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From the edge of disaster
Compiled by sevenseaman
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Games where one is only a few moves away from defeat.

Safest castle! Behind the enemy lines.
C Van de Loo vs M Hesseling, 1983 
(C57) Two Knights, 48 moves, 1-0

A polished Pole
A Kuligowski vs Przewoznik, 1976 
(E84) King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line, 35 moves, 1-0

A Bronstein special
V Mikenas vs Bronstein, 1965 
(A53) Old Indian, 24 moves, 0-1

Classier
Bronstein vs Najdorf, 1950 
(E29) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 21 moves, 1-0

Castling in the enemy camp
J van Ruitenburg vs S Castellani, 2000 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 27 moves, 1-0

The yawning gap
Morozevich vs Ivanchuk, 2004 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 30 moves, 0-1

Garry was higher ranked but Topalov had the 7th rank
Topalov vs Kasparov, 1994 
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 28 moves, 1-0

Games to be won, if you fight on.
Tringov vs Fischer, 1965 
(B97) Sicilian, Najdorf, 22 moves, 0-1

An amazing concession!
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 54 moves, 0-1

B is not quite the sacrifice it looks!
Fischer vs Euwe, 1960 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 36 moves, 1-0

4 colluding horsemen!
H K E Clemenz vs F Eisenschmidt, 1862 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 24 moves, 1-0

Tal weilds a scalpel!
Tal vs J I Zilber, 1949 
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 33 moves, 1-0

Say nice doggie till you can pick up a stone.
E Vladimirov vs P Van der Sterren, 1990 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 42 moves, 1-0

Denouement shows d6 R is untouchable.
Hartlaub vs V Benary, 1911 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 20 moves, 1-0

Novotnised choices!
Nezhmetdinov vs Y Kotkov, 1957 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 25 moves, 1-0

The Botvinnik system.
Denker vs Botvinnik, 1945 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 25 moves, 0-1

Go left, go right, it doen't change your plight!
W Donisthorpe vs Mundell, 1892 
(C46) Three Knights, 15 moves, 1-0

Tactical escape hatches!
E Inarkiev vs M M Kazhgaleyev, 2008 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 50 moves, 1-0

All you need is a compelling diversion!
Tal vs F Olafsson, 1975 
(B06) Robatsch, 25 moves, 0-1

Its an easy life; until the cat jumps into the pigeons!
Spielmann vs Przepiorka, 1906 
(C20) King's Pawn Game, 26 moves, 1-0

A muscular compliment!
Petrosian vs Smyslov, 1961 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 32 moves, 1-0

No time to lock the door, mate!
C T Goering vs Anderssen, 1877 
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 37 moves, 1-0

A class apart!
Spassky vs Petrosian, 1966 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Knights are gallant
G MacDonnell vs Bird, 1874 
(C39) King's Gambit Accepted, 38 moves, 0-1

Nerve and vision
Ivanchuk vs Topalov, 1996 
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 23 moves, 0-1

Self-inflicted Quarantine
S Atalik vs Sax, 1997 
(E37) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 26 moves, 1-0

Masterclass: A lifetime lesson for Kasparov
Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1991 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 38 moves, 1-0

The Tiger had a long time coming
Petrosian vs Fischer, 1971 
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 32 moves, 1-0

A bent pin is good enough
Tal vs Larsen, 1965  
(B82) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 37 moves, 1-0

A commanding performance.
Captain Evans vs McDonnell, 1829 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 20 moves, 1-0

When Max smacks you with an irresistible attack.
Euwe vs Reti, 1920 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 31 moves, 1-0

Alexander the great knew all about sieges.
Tarrasch vs Alekhine, 1922 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 0-1

A wolf at your doorstep
Alekhine vs H Wolf, 1922 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1-0

Catching a moving train!
Kramnik vs E Alekseev, 2007 
(E00) Queen's Pawn Game, 31 moves, 1-0

Suddenly, a sledge-hammer in my hand.
V Nevostrujev vs K Kalashnikov, 2001 
(B76) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

Roaming the ramparts without fear!
Kamsky vs Kramnik, 1994 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 41 moves, 1-0

The walking beatnik.
Weenink vs L Gans, 1923 
(C25) Vienna, 27 moves, 1-0

An island, a boat, a portrait in courage ... and vision.
P K Wells vs N Berry, 2002 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 48 moves, 1-0

Queen falls but the Rooks rollick.
W Paige vs E Formanek, 1993 
(C18) French, Winawer, 47 moves, 1-0

Framed! Street fights are gory affairs.
I Abraham vs G Janny, 1923 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 18 moves, 0-1

Alexey's Mona Lisa
Shirov vs Kramnik, 1993 
(D20) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 37 moves, 1-0

Polgar pulverizes Shirov
Judit Polgar vs Shirov, 1995 
(B06) Robatsch, 21 moves, 1-0

Crossing a river full of alligators.
Filip vs Petrosian, 1965 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 0-1

Complex things have to be simplified.
Morozevich vs E Alekseev, 2004 
(B56) Sicilian, 32 moves, 1-0

Available! Unavailable.
Marshall vs Stodie, 1920 
(B20) Sicilian, 13 moves, 1-0

Tread carefully, with delicate fingers!
Rubinstein vs D Marotti, 1922  
(B32) Sicilian, 35 moves, 1-0

Vacate the back rank or f8!
Capablanca vs D Marotti, 1922  
(B32) Sicilian, 24 moves, 1-0

Managing a pin well makes you a master!
Murey vs E Shvidler, 1982 
(A16) English, 29 moves, 0-1

An implacable point created on move 12.
Ivanchuk vs Yusupov, 1991 
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 39 moves, 0-1

Against the best, you just cant afford a slip, Shirov!
Kasparov vs Shirov, 2004 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 40 moves, 1-0

Akopian can handle a heckler!
Akopian vs Kramnik, 2004 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 32 moves, 1-0

Bombarded with tough choices, Black collapses.
L Dominguez vs Morozevich, 2009 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 36 moves, 1-0

Remorseless and implacable!
F Hermann vs H Hussong, 1930 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 32 moves, 0-1

Oh, the twists and turns this game could take!
Ljubojevic vs Ulf Andersson, 1976 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 34 moves, 1-0

The Damoclean was a very heavy sword.
Larsen vs Geller, 1960 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 39 moves, 1-0

In chess, pins are golddiggers!
Kramnik vs Topalov, 2008 
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 33 moves, 1-0

Let the hangman feel happy!
V Makogonov vs Chekhover, 1937 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 37 moves, 0-1

Step into my parlor, s'il vous plait.
Euwe vs Menchik, 1930 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 61 moves, 0-1

An all-out attack brooks no failure!
Carls vs Spielmann, 1912 
(A25) English, 27 moves, 1-0

An iffy win.
Seirawan vs Suttles, 1981 
(A21) English, 41 moves, 0-1

Utopia!
Averbakh vs Smyslov, 1939 
(A06) Reti Opening, 24 moves, 0-1

Kasparov has a kakewalk.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 2001 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 31 moves, 1-0

Ever saw such a thing? Ya, but never in a frame!
NN vs W Curran, 1876 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 18 moves, 0-1

Bronstein takes you to the stratosphere!
Bronstein vs Korchnoi, 1962 
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 39 moves, 1-0

Vidmarvellous!
Rubinstein vs Vidmar, 1918 
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 24 moves, 0-1

Guts and gumption can pack a punch!
J Lechtynsky vs Pachman, 1968 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 19 moves, 1-0

A parking lot marked 'Royals Only' !
Alekhine vs Marshall, 1925 
(D06) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

Thrill a minute tempo.
Morozevich vs Topalov, 2001 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 40 moves, 0-1

My pawns upon you!
V Malakhov vs V Zvjaginsev, 2004 
(E97) King's Indian, 43 moves, 0-1

If you can see it, its not going to hit you!
Petrosian vs Simagin, 1956 
(A53) Old Indian, 48 moves, 1-0

Open the door or not, death is certain.
Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 
(E07) Catalan, Closed, 32 moves, 1-0

Porky on the forky!
Mecking vs A Rocha, 1969 
(C69) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 24 moves, 1-0

A simple harvest for the staple.
H Geiger vs W Wurm, 1930 
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 39 moves, 0-1

Traxler: Play with fire whenever you can!
B Mikyska vs Traxler, 1896 
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

Refuting the Traxler?
Anand vs Beliavsky, 1991 
(C57) Two Knights, 44 moves, 0-1

Beauty and subtlety, sometimes they meld together!
Granda Zuniga vs Seirawan, 1993 
(A15) English, 56 moves, 1-0

In terror of defeat!
Bareev vs Smirin, 2002 
(E97) King's Indian, 46 moves, 0-1

Life is fun when under the hammer.
Anand vs Ftacnik, 1993 
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 37 moves, 1-0

Last move castling is so much fun; and rare!
Anand vs Svidler, 1999 
(D97) Grunfeld, Russian, 31 moves, 1-0

It needed a double whammy to win!
Tylor vs W Winter, 1933 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 25 moves, 1-0

Gata was a goner!
Kramnik vs Kamsky, 1994 
(A17) English, 38 moves, 0-1

Spielman's pins pinch.
Y Visser vs Speelman, 2006 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 28 moves, 0-1

Renewable Energy!
Marshall vs G Marco, 1904 
(C45) Scotch Game, 76 moves, 1-0

The game is mine, Nunntheless!
Kasparov vs Nunn, 1986 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 18 moves, 1-0

Locked doors do not deter a seeker.
E Nikolic vs Fischer, 1968 
(A10) English, 31 moves, 0-1

Janny has a sense of humor! He laughs at you.
Heltay vs G Janny, 1916 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 12 moves, 0-1

A new pawn wall, never a backrank mate.
Nezhmetdinov vs Ujtelky, 1964 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 75 moves, 0-1

Comes a time one scarcely knows who's winning.
E MacDonald vs Burn, 1910 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 49 moves, 0-1

There's a flow but you may still go wrong.
Stefan Djuric vs K Spraggett, 1983 
(E93) King's Indian, Petrosian System, 35 moves, 0-1

89 games

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