When a Loser Becomes a Winner, Part Two
Any chess player who is familiar with the enormous heritage of the great Nimzowitsch should know his "Immortal Zugzwang Game." The last move of the game is a treat for a real chess connoisseur:
In his book, Nimzowitsch expressed his hope that "my dear colleague Sämisch is not upset because I never miss a chance to publish this game." It is known in Denmark as "the Immortal Zugzwang Game."
It is a well known legend that after Nimzowitsch lost one of his games he said: "Why must I lose to this idiot?" So, who did Nimzowitsch call an idiot? Why, his 'dear colleague Sämisch' of course! Here is the game:
If you take into account that these two famous grandmasters played each other about ten times and Nimzowitsch has won almost all the games, you can see why the author of My System was so upset about his only loss to Sämisch!
Now let's fast forward to our days. The following game features what is frequently called the best chess combination ever. Try to find the Kasparov's brilliant moves:
A mind-boggling game indeed! It is a pity that Kasparov decided to retire from chess just six years after he had produced such a gem! By the way, do you want to see the last tournament game of the great champion? Here it is:
Here is a poignant video of the last minutes of the game:
You have to give a credit to Topalov who used the absolutely last opportunity to take revenge! I hope you, my dear readers, got the point already: if you are playing somebody who you brilliantly beat in the past, be very careful! I have my own experience with this strange phenomenon. The best game I ever played was published in numerous books and magazines:
Even though this game is well known, not many people are aware that I played another game with the same opponent. Ironically, we played one year later after our first encounter at the same famous Chigorin chess club in Saint Petersburg and almost at the very same table. I had White again, and the game was getting crazy: a bunch of pieces were sacrificed to checkmate the king. Unfortunately it was my king that was about to get checkmated!! The Mona Lisa was showing her dark side! Look at my puzzled face:
Fortunately, in mutual time trouble, I found the way to repel his crazy attack:
And since the curse had been broken, it was time to smile:
RELATED STUDY MATERIAL
- Check out the first installment of this series: When a Loser Becomes a Winner;
- Read more about zugzwang in Pandolfini's Puzzler #24 - The 50-50 Problem;
- Inflict zugzwang on your friends! Chess Mentor;
- Watch more of Kasparov's wicked calculation in GM Roman Dzindzichashvili's video: The Best Defense...A Kasparov Gem.