Anish Giri's Brilliant Moves On

Anish Giri's Brilliant Moves On

| 56 | Amazing Games

GM Anish Giri, for those of you without Twitter, is one of the best players in the game of chess. At the time of writing, he is the Dutch number-one and the world number-seven. Having earned his grandmaster title at the age of 14, he reached his peak FIDE rating of 2798, when he was number three in the world in 2015.

Although he plays for the Netherlands, the Russian-born globetrotter is a man of many words. He has mastered Russian, English, and Dutch, according to his website, and also has a "good knowledge" of Japanese, Nepalese, and German. 

Giri at the 2020 Candidates held in Russia. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In this article, we look at Giri's brilliant moves played on One cannot help but notice in his Insights, however, that 40 percent of all his moves are the best in the position, despite most of his games being played at the blitz time control. 

Anish Giri's Move Quality Insights

Your diligent author sifted through all the brilliant moves flagged by our Game Review feature and ultimately selected the 10 most startling examples from Giri's games on Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sizzling tactics. 

Ready for a fight. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Queen Sacrifices

Without further ado, let's start with two nasty queen sacrifices. In the following example, our featured player finished off chess streamer and super GM Hikaru Nakamura by taking advantage of the weak back rank and playing two brilliant moves in a row.

There is more than one way to win actually, but can you find the most forcing, most stunning variation? 

Black to move and win.

The following victory against Emirati GM Saleh Salem (peak rating 2690) concludes with a barrage of white pieces hurtled at the black king, topped off with a kamikaze queen.

Like his moves, his jokes almost always land. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

If you're no longer impressed by queen sacrifices, the next one might pique your interest. The following game includes two brilliant moves, with the sacrifice of quite a bit more than a queen, for a mating attack with Black's few remaining pieces.

Other Sacrifices

While one can hardly sacrifice more than a queen in most games of chess, other piece sacrifices can be just as beautiful. In the following section, Giri shows his disregard for material—rooks, knights, bishops, away!—as he sets his sights on the game's true goal: checkmate the king.

Giri's bishop was trained on the c2-square in the following example, just as in the previous game above. This one includes a fatal pin and a rook sacrifice against GM Yuniesky Quesada

When Giri earned his title, he was the youngest grandmaster in the world at the time. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Continuing the theme of successful attacks on the queen-side-castled white king, GM Vladislav Artemiev, a.k.a. the "Chuck Norris of Russia," fell victim to a powerful attack after 21...Nb3!! leaving two pieces en prise.

The following win over Polish phenom Jan Krzysztof-Duda features a rapid queen, swinging from one side of the board to the other in a matter of two moves. By the time it arrives on a4, despite leaving a knight and rook hanging in the process, the game is effectively over.

One might wonder how Giri would caption this photo. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The following win over GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, one of the most aggressive 2750+ players in the chess circuit today, features another nice piece sacrifice to destroy the black king's pawn cover. With the Azerbaijani number-one capable of serving such brutal attacks himself, it seems Giri retaliated with a taste of his own medicine.

So far, we've seen great wins over great players of today. But here's one against legendary former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov. Like the previous example, Topalov has had a long career of famed attacking games himself, but in this one, the day belonged to Giri. 12. Bxc4!! comes like a gunshot.

The Dutch number-one at work. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The last example, played against the anonymous GM FloatyPotato, features a positional exchange sacrifice. The nice aspect about this one is that there is no immediate win, nothing forced, simply pressure on the weakened e3- and g3-squares as well as the dark-square complex overall. 

Brilliant Defense

Defense is sometimes just as important as offense, and champions must be capable of both to be successful. In the following examples, Giri shows the art of shifting between offense and defense, aggression and consolidation, often intending both in a single move.

Nobody is safe in the online battleground, not even two-time World Championship Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi. (Might I be writing "world champion" next year?)

Playing two brilliant moves over the course of this game, the more impressive one in my opinion is the defensive 32...Re2!! to block the e-file. He doesn't win the game due to this move, but Giri's play is still brilliant.

The following brilliant move against GM Michael Roiz is well-calculated in terms of both attack and defense. Giri foresees that he can allow White to threaten a mate in one, but he can defend just long enough with a windmill tactic to deliver his own attack.

If you're still hungry for more defensive ingenuity, check out 21...Kd6! in this game from 2010, which Giri told us he still feels is his best move ever. It wasn't played on, but I hope you'll forgive this indulgence.

Giri in his home country. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this article. Which one was your favorite from the games above and why? Please leave a comment below.

Smiles with the world champion. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Would you like more Giri material? Check out this lesson below!

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