- Beautiful moves
47 games, 1883-2010
- Bogo's Best Games
56 games, 1914-1947
Efim Bogoljubow ('Bogo') was one of the greatest and nowadays most underrated attacking players in the first half of the 20th century. He had plus scores agains such giants as Réti, Rubinstein, Spielmann and Nimzowitsch, and won some major tournaments, above all the great Moscow 1925 tournament, where he finished 1st ahead of Lasker and Capablanca.|
However, as great as Bogo was a tournament player, he was an unlucky match player. He lost not only both WCC matches against Alekhine, he suffered defeat also in his matches with Spielmann and Rubinstein, while he achieved overall plus scores against both of them. (But, and this fact is little known, Bogo became FIDE World Champion in 1928 by defeating Euwe in two FIDE matches, see Honza Cerwenka's Game Collection: Bogoljubov vs Euwe - Two FIDE Championships. So there had already been a 'split title' in former times.)
Here we see an interesting parallelity to Frank Marshall, to whose style Bogo's play also shows quite a few similarities.
Bogo's games are ideal models for anyone who wants to study attacking techniques, which not only consist in the final combination, but also and above all in the methods how an attack is built up and developed.
Lasker seems to have thought quite the same, at least he has appreciated Bogo a lot, for in his 'Manual of Chess', Chapter (Book) 6: Examples and Models, he included no less than 6 Bogo wins from a whole of 24 games given in that chapter!
- Carl Schlechter - uncrowned World Champion
50 games, 1895-1915
In 1910, the Austrian Carl Schlechter drew a World Championship Match with Emanuel Lasker, a match he had good chances to win. He was at the height of his powers then and could just beat anybody.
Schlechter is usually regarded as a rather boring positional player. However, he has won quite a number of brilliancy prizes (as indicated below), and there are surprisingly many shorter games (under 30 moves) by him. The truth is that he was not attacking directly, but on solid positional grounds and after taking appropriate precautions. He was an intuitive player rather than a calculator, and I'm always impressed by his deep understanding of the position. He could even sac a few pawns (as in the game vs. Schubert) or a whole piece (see the game vs. Duras) without calculating the consequences, only on merely positional considerations. He could counterattack as fast as lightning after a single weaker move of the attacker (such as in the game vs. Spielmann). Frequently, he did not conclude a game with the utmost tactical precision (because he was not a calculator), but in the most safe and secure way (such as in the games vs. Marshall, Maroczy and Tartakower). Despite this fact, he was one of the most accurate players ever. He was also one of the first who demonstrated the technique of attacking on both wings simultaneously (later made more popular by Capablanca and Petrosian), such as shown in the famous game vs. John.|
For anyone who wants to improve his/her positional understanding and intuition, Schlechter's games are ideal models.
See also: Game Collection: 0
- Chernev: The Russians Play Chess
54 games, 1925-1960
Wonderful collection of 50 Soviet attacking games from the years 1925-45 (in the 2nd edition, Chernev added 6 games from 1951-60).
Most of the games are spectacular (with many sacrifices), many of them are short. Lots of them are won by lesser-known masters or even 1st category players, a fact that proves the high standard of Soviet chess from those years.
The book itself has a remarkable property: it features a diagram each 2 to 4 moves!! This makes it possible to read it without a board. You can take it anywhere: to the beach, on a train ... etc. ... and enjoy the games. Get this book! Unfortunately, it's out of print and available only used, but not difficult to find at all.|
Funnily, the copy I've got shows clearly that it has been read exactly until Game 6 - and no further! The rest of the book has obviously remained completely unread by the previous owner. But now it's my turn to do what he has missed - and to draw full enjoyment from doing so.
In a similar manner as Chernev's 'Most instructive games of chess ever played' is as well a textbook on strategy as it is a great game collection, you can use his 'Russians play chess' as an (unsystematic) instructional book on tactics! In my opinion, it's much more fun to learn strategy and tactics from entertaining games than from dry lessons.
The level of 'The Russians play chess' is a bit more advanced than that of 'The most instructive ... '. While I would recommend 'The most instructive ... ' from about 1200 onwards, 'The Russians ... ' is great from 1400-1500 onwards, perhaps.
At the moment (April 8, 2012), 2 games from Chernev's book are missing in the database:
Game 12. Kan - Yudovich (Match 1934)
[White "Kan, Ilya"]
[Black "Yudovich, Mikhail M"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 c5 7.dxc5 Qxc5 8.Be3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qe7 10.g3 Nc6 11.Bg2 O-O 12.O-O e5 13.Rab1 Rd8 14.h3 Be6 15. Bg5 b6 16.Nd2 Rac8 17.Ne4 h6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.g4 f5 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.e3 Rd6 22.Kh2 Rg6 23.f4 Kh8 24.Qf2 exf4 25.Qxf4 Rxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Qxe4+ 0-1
Game 18. Zhukhovitsky - Poliak (Kiev 1936)
[Event "Kiev UKR"]
[Site "Kiev UKR"]
[White "Zhukhovitsky, Samuel"]
[Black "Poliak, Abram"]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Nbd7 8.O-O c5 9.Qe2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bg4 11.f3 Bh5 12.Rd1 Bc5 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Nxe6 Qc8 15. Nxg7+ Kf8 16.Nxh5 Nxh5 17.b4 Bxb4 18.Qb5 Qxc3 19.Bd2 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Bxd2 21. Qxd7 Bxe3+ 22.Kf1 Ng7 23.Rb1 b6 24.Qd6+ Kf7 25.Qd5+ Kf6 26.Re1 Rae8 27. Rxe3 Rxe3 28.Qd4+ Re5 29.f4 Re8 30.g4 h5 31.h3 hxg4 32.hxg4 Re7 33.Kf2 Ne8 34.Kf3 Nc7 35.g5+ Kg6 36.fxe5 1-0
They have been submitted to chessgames.com, however (March 12, 2012), and with some luck, they will appear some fine day in the database, and I will be able to add them to my collection then.
- Dzindzi strikes!
30 games, 1957-1980
Roman Dzindzichashvili ('Dzindzi') had, especially in his youth, a very attractive playing style. He could set the board on fire from the most innocent looking positions. His games often culminate in flashy sacrifices seemingly coming out of the blue. But all these fireworks are based on solid positional grounds. So his games are entertaining and instructive at the same time, and deserve detailed study.|
- Early Botvinnik masterpieces
51 games, 1926-1946
In his youth, Botvinnik cultivated a rather sharp style. In the present collection, I will feature some games that are to be found in Botvinnik's own book ('100 selected games') as well as in Hans Mueller's book on Botvinnik.
A remarkable and strange circumstance is that Mueller leaves out both games against Vidmar from the later edition of his book, as well as the 1933 game against Rauzer, although all of those three games rank among Botvinnik's most famous efforts.|
- Great games that seem to be virtually unknown
96 games, 1881-1997
- P.H. Clarke: Mikhail Tal's best games 1951-60
50 games, 1952-1960
Games from Peter Clarke's excellent book.|