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Stratagem Wins
Compiled by sevenseaman

Those games where the eventual winner, at times, comes under early pressure but is clever enough to escape via improvisation or some psychological ruse.

Opponent too can make a mistake
Ivkov vs Portisch, 1961 
(C18) French, Winawer, 31 moves, 1-0

If you have two, give away one
Tal vs Simagin, 1956 
(B06) Robatsch, 45 moves, 1-0

Packing a punch
Pachman vs Eckert, 1940 
(C13) French, 24 moves, 1-0

No escape, Houdini
Ehlvest vs Kasparov, 1988 
(A28) English, 25 moves, 0-1

Toppled - Kasparov immortal
Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999 
(B06) Robatsch, 44 moves, 1-0

Modern Masters are cleverer
Kasparov vs Tal, 1987 
(E48) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5, 31 moves, 1-0

Class apart
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1985 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 42 moves, 0-1

Squeezed into submission by mere mosquitoes!
V Malinin vs A Andreev, 1989 
(A58) Benko Gambit, 32 moves, 1-0

Where eagles dare!
V Malinin vs V Savinov, 1988 
(A58) Benko Gambit, 36 moves, 1-0

A rabbit out of a hat
Topalov vs Shirov, 1998 
(D85) Grunfeld, 53 moves, 0-1

Brokering the pawns in an end game
Gligoric vs Stein, 1962 
(E70) King's Indian, 57 moves, 0-1

Kramnik vs Shirov, 1994 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Did you like the tie pin?
Timman vs Kasparov, 1985 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 41 moves, 1-0

The rookster
Keres vs D Byrne, 1972 
(D94) Grunfeld, 33 moves, 1-0

Confetti and buntings all the way!
Euwe vs Alekhine, 1935 
(D81) Grunfeld, Russian Variation, 45 moves, 1-0

Cute finish
Van der Wiel vs Short, 1985 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

Walking into a known trap
Capablanca vs M Fonaroff, 1918 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 22 moves, 1-0

Guts on the line
A Ostapenko vs S Kurkin, 1970 
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 30 moves, 1-0

A missed opportunity and the shark's jaws closed.
A Shashin vs Korchnoi, 1973 
(E56) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 7...Nc6, 35 moves, 1-0

A smooth crossing of the river
V Ruban vs A Poluljahov, 1994 
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 28 moves, 1-0

Come and be my guest
J Cukierman vs Tartakower, 1930 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 25 moves, 1-0

The way the cookie crumbles
J Cukierman vs Koltanowski, 1929 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 32 moves, 1-0

A new variety of the smother mate.
P Moran Santamaria vs E Franco Raymundo, 1955 
(B64) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 24 moves, 1-0

A fudged Machiavelli? No a genuine one.
J Cukierman vs A Voisin, 1929 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 31 moves, 1-0

An untouchable Q and an expedient
Reshevsky vs Fischer, 1970 
(A32) English, Symmetrical Variation, 30 moves, 0-1

Some of the cleanest germs live in soapcakes!
A Steinkuehler vs Blackburne, 1863  
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 22 moves

Thinking of a sac, do it at the right time.
Gheorghiu vs Kavalek, 1969 
(E83) King's Indian, Samisch, 25 moves, 0-1

Two attacking and defending Bishops.
Svidler vs Adams, 2000 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 34 moves, 1-0

Power display
J Rosanes vs Anderssen, 1862 
(C31) King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit, 19 moves, 0-1

Marshall was in a class of his own.
Marshall vs Bogoljubov, 1924 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 38 moves, 1-0

Only Pawns morphose into Queens
Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 47 moves, 0-1

The Morphyne Injection!
Anderssen vs M Lange, 1859 
(C39) King's Gambit Accepted, 30 moves, 1-0

Ephemera, but they keep coming!
F Erkel vs Szen, 1845 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 33 moves, 1-0

Q is no more needed. R will mate.
Gunsberg vs Janowski, 1902 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 29 moves, 0-1

If Q leaves the board, better
C Lutz vs Ftacnik, 2001 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 35 moves, 1-0

You take the Q , as I take the game anyways
M Lowcki vs Tartakower, 1937 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 39 moves, 0-1

Zugzwang, une apocalypse
Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch, 1930 
(C17) French, Winawer, Advance, 30 moves, 1-0

How to deflect an attack and gobble up the attacker
J Mason vs Winawer, 1882 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 56 moves, 1-0

Judith, where didya meet Morphy
Judit Polgar vs P Chilingirova, 1988 
(B31) Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation, 17 moves, 1-0

Go the whole hog, not just the Q
Reti vs Tartakower, 1910 
(B15) Caro-Kann, 11 moves, 1-0

Invest well in time for a good return
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2001 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 1-0

A good Benoni here.
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 
(A61) Benoni, 41 moves, 0-1

Insulates all except the Bishop at f1.
A Riazantsev vs Carlsen, 2005 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 36 moves, 0-1

You do not always know the end is so near
Larsen vs Spassky, 1981 
(A26) English, 44 moves, 0-1

A tough balancing act with scope to slip
Z Almasi vs Lahno, 2006 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 37 moves, 1-0

...32. Ng4 can neither be swallowed nor spat out
G Wood vs Najdorf, 1946 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 32 moves, 0-1

A Benoni to savour!
Gligoric vs Kavalek, 1972 
(A77) Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8, 10.Nd2, 38 moves, 1-0

Some finishes really finish you
B Lengyel vs V M Mikhalevski, 1993 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 22 moves, 0-1

Which came first, the egg or the chicken
O Field vs O Tenner, 1923 
(C58) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

Its the Masters that produce works of art
G Andruet vs Spassky, 1988 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 28 moves, 0-1

The win wasn't visible till 28. Q g7
Capablanca vs T A Carter, 1909 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

On a clear day you can see for ever.
L B Hansen vs Timman, 1994 
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 34 moves, 1-0

A smother mate in the air can take your breath away!
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 2000 
(E53) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 25 moves, 1-0

A polished Kolisch
Shumov vs Kolisch, 1862 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 24 moves, 0-1

Putting a wild beast into the cage
M Kuerschner vs Tarrasch, 1891 
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 23 moves, 0-1

Attack very often is a matter of outnumbering.
J Mason vs Gunsberg, 1889 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 29 moves, 0-1

The Q in a bunker, like Saddam.
Hromadka vs Tarrasch, 1922 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 27 moves, 1-0

is brutally minded.
Botvinnik vs Portisch, 1968 
(A22) English, 26 moves, 1-0

Meet the ambidexterous!
Lindehn vs Maczuski, 1863 
(C21) Center Game, 16 moves, 1-0

For a Mate-in-two, threaten Mate-in-one
D Waterman vs R Samo, 1974 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 17 moves, 1-0

The 'Man can' mate.
F Manca vs F Braga, 1992 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 20 moves, 1-0

24. Ba2 prudence pays, 24. Qg6 is hasty.
Reti vs Spielmann, 1928 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1-0

In a traffic jam, even vertical is an option.
Colle vs V Soultanbeieff, 1930 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 20 moves, 1-0

Brinkmanship is as punishable as insouciance.
Guimard vs Euwe, 1946 
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 35 moves, 0-1

Smyslov poses a last move teaser.
Smyslov vs Denker, 1946 
(B24) Sicilian, Closed, 52 moves, 1-0

Motoring down a mountain road!
Browne vs L Christiansen, 1977 
(A10) English, 38 moves, 1-0

A brilliancy, but Ian Rogers will not dig it.
Kasparov vs P Nikolic, 1992 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 37 moves, 1-0

Jockeyed out!
I Rogers vs G Milos, 1992 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 32 moves, 1-0

Let sleeping dogs sleep
J E Slade vs NN, 1960 
(B58) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1-0

The R sacrifice is a booby-trap.
Leko vs Bacrot, 2009 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 39 moves, 1-0

A quintessential attack
B Ivanovic vs G Ginsburg, 2003 
(B95) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6...e6, 33 moves, 1-0

26. Bd5 kills two birds with one stone.
Euwe vs G A Thomas, 1934 
(D69) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Classical,, 26 moves, 1-0

Its never too late to sac!
Keres vs Petrosian, 1959 
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 51 moves, 0-1

A clever Webb saw more than most will do here.
R M Webb vs J Zeberski, 2004 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 27 moves, 1-0

Only chess manages to combine beauty with brains.
D Kontic vs G M Todorovic, 1992 
(B35) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Modern Variation with Bc4, 32 moves, 1-0

Who ever won just by castling!
Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995  
(C16) French, Winawer, 31 moves, 0-1

Sniping at a siiting duck is a lot easier!
P Patankar vs A Deshpande, 2008 
(C45) Scotch Game, 18 moves, 1-0

Too big a lag in development can embarrass.
Svidler vs Bareev, 2004 
(C10) French, 17 moves, 1-0

A quick mating expedient found by Shirov.
Shirov vs T Thorhallsson, 1992 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 1-0

14. Bxb7! Kramnik takes Vishy for a ride here.
Kramnik vs Anand, 2007 
(A15) English, 21 moves, 1-0

A bright star of the chess firmament.
Gelfand vs Shirov, 2007 
(D85) Grunfeld, 54 moves, 0-1

Overworked defenders watch helplessly!
Korotylev vs Mamedyarov, 2007 
(B06) Robatsch, 30 moves, 0-1

Hang on with your nails even as they break.
E Inarkiev vs M M Kazhgaleyev, 2008 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 50 moves, 1-0

A fish out of water.
Fischer vs C Munoz, 1960 
(B77) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 36 moves, 0-1

J C Sadorra vs D K Dunn, 2011 
(D85) Grunfeld, 28 moves, 1-0

Q is just a chessman!
Gelfand vs Jobava, 2011 
(A70) Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3, 29 moves, 1-0

Piece sac, a rampaging Q, sees Ps promote & win.
Aronian vs Svidler, 2011 
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 54 moves, 1-0

Capa used the Alekhine idea 10 years later.
Alekhine vs Koehnlein, 1908 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 17 moves, 1-0

Miles only inches away!
Miles vs Beliavsky, 1986 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 29 moves, 1-0

White never stops posing the problem.
Kotronias vs Z Kozul, 2005 
(B32) Sicilian, 29 moves, 1-0

Keep your oppnent under the hammer.
Kotronias vs D King, 1990 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 26 moves, 1-0

The main problem comes after the solution.
Kotronias vs Grigoriants, 2009 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 28 moves, 1-0

Tidy work, White keeps a cool nerve.
A Artidiello vs D Freeman, 2001 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 23 moves, 1-0

Mastery by Euwe
L Stumpers vs Euwe, 1946 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 30 moves, 0-1

94 games

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