Famous Chess Games

While chess has been played for centuries, some of games have become famous because of players’ ingenuity, skills and groundbreaking strategies. Here is a closer look at some of the most famous chess games in history.

Paul Morphy versus Count of Isouard/The Duke of Brunswick

While called by some the most famous chess match of all time, this chess game, also referred to as “A Night at the Opera” or the “Opera Game,” took place in the Paris Opera Box in 1858. Some chess aficionados purport that this was the most beautiful game ever played because of its simplicity, clarity, brilliancy and energy. At the time, the American Morphy was a chess master, while the French Count and the German Duke were seasoned amateurs.

The Opera Game involved the Morphy playing against both the Duke Karl and the French Count Isouard. Ultimately, Morphy won after 17 moves by checkmating the Duke and the Count’s king with a bishop and rook attack team.

Today, the Opera Game is a model of efficiency and demonstrates the value of early development to chess students around the world.

The Immortal Game

The Immortal Game was played by Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky on June 21, 1851 at the Simpson’s-in-the-Strand Divan in London, England. Other than the sheer skill with which the match was played, what made the Immortal Game special was the player’s reputations.

Considered one of the best players of the time, Adolf Anderssen was also thought of as the chess world champion after winning a prestigious London chess tournament in 1851. While his opponent, Lionel Kieseritzky, was not a famous chess player, he was still considered to be a chess master.

While Anderssen’s win is no surprise, the way in which he made some major sacrifices and came back in the end with only three pieces makes this game revered and honored in modern times.

Deep Blue versus Kasparov

This game upset and overturned the chess world. Held on February 10, 1996 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a computer named Deep Blue challenged the reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Deep Blue was a chess computer specifically designed by the technology company IBM to take on Kasparov. This was the first time a computer ever played and beat a world champion in a tournament with normal time controls in a normal setting.

While Deep Blue won two chess matches against Kasparov, Kasparov won three against Deep Blue.

Kasparov versus The World

In 1999, Kasparov came back and challenged the whole world in this famous chess game. In reality, around 50,000 players from 75 countries came out to compete against the chess legend. The game was held over the Internet, through MSN Gaming Zone, and “the world” got to decide moves through a voting system.

The game lasted for 62 moves over a four-month period. Amazingly, Kasparov won the game against all of the combined skill. He later admitted that it was the hardest game of his life.

Cold War Battle

In 1972, Bobby Fischer, one of the greatest chess players of all time, competed in this famous chess game, known as the Cold War Battle. During this famous chess game, the American Fischer faced Russian Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland to battle for the World Chess Champion title. Fischer won and became the first American to ever win the World Chess Championship.