My 10 Most Memorable Chess Games Of 2019
Did your favorite game of the year make GM Serper's top 10?

My 10 Most Memorable Chess Games Of 2019

| 46 | Tactics

The year 2019 was so rich for chess tournaments and exciting games that I decided to make my own list of the top 10 memorable games.

It was not easy to choose from hundreds of great games, so chances are that your list would be completely different from mine. I want to emphasize the word "memorable." In his iconic book My 60 Memorable Games, Bobby Fischer mentioned many times that it was not a collection of his strictly best games, and therefore he even included his losses in the book.

In the same way, I am not claiming that the games included in my top-10 list are the best games of the year. Moreover, I can give you one of the best games of the year that didn't make it into my top 10:

The fact that Garry Kasparov called it a positional masterpiece already makes it quite remarkable. I know that again I am going to take flak for neglecting to showcase one of my favorite players. 

So why didn't I include this game in my top 10? While this is an extremely high-quality game, I've seen many similar positional masterpieces. Therefore, while the ironclad logic of White's play is extremely impressive, this game is not going to force me to channel my inner Janice.

Here is my list of the top 10 most memorable games of 2019:


In this game, David Anton Guijarro managed to accomplish "mission impossible."  He turns the Russian super-grandmaster Alexander Grischuk into Lionel Kieseritzky.


Black attacked the rook on e4. In response, White gave up another rook! As a result, the rook on c8 stayed under attack for three more moves before it was finally captured. This is the wow-factor that makes this game memorable. When I saw it first time I couldn't help but think: Can you really play like this?


Don't check the following game with a chess engine; it will laugh. But the fight was so intense that I wouldn't be surprised if one day Hollywood makes an action movie Escape From Prague based on this game. 


White just lost a rook, but he kept playing like nothing happened. Aaron Jacobson is not a grandmaster yet, so maybe he doesn't know that rooks are quite valuable?


When you expect White to castle, he starts a vicious kingside attack. Very impressive!


White's king is completely open and I almost can hear him asking Daniil Dubov: "Dude, where are all my pawns?"

Nevertheless, it is the black king that gets checkmated at the end!


Again, you gave up your queen for what?


He beat Anish Giri In 23 moves as Black! Enough said!


The novelty of the year. It turns out that the anti-Marshall doesn't really stop the Marshall counterattack!


The classic king hunt. Paul Morphy would approve!

Some readers might complain that I included three games by the same player (Dubov). I absolutely agree; it is unfair. But I thought that it would be even more unfair if all 10 games on the list were played by Dubov, so I had to eliminate some of his games.

By the way, while compiling the list of the 10 most memorable games of 2019, I found a very simple solution to the "draw problem." There is no need to change rules or the scoring system.

If organizers of super-tournaments invite Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dubov, Richard Rapport, Sam Shankland and other players who produce crazy, entertaining games on a regular basis, then the only draws we will see are going to be similar to the "Escape From Prague" featured above. 

Yes, the average rating of such tournaments might be lower than usual, but I am absolutely sure that spectators will be happy.

I hope the year 2019 treated you well, and I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

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