The Immortal Game | Anderssen vs Kieseritzky (1851)
Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky played one of the most famous chess games in history "The Immortal".

The Immortal Game | Anderssen vs Kieseritzky (1851)

| 80 | Amazing Games

The "Immortal Game" is one of the most famous chess games ever played! Played in 1851 as an informal match between two European math professors, Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky, this game has become a true showcase of classic 19th century chess where startling attacks and sacrifices were all the rage.

The Game

  • White: Adolf Anderssen
  • Black: Lionel Kieseritzky

1. e4 e5 2.f4 

The King's Gambit. This risky gambit opening was very popular in the 19th century! White sacrifices his f-pawn  in hopes of building a big pawn center with e4 and d4.


Accepting the gambit pawn. Other moves to decline the pawn include 2...d5, and 2...Bc5.

3. Bc4

3. Nf3 is a more common move to stop the annoying Qh4 check. 

3...Qh4+ 4. Kf1 b5 

At first, this move looks a bit strange, but the idea is to distract the bishop away from eyeing the vulnerable f7 square.

5. Bxb5 Nf6 6. Nf3 Qh6 7.d3


Position after 7.d3 - a very original position for both sides!

The black king in the center will come under heavy attack!


Ignoring the rule knights on the rim are grim. Black is threatening Ng3+ winning the exchange.

8. Nh4 Qg5 9. Nf5 c6 10. g4 Nf6 11. Rg1 

Sacrificing the bishop to gain the initiative, and to take advantage of the placement of black queen.

11...cxb5 12. h4 Qg6 13. h5 Qg5 14. Qf3 Ng8

Black is walking on ice - the knight retreat was necessary to avoid getting the black queen trapped.


Position after 14...Ng8. White is ready for the attack!

15. Bxf4 Qf6 

All of the black pieces have returned home except the queen - while white is getting fully developed and getting ready to attack.

16. Nc3 Bc5 17. Nd5

Both white knights are well posted and the pieces are starting to swarm around the black king.

17...Qxb2 18. Bd6!

Offering up the a1 rook as bait - with check! White is weaving a mating net.

18...Qxa1 19. Ke2 Bxg1 20. e5

A pawn move to cut the coordination of the black queen from the black position.


White now has a forced checkmate in 3 moves! Can you find it?

21. Nxg7 Kd8 22. Qf6+

In typical Anderssen style - a queen sacrifice for the win!

22...Nxf7 23. Be7# Checkmate! 


Do you want to see this game analyzed in video?

Immortal Chess Game

Check out the in-depth analysis from GM Simon Williams -> View Video about the Immortal Game


Adolf Anderssen was one of the strongest players of his time and was considered by many to be the world champion after winning the 1851 London tournament. Lionel Kieseritzky lived in France much of his life, where he gave chess lessons, and played games for five francs an hour at the Café de la Regence in Paris. Kieseritzky was well known for being able to beat lesser players despite handicapping himself — by playing without his queen, for example.

Played between the two great players at the Simpson's-in-the-Strand Divan in London, the immortal game was an informal one played during a break in a formal tournament. Kieseritzky was very impressed when the game was over, and telegraphed the moves of the game to his Parisian chess club. The French chess magazine La Regence published the game in July 1851.

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