The Biggest Blunders of All Time
Thumbnail inspired by @SmarterChess's article, make sure to go check it out if you want to.

The Biggest Blunders of All Time

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The blunders are there on the board, waiting to be made. - Savielly Tartakower

All chess players blunder, whether you're just a beginner, or even the world champion Magnus Carlsen. Our brain is programmed to make mistakes. However, as you get better and more experienced at the game, the number of blunders gradually decreases. This is why you don't see players like Fabiano or Hikaru hanging their queen very often. Nonetheless, today I will be covering what I think are the 5 worst and most important blunders made by professional players.

Larry Christiansen vs Anatoly Karpov (1993)

Back in 1993 during a tournament in Wijk aan Zee, GM Larry Christiansen faced off against the former world champion, Anatoly Karpov. Karpov was obviously favorable to win, so him losing in only 12 moves and perhaps making the biggest mistake of his entire career, shocked everybody.

I think that we can all learn something from this. Make sure to fully look over the board before you make a move, because you could just as easily as Karpov miss a blank-spot and lose the game. 

Dimitar Donchev vs Veselin Topalov (1989)

Donchev and Topalov faced off during a match in Sofia, Bulgaria. Topalov was expected to win, as his rating was nearly 300 points higher! But as you'll see in this game, things weren't that easy for him.

This game shows that even at the top level, discovered attacks can still be a threat. These are the positions where you should think the most in, since multiple of your opponent's pieces are making it difficult to find breathing room.

Boris Spassky vs Robert Fischer (1972)

This is one of the most equal matches on this list. Both players were perfectly qualified to play each other. Spassky (former world champion) faced off against chess genius Fischer in an interesting game, which had an upsetting ending for the American GM.

Apart from this setback, Fischer still went on to swiftly win one of the most exciting world championships in history. I talked more about this in one of my previous blogs. Most of the blunders on this list are from games that were played a long time ago, such in the 70s and 80s, but what if we look at a blunder that happened more recently?

Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Magnus Carlsen (2021)

It felt wrong not including Nepo's obvious game 9 blunder against Carlsen. Unfortunately, the 2021 world championship match was one of the most lopsided anyone has ever seen, with the end score being 7.5-3.5, in Magnus's favor.

During a press-conference after the game, Nepo admitted that he did in fact miss c6 entirely, since usually Nc5 would be available to defend the bishop. Can you solve Magnus's continuation?

To be fair, Nepo's loss was kind of understandable. He started off great, drawing the first few games, but the 126-move game 6, which he lost, worn him out and he continued to lose the following games.

Mikhail Chigorin vs Wilhelm Steinitz (1889)

What is arguably the biggest blunder of all time occurred in a game between Chigorin, and the "father of chess," Steinitz. Chigorin was on pace to winning the game, but blundered a simple Mate-in-2 tactic.

A not so fun fact, this game also earned to title as one of the worst world championship games ever played. It was also sad to see white completely blow away the 1 pawn advantage that they had in the endgame.

My Worst Blunder

I thought that it would be interesting to scour through some of my chess notation-books, and find one of, if not the worst games that I played. Now, obviously I'm not going to look into games that I played when I was a complete beginner, because I probably had more blunders than good moves. Without further ado, here is the game.

I especially hate this game because my performance in it was dependent on the entire tournament. Hopefully I don't forget simple opening theory next time.


Congratulations for making it to the end of the blog, I really appreciate it. I hope that you learned something new today. My next blog will probably be about the K-12 Nationals, so you can be looking forward to that. Also, if you have any ideas that I could potentially write about in the future, feel free to let me know. Anyways, that's it for now, have a great day!