Chess Terms
Evergreen Game

Evergreen Game

The Evergreen Game is one of the most famous chess games ever played. Let's learn more about one of Adolf Anderssen's masterpieces!

Here is what you need to know about the Evergreen Game:

What Is The Evergreen Game?

The Evergreen Game is one of the most famous chess games of all time. It is also considered to be one of Adolf Anderssen's best games (alongside the Immortal Game). 

evergreen game
Adolf Anderssen in 1863. Photo: Wikimedia.

The game was played between Anderssen, considered to be the best player in the world at the time, and Jean Dufresne in 1852. Dufresne was not a world-class player but was a popular chess author. Originally published in a German chess publication, the game is believed to have been played in Berlin (although the details are still not fully known). The game has been extensively analyzed for almost 170 years at this point, and the critical positions are still a subject for discussion today.

The game was famously analyzed by the English master Howard Staunton in 1853, and then again by the first official world champion Wilhelm Steinitz in 1879. It was Steinitz who gave this game its name when he described it as "[a]n evergreen in the laurel crown of the departed chess hero."

An evergreen in the laurel crown of the departed chess hero.
— Wilhelm Steinitz

Why Is The Evergreen Game Important?

The Evergreen Game is important because it is a masterpiece of its times—it displays not only how to keep an opponent's king in the center but also how to attack it—and because it is known as one of the most beautiful games of all time. The game is also an embodiment of the romantic era of chess, when the player who made the best sacrifices generally won. 

The game begins with an exciting Evans Gambit, and the fireworks start early! The queen sacrifice used in this game, as well as the harmony of the attacking pieces and the aesthetically-pleasing final position, make it a memorable classic.

evergreen game
Anderssen's Evergreen Game is considered one of the most beautiful chess games of all time.

When the Evergreen Game was played, Adolf Anderssen was widely accepted as the strongest player in the world. He had won the first major international chess tournament in London in 1851, and this is a great example of his play at the time.

The Evergreen Game

Now that you know what the Evergreen Game is and why it is important, it is time to take a look at this classic. Pay special attention to the key moments after Anderssen's memorable 19.Rad1! as well as the stunning queen sacrifice after 21.Qxd7!! Here is the game with move-by-move explanations by NM Sam Copeland

Here is Copeland's fantastic video about the Evergreen Game:


You now know what the Evergreen Game is, why it is important, and more! Check out this video by GM Simon Williams for more information on the Evans Gambit—the swashbuckling opening used in this incredible game.

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