Greatest Chessgame?


There have been many brilliancies through out history and I want to know what the community thinks is the best. I have posted some games to choose from but you can post another game if you think it deserves to be a candidate. If you don't have enough time to look at all the gems, just bookmark this page and vote some other time.

Here are some links (as there are too many games which will take too much time to post them all and please do not vote prematurely):

Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999

Ivanchuk vs Yusupov, 1991

Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922

Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895

Anand vs Radjabov, 2003

Petrosian vs Pachman, 1961

Karpov vs Unzicker, 1974

Hamppe vs Meitner, 1872

C Van de Loo vs M Hesseling, 1983

Kramnik vs Topalov, 2003

Korchnoi vs Tal, 1962

B Fleissig vs Schlechter, 1895

Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938

Capablanca vs Tartakower, 1924

Averbakh vs Kotov, 1953

My personal favorite:

Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958

Short vs Timman, 1991

Weenink vs L Gans, 1930

Lasker vs W Napier, 1904

Showalter vs Pillsbury, 1904

V Malakhov vs V Zvjaginsev, 2004

Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918

Spassky vs Bronstein, 1960

Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907

Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1954

Tal vs Fischer, 1959

Tal vs Hjartarson, 1987

McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834

Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851

Anderssen vs Dufresne, 1852

Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1883

Topalov vs Shirov, 1998

B Molinari vs L Roux Cabral, 1943

S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912

Petrosian vs Spassky, 1966

Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986

Geller vs Euwe, 1953

N Mannheimer vs Nimzowitsch, 1930

Tal vs Larsen, 1965

Polugaevsky vs Petrosian, 1961

Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971

Alapin vs Rubinstein, 1908

Petrosian vs Aronin, 1961

Sutovsky vs L Pantsulaia, 2008

Samisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923

Tal vs A Vooremaa, 1971

Beliavsky vs Nunn, 1985

Bagirov vs Gufeld, 1973

F A Hoffmann vs A Petrov, 1844

Karjakin vs Anand, 2006

Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963

L Milman vs J Fang, 2005

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985

P F Johner vs Nimzowitsch, 1926

A Kupferstich vs J Andreassen, 1953

Karpov vs Unzicker, 1974

Morphy vs Le Carpentier, 1849

Kramnik vs Leko, 2004

Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858

Hoi vs Gulko, 1988

Alekhine vs Reti, 1922

Bird vs Morphy, 1858

Anand vs Lautier, 1997

Larsen vs Spassky, 1970

Tal vs Smyslov, 1959

Keene vs Miles, 1975

McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834

Steinitz vs Paulsen, 1870

W Ballard vs L Fagan, 1880

Tal vs Petrosian, 1974

Tal vs Petrosian, 1974

Estrin vs Berliner, 1965

Just to name a few!


where's reti vs. capablanca 1924?

Richard Reti vs Jose Raul Capablanca (1924) "A Knight in Capablanca"


this is my alltime favorite.


Wow really tough to pick one game out of all of these amazing games.  Im a huge Bobby Fischer fan so I guess Im obligated to pick one of his. I picked the game below for its in depth and precise calculation by Fischer.  You know you are a good chess player when you can fool several grandmasters into thinking you are losing! :)

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963


Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 hands down for me


Morphy verus Duke Karl.

This is not my favourite, although I think it was at some point.

Firstly, it has a good story.

Secondly, you know who's going to win it before it even starts  -it's a question of how.

Thirdly, it's a easy to read game for an amatuer, all fireworks.

Another goodie is when Marshall uncorked his gambit on Capa, and Capa refuted it using his instincts. 


WOW.  WAH.  Yeah.

Excellent post.

   LEVITSKY -  MARSHALL  (Breslau, 1912)   gets my vote. 

Of course Frank Marshall won.  Who ever heard of Stepan Livitsky?

  It teaches me this particular variation of the Frence Defense is so not bad. Marshall also ignores his two central pawns' weakness.  Levitsky doesn't have time for an endgame anyway, so it doesn't matter. 

      I have seen half of these games before, but like most recalcitrant human beings, my mind is already made up about my choice. 

Consider Samuel Butler,

       "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still." 

   Have been a huge fan of Mikhail Tal all my chess life, but this Marshall game is something very special.  For example,  I have returned to Tal - Fischer (Bled 1959) many times.  Same with Tal - Smyslov (Bled 1959)  and others. I have owned a book with those games in it since 1962.  I just can't pick Tal over this Marshall game.  The thing of it is I would not have seen Marshall's checkmate in over the board play myself.  It just would not have been visible to me.  They say the public at the match threw coins up on the stage in appreciation of this chess brilliancy.   Quien Sabe?


addiction_to_chess, you provide a list that players could feast on for months, if not longer...


I've always thought that my favorite was Fischer v Spassky 1972 Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower

that was until i saw the amazing games on this forum topic.  great list and thanks for taking the time to do this.  that Levitsky v Marshall ending is unbelievable


this post should always be at the top of the page!


Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986 - 1 vote

Richard Reti vs Jose Raul Capablanca (1924) "A Knight in Capablanca"- 1 vote (entry by voter)

R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963- 1 vote

Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 - 1 vote

Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858 - 1/2 vote (I'm not sure what Maradonna voted)

Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 -1/2 vote (This is the other half of Maradonna's vote)

S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912 - 2 votes

Tal vs Botvinnik, 1960 - 1 vote

Polugaevsky vs Nezhmetdinov, 1958 - 1 vote (I can't believe no one else is voting on this game)


For some reason, most of my favourite games were won by black. Look at these: Gelfand-Anand 1993 0-1, sac of a knight for long-term attacking opportunities Stoinev-Kovalev 1992 0-1, rook + bishop vs queen Rotlewi-Rubinstein 1907 0-1, queen sac Nimzowitsch-Capablanca 1913 0-1, opposite coloured bishops ending




People are passing over some great games here in favor of their own games.


Morphy's Opera game gets my vote.....I probably don't understand how good the other ones are yet!.....but that game amazes mate with his last 2 pieces.




My favourite is this grob-opening miniature:

Grob's opening

1. g4 {The Grob} e5 2.f4!! {brilliant way to conclude the game rapidly!} Qh4# {black is helpless - all alternatives are even worse  } 0-1

IMO, this is too brilliant to be defiled by a mere diagram.. ;)


but seriously, my favourite is

R.Byrne-R.Fischer 1963


i must put my vote at the polish immortal. it amazes me every time =) black sacs all his pieces to open lines and then finishes the king with a pawn.

how did najdorf spot that combination?

really nice thread by the way

timpan wrote:

i must put my vote at the polish immortal. it amazes me every time =) black sacs all his pieces to open lines and then finishes the king with a pawn.

how did najdorf spot that combination?

really nice thread by the way

Thanks for the link! I did not know of this game. Amazing display by Najdorf!


Another polish immortal .... but probably was newer pleyed...