From Odd to Bizarre Chess Games

Jan 17, 2008, 8:09 PM |

In 1915 there was purportedly a very odd game played in Moscow between Alekhine and an unknown opponent in which a position was reached where there were no less than 5 ladies on the board.  This would be remarkable were it not for the fact that the game was fabricated, and loosely based on a real game where Alekhine was black against Grigoriev.

There was, however, a real game played even earlier in 1896 between one J.D. Tresling and L. Benima in which 5 queens really did appear on the board after move 42.  Here it is.


 Even stranger than that was another Spanish game played between Medina Garcia and Gligoric in 1968.  Medina Garcia resigns after his queen is trapped, but that is not what makes the game so strange.  Play though it and see if you notice what really distinguishes this gem before looking at the next sentence.


How many games have you seen where one side was forced to resign even though not a single piece nor pawn has been captured by either side?  Here is another game between two 2500 players in which no captures take place.  However, this time the game ends in a stalemate.  There is one catch, however, which I reveal at the end of the game in case you don’t figure it out during the course of the action. 


We started with a game in which an uncommon event occurred.  In the next game, we find an even more uncommon event.  We have all seen puzzles where a mate can only be achieved by underpromotion to a knight, but here is a real game in which this exceedingly rare event actually took place.


Let us finish with a game between Onishko and Leonov that is just plain bizarre, from the opening to the pawn structure after White’s 9th move and on to the end.