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FP's Yearly Best Games (pre 1950)
Compiled by FairyPromotion

Intro: My idea for this collection was a derivative of me starting to memorize chess games in order to improve my chess. But just randomly memorizing moves seemed unsatisfying, so I decided to find a top 100 games list, and go beyond memorizing by understanding them and being able to give alternative lines in critical variations. After reading and seeing various rankings for the best games of all time, and not fully agreeing with any (just as no one would probably agree with my eventual list :P) I've decided to make my own list. However once I started ranking, I saw that this was an almost impossible task without some filtering. I decided to sort games by year, for most years create a yearly top 5, then a top 20 for each decade, and finally a top 100. Yearly ranking are relatively easier as the quality gap between the games is larger, and for further steps I'll have a smaller pool of games.

It is going slower than I thought, mostly because I dedicate only my weekends to this, however I've done some serious work, and decided to share the current version of my yearly best games. Hope some of you will enjoy it!


Credits: I have shamelessly stolen from other people's collections here on chessgames, so if you have a nice collection of yours, let me thank you for your work. However there are 3 members that I'd like to give special thanks:

1. User: Phony Benoni, for the exceptional work he has done, and keeps on doing, for collecting the games and puzzles of the day. His collections were the first ones I looked at, and were extremely helpful. See: Game Collection: Game of the Day 2004, Game Collection: Sunday Puzzles, 2004-2010, and other relevant collections.

2. User: koinonia, for creating collections for Chess Informant's Best Games. Found many great games that still haven't made GOTD, or POTD. See: koinonia's Game Collections

3. User: TheAlchemist, for creating the single most awesome collection I've stumbled upon, Game Collection: Brilliancies By "Unknowns". Many hidden gems in this collection.


Footnote #1: After I discovered TheAlchemist's collection, I've noticed that he also has a similar collection: Game Collection: The Game Of The Year (1851 - ). His list is a yearly best games one for the second half of the 19th Century, and in order to avoid any plagiarizing, I'll only give best games of the decade for the 19th century, and continue with yearly best games from year 1900 onwards.

Footnote #2: I did a mini cheating for 1928, but it's not completely baseless. According to Kasparov's My Great Predecessors Vol IV, Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929, is given as <I Glinksberg vs M Najdorf, 1928>. Not that I doubt that there are much better historians than Kaspy out there, but I wanted to have both of Najdorf's immortals in my collection, thus I'll use this game for 1928. If I were strictly going with database years, Alekhine vs A Fletcher, 1928 would have been my game of the year for 1928.

Footnote #3: I'm relatively a patzer, thus I'm not claiming that my list is the best one possible. On general I tried to ignore the names of the players, and base my choices solely on the merits of the game itself. The only rule that I had was no computer games, however I also didn't give due consideration to the draws, either. The list is not definitive, and I might make changes in the future.


Part 2 of the collection: Game Collection: FP's Yearly Best Games (1950 - present)


1800's Game of the Decade
G Atwood vs Jonathan Wilson, 1801 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 32 moves, 1-0

1810's Game of the Decade
J Cazenove vs D Tomalin, 1819 
(C38) King's Gambit Accepted, 22 moves, 1-0

1820's Game of the Decade
Captain Evans vs McDonnell, 1829 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 20 moves, 1-0

1830's Game of the Decade
McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 
(B32) Sicilian, 37 moves, 0-1

1840's Game of the Decade
F A Hoffmann vs A Petrov, 1844 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 20 moves, 0-1

1850's Game of the Decade
Anderssen vs Dufresne, 1852 
(C52) Evans Gambit, 24 moves, 1-0

1860's Game of the Decade
M Lange vs Schierstedt, 1856 
(C25) Vienna, 21 moves, 1-0

1870's Game of the Decade
G MacDonnell vs Bird, 1874 
(C39) King's Gambit Accepted, 38 moves, 0-1

1880's Game of the Decade
Zukertort vs Blackburne, 1883 
(A13) English, 33 moves, 1-0

1890's Game of the Decade
Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895 
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 25 moves, 1-0

J Caldas Vianna vs A S Paes de Barros, 1900  
(C52) Evans Gambit, 33 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs J Corzo, 1901 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 60 moves, 1-0

Teichmann vs Allies, 1902 
(C56) Two Knights, 35 moves, 1-0

Maroczy vs Chigorin, 1903 
(C37) King's Gambit Accepted, 24 moves, 1-0

Pillsbury vs Lasker, 1904 
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

Janowski vs Tarrasch, 1905 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 37 moves, 1-0

J Perlis vs Salwe, 1906 
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 25 moves, 1-0

Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907  
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 25 moves, 0-1

Muller vs Bayer, 1908 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 18 moves, 1-0

L Forgacs vs Tartakower, 1909 
(C13) French, 28 moves, 1-0

E MacDonald vs Burn, 1910 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 49 moves, 0-1

Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1911  
(C49) Four Knights, 37 moves, 1-0

S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 23 moves, 0-1

J Mieses vs Alekhine, 1913 
(C22) Center Game, 33 moves, 0-1

Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch, 1914  
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 0-1

J F Smyth vs H Helms, 1915 
(A80) Dutch, 23 moves, 0-1

N Banks vs Kupchik, 1916 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 27 moves, 0-1

Breyer vs J Esser, 1917  
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 47 moves, 1-0

Capablanca vs M Fonaroff, 1918 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 22 moves, 1-0

H Wagner vs W Schoenmann, 1919  
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 25 moves, 1-0

E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 23 moves, 1-0

Euwe vs Bogoljubov, 1921 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 36 moves, 1-0

Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 
(A90) Dutch, 53 moves, 0-1

Rubinstein vs Hromadka, 1923 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924  
(A13) English, 25 moves, 1-0

Reti vs Alekhine, 1925 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 40 moves, 0-1

Przepiorka vs G Patay, 1926 
(B06) Robatsch, 26 moves, 1-0

Spielmann vs L'Hermet, 1927 
(C10) French, 24 moves, 1-0

1928* - See Footnote #2
Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929 
(A85) Dutch, with c4 & Nc3, 22 moves, 0-1

Najdorf vs Gliksberg, 1929 
(C10) French, 21 moves, 1-0

H Geiger vs W Wurm, 1930 
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 39 moves, 0-1

E Korchmar vs E Poliak, 1937 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 23 moves, 1-0

C Kottnauer vs Bogoljubov, 1932 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 32 moves, 1-0

N Johansson-Tegelman vs R Rey Ardid, 1933 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 47 moves, 1-0

Alekhine vs Lasker, 1934 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 26 moves, 1-0

Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 47 moves, 0-1

Keres vs Bogoljubov, 1936 
(A14) English, 39 moves, 1-0

M Lowcki vs Tartakower, 1937 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 39 moves, 0-1

F Parr vs G Wheatcroft, 1938 
(D71) Neo-Grunfeld, 30 moves, 1-0

V Kahn vs R B Estera, 1939 
(A84) Dutch, 18 moves, 0-1

Euwe vs Keres, 1940 
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 34 moves, 0-1

V Mikenas vs S F Lebedev, 1941 
(D53) Queen's Gambit Declined, 28 moves, 1-0

Rada vs Kostal, 1942 
(B56) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1-0

B Molinari vs L Roux Cabral, 1943 
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 33 moves, 0-1

Sokolsky vs Navrodsky, 1944 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 21 moves, 1-0

V A Vasiliev vs Tolush, 1945 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 29 moves, 0-1

Y Gusev vs E Auerbach, 1946 
(B70) Sicilian, Dragon Variation, 37 moves, 1-0

P Dubinin vs Aronin, 1947 
(B02) Alekhine's Defense, 50 moves, 1-0

Tartakower vs Euwe, 1948 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 42 moves, 0-1

Nezhmetdinov vs Novotelnov, 1949 
(B83) Sicilian, 35 moves, 1-0

60 games

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