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10 Greatest Chess Games Ever Played! (plus ...)
Compiled by LIFE Master AJ

These are my pick of ten of the greatest games ever played. (Plus two more, thrown in for good measure.) A great deal of thought and care went into the selection of these games. (See my web page on the greatest games of all time:

Be sure to check out all the games. And be sure to tell me what you think!

(Nov. 5th, 2015: If you search under Google for the "10 Best Chess Games," this game collection is now the NUMBER ONE result!!!!!)

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For a complete list of my better websites, please see:

FYI - Just about ALL of my websites have an "Annotated Games" page. For example, the website that I am best known for is: (This is my old "GeoCities" website, I moved it to its current location when GC stopped offering free websites.) The page for annotated games (on this website) is:

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My list - on my website - of the 10 greatest games ever played: (Scroll down the page, until you find my "Top Ten" list.)

# 1.) The greatest game ever played?!?! (Kasparov - Topalov; Wijk ann Zee, 1999.)

# 2.) My choice for game # 2, Botvinnik - Capablanca / A.V.R.O. 1938.

# 3.) My choice for the third greatest game of all time: Lilienthal - Ragozin; 1935.

# 4.) My choice for the fourth greatest game of all time. (I was heavily influenced here by one of my favorite writers, Irving Chernev.) Its Bogo - Alekhine; Hastings / 1922.

# 5.) My choice for the fifth greatest game ever played was: Mikhail Tal - Bobby Fischer; FIDE Candidates Tournament / Zagreb, Yugoslavia / 1959. This is my analysis:

# 6.) My choice for the sixth greatest game is: Donald Byrne - Robert J. ("Bobby") Fischer; Rosenwald Tourn. / New York / 1956. This amazing contest is also known as "The Game of The Centruy."

# 7.) My choice for one of the greatest games of all time, number seven on my list, is also the inaugural game for the "Marshall Gambit." No less an authority than GM Andy Soltis considers this the best Capa game of all time ... and give it VERY high marks! My analysis can be found at:

# 8.) My choice for the eight greatest game of all time would be: Boris Spassky - David Bronstein; USSR Championships / Leningrad, The Soviet Union / 1959. (1960?) Its a BRILLIANT King's Gambit by Spassky - who is one of my all-time favorite players. Anyway, my analysis can be found at:

# 9.) My choice for the ninth greatest game of all time? It would have to be Rotlewi - A. Rubinstein; Tournament Game / Lodz, Poland / 1907. This has to be one of the greatest games of all time. The two games that affected me the most deeply - as a very young man, perhaps even before I was a teenager - would have to be this game, and also Game # 6. My analysis of the Rotlewi - Rubinstein game can be found at:

# 10.) My choice for the tenth greatest game ever played? It would definitely be: GM M. Botvinnik - GM V. Smyslov; FIDE World Championship Match, Game # 14 / Moscow, U.S.S.R. / 1954. My analysis of this epeic contest can be found at:

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See below for the links ... to be able to replay these games on this website! Enjoy!!! If you would like to contact me about my analysis, be sure to write me at: "" (Leave off the quotation marks.)

Quite simply - the grandest game ever played!!! Great stuff!
Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999 
(B07) Pirc, 44 moves, 1-0

One of the greatest games ever played. A favorite of many GM's!
Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938 
(E40) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, 41 moves, 1-0

An incredible game ... Black sacks TWO exchanges!!!
Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 47 moves, 0-1

"The greatest chess game ever played." - Irving Chernev.
Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 
(A90) Dutch, 53 moves, 0-1

Is this the great Tal's very best game? Maybe!
Tal vs Fischer, 1959 
(E93) King's Indian, Petrosian System, 34 moves, 1-0

(Trumpets blare - drums roll.) THE - GAME ... of The Century!!
D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956  
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 41 moves, 0-1

Capa's best game? It IS the one picked by GM Andy Soltis!
Capablanca vs Marshall, 1918 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 36 moves, 1-0

The "JAMES BOND" game!!! Spassky almost sets the board on fire!
Spassky vs Bronstein, 1960 
(C36) King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense, 23 moves, 1-0

Simply one of the BEST GAMES of chess ... ever!! Long live AR!
Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907  
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 25 moves, 0-1

Smyslov's greatest brilliancy? I think so! (So does A. Soltis.)
Botvinnik vs Smyslov, 1954 
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 33 moves, 0-1

Unforgettable? (yes) Brilliant? (Goodness, yes.) Unsound? (m...
Polugaevsky vs R Nezhmetdinov, 1958 
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 33 moves, 0-1

Another great Tal game! (First honorable mention?)
Tal vs Hjartarson, 1987 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 43 moves, 1-0

12 games

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