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Material Imbalances
Compiled by vikinx
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Material imbalances are like, you know, a knight against a bishop, three pawns for a bishop, two knights vs two bishops, etc. These games show some of them.


Black has three pawns for a bishop.
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 74 moves, 0-1

White has a bishop for a knight.
Fischer vs Taimanov, 1970 
(B44) Sicilian, 58 moves, 1-0

Black first has 2P vs N, then 2P vs R, then 4p vs R.
Portisch vs Tal, 1964 
(A04) Reti Opening, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

White makes a sacrifice and overwhelms Black.
Janowski vs Kupchik, 1913 
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 1-0

White was a pawn up.
Taimanov vs Fischer, 1960 
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 87 moves, 1/2-1/2

White has won a rook for a bishop.
Bisguier vs J Sherwin, 1954 
(D01) Richter-Veresov Attack, 44 moves, 1-0

Black's strong bishop+pawn was no match for the White rook.
J Mieses vs Capablanca, 1913 
(C22) Center Game, 44 moves, 0-1

Black's queen+knight is stronger than White's queen+bishop.
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 27 moves, 0-1

White had an extra pawn, and Black's were very weak.
Capablanca vs Burn, 1911 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 46 moves, 1-0

White's rook and pawn beat Black's knights.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 57 moves, 1-0

White forces the win of two pawns.
Capablanca vs Teichmann, 1913 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 38 moves, 1-0

Black's extra pawn did not stop White!
Kramnik vs Junior, 2000 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 33 moves, 1-0

White forced the win of Black's queen.
Anand vs Bologan, 2003 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 36 moves, 1-0

White's extra b-pawn forced the win of the game.
Smyslov vs Korchnoi, 1967 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 74 moves, 1-0

Black had an extra pawn, and White botched the draw.
Spielmann vs Duras, 1907 
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 99 moves, 0-1

White's two pawns lead to Black's doom.
C Hansen vs E Agrest, 2004 
(E09) Catalan, Closed, 80 moves, 1-0

White's two pawns beat Black's rook!!!
Szen vs S Newham, 1851 
(B44) Sicilian, 64 moves, 1-0

Black's opposition beat White's pawn.
Gligoric vs Fischer, 1959 
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's a-pawn was not strong enough.
Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1911  
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 42 moves, 1-0

White's two kingside pawns dominated Black.
Najdorf vs R Garcia, 1968
(A63) Benoni, Fianchetto, 9...Nbd7, 78 moves, 1-0

White had a rook and pawn for a bishop.
Tarrasch vs Alapin, 1905 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 48 moves, 1-0

White's 3 pawns > Black's bishop
Nakamura vs T Hillarp Persson, 2005 
(C02) French, Advance, 100 moves, 1-0

White won Black's rook and the game.
A Riazantsev vs S Ivanov, 2004
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 41 moves, 1-0

Black could have forced a win with his extra pawn.
W Bruijn vs H Kloos, 1851 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black rook beat White's bishop.
W Schlage vs Ahues, 1921
(C49) Four Knights, 40 moves, 0-1

White extra pawn was not very important.
Alekhine vs Yates, 1910 
(D61) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 46 moves, 1-0

Black's extra pawn created a Lucena Position.
Morozevich vs Gelfand, 2005 
(E06) Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3, 87 moves, 0-1

Black's extra pawn was not enough.
Topalov vs Kramnik, 2005 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's pawn pressured White into a loss
A Kochyev vs Smyslov, 1978 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 84 moves, 0-1

White kept the rooks and went on to lose.
NN vs Staunton, 1842 
(C45) Scotch Game, 64 moves, 0-1

White's extra pawn created a Lucena Position.
Reshevsky vs Najdorf, 1968 
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 73 moves, 1-0

White drew, despite the fact that Black had two extra pawns.
Joel Benjamin vs Karpov, 2000 
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 76 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's a-pawn only won because of the f-pawns.
Short vs Anand, 1991 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 59 moves, 0-1

Black's a- pawn was stronger than Black's e-and h-pawns.
Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1914 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's rook was stronger than White's pawn.
E Williams vs Harrwitz, 1852 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 60 moves, 0-1

White's king and pawn was strong against Black's rook.
Leko vs Kramnik, 2004  
(A61) Benoni, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

White's a-pawn immobilizes Black.
J G Campbell vs R Wormald, 1859 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 57 moves, 1-0

This game is like number 37.
Shirov vs Kramnik, 1999 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 64 moves, 1-0

The knight held Black's rook and pawn.
Lasker vs Ed. Lasker, 1924 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 12...cd, 103 moves, 1/2-1/2

White won a pawn, then a piece.
Benko vs Averbakh, 1958 
(A36) English, 78 moves, 1-0

The knight was stronger than the bishop.
Benko vs Korchnoi, 1962 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 81 moves, 1-0

White again uses his knight properly.
Capablanca vs Reshevsky, 1936 
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 58 moves, 1-0

White's knight was very active.
Smyslov vs Euwe, 1946 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 49 moves, 1-0

White's two pawns are unstoppable against the bishop.
Benko vs Smyslov, 1959 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 74 moves, 1-0

See number 31.
Cunningham vs Loewenthal, 1856 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 76 moves, 1-0

Black's rook dominates White's pawn.
Loewenthal vs Morphy, 1858 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 80 moves, 0-1

White forced the win of Black's remaining two pawns.
Smyslov vs Simagin, 1966 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 46 moves, 1-0

White won Black's c- and h-pawns.
Alekhine vs Saemisch, 1925 
(A31) English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation, 52 moves, 1-0

White won a rook for a bishop.
Shirov vs Grischuk, 2000 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 49 moves, 1-0

White had two extra doubled pawns.
Bacrot vs Kramnik, 2005 
(E20) Nimzo-Indian, 56 moves, 1-0

White's four pawns balanced Black's crushing king.
Lilienthal vs Smyslov, 1941 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's bishop kills Black (literally)!
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 50 moves, 0-1

White wins the exchange and gives it back with an extra pawn.
Capablanca vs Janowski, 1913 
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 52 moves, 1-0

The h-pawn forces the win Black's rook.
Karpov vs Hort, 1979 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 73 moves, 1-0

Black's a- and g-pawns were unstoppable.
O M Hindle vs G Moehring, 1964 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 77 moves, 0-1

White uses his extra pawn,rook, and king to win the game.
Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909  
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Black's queenside pawns win a piece.
Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 49 moves, 0-1

White wins Black's h-pawn.
Smyslov vs Xu Jun, 1985
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 67 moves, 1-0

White's queen overwhelms Black's rook and pawn.
Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999 
(B06) Robatsch, 44 moves, 1-0

Black's pawn builds a Lucena Position.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 70 moves, 0-1

White has an extra pawn-yet the game was drawn.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 71 moves, 1/2-1/2

White had a bishop for a pawn in this 193-move game.
Y Stepak vs Y Mashian, 1980 
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 193 moves, 1-0

White sacrificed his rook for the queening of his pawn!!!
Averbakh vs Korchnoi, 1965 
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 39 moves, 0-1

Black first had N vs P, then N vs PPPP, then RN vs R.
Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 86 moves, 1/2-1/2

White sacrifices his rook for a "book" win.
Deep Junior vs Deep Fritz, 2001 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 109 moves, 1-0

Dlugy vs F Doettling, 2006 
(D36) Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2, 161 moves, 1/2-1/2

B+P+P vs N
J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1901 
(C49) Four Knights, 68 moves, 0-1

The weak c-pawn caused material losses
Lasker vs Schlechter, 1910  
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 71 moves, 1-0

68 games

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