his perfect game against Georg Marco. Which is another plus, actually. Maybe that was the golden era of chess...

GM Hikaru Nakamura vs. GM Loek van Wely, 2010

5 Perfect Chess Games 100 CAPS accuracy

Now, it's one thing to get a high-accuracy game when you're playing a quiet game against someone much weaker than you. But to get a 100 CAPS score against a grandmaster like GM Loek van Wely in a tactical game is something that probably only Nakamura can pull off. And believe it or not, he did it even without the help of his Twitch chat spamming emotes. Now that's impressive.

Alexander Alekhine vs. Oscar Tenner, 1911

5 Perfect Chess Games 100 CAPS accuracy

Ok, I admit it. I might've misled you on how difficult getting a 100 CAPS score is. In this game, Alexander Alekhine shows an easy recipe for playing the perfect game:

You should start by playing the solid King's Gambit. After 2.f4, you're practically halfway there. You should then proceed to sacrifice your queen and, four moves later, checkmate your opponent in the middle of the board. Easy.

This is probably not a real game but rather an analysis conducted by Alekhine after the actual game. Exactly how your Game Review engine does it, mind you. Coincidence? Yes, but still ironic. 

Have you ever played a perfect game with a 100 CAPS score? Let us know in the comment section below!

Pedro Pinhata

Pedro Pinhata is a Sr. Digital Content Writer for who writes articles, feature announcements, event guides, and more. He has been playing chess since 2019 and lives in Brazil.

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