Terrible Chess Opening, BRILLIANT Game - Best Of The 40s - Tartakower vs. Euwe

Terrible Chess Opening, BRILLIANT Game - Best Of The 40s - Tartakower vs. Euwe

NM SamCopeland

The two opponents in this game, Savielly Tartakower and Max Euwe, share some unique similarities in the chess world. At the time this game was played, both players were well established in the chess world. Tartakower was already one of the best players in the world in the 1910s, while Euwe burst onto the scene in the 1920s. Euwe was still one of the best players in the world in 1948, but he was already an ex-world chess champion of 11 years.

Tartakower and Euwe were also both great writers. Tartakower wrote both "The Hypermodern Game In Chess" and "My Best Games Of Chess." He was known for his wit and many beloved chess sayings are Tartakower's. Euwe had a PhD and was experienced in academic writing. His chess writing leans more toward the style of incredible instruction and journalism. His many books are all worth reading, but I particularly recommend his two books on "The Middlegame In Chess."

This game doesn't necessarily show either player in their best light, but chess games do not have to be perfect to be brilliant. When the opportunity arises, Euwe strings together a series of incredible moves leading to a spectacular conclusion.

Top 10 Games of the 1940s

The game opens with an exotic 4...Bb6 in the Italian game. This innovation from Euwe is intended to secure the e5-pawn and build a game around it. Sensible play from Tartakower including the Na3-d4 maneuver shows that this strategy is very flawed. His center just can't be tolerated, and Tartakower soon wins a pawn.

After losing the pawn though, Euwe play vigorously, pressing on the kingside, the only side of the board where he isn't worse. Under pressure, Tartakower immediately goes wrong, allowing the h-file to open and after 22.Kg2??, Euwe seizes the opportunity to launch an assault with a string of beautiful sacrificial moves.

My annotations are below. Enjoy the beautiful tactics!

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