The Funniest Rook Moves Ever Played

The Funniest Rook Moves Ever Played

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We continue our discussion about the funniest, craziest moves ever played and today it is the rook's turn.

While it is difficult for me to choose the funniest rook move ever played,  I know for sure what was the funniest rook move that was not played, or to be precise, which was never completed.  

Many decades ago GM Gufeld played an open tournament and his opponent was a young, attractive lady. At some point, Gufeld executed a standard combination, which was supposed to lead to a back-rank checkmate.

But when Gufeld lifted his rook to complete his intended move Rd1-d8, which would checkmate his opponent, he realized to his horror that his combination had a major flaw: the key d8 square was covered.

No, it wasn't attacked by any of his opponent's pieces, but since the lady was very curvaceous, the d8 square was literally covered! So Gufeld's rook froze in mid-air since the grandmaster didn't know what to do.

Fortunately for him, his opponent realized what was going on and just resigned the game. Of course, just like many of Gufeld's stories, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. happy.png

If we talk about real rook moves in real games, it is not that easy to find our champion. The problem is, most of the beautiful rook moves are so well known that they don't shock you anymore. Take for example the next famous game.

I bet you'll enjoy finding Black's combination if you never saw it before.  If you've seen it thousands times since your childhood, you'll still enjoy it, but the shock value of the first move will be gone.

I cannot explain the reason, but while the following game is almost as well known as Spassky's gem, still Shirov's brilliant rook move shocks me!
The same can be said about Bronstein's shocking way to break White's fortress in the next game. I've seen it hundreds of times already and still it looks absolutely unbelievable to me!
Now let me offer you a brilliant game that most of you probably never saw before.
By some strange reason Tal never annotated it (or at least I've never seen his annotations to this game in any of his game collections). Try to finish the game just like the "Magician"!
A rook move doesn't have to be a sacrifice to amaze you. Look at the next historical game where Kasparov doubled his rooks on the closed e-file!
What are the funniest rook moves you've ever seen? is looking for an assistant editor. Apply here.
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