Click here to look for "chess" with the Google search engine.   Hello friend!     ...............    Welcome to one of the best {private} chess sites around. (Recognized as such by several national chess federations and also "C.J.A." Site of The Year for 2004.)     ................     Check out my School of Tactics!!  ..........  Many improvements and NEW PAGES!!!!   (Be sure to check the T.L.A. in 'Chess Life' for the tournaments in your area.)  Thanks, and have a great day!!!

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Best Short Games

Back UP (One level) Next


  Click  HERE  to go to my web page devoted entirely to  Chess Traps."   

   [And you should probably click  HERE  and  bookmark this page, also.] 


My collection - dedicated to the 10 best short games ever - on the popular "Chess Games" website


January, 2005:  
I am redoing many of these games... and they will be available in an attractive viewer. 

(Note of explanation: I first started my short games collection as a download of PGN games that was available in the mid-1990's ... on another web site. I first began working on this collection anew - for this web site - in approximately 1997. I "finished" this project in 2001. However, it remains one of my most popular works, a week never goes by without receiving at least one e-mail that concerns my short games page or short games download. I also promised all my fans and students that in two years I would go back and review my work. It has been more than two years  ...  I am delighted  to be keeping this promise.)  

You will be able to re-play the games ...  you don't really need a chess board!  [ more ]  

  *****************************  

NOTE: Originally, traps and short games were both on the same page, however, I split them into two different web pages in the late 1990's. 


   Different players think different thoughts at the board. (One player has mate and technical terms over his head. The other guy has pictures of knives, guns, hand grenades, etc. over his head.)  (sht-gms.gif, 05 KB)
A cute cartoon.

 (Click  HERE  to see the original.) 


Tuesday / September 8th, 2009:  A new page ... that will contain lightly annotated miniatures. 


  NOTE:   It took many years of work to create this page. (January - 2005)  

People are continuously sending me short games and asking (or demanding!) that I add this game or that game to my collection here of short games. (Some of you have gone to great lengths, taking games from various sources and adding notes.) I appreciate the input, but I should clarify a few points: 

  1. This is my web page, I will add (or NOT add) whatever I feel is appropriate!!!  

  2. I don't care how pretty your game is ... it probably does not belong here! 

  3. IF  ...  I do add a game here, it almost certainly will be a  GM  vs. a  GM  game. 

  4. DON'T  send me any games from your weekend swiss, unless it appears in a reliable magazine, (Like, say 'Chess Life.'); I seriously doubt if I will use it. 

  5.  I need verification to add a game!   This means it has to appear in TWIC or a reliable and well-known chess magazine, before I will even consider using it.  (NO exceptions!) 

  •   For about 2.5 years, I played through dozens of books, mostly Irving Chernev's book,   "The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess,"  ...   to arrive at the main body of games for this particular collection.  (I later added other games, as I discovered them.)  

  •   The best way to get me to consider games from a (new) book  ... ... ...  is to simply send me a copy. 

I will continue to add games here as I deem that such an entry is appropriate. 


  Two of the best?  

I recently found perhaps two of the best short games of all time: 

   Leitao - Baburin,  and  Tal - Uhlmann.   

What I want to know ... is should I annotate them in depth?  (You tell me!)   {Sept, 2005.}  


Maybe two of the  WORST BLUNDERS  of  GM Vladimir Kramnik's  entire career!!  
(May 22nd, 2005.) 


In May of 2003, I purchased the  book
 "Great Short Games of The Masters,"  by  (the great)  Fred Reinfeld 
(Actually, I just got a new copy - - - my old one fell apart.)

I have applied to the publisher to completely re-do this book ... we will see what happens. 


I just (July, 2003) got a copy of the book:

  "100 Soviet Chess Miniatures,"  by  P.H. Clarke.  

I used to have a (very old) copy of this book ... but I have no idea what happened to it. I am already looking at the games ... 
in a month or so, maybe I can bring about 3-5 of the very best of these. 


A couple of weeks ago, I purchased the  book

  "101 Brilliant Chess Miniatures,"  by  GM John Nunn.   

This is a great little book that was published in 1999. All the games in here are from 1971 or later. Much new material and games most of us have not seen before. All the players are VERY strong, Nunn set the cut-off for these games at a minimum rating of 2500! A chess book full of modern marvels and true chess diamonds. 


Starting about 25 years ago, BILL WALL wrote many books (25-30) that dealt with miniatures
("500 Sicilian Miniatures,"  "500 French Miniatures,"  "500 Queen's Gambit Miniatures," etc.)  

I always thought it would be a blast to find out what Bill's favorite game was, and then annotate it. 

And I actually got around to it! Here it is!!    Bill Wall's  favorite  GAME  of chess.    Check it out! 

It is  ALSO  an amazing miniature, and it is VERY deeply annotated.  (Tell me what you think!) 


April 03, 2001.

This will be a page devoted entirely to  CHESS MINIATURES.
(
The "TRAPS" have been moved to a new page.)  

(Done Jul, 2001. See the navigation bar at the left-hand side of the page.)

***

(A Chess Miniature is commonly accepted as:)

*** Games that were  won  in  25 moves or less!  ***

( Soltis uses the standard of 20 moves or less
{Chernev says that 24 moves is the limit.} 
But this is NOT the universally accepted standard.
{Chess writers in Europe & Russia have used the 25-move-limit for nearly 200 years.} )

***

I do  NOT  want to reproduce all of the examples of this type of game(s) that are out there. Just maybe a few of the classics, a few of the prettier ones. And maybe a few you have never seen before. And maybe I will throw in a few of my own!!

***

( A word about traps and miniatures. My good friend, Paul McClure told me like over 30 years ago that,  "All traps are unsound."   I have to say ... as a LIFE-Master ...  that while  not  ALL  traps are unsound; the large majority of them are based on, "Positionally suspect moves."  What I mean is that one side must weaken their pawn structure or inhibit their own development to make many of these traps work. If you will pay attention, you will find this true of most traps. If you do not believe me, than I suggest you compare a "trap," to the opening moves in any good opening book like MCO. I think you will find what I am saying is true 75-90 percent of the time. I will also try to remember to point out the flaws in a trap whenever I can. )

Of course, traps   {and miniatures}   are a part of any opening system. (Traps and miniatures can be - basically - the same thing.)   

(What this means is you should NOT base your opening repertoire on traps alone. I have met several students whose entire opening preparation consisted of nothing but learning as many traps as possible. This type of player  almost always fails  when faced with a well-prepared opponent.)

Now please do NOT misconstrue what I am saying. You have to learn traps, as part of learning the opening repertoire. You MUST know them, so you will not fall into them. You may also spring them on an un-wary opponent. {The traps and tactical motifs of an opening are probably the FIRST thing I learn, when I try to grasp a new opening system.} But speaking from over 35 years of tournament experience, you simply can NOT count on an opponent falling for these all the time. In fact, you will probably find, especially in adult tournaments, that these traps only occur in a VERY SMALL percentage of your overall number of games!!!

***

I can now see that one of the best sources for this page will be Irving Chernev's book: 
  "The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess." 

(If a game is found there and here, I will give the number of the game as it appears in Chernev's book,  IF  you are lucky enough to have a copy.)

(Sept. 04, 2001. Having now annotated  OVER  100 (!) of these games in depth, I can say this book is a virtual gold-mine of beautiful chess!!)

***

Another good source of games of this type - although many/most of the games are [much] greater than 25 moves on length - is the book by John Nunn. (Actually he re-did an earlier book by Bill Cozens.) The book is: "The King-Hunt," by GM J. Nunn & W. Cozens. This book is a great treasure trove of brilliant and attacking games. (There are also quite a few short games here also.)

*** 

My room-mate also has a collection of several hundred chess books. He just (Aug. 31st, 2001) lent me the book,  "Winning At Chess Quickly," by IM Yakov Neishtadt.  While I have not had time to do nothing more than thumb through the book, it contains many beautiful and very short games of chess. As soon as I have had the chance to examine the book in detail, I will be posting a candidate list from this book. While I have already listed the games I consider to be, "The Ten Best Short {Miniature} Games Of All Time," I could always make a discovery and change the list!

***

Several other books  I have consulted frequently in building these pages are: "The Golden Treasury of Chess," by I.A. Horowitz; "The Fireside Book of Chess," by Chernev and Reinfeld; "The Chess Companion," by Irving Chernev; About a dozen books on "Miniatures," (from various openings)  by SM Bill Wall; "Epic Chess Clashes," and "Epic Battles of the ChessBoard," [both] by R.N. Coles; "Lesser Known Chess Masterpieces," by Wilson; "The World's Great Chess Games," by R. Fine; "The Complete Chess Addict," by Fox and James; "Modern Chess Brilliancies," by GM Larry Evans; and "Chess Strategy and Tactics,"  by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld. While this is not a complete list, it should give you an idea of the EXTENSIVE research that went into building these web pages. 


Monday, August 04th, 2003:  A chess fan recently asked me if I was familiar with a book by Barden on chess miniatures. When I responded that I was not sure, he mailed me a copy. ("Modern Chess Miniatures," by Barden and Heidenfeld.) 

All that he asked was that I play through this book, find the very best games, and maybe post them on my website. OK. Project # 4,738. (Just kidding!) 


Click  HERE  to go to what I consider to be 
THE MOST  BEAUTIFUL  CHESS GAME OF ALL TIME.

(It is also considered to be a miniature, as it is much less than 25 moves.)


 Click  HERE  to see my latest (06/2003) foray into the field of  "Short Games." 


One of the more famous short games between
two players of undoubted GM strength.

 (This is also one of  the most famous "shorts" of all time, 
according to several sources - like Coles and Chernev.)
 

***

Richard Reti - Savielly G. Tartakower

Tournament game, ('?')  Vienna, 1910

1. e4, c6; 2. d4, d5; 3. Nc3, dxe4; 4. NxP/e4, Nf6;
5. Qd3!?, e5?!; 6. d4xe5, Qa5+; 7. Bd2!!, Qxe5;
8. 0-0-0!, NxN/e5;
 8...Qxe5?; 9. Re1. Black has won a piece. But the price he now pays is too high!

9. Qd8+!!, KxQ/d8; 10. Bg5+, Black Resigns. (1-0)

(White's tenth move was a DOUBLE-CHECK, one of the most devastating weapons in all of chess.)

If 10...Kc7; 11. Bd8 mate. Or 10...Ke8; 11. Rd8#

***

One of the prettiest and most famous of all miniature games.

(After a survey in a Russian magazine, this game was chosen as the best, well-known miniature.) 

(I would definitely include this game in my list, "The Ten Best Miniatures.")

(This is Game # 44 on page no. 18 of Chernev's book.)

***

 Click  HERE   to go to a page where you can play over this game on a chessboard (java-script replay) with movable pieces. The game is fairly well annotated. Just for your enjoyment! 


(The following game is one of my personal favorites!)

Edward Lasker - Sir George A. Thomas;

London, 1912

1. d4, f5; 2. e4, f5xe4; 3. Nc3, Nf6; 4. Bg5, e6; 5. NxP/e4, Be7;

6. BxN/f6, BxB/f6; 7. Nf3, 0-0; 8. Bd3, b6; 9. Ne5, Bb7; 10. Qh5, Qe7;

Ten very reasonable moves, and yet the game is over!

11. QxP/h7+!!, KxQ/h7; [Forced] 12. NxB/f6+, Kh6;

12...Kh8; 13. Ng6#

13. N/e5-g4+!, Kg5; 14. h4+, Kf4; 15. g3+, Kf3;

16. Be2+, Kg2; 17. Rh2+, Kg1; 18. Kd2#, Check-mate.

  (18. 0-0-0!#  was also possible.)  

A real gem. The Queen sacrifice is really brilliant. Every one of the White pieces assists in the attack after the 11th move. A truly magnificent example of a King-hunt. (This is also known as a "pursuit-sacrifice.")  

***

I saw this game as a very young man (around 7-8 years old) and it made a TREMENDOUS impression on me. It may be the first Master game of any kind I can remember seeing in a book. It was also one of the first sacrifices I ever spent time studying and analyzing. An incredible game. 

***

Of course, a lot of people have criticized this game. (I have received quite a few e-mails telling me this game is unworthy of inclusion in this list.) They say it's play is inaccurate, but that is true of every decisive game. (A perfectly played game will only end in a draw. Dull.) They say it is only a "off-hand" hand game, (It was not played in a major international tournament.); but so what? Consider what this game is:

  1. It is a really brilliant and exciting game, there is simply no denying that. 

  2. It is a great Queen sacrifice, and most people enjoy games of this type.

  3. It was - at the time it was played - a very ORIGINAL concept. 

  4. The game is relatively unique. I can think of few games - that are similar in length - to rival it. And this is NOT an uninformed opinion! 
    (I went through both the original book, and the second edition: "The King-Hunt," by John Nunn and William Cozens. After careful perusal of both books, I can honestly say this game stands out, mainly because it is much shorter in length than nearly all of the games in that book.)

  5. Perhaps the above reasons was why it was printed in newspapers and magazines all over the world. This game was replayed by chess players almost everywhere the game is enjoyed. This is definitely one of the more popular of all "Miniatures" of all time!!

  6. It is a tremendous "pursuit sacrifice," maybe one of the greatest of its kind in all of chess. The pursuit here crosses the entire length of the board. To mate the Black King on the g1 square, (The WHITE King's home square.); is  very rareespecially in a short game of chess. 

  7. It is an amazing "King Hunt." The King is literally driven all the way across the board, 8 rows of desperate flight by the Black King. 
    (Not many games is the King driven all the way across the board, from his FIRST row to the EIGHTH row. Games of this type are VERY rare.)

  8. Although the game ended with 18. Kd2 Mate, it could have very easily ended by 18. 0-0-0 Mate. Great games that end in mate with castling on the Queen-side are so very rare, that I have only seen maybe a small handful of games of this type in an entire lifetime spent devoted to studying the game of chess.

  9. Also, this is one of the few examples I could find in all of chess praxis where the Black King is pursued mainly, (and could have been mated);  by [primarily]  White's minor pieces!  Such an attack is unique (and very attractive) in the annals of chess literature. A true gem. 

  10. The game is relatively sound, i.e. it is not the result of a gross blunder or oversight by the second player. I am sure poor Thomas was completely surprised by both the combination, and the result of this game.

  11. The pursuit lasts nearly as long as the moves that led to the attack. Quality games where one side say played 10-15 moves and then is pursued for nearly the same amount of moves are also very, very rare.

***

A game of true chess art and chess beauty. And that is really what these pages are all about. 

***

This is game # 546 in Irving Chernev's,  "The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess."

***

Click  HERE  to go a page where you can see this game with a chessboard (java-script replay) with movable pieces.

***

Edward Lasker was an engineer, who was born in Germany and later moved  to the U.S. Lasker was an inventor, who had many patents to his credit, including the FIRST [commercial] breast-pump!

***

He also was a strong and famous Master. (At least IM strength.(I personally met him more than once!)  

***

Lasker would win many tournaments. After he moved to the U.S., he was to win to several strong National Tournaments and narrowly lose a match to Marshall for the U.S. Championship. Lasker also won the Championship of the Manhattan and Marshall Chess clubs several times. My room-mate (and best friend) Joe Hodge, the former night manager of the Marshall Chess Club, also personally knew Ed Lasker. (He was a good friend of his for many years.)   (Joe lived most of his life in New York City.)   

He told me that Ed Lasker was also known as the, "The Champion of Five Cities." 
{
The five cities were Berlin, Germany; Paris, France; London, England; New York City and Chicago. (U.S.A.) }  
Edward Lasker died in 1981. (I still remember the beautiful picture of Ed Lasker that they put on the cover of "Chess Life" when he passed away.) 

 

*****

G.A. Thomas was one of the strongest players in the UK at that time. Thomas would later be twice British Champion (!!) and he also was London Champion at least once. Thomas was also a group of chess players involved in a famous "Brain-Trust." This was a gathering of brilliant minds, many of them chess players; who were involved in working in code-breaking during WWII. This included work on the [now] famous "Enigma Code." {The German machine/code used in WWII to transmit secret messages and wartime instructions to its Generals in the field. The Germans thought the code was "Un-Breakable."} The first  REAL  [working] ELECTRONIC COMPUTER was also used during this operation. It was kept secret for many years - even after the end of the war! - so many people did not even know of its existence!!

***

Thomas was a true gentleman and was (I believe) Knighted by the Queen. (When I was in the military, I traveled constantly as part of my job. I visited the London Chess Club many times. I met old friends of Thomas's who were eager to tell me all about him. I LOVE a good story. I used to keep a journal, and I would write for hours in it at night.)

 

G.A. Thomas died in 1972.

*****

(I would definitely include this game in my list, "The Ten Best Miniatures.")  
(This is Game # 546 on page no. 272 of Chernev's book.)


Click  HERE  to see another great miniature by Edward Lasker. 


Wilhelm Steinitz - Rock

Exhibition Game, London; 1863.

(The following game is often mistakenly attributed to Paul Morphy.)

***

1. e4, e5; 2. Nf3, Nc6; 3. Bc4, Bc5; 4. b4!?,   

 The Evans Gambit. Played by practically every World Champion. White gives up a pawn for a huge increase in time. 

This opening was once called, "A gift from the gods to a languishing chess world." (Although since the Evans was originated like 200 years ago, I can hardly imagine why the people of that epoch felt that chess was languishing!)

4...Bxb4; 5. c3, Ba5; 6. 0-0, Nf6; 7. Ba3!?, Bb6?! ('?')
Losing time. 7...d6; was essential.

8. d4, exd4; 9. Qb3, d5? 
Black makes the [now] classic mistake of opening up the position when he is badly behind in development and his King is still stuck in the middle.

10. exd5, Na5; 11. Re1+, Be6; 12. dxe6!!, Nxb3; 
Now the game becomes one of pursuit of the Black King.

13. exf7++, Kd7; 14. Be6+, Kc6; 15. Ne5+ Kb5; 16. Bc4+, Ka5; 17. Bb4+, Ka4; 18. axb3# (Mate)  
A very brilliant and beautiful game by the great Steinitz.

 (Game # 7 in Nunn and Cozens book, "The King-Hunt.") 

*******************

This game is often said to have been played at odds, but that has never been proven and GM John Nunn (among others) feel that this is incorrect. (I think Nunn is right, the game was published in newspapers, and no mention was made of it being at odds, although Steinitz showed it many times. Perhaps the old lion felt the need to embellish this game?) Whether or not this game was played at odds or not, matters little to me  - as the game is unbelievably beautiful and brilliant. It is a mate, with the Rook on a1 ... or without it!! (It is a mate even if you remove the White QN!!) 

***

This game was played during Steinitz's earlier era, during which he earned the 'handle' of "The Austrian Morphy."

***

Steinitz is the father of the "Positional School of Chess," and probably changed the game like few others. (He was also the first official World Champion.) GM Nunn said he, "Found chess a game and left it a science." He also played many beautiful and outstanding games of chess.

His game vs. Curt Von Bardleben from Hastings, 1895; is picked by MANY authors and critics as: "One of The Most Beautiful Games of Chess Ever Played." (It also won the First Brilliancy Prize at a tournament that: a.) Probably had dozens - if not over a hundred - of viable candidates; b.) Was probably the first real and great International Tournament. (This event was won by the American, H. N. Pillsbury.)  

***

I have many books devoted to the life and games of this great player. Probably THE book on the story of his life is: 
"William Steinitz, Chess Champion." (A biography of the Bohemian Caesar.) by Kurt Landsberger. 

***

The best book containing the most games of the champion has to be: "The Games of Wilhelm Steinitz, First World Chess Champion."  
(Games annotated - culled from original sources - by Wilhelm Steinitz. Edited by Sid Pickard.)

***

 After receiving more than 50 e-mails requesting it, I have put the above game into a  java-script replay page. 
 Click  HERE  to go there now. 


 Some of the very best, annotated chess games on the Internet are found here 
  (See the list - just below.) 

 (Just  Click  on the games ... they are links to another page.) 


Keep watching this page for more famous miniatures. (I am currently - May 10, 2001 - compiling a list and playing through games to see if I cannot find the,  

  "Ten Prettiest Short Games of ALL Time!" 

******************************

This is my 'Candidate' list. 

(The list of games from which I will eventually cull my list of best games from. I also plan on annotating all of these games and posting them here. 
All you have to do is ... CLICK ON THE NAMES! Then you will be taken to a page where that game is annotated IN DEPTH!!)

******************************

Update:  (May 19, 2001.) 
I have a list of about 50 miniatures and I am annotating them and playing through them in an attempt to find the ten best and prettiest short games of all time. 

(The top two games in the list - immediately below - have already been given on this page, see above.)  

  1. Reti - Tartakower; Vienna, 1910. {# 44}  & 

  2. Ed Lasker - Sir G.A. Thomas; London, 1912. {# 546} )  [more] 

  3. A few others that  may  be included in this list are:  Spassky - Aftonomov; Leningrad 1949. (# 801.)  

  4. Young - Dore; Boston, 1892. (# 824) 

  5. Reti - Capablanca; Berlin 1928. (#  548)  

  6. Pillsbury - Amateur; (BLINDFOLD!) Toronto, 1899. (# 778.) 

  7. Pillsbury - Winawer; Budapest, 1896. (# 775.)  

  8. Glucksberg - Najdorf; Warsaw, 1935. (# 837)  

  9. Alekhine - Levenfish; St. Petersburg, 1912. (# 617)    {This is an EXTREMELY brilliant game.}  

  10. Grunfeld - Bogolyubov; Vienna, 1912. (# 665)  

  11. Janowski - Samisch; Mariendbad, 1925. (# 682)    

  12. Boden - Bird; London, 1873. (# 686) 

  13. Capablanca - Foranoff; New York 1918. (# 834)  

  14. Marache - Morphy; New York, 1857. (# 616)  

  15.   Fox - Bauer; ICT / Antwerp, BEL; 1901. (# 772)  
    (This game is part of my download package for this page, and is VERY popular. I have received NUMEROUS requests to add this game to this page. 
      Now I have. Added: Mon. Feb. 07, 2005.)  

[ The numbers in parenthesis refer to the game number in Chernev's book, "The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess." ] 

  ******************************  

 Second Update: (June 13, 2001.) Since I wrote the above words, many other games have been brought to my attention. Some of them are: 

  1. Anderssen - Lange; Breslau, 1859. (# 547)

  2. Elaine Saunders - H. Saunders; (Blindfold!) England, 1936. (# 550)

  3. Dake - DeBurca; Warsaw, 1935. (# 560) 

  4. MacDonnell - LaBourdonnais; London, 1834. ( # 562)  

  5. Mikenas - Goldenov; Tiflis, 1946. (# 569)  

  6. Bird - Steinitz; London, 1866. (# 586) 

  7. Steinkuhler - Blackburne; Manchester, 1863. (# 605) 

  8. Alekhine - Nimzovich; Bled, 1931. (# 607)  

  9. Nimzovich - Fleuss; Zurich, 1906. (# 615)  (This game is very beautiful.) 

  10. A. Santasiere - E.B. Adams; New York, 1926. (# 635) 

  11. Capablanca - Mattison; Carsbad, 1929. (# 679) 

  12. Marshall - Burn; Ostend, 1907.  (# 683) (A truly brilliant game by Marshall! One of the all-time great games.) 

  13. S. Tarrasch - B. Richter; Halle, 1883.  (# 696)  

  14. Tarrasch - Kurschner; Nuremburg, 1893.  (# 706) 

  15. P. Keres - C.H.O.D. Alexander; Margate, 1937. (# 738) (Another red-hot, SMOKIN' game of chess.) 

  16.  S. Levitsky - F. Marshall; German Open Champ. 1912  (# 918) 

  17. (A game too uneven {in play} to be included in the "best ever" list.  But it DOES contain one of the more amazing moves ever played!!)  - 
    Included by popular request! -   Paul Morphy - S. Amateur;  New Orleans, LA. 1858. (# 898)  

  18. One of the more popular and well-known Morphy wins.  A very good game and also a good teaching vehicle. 
    T. Lichtenhein - Paul Morphy; 1st American Chess Congress, 1857. (An extremely brilliant game!!!!!)  
    This game is not in Chernev's book, as far as I can tell. But it is in the book: "Practical Chess Opening Tips," by  GM Edmar Mednis

   *****************************************************************************************   

One of the best "short" games ever ...  it also one  FIRST  BRILLIANCY PRIZE  at the very prestigious New York International Chess Tournament of 1924!!

Check out the game:   GM Richard Reti - GM Efwim Bogolyubov; New York International Chess Tournament. New York City/NY/USA/1924. 

  *********  

A.J. Goldsby I - Internet Chess Opponent; 10/2000.'U.S. Chess Live'  game. (U.S.C.F. Server.)   
 (Maybe my  BEST  GAME EVER!!!!!!  And it IS a true miniature!!)  

***

  IM Werner Hug - GM Vicktor Korchnoi;  National Team Championships   Zurich, Switzerland;  1978.  
 (Added - August, 2004.) 

 *** 

 IM Karel Opocensky (2575) - GM Ludek Pachman (2350) [A32] ICT / Masters (Freedom) /  Prague, Czechoslovakia; (3), 1945. 
  (Added here:  August, 2004.)  

 *** 

GM Alexander Onischuk (2625) - GM Gerald Hertneck (2525) [C11] / ICT / Master's / Credis Bank / Biel, SUI; (Round # 06) / 20.07.1997 
  (Added here: September 02, 2004.)  

 *** 

 GM M Botvinnik - GM R. Spielmann;   International Chess Tournament / Moscow, U.S.S.R; 1935.  
 (Added here: September 05, 2004.)

***

 IM Andrei Volokitin - GM Vadim Malakhatko;  The 73rd National Championships (Round # 2.2)  Kharkiv, Ukraine, Russia;  2004. 
  (Added here: September 22nd, 2004.)  

 *** 

GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (2677) - GM Ivan Sokolov (2662); [D45]/ German National Team Competition / Bundesliga 2004-5
Koelln, GER (15), 10,04,2005.
  (Added here: April 12th, 2005.)  

  ***  

GM John DM Nunn (2701) - GM Andrei Sokolov (2743) [B54] / (FIDE) Men's Olympiad, (Round # 06) /   Dubai, UAE; (Saudi Arabia) / 11,1986.   
  (Added here: July 02nd, 2005.)  

 *** 

 Paul A. Morphy - Eugene Rosseau;  [C39] /  Casual or off-hand game /  New Orleans, LA / U.S.A. / 1849.  
  (Added here: August 01st, 2005.)  
NOTE: This is a game that I have seen many times, and I have received more than one request to annotate  it and place it on my website. It is basically a "fun" little game, therefore I chose only to annotate it in a  light-to-medium fashion. It is also very old.) 

 *** 

Edward Lasker - Fritz Englund;   Scheveningen, 1913.  
  (Added here: November 12th, 2005.)  

  *** 

  R. Keene - V. Kovacevic; / ICT, Master's "B"  / Amsterdam, NED; 1973.  
  (Added here: November 26th, 2005.)  

  **************************************************************************************  

E.Z. Adams - Carlos Torre;  New Orleans, 1920. (# 791) 
{ Because of the doubts raised by Soltis - and others! - I am  not  going to include this game in my list of "The Ten Best Short/Miniature Games of Chess  
  Ever Played." But it is still a great game and may be "The Greatest Game for Exploitation of The Back-Rank Ever Played." And I have annotated 
  it thoroughly for your entertainment!! } 

  ***************************  

A few more games are:  

  1. Bogolyubov - Tarrasch; Breslau, 1925. (# 826)  

  2. R. Byrne - R.J. Fischer; U.S. Championship, 1963-64.  
    (
    This game is NOT in Chernev's book.  {I am sure Chernev would have included this game - and others! - if they had been played prior to the publication of his book!}  This game is also - easily - on anyone's list of "The 100 Prettiest Games Ever Played." Indeed, this is game # 26 in GM Andy Soltis's book of   "The 100 Best Games of The 20th Century."  [Ranked] ) 

  3. Another game I already knew of, but someone just recently (July, 2001) reminded me of is:  
    Bent Larsen - Boris Spassky; "U.S.S.R. vs. The Rest of The World." [Match] Belgrade, 1970.  
    (This game is game # 18 in Soltis's book. See just above.)  (Both of the above games are also in the book, [The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games," By Nunn, Emms, and Burgess.) 

  ***  

Several other games are very noteworthy, but I do not include them in my list. Specifically two are Adolph Anderssen's  "IMMORTAL GAME"  and his  "EVERGREEN PARTIE."

You cannot call yourself a student of the game unless you have played over both of these games. They are in literally dozens of chess books, especially those books on tactics.

  ******************************  

The games that are high-lighted will almost certainly be included. The above lists, perhaps with the exception of the high-lighted games, are NOT set in stone.  (Of course, if I were to find a prettier game, I could always change this list.)

I am in the process of annotating all of these games, so you will be able to understand why which games were chosen. A briefly annotated version of this database will be posted on my website for you to download when I am through (finished) with it. (You will be able to get the FULLY annotated version by getting in touch with me.)

  ***  

All of the games listed above are extremely beautiful!!!  Many have been brought to my attention by readers, fans, and other persons. Occasionally I will make announcements on various chess servers about topics like this. This has lead to literally HUNDREDS of e-mails, with many chess enthusiasts bringing games to my attention. I can only pick ten games. These ten games are the result of a  LIFETIME  studying chess. I can only pick  ten games  for this list. If a game does not appear on this list, it does NOT means it is not beautiful.  Just that the other games - the ones that made the list - are more noteworthy. (In my opinion.) 

***

Another point I want to make is some games are VERY beautiful and ALSO a miniature. Probably the best example I can think of is the game: G. Rotlewi - A. Rubinstein.   (Lodz, 1907/8.) This game is a very famous game and appears on many people's lists of the best games of chess ever. Its a truly wonderful game of chess. High chess art.  (See my  web page  devoted to "The Best Games Of Chess Ever Played."I am NOT going to include that game here. Its 25 moves in length and technically fits the "miniature" requirement. But I think it would be silly to include that game here, as that other list, ("The Ten Most Beautiful & Greatest Chess Games Ever Played."); obviously far supersedes this one. (In my own opinion.) Obviously I could include that game. But I won't. To include that game here, as well as on the other list strikes me as silly and redundant. 'Nuff said?

***

I am going to leave this list here, (The list of candidate games, shown above.); even after I complete my list of, "The Ten Best." 

***

This is at the request of literally dozens of people that have sent me letters, and [mostly] e-mails requesting that I do so. (I guess so that they can look these games up, download them and analyze them. They ARE some GREAT GAMES!!) So enjoy!

The above two lists are by no means comprehensive. There are many, many games that I am considering for this list. They are NOT just the games from Chernev's book.  ("The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess.")  I have many other sources, but I must admit that this book is up and away the biggest source of games for this list thus far in my hunt.

  ******************************  

Many players have sent me games they have played. (Several have turned out to be completely bogus - or fakes.) Others have sent me games by GM's or other players, but were NOT suitable inclusion in this list. (Primarily because they were played against a very weak player, the combination was unsound, or it was the result of an oversight or a crass blunder.) This has lead many to ask what my standards are, so I felt it was only fair that I should publicly set forth exactly what my standards are.  

CRITERIA for inclusion:   I personally feel that at least one of the players should be a fairly well-known master, or a player of recognized  Master  strength.  I also feel the games should be exceptionally pretty, fairly sound, and   should not have been anticipated by another game!     The opponent should have put up a reasonable amount of defense,  and the denouement should NOT be the result of a simple blunder. The combination, as much as possible, should be both creative and original. (And of course, it should be sound!) I prefer games that were played in tournaments, but this is not absolutely essential. (Games that were played in simultaneous exhibitions are given MUCH less consideration and weight.) I also should have some way of documenting the game, games that were played very recently and have never been published will almost certainly not be included. 
(This is because I do not wish to risk being fooled or duped by a 'creative' player. *** This has already been attempted by several individuals! ***) 

I assigned a 10 point numbering system. Each number was given an EXACT criterion. There was little room for guesswork. I also assigned a 5 point numbering system for historical importance and significance. (Unfortunately many great games were either ignored or forgotten by the 'Chess Press.') In the end, only the  games that received the highest number point total would be included on my list. This list is the result of literally HUNDREDS of hours of work! (And a lifetime of studying the game of chess.)

  ******************************  

  Thus far, (July 30th, 2001) I have all ten games that I feel should be included in my list on the: 
"Ten Prettiest, Short 
{Miniature} Games of Chess Ever Played."  

***

 (BUT ... I am no longer in the process of annotating all these games. It has occasionally taken 20-30  hours - or more! - to thoroughly annotate one game. ) 

***

 If  YOU  know of a good game that you think still deserves inclusion in this list, please ... send it  to me! 


The best short game I have seen ... in quite some time - and a real brilliancy too. It features some of the wildest tactics I have studied - in a high-quality tournament. And White is no fish, in fact he is a 2550 GRAND-MASTER!!!! From what is surely one of the strongest tournaments of the year. (2003) Check it out!!   (Click here.)   


    MY list of the "10 Best Short/Miniature Games of All-Time"  

(I give them in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, by date.  I am unable to rank them by beauty, because they are ALL great! Each game is a thing of great beauty!)

***

I now have all of these games (on this list) annotated and available on a js-replay board. You will be able to just click on the game and go to a page where that game is thoroughly analyzed on a java-script re-play board ... with movable pieces!!

 

Click on the games for the links!!  

 

  1. Harry N. Pillsbury - Seymon Winawer; Budapest, 1896. (#775)

  2. Richard Reti - Savielly Tartakower; Tournament Game. Vienna, 1910 (#44)

  3. Edward Lasker - Sir George A. Thomas; Casual Game. London 1912. (#546)

  4. Janowski - Samisch; Tournament Game. Mariendbad, 1925. (# 682)

  5. Richard Reti - Jose R. Capablanca; Tournament Game. Berlin, 1928. (#548)

  6. Alexander Alekhine - Aaron Nimzovich; Tournament Game. Bled, 1931. (#607)

  7. Glucksberg - Miguel Najdorf; Tournament Game. Warsaw, 1935. (# 837)

  8. Boris Spassky - Alex Aftonomov; Tournament Game, USSR Jr. Qualifiers, Leningrad, 1949. (#801)

  9. Robert Byrne - Robert J. ("Bobby') Fischer; Tournament Game. U.S. Championship Game, U.S.A; 1963-64.
    (This game is not in Chernev's book.)

  10. Bent Larsen - Boris Spassky; "U.S.S.R. vs. The Rest of The World." [Match] Belgrade, Yugoslavia; 1970.
    (This game is not in Chernev's book.)
     

Easily ten of the best short games of chess ever played!!!!!


The game,  Alekhine - Levenfish; St. Petersburg, 1912. (# 617),  is also  extremely  brilliant and could replace nearly any game on this list. 
(
I left it off for two reasons: # 1.)  Levenfish slightly misplayed the opening; # 2.)  The 2nd player's pawn snatch on b2 is a classic mistake. ) 
- - - BUT ... it is still an extremely brilliant game. 

  ***  

The two games, Capablanca - Fonaroff;  Marache - Morphy;  (and Nimzovich - Fleuss; and  Marshall - Burn) also REALLY SIZZLE!!! 
They could have  easily  been on the list of the ten best. 

***

Of course, I have not included Morphy's Game, (Morphy - Allies) even though it is easily the first and greatest short game of all-time. This is because this game could be in a class all by itself. [Many critics don't like this game, and have even savaged it.] But I think it is beautiful. Of course, you can play over it yourself, and YOU be the judge!! You decide if the game is indeed beautiful, and deserves to be on my list of the greatest miniature games.

***

You should also see the list above of the candidate games that I picked from If I have made a significant oversight, please bring it to my attention!

***

 A friend recently sent me a file of about 40 of Tal's games. These are short games that Tal played, many mostly in simultaneous exhibitions. Time permitting, I hope to be bringing you many of these gems in the near future. (Keep your fingers crossed.) 

***

(Actually I am fudging a little, as by doing this - I can make my list 11 games long! Hee-hee.)

 *** *** *** 

 ITS HERE!!   (Thursday, August 23rd, 2001.)

If you would like to DOWNLOAD  all  of these games, click  HERE! 
( Click on the file that says "best_short_games.cbv.zip" ) 
(This file contains all of the games that are listed in  both  of my candidate lists AND  all  the games in my 'Top Ten' list.) 

(Final download finished and posted 11/16/01.) 

 (You MUST have a ChessBase product to open this file!!  Get you version of ChessBase Lite for FREE at the above site!!!)

 NOTE:   These are the shortened versions for the full-length versions, you must  contact me. 

 *** 


My goal is to annotate and post every game in this list, here on my website. (Done.) 

I want to make this one of the best - and the most popular! - of any chess page(s) on the web. If the game has been posted, you can simply click on the names in the list and be taken to a page where the game is in the form of a java-script replay board. (Annotated.) 

***

 Sept. 19th, 2001.  -  I have finished annotating ALL the games on this page! They are ALL posted and ready to be enjoyed by you. (I have not counted them, but there are close to 50 well-annotated that can be accessed from this one page.) 

 *** 

 Nov. 16th, 2001.   I have finished all the games on this page. Many I have gone back and re-annotated them, checked them for errors, etc. Additionally, the download now contains all of the games on this page, some annotated in depth ... and all are at least briefly annotated. 

***

 I consider this page finished!!  (Nov, 2001.) 

***

(March, 2002: I have gone back through the Chernev book. I have identified a few more games I think should be seen or brought to the attention of the general public. I should begin adding these shortly.) 
 August 2nd, 2010. I MAJORLY updated this page, I literally may have found over 100 busted links!
   (Page last edited on:  Monday, April 14, 2014 .)   


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 1985-2013.  
  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2014.  All rights reserved.  

 ******* 

 Back Home Next 


 If you enjoyed this page, then you certainly might enjoy my web page on, 
 "The Greatest    (best/prettiest)    Chess Games Ever Played." 

   Click  HERE  to go there now. 

  I need your help with something. Curious?  Then, click  HERE.

*********************************************************************************

   MORE Short Games - (a page on Nunn's book of 101 shorties). 

  The  page  for  "Short Games," No. Three. (# 3) 

  The  page   for  "Short Games," No. Four. (# 4)  


Free Counters
Free Counters

 *******

 I received several e-mails in the last 2-3 weeks, and they all asked basically the same question.   "How good is this counter?" And as far as I know, it is reasonably correct.

  I have not had to "dump" this page - or the entire site - in at least three years now. So the counter should be relatively accurate. (July 31st, 2005.)