Immortal Game

Immortal Game

The Immortal Game is one of the most well-known chess games ever played. Adolf Anderssen sacrifices all of his heavy pieces (and more) to deliver a legendary checkmate! Let's learn more about this masterpiece.

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


What Is The Immortal Game?

The Immortal 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 Evergreen Game). 

Immortal game
Adolf Anderssen. Photo: Wikimedia.

The game was played between Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky between rounds of the first international tournament, which was held in London in 1851. Anderssen won this tournament and became regarded as the strongest player in the world. Kieseritzky was famous for playing games at the Cafe de la Regence in Paris; he was also a chess teacher.

Kieseritzky was so impressed with Anderssen's play that he telegraphed the moves of the game to his chess club in Paris, and the game was published shortly after. Ernst Falkbeer (known for the Falkbeer countergambit in the King's Gambit) dubbed it "The Immortal Game" in 1855.

Why Is The Immortal Game Important?

The Immortal Game is important because it is a paradigm of romantic play, it displays multiple fantastic sacrifices and has an unforgettable checkmating pattern. It is one of the most famous attacking games of all time.

The game begins with the King's Gambit, a favorite of the romantic era, and Anderssen starts the carnage by sacrificing his bishop. He next sacrifices not one but both rooks and then forces checkmate with a brilliant queen sacrifice. Anderssen delivers the historic checkmate with only three minor pieces, despite only capturing three of Kieseritzky's pawns.

immortal game
Anderssen's Immortal Game contains one of the best sacrificial attacks ever played.

The Immortal Game

Now that you know what the Immortal Game is and why it is important, it is time to take a look at this classic. Pay special attention to Anderssen's double-rook sacrifice with 18.Bd6?! and his game-ending queen sacrifice with 22.Qf6+!! Here is the game with move-by-move explanations by NM Sam Copeland

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

Conclusion

You now know what the Immortal Game is, why it is important, and more! Check out this article for more information on the Immortal Game.