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Four pedestrian hipsters.
GM Gregory Serper-IM Ioannis Nikolaidis is definitely a candidate. Why? Because it's probably the only game in history where the winning player sacrificed all of his pieces and still managed to win the game. You can find it if you look through Gserper's content, and look for "My Personal Mona Lisa".
Very nice. Thanks for that game.
Fischer-Myagmarsüren, Sousse Interzonal 1967
1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. g3 c5 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Ngf3 Be7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. e5 Nd7 9. Re1 b5 10. Nf1 b4 11. h4 a5 12. Bf4 a4 13. a3 bxa3 14. bxa3 Na5 15. Ne3 Ba6 16. Bh3 d4 17. Nf1 Nb6 18. Ng5 Nd5 19. Bd2 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 Qd7 21. Qh5 Rfc8 22. Nd2 Nc3 23. Bf6 Qe8 24. Ne4 g6 25. Qg5 Nxe4 26. Rxe4 c4 27. h5 cxd3 28. Rh4 Ra7 29. Bg2 dxc2 30. Qh6 Qf8 31. Qxh7+ 1-0
My Favorite Game, Well One Of Them
Yes, this is a great game. My friend Nikolaidis showed it to us a few days after it was played, and needless to say he was proud of it- even if he was at the wrong end.
Another great candidate. Thanks.
Petrosian-Spassky, (Moscow, Russia with an ECO of E63) 1966: The most decisive game of the 1966 World Championship Match, Petrosian sacrifices both of his rooks to finish with a stylish queen sacrifice!
Topalov-Shirov, (Linares, Spain with an ECO of D85) 1998: Shirov unleashes a shocking bishop sacrifice in a seemingly drawn bishop endgame to snatch the win!
Short-Timman, (Tilburg, Netherlands with an ECO of B04) 1991: Short's king becomes the hero of the game when he marches it toward Timman's king - in the middlegame!
These are my top three.
Hey No Problem, Thanks, I Only Try!
Yeah, that's true.
One thing I found rather interesting recently was going through Chernev's Most Instructive Games and finding huge praise heaped on Bogoljubov-Reti Mahrisch-Ostrau 1923, which I thought was a pretty pedestrian affair actually.
Hopefully, you are kidding. (I thought it was a great game! A real classic!!)
Or is there some sarcasm or humor involved here - that I am not detecting?
Nope, not kidding this time (good to see though you're thinking along those lines now...heehee!).
My ten best since the mid-1960s are described at http://chessskill.blogspot.com/2009/05/best-of-best-chess-informant-readers.html
I don't think Topalov-Shirov qualifies as a great 'game'..ordinary game with a phenomenal ending.
Great games should have both players playing at the peak of their powers where at various points the result is in doubt. The first game of the Fischer -Larsen match in 1971 is a prime example. I guess Kasparov-Topalov (Wijk 1999) is a great game but if Topalov had found 24..Kb6 would we be discussing it 13 years later?
I have to go along with the idea that Topalov-Shirov (Ba3!!!) IS an amazing move ... but hardly qualifies as a great game.
... << but if Topalov had found 24..Kb6 would we be discussing it 13 years later? >>
Probably not ...
I have a whole web page dedicated to "The Best Chess Games Ever played." (http://www.ajschess.com/lifemasteraj/best_games.html) You should really check it out, dozens of games are annotated ... and its all free.
Great site! I have used it often, including last week to study your annotations to Spassky -- Evans, 1962, which are excellent.BTW, several years ago, when I was a C-Class player, you encouraged me in my progress and said something about 1600 being a crucial milestone. Now, I'm over 1900 USCF.