My Personal Mona Lisa

  • GM Gserper
  • | Nov 21, 2010

Just like any chess player, I have my own personal Mona Lisa. Since you my dear readers asked about this game in your comments to the previous article, it is probably a good opportunity to show it now.

I knew that I was going to play a special game right when I woke up that morning and I couldn't wait the minute the game began...  This phrase is the ideal start for the story about the game of your life except it is not true.  The reality was just the opposite.  The tournament was not going very well for me and to tell you the truth I couldn't wait till it was over.  I don't remember anything special about the morning before the game and I guess I was just happy that it was one day closer to the end of the tournament.  I couldn't expect that in a matter of hours I was going to play the game of my life. ( This is another proof of the wisdom of Forrest Gump's mother and her immortal "Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get.” )  In this truly unique game I managed to sacrifice all my pieces (except the King of course)! I doubt there is any other game in chess history where one player sacrificed his every piece! Let's see how it happened.

(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your attacking skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)

After Black played his last move 15...Nf8, I realized that if my opponent gets time to finish his set up by Ne6 and 0-0, then after Nd4 or Nhf4 he will get a big advantage since he completely dominates on the dark squares. But his King is still in the center, so does he really have the luxury to delay castling?


White has started an attack but there is no obvious way to continue it now.  Meanwhile, Black still wants to play Ne6 and 0-0...
White's attack becomes very dangerous but Black has just trapped the Be3.  What is the most energetic way to continue the attack?
This beautiful checkmate didn't actually happen in the game as my opponent -then an IM and a future Grandmaster saw it and played 24...Nd7!  I immediately realized that if Black is allowed to play 25...0-0, then White's attack disappears instantly. So, what should White do?
The target (Black King) is very close, but what is the best way to deliver the final blow?
Black managed to survive to the endgame and White still must play very energetically to prove his advantage....
GM Yasser Seirawan nicely summarized this game: "Can you imagine a game in which you sacrifice ... all of your pieces? Toss in the promotion of two pawns as well and you have a game to last!"


  • 8 months ago


    very very nice!

  • 4 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    @MadDog, Siamese and Chesspiece10

    After 1.Re7 Db5+ white is lost.

  • 5 years ago


    Well played

  • 5 years ago


    Wonderful game.

    MadDog and Siamese, after 2.d7 Black can respond with Qxe7.  Still an interesting variation.

  • 6 years ago



  • 6 years ago


    Very, ver nice game Grandmaster!

    A request: a few months ago you mentioned that the Ragozin is your favourite defence vs 1 d4. Please can you do a series on it? I am sure that there must be many interesting games that you can choose which will both illustrate the opening and show us some lively tactics!

  • 6 years ago


    GM Serper...

    How did you calculated that? impressive, i was shocked!!!


  • 6 years ago


    Serper, I think that is the nicest game I have ever seen. It made me smile all the way through.


    Thank you :)

  • 6 years ago

    IM dpruess

    candidate for greatest game i've ever seen. i saw it for the first time when GM Serper first joined us as columnist, and i was looking up games of his to put in a short piece introducing him to the membership on the site and ... the game just made me so happy.

  • 6 years ago


    Very beautiful piece of art, thanx for sharing...

  • 6 years ago


    Love it! As usual :-)

  • 6 years ago


    wow this is a wonderful game Smile thanks for sharing it in such rich detail

  • 6 years ago


    I think you have it in the bag for the game of the century :)

  • 6 years ago


    Siamese, I was wondering the same thing. I attempted to do that move immediately...I would wonder if there is something that we're missing, but I just can't see it.

  • 6 years ago


    you make chess looks easy

  • 6 years ago


    doesnt 30. Re7! win alot faster?

  • 6 years ago


    Simply amazing. This could easily have landed on IM Shankland's list of the 10 best moves of all time with Nd5!! and the irresistable attack that followed.

  • 6 years ago



    where does stuff like this come from?!

  • 6 years ago


    A composer once told me that his aim is to make the next note both surprising and inevitable; we don't expect it but, once heard, we intuit that that it was the perfect next note. This game is just such a composition, which is why it is so beautiful. 

Back to Top

Post your reply: