Carlos Torre's Spectacular Queen Sacrifice! - Best of the 20s - Torres vs. Banks, 1924

Carlos Torre's Spectacular Queen Sacrifice! - Best of the 20s - Torres vs. Banks, 1924


Carlos Torre is probably the greatest Mexican chess player. In 1915, his family left Mexico during the Mexican Civil War, and they soon settled in New Orleans. There Carlos drew attention for his chess skills and garnered comparisons to New Orleans' greatest chess player, Paul Morphy.

In the 1920s, Torre had some striking successes, including defeating the previous world champion, Emanuel Lasker, with a brilliant combination that has become known as the windmill. One wonders if this rare combination would ever have been named without the attention drawn to it by this game.

Sadly Torre suffered from serious mental health issues, and after the 1920s, he only played one recorded game, against Reuben Fine.

Torre's opponent in this game was also a player of some note. Newell Banks was a strong chess player, but he was a far stronger checkers player, winning the US Championship and claiming the World Championship title when the title holder refused to defend it. Banks gave massive blindfold exhibitions in checker and was much celebrated for his skills. You can learn more about his interesting life in Chess Notes here.

Top 10 Games of the 1920s

Barring one moment, when he allowed a freeing break in 15...d5, Torre stood better throughout the game and quickly launched a vicious attack on the queenside. The early checkers-like error of 7...f6? created many of Banks' problems. Possessing a decisive attack, Torre found the cleanest win, 22.Qxf4!!, a queen sacrifice that crashed through on the light squares, leading to victory with beautiful lines!

My annotations are below. Enjoy the game!

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