The Immortal Game
February 21, 2006 5:01 AM   Subscribe

The Immortal Game between Anderssen and Kieseritzsky is, by some, "considered to be perhaps the most entertaining game of chess ever played". Now, 155 years later, you can enjoy the interactive version, the many many commentaries , and even buy the movie.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The final checkmate is beautiful.
posted by adzm at 5:38 AM on February 21, 2006

This is very inspiring, a sacrifice of the two rooks and the queen, and the minimalistic mate that follows. next time I play chess i'll give it a try!
posted by Psychnic at 5:43 AM on February 21, 2006

Hey, that's pretty cool. Not a great chess player here but I sure enjoyed reading that game.
posted by louigi at 6:39 AM on February 21, 2006

It seemingly comes out of nowhere, too, and with all that jeopardy on his own King, to so resolutely press forward to that mate is stunning.
posted by darkstar at 7:16 AM on February 21, 2006

By which I mean to say that he's not only sacrificing pieces but also a huge amount of security on his first rank.

It makes the sacrificial play all the more bold and the 'minimalistic' mate all the more sweet!
posted by darkstar at 7:19 AM on February 21, 2006

This is good. I believe that chess should be taught beginning in Kindergarten.
posted by spock at 7:22 AM on February 21, 2006

I am not much of a chess player, not having played the game in years, but this was a really interesting FPP - thanks!
posted by blahblahblah at 7:56 AM on February 21, 2006

The Evergreen game (second game in interactive page) always leaves me laughing - the white mass sacrifice starting at 17.Nf6+ and ending in a unavoidable mate 7 moves later is one of the most brilliant sequences in master chess history. About this game [the best human chess player ever] Gary Kasparov wrote "The prosaic [17.Ng3 17...Qh6 18.Bc1 Qe6 19.Bc4 Nd5 (19...Qg6 20.Nh4 Qg4 21.Bxf7+) 20.Ng5 Qg4 21.Re4] would finish the game without any troubles, but then chess would have lost one of the jewels from it's crown"
posted by nkyad at 8:26 AM on February 21, 2006

The position after 20. Ke2 is definitely a fascinating one. Doesn't 20. ... f6 save black? I know its easy to look back with a critical eye, and during the game, with black so resolutely focused on his material advantage, it must have been hard to concede the fork at c7, but at some point, and I think that point is around when you're up a bishop, two rooks, and a pawn, you have to stop worrying about "only" being up a bishop, a single rook, and a pawn, and start paying attention to how vulnerable your king is.
posted by ChasFile at 8:42 AM on February 21, 2006

Chas -- 20 ...f6 prevents the attack that was played but doesn't really change anything.

(quoting from Crafty) 21. Nxg7+ Kf7 22. Nxf6 Qe1+ 23. Kxe1 Bf2+ 24. Kxf2 Ne7 25. Nd5+ Nf5 26. Qxf5+ Kxg7 27. Qf6+ Kg8 28. Qf8#
posted by devbrain at 9:23 AM on February 21, 2006

I remember playing over this game many years ago when I was one of those annoying high school chess mavens (a friend of mine and I used to say "pawn to king's bishop five" or "knight takes bishop" as we passed each other in the halls, making it up on the fly and thinking we were clever as hell)—it sent chills up my spine. Great game, great post!
posted by languagehat at 10:29 AM on February 21, 2006

Nice post.
posted by elderling at 10:53 AM on February 21, 2006

The evergreen game is pretty sweet. It's unfortunate that I'm not nearly skilled enough to pick up on all the intricacies of sacrifice.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:13 PM on February 21, 2006

Thanks. I understand more from that analysis why this game is celebrated than from any other I've read before. I still suck at chess, though. My greatest skill at chess is being able to lose quickly to people who insist on playing me.
posted by Eideteker at 2:07 PM on February 21, 2006

posted by semmi at 3:11 PM on February 21, 2006

"Most entertaining game of chess ever played" is like the most entertaining game of cricket, or any other activity that's horribly boring to watch. It's not that it can't be fun to play, even though I'm not much of a chess player myself, I do enjoy it, as well as, say, go, but to watch it bores me to tears. It's like watching someone write a novel.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:26 PM on February 21, 2006

Yes Joakim, if you find it boring, everybody must find it boring.
posted by pompomtom at 4:43 PM on February 21, 2006

The Evergreen game was definitely exciting - White was one move from being mated himself... Black must've thought the game was in the bag - seems that near the end (23), moving the king toward the center of the board instead of retreating, could've bought him the one move he needed.
posted by hypersloth at 6:07 PM on February 21, 2006

It's also interesting to have good computer algorithms like Deep Fritz, Deep Junior, Shredder and HIARCS give their commentary...
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 2:00 AM on February 22, 2006

A friend of mine just linked me to this site. Any other chess sites out there folks recommend?
posted by Eideteker at 2:22 PM on February 24, 2006

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