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Unusual themes III
Compiled by SwitchingQuylthulg

A collection of unusual things happening. (This is a combination of the original "Unusual themes" collection, which I took offline for some reason in January 2010, and "Unusual themes II", which contained various new unusual items I chanced upon over the next nine years.)

See also <Phony Benoni>'s Game Collection: That's strange and <kevin86>'s Game Collection: unique themes.

Tim Krabbe aka <Madjesoomalops> is of course the king of collecting unusual chess items, and there are some of his pieces in here, though I've tried to go for new ones as much as possible and avoid emmsing him. Game Collection: Unguarded Guards is another collection inspired by his work.

Qa8+, Qa1+, Qh8# (and a nice fat blunder!)
A Kovalev vs Shulman, 1994 
(A05) Reti Opening, 40 moves, 1-0

Fastest piece sac in the DB (exchange sac on move 2)
A Smirnov vs V Shepelev, 2005 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 22 moves, 1-0

Too many unusual things to count
Y Gusev vs E Auerbach, 1946 
(B72) Sicilian, Dragon, 37 moves, 1-0

Mate by moving both knights to one's 8th rank (note also pin)
J Sherwin vs A Feuerstein, 1957 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 57 moves, 0-1

Eight-piece pile-up on an edge file after 21...Na5
Khurtsidze vs C Peptan, 2006 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

Unusual epaulette mate
M Guid vs D Solak, 2003 
(B56) Sicilian, 32 moves, 0-1

No-pawns corner 4x2 piece alignment after 41.Bh5
Kharlov vs Vaulin, 2001
(A56) Benoni Defense, 58 moves, 1-0

Remarkable series of 7 QN moves by Tal (13-19)
Chukaev vs Tal, 1956 
(E75) King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line, 27 moves, 0-1

Three pawns checkmate against a knight
I Mashinskaya vs Kharlov, 2004
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 78 moves, 0-1

Unusual stalemate
Spoelman vs Hebden, 2008 
(C69) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 78 moves, 1/2-1/2

The Amazing Adventures of the Ng1
T Gelashvili vs Marjanovic, 2001 
(B20) Sicilian, 66 moves, 1-0

Eight consecutive moves by bN... including six captures
Lisitsin vs Ragozin, 1939 
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 64 moves, 0-1

Symmetry of 10.0-0!! and 20...0-0??
A Gonzalez de la Nava vs W Hensbergen, 2001 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 21 moves, 1-0

12 pieces, all on 2 ranks (38...h6)
I Sokolov vs Movsesian, 2007 
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

18 pieces, all on 3 ranks (45.a4)
A Hantak vs Pavol Vach, 2000 
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 64 moves, 1/2-1/2

See Phony Benoni's comment on pieces offered
A Laster vs R Gahtan, 1975 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 18 moves, 1-0

Helplessness of two Qs in view of B's K-side control
W Schmidt vs P Enders, 1981  
(E31) Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad, Main line, 29 moves, 0-1

Helplessness of 2 Qs against Black's strong rooks
M Thinius vs Beim, 1993 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 35 moves, 0-1

Double example of losing with two queens, part 1...
S Odendahl vs J Barle, 1979 
(A62) Benoni, Fianchetto Variation, 50 moves, 0-1

Double example of losing with two queens, part 2
A Lein vs J Barle, 1979 
(C28) Vienna Game, 42 moves, 1-0

Wrong queen
Chigorin vs Blackburne, 1898 
(C00) French Defense, 45 moves, 0-1

131-move game with no checks
Onischuk vs S Drazic, 2000 
(D12) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 131 moves, 1/2-1/2

White's Nb1 captures 9 pieces en route to victory
R Abelgas vs B Maharjan, 2004
(C47) Four Knights, 71 moves, 1-0

The ultimate blunder
S Reutsky vs V Aveskulov, 2005 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 25 moves, 0-1

14...Bxh1, 22.Bxh8, 23...Bxa8
Khenkin vs Yudasin, 1999
(E12) Queen's Indian, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Winning despite getting mated
A Ivanov vs Yermolinsky, 1993 
(B57) Sicilian, 37 moves, 0-1

Pawnless eight-piece pile-up on g-file (after 28.Qxg6)
S Matveeva vs K Kachiani-Gersinska, 2002 
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 31 moves, 1-0

Extreme congestion
D Dengler vs H Olschok, 2000 
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 24 moves, 1-0

Two en passant captures to an edge file
Neverov vs Negi, 2006 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 63 moves, 1-0

Position after 41...Kh7
Capablanca vs Eliskases, 1936 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 54 moves, 1-0

Shortest game with at least 100 one-square moves
Rieger vs Portisch, 1956
(D07) Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense, 67 moves, 1/2-1/2

Death by unstoppable fork (11.Nd4?)
I Shvyrjov vs A Kalinichev, 2005 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 21 moves, 0-1

White checkmates despite being down 21 units
Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851  
(C33) King's Gambit Accepted, 23 moves, 1-0

Black makes 2 rook moves, both sacs
Sax vs H Kestler, 1974 
(B07) Pirc, 27 moves, 0-1

Strongest army ever mated
Sanders vs NN, 1910 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 10 moves, 1-0

Earliest pawnless eight-piece pile-up on one file (8...Nxd5)
Marshall vs Salwe, 1908 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 53 moves, 1/2-1/2

115 moves with 16 pawns, beating Gufeld-Taimanov
Zhong Zhang vs Timoshchenko, 2002 
(C97) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 115 moves, 1/2-1/2

Position after 27.Be3
Gruengard vs Y Dobkin, 1946 
(C15) French, Winawer, 34 moves, 1-0

Stalemating queen sacrifice on move 124
Petursson vs Ljubojevic, 1985 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 124 moves, 1/2-1/2

The Pyramid Game
Reti vs Capablanca, 1924 
(A15) English, 31 moves, 1-0

52 moves by pawns (plus some more by promoted pawns!)
I Novikov vs Glek, 1984
(E97) King's Indian, 75 moves, 1-0

30...Nb6 and 44...Rb4+ (two rook pseudo-sacs for forks)
Adianto vs M Kaabi, 1994
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

39...Bh1, 45...Bb1, 50...Ba8, 64...Ba2, 67...Bh7, 68..:Bg8
O Rodriguez Vargas vs N Minev, 1972
(B57) Sicilian, 82 moves, 0-1

28...Rxf2! and 34...Rg1+! (two rook pseudo-sacs for pins)
R Kula vs A Mista, 2011
(B33) Sicilian, 54 moves, 0-1

One by one, Black's tripled c-pawns march ahead
Petursson vs S Agdestein, 1992 
(A25) English, 116 moves, 0-1

All Black pieces without moves
V Soultanbeieff vs L Ambuhl, 1943 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 41 moves, 1-0

Down to bare kings in 42 moves
K Kokolias vs H Vedder, 2008 
(C07) French, Tarrasch, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Eight pawns die on d4
G Kuzmin vs A Feoktistov, 2005
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 64 moves, 1-0

Most material sacrificed for stalemate
Romero Holmes vs B Kantsler, 2002 
(B06) Robatsch, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

White mates on move 23 despite never touching his kingside
Fuad Ahmed Mohamme Mufleh vs B Malik, 2010 
(A10) English, 23 moves, 1-0

15 pawns and no pieces
Alburt vs I Novikov, 1993
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 39 moves, 0-1

All bishops adjacent on h-file after 15.Bh6+
S Hoolt vs J Leveikina, 2011 
(B16) Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen Variation, 21 moves, 1-0

Position after 22.Be8
Miles vs Johnson, 1991 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 38 moves, 1-0

White has quadrupled pawns from move 35, still wins
F Leveille vs J Bonin, 1994 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 40 moves, 1-0

24.fxg6, 25.fxg3, 27.fxg4
A Stefanova vs E Repkova, 1996 
(A48) King's Indian, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Worst Pawn Structure Ever (18.hxg3)
M Peek vs A Greet, 2006 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

New contender for Worst Pawn Structure (still 18.hxg3!)
J Yemi vs B Pratyusha, 2012 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 36 moves, 0-1

Game with most noncapturing single-step initial pawn moves (14)
A Prameshuber vs E Bhend, 1964
(A48) King's Indian, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's Q trapped on every square of long diagonal
Capablanca vs G A Thomas, 1935 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

57.Kb2 - least crowded position with long diagonal ful occupied
G Kalniczky vs Charousek, 1896 
(B40) Sicilian, 58 moves, 0-1

Mate by double check with neither piece moving
G Gundersen vs A H Faul, 1928 
(C02) French, Advance, 15 moves, 1-0

Pawn chain locks the board
V Bogdanov vs Tringov, 1990 
(E97) King's Indian, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Checkless, threatless king hunt
Botvinnik vs Gligoric, 1956 
(A37) English, Symmetrical, 30 moves, 1-0

All twenty of us away from home (49.Nd3)
Korneev vs G Sargissian, 2000 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

White's bishops move from c1/d1 to c8/d8
M Cuellar Gacharna vs Fischer, 1962 
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 37 moves, 0-1

Seemingly in the open, the king has no air
P Makepeace vs Kosten, 2007
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 71 moves, 0-1

Mutual protected passed c-pawns (moves 47-49)
I Ivanov vs E Akhmylovskaia-Donaldson, 1989 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 63 moves, 1-0

17.Bxf1, 18.Bc1, 19.Nb1 1-0
Dzindzichashvili vs Y N Sakharov, 1957 
(B22) Sicilian, Alapin, 19 moves, 1-0

Double excelsior
Matulovic vs T Siaperas, 1969 
(B45) Sicilian, Taimanov, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

74 moves with 16 pieces
Bacrot vs Radjabov, 2006 
(E92) King's Indian, 97 moves, 0-1

27...Bxf5 leaves 16 pieces and 4 pawns alive
Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1995 
(E92) King's Indian, 65 moves, 0-1

Check, check, check, mate
Mandolfo vs Kolisch, 1858 
(000) Chess variants, 19 moves, 0-1

"This Side Up" - 69.Nxa6
D H Campora vs Granda Zuniga, 2003 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 80 moves, 1/2-1/2

42.f3+, 43.fxe4, 47.e8Q - six steps to promotion
Minasian vs V Eingorn, 1991 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 50 moves, 1-0

26.Kh8 (and Black resigns next move!)
J van Ruitenburg vs S Castellani, 2000 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 27 moves, 1-0

5...0-0 but 46.0-0
Bobotsov vs Ivkov, 1966 
(E84) King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

30.0-0 0-0
L Martirosyan vs Z Cibickova, 2007 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Castling with only 8 pieces left
V Pupols vs J Meyers, 1976 
(A43) Old Benoni, 76 moves, 1/2-1/2

"Something to do after all this waiting" - 157.b2-b3
Lipschutz vs Bird, 1889 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 159 moves, 1/2-1/2

Talk about neglecting your queenside...
I Aloni vs M Czerniak, 1967 
(A42) Modern Defense, Averbakh System, 50 moves, 1-0

No rook moves
Tal vs Botvinnik, 1961 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 42 moves, 0-1

En passant capture on move 117
N Vink vs W Muhren, 2001 
(B32) Sicilian, 120 moves, 1/2-1/2

All 16 remaining pieces/pawns are on kingside after 50.Re3
D Lemos vs F Salguero, 2008 
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 54 moves, 1-0

42.Nxf6 1-0 with 51 units of power on K-side, 0 on Q-side
L Gutman vs Sax, 1985
(D78) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6, 42 moves, 1-0

9.Bb8, 10.Ba8 (no joke even!)
Kharlov vs Vaulin, 1998 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 28 moves, 0-1

Fang consecutively moves 4 types of piece to 8th rank
J Fang vs M Hallinan, 2001 
(E99) King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 31 moves, 1-0

8.Qxd8+, 25.Nxf8, 61.Kd8, 65.Rh8, 75.e8Q+, 77.Bf8
A Shomoev vs A Akhmetov, 2001 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 88 moves, 1/2-1/2

White wins despite being the queenless player for 114 moves
Chernin vs A Utnasunov, 2000 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 146 moves, 1-0

A four-pawn center after 20...fxe4
J F van der Hoeven vs F Lucas, 1989 
(A87) Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation, 24 moves, 0-1

Anti-zugzwang (Black can hardly avoid preventing 51.Rxf7)
Carlsen vs Yifan Hou, 2018 
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 61 moves, 1-0

Five promotions include one to knight
D H Campora vs Suba, 1992 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

Ends with three consecutive promotions
B Nagy vs Kaufman, 2006 
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 61 moves, 1-0

24...Qe6 (with all four central pawns unmoved!)
Miroshnichenko vs Aronian, 2004 
(A15) English, 43 moves, 0-1

A big cross after 16.Bc2
L Dominguez vs Nakamura, 2004
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 62 moves, 1/2-1/2

All pieces in a cross (after 80...Ke5)
J Emms vs A A Webster, 1999
(B06) Robatsch, 85 moves, 0-1

Even-more-smothered mate
F W Viney vs Herbert Francis Gook, 1926 
(A02) Bird's Opening, 25 moves, 1-0

White castles with a black Nd2 (also: 3 exchange sacs)
Beliavsky vs Timman, 1986 
(B09) Pirc, Austrian Attack, 57 moves, 1-0

Kings engulfed in tactics but don't move until move 38
A Adly vs Kosten, 2003 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 1-0

Nine-man pawnless endgame... with three black knights
S Sergienko vs G Vescovi, 2010 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 64 moves, 1/2-1/2

Mating attack with two bishops, king and nothing else
A Rustemov vs I Sokolov, 2001 
(A21) English, 60 moves, 1-0

Bologan vs Tkachiev, 2001 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 39 moves, 1-0

gikalu-jakor pawn division (after 26.Rxh7)
Aronian vs Naiditsch, 2005 
(A29) English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto, 53 moves, 1-0

Bishop pair power
M Mrva vs J Dudas, 2001 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 31 moves, 1-0

One pair of everything... the queens being promoted!
Smirin vs Shabalov, 1988
(C05) French, Tarrasch, 57 moves, 0-1

104 games

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