What Is The Worst Chess Move?
Even world champions make this move a terrible one.

What Is The Worst Chess Move?

Gserper
GM Gserper
Sep 17, 2018, 12:00 PM |
77 | Fun & Trivia

Chess openings have been analyzed for centuries and yet even today it is still not easy to identify the best and worst first moves. According to Fischer, 1.e4 is "best by test."

From the other side, when the famous theoretician GM Ernst Gruenfeld was asked why he always started the game with his queen pawn, he answered that he would never make a mistake on the very first move! Statistics from the Chess.com Computer Chess Championship seem to agree with Gruenfeld; through the tournament's first half, 1. d4 scored 61.2 percent for White, compared to 52.9 percent for 1.e4.  

It is probably easier to call the worst first move. According to GM Edmar Mednis it is 1.f3 (called Barnes Opening). Nevertheless, even here we can argue that 1.h4 or 1.Nh3 are probably as bad.

The topic of today's discussion is different. I am trying to find the worst possible move in chess in general, not just the first move of the game.

worst chess moves

I realize that it is probably impossible to answer such a question unless you feed a supercomputer with millions of games and let it analyze these games. However, I think I found the answer!

It is the move Qf8! I came to this conclusion by a sheer accident when I was preparing one of my recent articles. Remember this game?

Yes, GM Anand indeed played 71.Qf8??, which allowed checkmate in one move  two different ways! It suddenly occurred to me that in many cases when world champions play Qf8 it tends to be a grave mistake! I am going to present these games as a mini-quiz for you. Try to figure out why the move Qf8 turned out to be a decisive blunder.

Here is a very similar blunder from another world champion:

Here, one more world champion succumbed to the deadly spell of Qf8.

Did you see how the great world champions Karpov, Kramnik, Anand, Carlsen all made the same blunder? Now it is Caruana's turn to blunder by playing Qf8?? (And no, I am not implying anything .)

Get a bonus point if you spotted what Caruana should have played instead of the suicidal Qf8?? move:

To be fair, one world champion managed to turn the Qf8 move to his favor!

This game is just more proof why Botvinnik called Capablanca the biggest natural chess talent.

I am sure that the discovery of the worst chess move will help to advance the theory of our beloved game.

On a side note, I noticed that some of my past articles were misunderstood by some readers. For example, they treated this particular article as a kind of a joke. I hope that today's article will be taken more seriously, since it provides serious research to identify the worst chess move!

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