Aug 26, 2010, 12:26 PM |

Among my favorite games is one played by a 13 year old legend-to-be against a strong opponent.  In the famous Dutch tournament, Corus, in 2004, Magnus Carlsen, who will possibly go down in history as the strongest chess player ever, played a game that won the audience brilliancy prize and, at the time, caused a lot of chatter and a little controversy.

The game, which lasted only 29 moves and involved a piece sacrifice, had essentially been played before, at least once, up to move 24.  Carlsen, after the game, claimed that his home preparation ended at move 16 but after move 18 (the piece sac), he clearly saw the eventual outcome. However Tim Krabbé pointed out that Carlsen had played the same Knight sac a few days before (in a 3/0 blitz game at ICC) and that the same game, up to Carlsen's innovation, had been played at a high level at least 10 times prior to the one at Corus.

Regardless of what was claimed, what was remembered or intuited, it was a beautiful game with an innovative move (24. gxf7 ) that led to a highly coveted epaulette mate.


Epaulette Mates are indeed rare. Another nice one was played back in 1883 when two romantic players, Tarrasch and Tchigorin played their match in Petersburg -

followed by:
26. RxN+ h7xR  27. Qxg6#