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MJCB's favorite games 21st century
Compiled by MJCB

These games made me love chess.

Queen sac attack, for rooks and X-ray bishops to seal the win!
Svidler vs Adams, 2000 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 34 moves, 1-0

Pins nail the win
B Gamback vs R Nevanlinna, 2001 
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 32 moves, 0-1

Complex attacks where both sides take risks! Thrilling!
I Sokolov vs Dreev, 2001 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 31 moves, 0-1

A brilliant king hunt
Schmaltz vs R Har-Zvi, 2001 
(C25) Vienna, 24 moves, 0-1

Brillant rook sac followed by queen sac ends in winning ending!
Leko vs E Ghaem Maghami, 2001 
(B96) Sicilian, Najdorf, 27 moves, 1-0

Black embarks into spectacular journey to... mating white king!
A Riazantsev vs Nevostrujev, 2002 
(E61) King's Indian, 22 moves, 0-1

Sacs for open lines, attack and swift conclusion!
Topalov vs Bareev, 2002 
(C11) French, 27 moves, 1-0

Pawn sacrifice initiates splendid crescendo irresistible attack
Kasparov vs Ponomariov, 2002 
(C10) French, 38 moves, 1-0

Agressive attack in 19th century style... A gem
J Polgar vs Mamedyarov, 2002 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 23 moves, 1-0

Epic fight from both sides ends with splendid conclusion
E Sedina vs S Tkeshelashvili, 2003 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 34 moves, 1-0

Initiative play by black and suddenly ... boom! ... mate!
J L Hammer vs Carlsen, 2003 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 17 moves, 0-1

Both sides attack, but black Queen sac winning end move mates!
Sagalchik vs Nakamura, 2003 
(C12) French, McCutcheon, 37 moves, 0-1

Immaginative attack
Carlsen vs H Harestad, 2003 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 38 moves, 1-0

Beautiful final combination where white saw one move more
Karjakin vs Kosteniuk, 2003 
(B32) Sicilian, 34 moves, 1-0

Key intermediary pawn move lifts attack for win!
J Polgar vs F Berkes, 2003 
(C11) French, 24 moves, 1-0

Outstanding tactics leading to ... mate
Carlsen vs H A Gretarsson, 2003 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 32 moves, 1-0

Attack, sacrifices, pieces play and wonderful end mate!
Carlsen vs S Ernst, 2004 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 29 moves, 1-0

Tactics leading to positional pressure and nice kick finish!
Morozevich vs Bologan, 2004 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 28 moves, 1-0

The power of passed pawns!
V Malakhov vs V Zvjaginsev, 2004 
(E97) King's Indian, 43 moves, 0-1

Quality sac, then piece sac, position domination and win!
Kharlov vs Topalov, 2004 
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 53 moves, 0-1

Nice knight sacrifice initiates beautiful finish!
Mamedyarov vs A Timofeev, 2004 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 34 moves, 1-0

Pressure, pins, open lines and then... Boom! Mate...
Iuldachev vs Aronian, 2004 
(B25) Sicilian, Closed, 32 moves, 0-1

Deep tactics!
Leko vs Kramnik, 2004 
(B33) Sicilian, 36 moves, 0-1

Sacrifices, deviations, boom queen sac and... mate
L Milman vs J Fang, 2005 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 31 moves, 1-0

Going after the king
Topalov vs Ponomariov, 2005 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 30 moves, 1-0

Black pieces raid White's castle with Ninjas's efficiency!
Adams vs Kasparov, 2005 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 26 moves, 0-1

Buried adverse queen, triple sac on king side and ...mate!
Landa vs E Shaposhnikov, 2005 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 24 moves, 1-0

Masterly managed assault!
Carlsen vs G Tallaksen Ostmoe, 2005 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 37 moves, 1-0

Tactics massacre!
Aronian vs V Popov, 2005 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 37 moves, 1-0

Patience and determination.
Neverov vs A Mastrovasilis, 2005 
(A70) Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3, 148 moves, 1-0

Beautiful - yet logical and effective - tactics lead to win!
A Riazantsev vs Carlsen, 2005 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 36 moves, 0-1

Beautiful tactics, and nice finish!
Topalov vs Anand, 2005 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 52 moves, 1-0

Black sacs, refuses white's counter-sac and wins beautifully!
Karjakin vs Anand, 2006 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 37 moves, 0-1

Brutal counter-attack for mate!
J Eriksson vs J Hellsten, 2006 
(E39) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation, 27 moves, 0-1

Exchange sacrifices allow pawn pair running to victory
Topalov vs Aronian, 2006 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 44 moves, 1-0

Piece sac for attack drifts into queen sac for esthetic mate!
T L Petrosian vs A Minasian, 2006 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 30 moves, 1-0

The art of building an attack, with a smash finish!
Topalov vs Kamsky, 2006 
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 42 moves, 1-0

Sacrifices for beautiful mating net
V Petkov vs T Hillarp Persson, 2006 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 27 moves, 0-1

Beautiful surprise moves in endgame!
Shirov vs Aronian, 2006 
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 58 moves, 0-1

On the devastating power a rook can have on the 7th rank!
Rublevsky vs Harikrishna, 2006 
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 28 moves, 1-0

Sharp attack with neat end combination
Harikrishna vs Mamedyarov, 2006 
(C47) Four Knights, 32 moves, 1-0

Combination brings unexpected queen sac and black wins!
Krasenkow vs Nakamura, 2007 
(A14) English, 28 moves, 0-1

Sacrifices, underpromotion, king hunt and... mate...
R Fontaine vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2007 
(A89) Dutch, Leningrad, Main Variation with Nc6, 39 moves, 0-1

Queen sacrifice for win with minor pieces
I Cheparinov vs Navara, 2007 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 36 moves, 0-1

Complex sacrifices leading to an epic struggle!
Kotronias vs Bologan, 2007 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 55 moves, 0-1

Fantastic tactics for passed pawn(s) and won endgame
Aronian vs Anand, 2007 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 48 moves, 1-0

Black steadily sacrifices to reach beautiful mating ending!
V Kuznetsov vs G Gajewski, 2007 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 31 moves, 0-1

Positional knight sacrifice, wild tactics and... win!
Topalov vs Kramnik, 2008 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 45 moves, 1-0

Phenomenal combinative play.
Carlsen vs Ponomariov, 2008 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 37 moves, 1-0

Fierce attack, sacrificial demolition, king hunt and... Mate
Aronian vs A Volokitin, 2008 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 32 moves, 1-0

Calm and collected under attack, white strikes for mate!
Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2008 
(B78) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long, 37 moves, 1-0

White promotes, but black mates!
A S Rasmussen vs Robson, 2009 
(E04) Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3, 43 moves, 0-1

Rook fianchetto(!) sacrifice(!) and other mutual crazy tactics!
Morozevich vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2009 
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 76 moves, 0-1

Long strategic battle ending in surprise pawn ending finish!
Ivanchuk vs Wang Yue, 2009 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 51 moves, 0-1

When combinative play leads to a fantasy game
Ivanchuk vs Jobava, 2010 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 34 moves, 1-0

Vertiginous beautiful tactics
Kamsky vs B Esen, 2010 
(A43) Old Benoni, 60 moves, 1-0

The art of zwischenzugs!
Gelfand vs Nakamura, 2010 
(E97) King's Indian, 33 moves, 0-1

Surprise king side attack, where rooks outsmart knights!
Anand vs Topalov, 2010 
(E04) Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3, 32 moves, 1-0

Superb rook deflection by black seals beautiful winning attack!
Kamsky vs Svidler, 2011 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 28 moves, 0-1

Central pawn sacrifice initiates attack with delightful finish!
D Andreikin vs Dreev, 2011 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 26 moves, 1-0

Attack, with beautiful clever mating finish!
Yifan Hou vs M Sebag, 2011 
(B53) Sicilian, 32 moves, 1-0

End game piece dropped as queen too busy creating passed pawn
Aronian vs Svidler, 2011 
(D82) Grunfeld, 4.Bf4, 54 moves, 1-0

Black initiative countered with beautiful queen sac
Gelfand vs Jobava, 2011 
(A70) Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3, 29 moves, 1-0

Steady attack with surprise beautiful final mating touch
Vachier-Lagrave vs Nepomniachtchi, 2011 
(D94) Grunfeld, 36 moves, 1-0

Great attack, sacs, zwischenzugs, and ultimate... mate!
Zhao Jun vs Xiu Deshun, 2011 
(E26) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 31 moves, 1-0

Tactics fireworks until crescendo attack delivers mate!
G Meier vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2012 
(A04) Reti Opening, 27 moves, 0-1

The art of spectacular attack!
Aronian vs Anand, 2013 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 23 moves, 0-1

Attack built up ends with crushing beautiful mate.
Harikrishna vs Van Wely, 2013 
(B84) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 39 moves, 1-0

Crowded pawns' Q-side block rescue against K-side mating attack
Ding Liren vs Aronian, 2013 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 46 moves, 1-0

Surprise bishop move achieves wonders!
Carlsen vs Anand, 2013 
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 29 moves, 1-0

Bold piece sacrifice initiates killer attack!
A David vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2014 
(A15) English, 27 moves, 0-1

Queen sac for minor pieces attack!
W So vs Ding Liren, 2015 
(E99) King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 60 moves, 1-0

King astonishingly walks away leaving rook "en prise"!
Khismatullin vs Eljanov, 2015 
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 57 moves, 1-0

Counter attack countered in epic style!
Carlsen vs Li Chao, 2015 
(D70) Neo-Grunfeld Defense, 36 moves, 1-0

What a king hunt!
Wei Yi vs L Bruzon Batista, 2015 
(B40) Sicilian, 36 moves, 1-0

Crowning last move!
Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016 
(B54) Sicilian, 50 moves, 1-0

Queen sac, wild tactics and... mate!
J Bai vs Ding Liren, 2017 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 32 moves, 0-1

A brave king march to join the mating attack!
T Hillarp Persson vs T Laurusas, 2018 
(A06) Reti Opening, 35 moves, 1-0

Guns out!
A Firouzja vs M Zarkovic, 2019 
(B50) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1-0

"tango" king hunt!
Dubov vs R Svane, 2019 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 39 moves, 1-0

Bishop sac enforces winning attack!
V Artemiev vs Nepomniachtchi, 2020 
(A01) Nimzovich-Larsen Attack, 27 moves, 0-1

81 games

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