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The Unbelievable
Compiled by Nasruddin Hodja

I've collected here several games that no one could believe happened if they didn't see it with their own eyes. The fantasy element comes from either the final position or the course of the chess game, or both. A few of these (eg Adams-Torre, Alekhine-NN) are unbelievable in the literal sense--they were either compositions or were derived from post-mortem analysis.

Morphy had a thing for unconventional mates...
Morphy vs Le Carpentier, 1849 
(000) Chess variants, 13 moves, 1-0

Hamppe's king walks on a knife edge.
Hamppe vs Meitner, 1872 
(C25) Vienna, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Steel's king marches forth in the opening and conquers.
R Steel vs NN, 1886 
(C25) Vienna, 26 moves, 1-0

Chigorin takes a page from Steel and Steinitz.
Chigorin vs H Caro, 1898 
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 36 moves, 1-0

A symmetrical "four minor pieces" mate. Yeah, sure.
S S Dodge vs J R Houghteling, 1904 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 16 moves, 0-1

Forget Desperate Housewives. Watch Desperate Rooks instead!
A E Post vs Nimzowitsch, 1905 
(D07) Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense, 98 moves, 1/2-1/2

Ed Lasker steals a king in broad daylight.
Ed. Lasker vs G A Thomas, 1912 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 18 moves, 1-0

Alekhine's five queen fantasy.
Alekhine vs NN, 1915 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 29 moves, 1-0

Composed? Post-mortem? Who cares, it's still beautiful.
E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 23 moves, 1-0

A tragicomical Nimzo-blockade.
Nimzowitsch vs Hakansson, 1922  
(C02) French, Advance, 28 moves, 1-0

All out of moves on a full board.
Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923  
(E18) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3, 25 moves, 0-1

Gibaud denied ever having fallen for this trap...
A Gibaud vs F Lazard, 1924 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 4 moves, 0-1

Capablanca's "V for Victory" formation.
Capablanca vs K Treybal, 1929 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 58 moves, 1-0

Bot's 19th century-style king hunt. Composed? You decide.
Botvinnik vs Chekhover, 1935 
(A13) English, 43 moves, 1-0

Black is cruel to his horse. Call PETA...
Reshevsky vs G N Treysman, 1938 
(E00) Queen's Pawn Game, 42 moves, 1-0

Marshall pushes pawns...for 14 straight moves.
Marshall vs H Rogosin, 1940 
(B20) Sicilian, 26 moves, 1-0

Spassky's 15th Move...Astonishing
Spassky vs Bronstein, 1960 
(C36) King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense, 23 moves, 1-0

The hyperaccelerated Gedult...
D Gedult vs Schwarz, 1968 
(B27) Sicilian, 15 moves, 1-0

The Great Wall of Chessboard
A Petrosian vs L Hazai, 1970 
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Move 22: Karpov pretends he's playing FischerRandom...
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993 
(E86) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6, 27 moves, 0-1

Hikaru has fun with the computer.
Crafty vs Nakamura, 2007 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 155 moves, 0-1

21 games

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