Personal Mona Lisa of GM John Nunn

Personal Mona Lisa of GM John Nunn‎

GM Gserper
19 | Tactics

Last week we analyzed the game Nunn-Nataf (the best game of GM Nataf).  I think it is only fair to talk about the best game of GM John Nunn. These days GM John Nunn is mostly known as an author of very high quality chess books, chess compositions solver (he is actually three times World Champion in chess problem solving) and mathematician. But about 20 years ago he was a World's top ten  player and an excellent theoretician and tactician.  So, we shouldn't be surprised that the game he calls his best was played in one of his favorite openings: the King's Indian Defense.  And considering that his opponent was GM Alexander "the Big Al" Beliavsky, this game takes a special place in our collection of personal Mona Lisas.

Enjoy this masterclass of an attack against an uncastled King.

(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".)


White is behind in development and the classical strategy in this case for an opponent is to open files to be able to attack the King.  How can Black achieve this goal?


The first goal has been accomplished, but how to answer the unpleasant fork (12.g4) ?
Now Black's attack is in full swing.  But his Queen is attacked and Black would really hate to move it back.  So, what's the solution to the problem?
So, Black has sacrificed a whole Rook, but there are no immediate threats.  Yet, Black has a very nice way to completely paralyze the White pieces and then slowly regroup his pieces for the final assault.  Can you spot the key move Black played now?
This is a truly outstanding game. What I find ironic though, is that 14 years later GM Nunn allowed exactly the same attack along the 'f' file against his own uncastled King that featured exactly the same beautiful Rxf2 sacrifice (see here:
In my opinion it only proves that chess is a very complicated game!
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