Lessons

The Ten Most Beautiful Chess Moves

The Ten Most Beautiful Chess Moves

Try to find the most beautiful moves ever played!

The Chess.com Curriculum Director, Jeremy Kane, put together his list of the ten most beautiful chess moves ever played. See if you can spot them and let us know what other moves should have made the list.

  • Try to find some of the most amazing moves in the history of the game.
  • Work out the follow-up combinations to figure out why each move works.
Number 10: Anand's Immortal

Number 10: Anand's Immortal

World Champion Anand has played many brilliant moves, but this one in this game against Levon Aronian may have been his most beautiful.
2 Challenges
Number 9: Vladimirov Ignores A Queen

Number 9: Vladimirov Ignores A Queen

When your opponent's queen captures yours, you nearly always recapture. GM Yevgeniy Vladimirov reminds us to stay open minded.
3 Challenges
Number 8: Marshall's Gold Coin Game

Number 8: Marshall's Gold Coin Game

Supposedly after this game the fans through gold coins on the board to celebrate Frank Marshall's beautiful play.
2 Challenges
Number 7: Bura's Shocking Decoy

Number 7: Bura's Shocking Decoy

Both queens are hanging and you're going to lose yours. You get to pick the square where that happens.
2 Challenges
Number 6: Paul Morphy's Greatest Move

Number 6: Paul Morphy's Greatest Move

Paul Morphy was a nineteenth-century chess genius who played many brilliant moves. This one against Paulsen might be his best!
2 Challenges
Number 5: Geller's Quiet Brilliance

Number 5: Geller's Quiet Brilliance

Efim Geller was known as ferocious attacking player, but he could play endgames at the top level as well. This rook ending looks like a draw, but not if you find Geller's amazing idea.
2 Challenges
Number 4: The Immortal Draw

Number 4: The Immortal Draw

In 1872 Carl Hamppe and Philipp Meitner combined to play the most spectacular draw in the history of chess. Playing it over, you can tell that it will be a special game after Black's beautiful next move.
4 Challenges
Number 3: Cheparinov's Miraculous Escape

Number 3: Cheparinov's Miraculous Escape

Ivan Cheparinov is mostly known for supporting Veselin Topalov, in world title matches but he can make magic on his own as well. Black's position is terrifying, but there's a way to win if you can find it.
2 Challenges
Number 2: An Engine's Impossible Zugzwang

Number 2: An Engine's Impossible Zugzwang

Amazing chess isn't only for humans anymore. The most recent versions of Stockfish are maybe the strongest chess entities of all time, but the engine Stoofvlees found an amazing move created a middlegame zugzwang and handed Stockfish a rare defeat.
3 Challenges
Number 1: Shirov's Sacrifice

Number 1: Shirov's Sacrifice

I'm not the first person to call this the greatest move ever played. See if you can spot GM Alexei Shirov's spectacular move to win an opposite-colored bishop ending.
3 Challenges
A Wildcard: Ivanchuk's Recent Amazing Move

A Wildcard: Ivanchuk's Recent Amazing Move

After I put this list together, Vasyl Ivanchuk played one of the most amazing moves anyone has ever seen. Where do you think this move should rank in the next list?
2 Challenges

The Ten Most Beautiful Chess Moves

Tactics
11 Lessons
No Videos
27 Challenges
Released January 4, 2023
7,083 Students