An Immortal Evan's Gambit - Best of the 1900s - Caldas vs. Silvestre, 1900

An Immortal Evan's Gambit - Best of the 1900s - Caldas vs. Silvestre, 1900

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It's rare for unknown players to create a truly magical chess game, and back in 1900, it was even more rare. Most of the celebrated chess games were played by established players in established tournaments in established chess countries. Today's game had none of those advantages. This gem, sometimes known as the Brazilian Immortal, was played by two players with a total between them of eight games in the chess database, Joao Caldas Vianna and Augusto Silvestre Paes de Barros.

The game is by no means perfect, but since when have games needed to be perfect to enchant? Caldas offers the Evan's Gambit and gains a typical opening advantage as one hopes for when the opponent doesn't defend in the most accurate fashion. Still, Silvestre gets his chances later in the game and could have opportunely sacrificed his queen for excellent play on move 16 with ...Qxf1+!!

The spectacular play really begins on move 24 with Nd6!! While this move is not decisive, it soon becomes so after a hasty capture with check on c3. Black's pieces are then running out of squares, and Caldas manages to capitalize with memorable queen and rook sacrifices to conclude the game prettily.

Top 10 Games of the 1900s

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