Famous Chess Games (Summary, Significance, Move Order)

Famous chess games are those that have left a lasting impact on the world of chess.

These games have showcased the brilliance and creativity of the players involved, and have become legendary in the chess community.

The most famous chess games include:

  1. The Immortal Game (played between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky in 1851)
  2. Opera Game (played by Paul Morphy against Duke Karl of Brunswick and Count Isouard in 1858)
  3. The Game of the Century (played between Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer in 1956)
  4. Kasparov’s Immortal Game (played between Garry Kasparov and Veselin Topalov at the Hoogovens Chess Tournament in 1999)
  5. Kasparov vs. Deep Blue (played between Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue in 1997)

Below we look more at some of the most famous chess games in history, analyzing their significance and the strategies employed by the players.

The Immortal Game (1851 – Adolf Anderssen vs Lionel Kieseritzky)

The Immortal Game, played in 1851 between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky, is one of the most famous chess games ever played.

Known for its breathtaking combinations and imaginative play, the game epitomizes Romantic chess, characterized by daring attacks and sacrifices.

Game Summary

Anderssen, playing white, opened with the King’s Gambit, a popular opening at the time.

The game quickly evolved into a complex and sharp battle.

Despite the sacrifices that Anderssen made, his brilliant tactics and deep calculations allowed him to unleash a devastating attack, culminating in a checkmate on the 23rd move.


The significance of The Immortal Game lies in its showcase of stunning creativity, bold sacrifices, and brilliant tactical combinations.

It highlights the beauty and depth of chess as a game where victory can be achieved through imagination, calculation, and daring play, even from a seemingly losing position.

The game continues to inspire chess enthusiasts, demonstrating the enduring allure of tactical brilliance and imaginative play in chess.

Move Order

  1. e4 e5
  2. f4 exf4
  3. Bc4 Qh4+
  4. Kf1 b5
  5. Bxb5 Nf6
  6. Nf3 Qh6
  7. d3 Nh5
  8. Nh4 Qg5
  9. Nf5 c6
  10. g4 Nf6
  11. Rg1 cxb5
  12. h4 Qg6
  13. h5 Qg5
  14. Qf3 Ng8
  15. Bxf4 Qf6
  16. Nc3 Bc5
  17. Nd5 Qxb2
  18. Bd6 Bxg1
  19. e5 Qxa1+
  20. Ke2 Na6
  21. Nxg7+ Kd8
  22. Qf6+ Nxf6
  23. Be7# 1-0

Opera Game (1858 – Paul Morphy vs. Duke Karl of Brunswick and Count Isouar)

The Opera Game, played by the American chess prodigy Paul Morphy against Duke Karl of Brunswick and Count Isouard in Paris in 1858, is a brilliant display of chess tactics and strategy.

Morphy, playing the white pieces, demonstrated his exceptional skill and understanding of chess principles in this informal game.

Game Summary

The game began with the Philidor Defense, and Morphy quickly gained the initiative with precise and aggressive play.

By the 17th move, he had sacrificed both a bishop and a rook to expose the black king’s position.

Despite being significantly down in material, Morphy’s superior development and coordination of his pieces allowed him to deliver checkmate, showcasing his extraordinary tactical vision.


The Opera Game’s significance lies in its illustration of fundamental chess principles: rapid development, control of the center, and the power of active piece placement over material.

Morphy’s ability to dominate seasoned opponents with elegant and efficient play highlights his exceptional talent and has made the Opera Game a beloved example in chess literature.

The game serves as an educational tool for players of all levels, exemplifying the importance of tactical sharpness, positional understanding, and the harmonious coordination of chess pieces.

Move Order

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 d6
  3. d4 Bg4
  4. dxe5 Bxf3
  5. Qxf3 dxe5
  6. Bc4 Nf6
  7. Qb3 Qe7
  8. Nc3 c6
  9. Bg5 b5
  10. Nxb5 cxb5
  11. Bxb5+ Nbd7
  12. O-O-O Rd8
  13. Rxd7 Rxd7
  14. Rd1 Qe6
  15. Bxd7+ Nxd7
  16. Qb8+ Nxb8
  17. Rd8# 1-0

The Game of the Century (1956 – Donald Byrne vs. Bobby Fischer)

The Game of the Century is a famous chess game played between Donald Byrne and a young Bobby Fischer in 1956.

Fischer, who was only 13 years old at the time, showcased his exceptional talent and potential in this game.

Game Summary

The game began with Byrne, playing as White, making a seemingly innocuous move that allowed Fischer to launch a devastating attack.

Fischer sacrificed his queen on move 17 to expose Byrne’s king and gain a significant advantage.

Despite being down material, Fischer displayed remarkable positional understanding and went on to win the game.


The Game of the Century is renowned for Fischer’s brilliant play at such a young age.

It demonstrated his exceptional talent and marked him as a future world champion.

The game also highlighted the importance of initiative and dynamic play in chess, as Fischer’s sacrifices allowed him to seize the initiative and overpower his opponent.

'Game of the Century' Arabian Mate

Move Order

  1. Nf3 Nf6
  2. c4 g6
  3. Nc3 Bg7
  4. d4 O-O
  5. Bf4 d5
  6. Qb3 dxc4
  7. Qxc4 c6
  8. e4 Nbd7
  9. Rd1 Nb6
  10. Qc5 Bg4
  11. Bg5 Na4
  12. Qa3 Nxc3
  13. bxc3 Nxe4
  14. Bxe7 Qb6
  15. Bc4 Nxc3
  16. Bc5 Rfe8+
  17. Kf1 Be6
  18. Bxb6 Bxc4+
  19. Kg1 Ne2+
  20. Kf1 Nxd4+
  21. Kg1 Ne2+
  22. Kf1 Nc3+
  23. Kg1 axb6
  24. Qb4 Ra4
  25. Qxb6 Nxd1
  26. h3 Rxa2
  27. Kh2 Nxf2
  28. Re1 Rxe1
  29. Qd8+ Bf8
  30. Nxe1 Bd5
  31. Nf3 Ne4
  32. Qb8 b5
  33. h4 h5
  34. Ne5 Kg7
  35. Kg1 Bc5+
  36. Kf1 Ng3+
  37. Ke1 Bb4+
  38. Kd1 Bb3+
  39. Kc1 Ne2+
  40. Kb1 Nc3+
  41. Kc1 Rc2# 0-1

Kasparov’s Immortal Game (1999 – Garry Kasparov vs. Veselin Topalov)

Garry Kasparov’s Immortal Game is one of the most celebrated chess games in history, played against Veselin Topalov at the Hoogovens Chess Tournament in 1999.

In this game, Kasparov, playing with the white pieces, showcased his exceptional creativity, tactical skill, and boldness.

Game Summary

The game is renowned for Kasparov’s incredible 24th move, Rxd4, a rook sacrifice that led to a series of brilliant maneuvers, ultimately leaving Topalov defenseless.

This sacrifice initiated a complex combination of moves, demonstrating deep calculation and a profound understanding of the game’s dynamics.

Kasparov’s moves were not just tactically sound but also artistically beautiful, making the game a masterpiece in chess history.


The significance of the Immortal Game lies in its demonstration of Kasparov’s genius and the heights of strategic complexity achievable in chess.

It serves as an educational tool for studying advanced tactics and combinations, and as an inspiration for chess enthusiasts worldwide.

The game epitomizes the beauty, depth, and brilliance possible in chess, reinforcing its status as not just a game, but an art form and a mental discipline.

Move Order

  1. e4 d6
  2. d4 Nf6
  3. Nc3 g6
  4. Be3 Bg7
  5. Qd2 c6
  6. f3 b5
  7. Nge2 Nbd7
  8. Bh6 Bxh6
  9. Qxh6 Bb7
  10. a3 e5
  11. O-O-O Qe7
  12. Kb1 a6
  13. Nc1 O-O-O
  14. Nb3 exd4
  15. Rxd4 c5
  16. Rd1 Nb6
  17. g3 Kb8
  18. Na5 Ba8
  19. Bh3 d5
  20. Qf4+ Ka7
  21. Rhe1 d4
  22. Nd5 Nbxd5
  23. exd5 Qd6
  24. Rxd4 cxd4
  25. Re7+ Kb6
  26. Qxd4+ Kxa5
  27. b4+ Ka4
  28. Qc3 Qxd5
  29. Ra7 Bb7
  30. Rxb7 Qc4
  31. Qxf6 Kxa3
  32. Qxa6+ Kxb4
  33. c3+ Kxc3
  34. Qa1+ Kd2
  35. Qb2+ Kd1
  36. Bf1 Rd2
  37. Rd7 Rxd7
  38. Bxc4 bxc4
  39. Qxh8 Rd3
  40. Qa8 c3
  41. Qa4+ Ke1
  42. f4 f5
  43. Kc1 Rd2
  44. Qa7 1-0

Garry Kasparov’s Best Game Ever

Kasparov vs. Deep Blue (1997)

Garry Kasparov’s 1997 Game 6 against IBM’s Deep Blue is a landmark in the annals of chess and artificial intelligence.

Game Summary

In this game, Kasparov, playing white, opened with the Caro-Kann Defense.

The game quickly escalated into a complex battle, with Kasparov making a series of aggressive moves.

Despite his renowned skill and aggressive play, Kasparov faced an unexpected and unprecedented challenge from Deep Blue, a computer system designed by IBM to play chess at an elite level.

The machine’s ability to calculate numerous positions per second allowed it to navigate the intricate positions and tactics that unfolded during the game.

By the 19th move, Kasparov resigned, marking a historic victory for artificial intelligence.


Deep Blue’s win in this game (and the match) symbolized a pivotal moment where machines demonstrated the capability to outperform human intelligence in specific tasks.

The game underscored the potential of artificial intelligence and its implications for various fields beyond chess, highlighting the growing role of machines in problem-solving and strategic thinking.

The Kasparov-Deep Blue match, culminating in Game 6, remains a significant event, reflecting the intersection of human intellect and computational power, and sparking discussions and developments in AI that continue to resonate today.

Move Order

  1. e4 c6
  2. d4 d5
  3. Nc3 dxe4
  4. Nxe4 Nd7
  5. Ng5 Ngf6
  6. Bd3 e6
  7. N1f3 h6
  8. Nxe6 Qe7
  9. O-O fxe6
  10. Bg6+ Kd8
  11. Bf4 b5
  12. a4 Bb7
  13. Re1 Nd5
  14. Bg3 Kc8
  15. axb5 cxb5
  16. Qd3 Bc6
  17. Bf5 exf5
  18. Rxe7 Bxe7
  19. c4 1-0

FAQs – Famous Chess Games

1. What is the significance of famous chess games?

Famous chess games hold significance as they showcase exceptional strategic brilliance, creativity, and the evolution of the game.

They serve as a source of inspiration and learning for chess enthusiasts.

2. How can famous chess games improve my chess skills?

Studying famous chess games can enhance your understanding of strategic concepts, such as sacrifices, positional play, and initiative.

Analyzing these games can help you develop your own tactical awareness and improve your decision-making abilities.

3. Are famous chess games only relevant for advanced players?

No, famous chess games are relevant for players of all levels.

Beginners can learn from the strategic ideas and patterns employed by top players, while advanced players can gain insights into complex positions and advanced tactics.

4. Can I find famous chess games online?

Yes, there are numerous online resources where you can find famous chess games.

Chess databases, websites, and chess books are excellent sources for studying and analyzing these games.

5. How can I analyze famous chess games effectively?

When analyzing famous chess games, it is important to take your time and thoroughly understand the moves and strategies employed.

Use a chessboard or a chess analysis software to visualize the positions and variations. Try to identify the key moments and critical decisions made by the players.

6. Are there any famous chess games played by women?

There have been many famous chess games played by women that have made significant contributions to the chess world.

Some notable examples include Judit Polgar’s victory over Garry Kasparov in 2002 and the games played by former Women’s World Chess Champions like Hou Yifan and Alexandra Kosteniuk.

7. Can I use famous chess games as a reference for my own games?

Yes, famous chess games can serve as a valuable reference for your own games.

By studying the strategies and tactics employed by top players, you can gain insights into different openings, middlegame plans, and endgame techniques.

8. Are there any famous chess games that ended in a draw?

Yes, there are famous chess games that ended in a draw.

Some of these games are celebrated for their complexity and the high level of play displayed by both players.

The 1984 World Chess Championship match between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov, for example, featured several memorable draws.

9. Can I recreate famous chess games on a physical chessboard?

Absolutely! Recreating famous chess games on a physical chessboard can be a great way to immerse yourself in the game and experience the moves and strategies firsthand.

It allows you to visualize the positions and understand the thought process behind each move.

10. Are there any famous chess games that are particularly suitable for beginners?

While famous chess games often involve complex strategies and advanced tactics, there are still games that beginners can learn from.

Some games, like Paul Morphy’s “Opera Game,” showcase simple yet effective ideas that beginners can grasp and incorporate into their own play.

11. Can I play through famous chess games online?

Yes, there are online platforms and chess websites that allow you to play through famous chess games.

These platforms often provide interactive features, allowing you to analyze the moves and variations as you progress through the game.

12. How can I remember the key moves and variations in famous chess games?

Remembering the key moves and variations in famous chess games can be challenging.

One effective method is to repeatedly play through the game, visualizing the positions and understanding the logic behind each move.

Taking notes and annotating the game can also help reinforce your memory.

13. Can I use famous chess games to improve my opening repertoire?

Studying famous chess games can certainly help improve your opening repertoire.

By analyzing the moves played by top players in specific openings, you can gain insights into the key ideas, plans, and common pitfalls associated with those openings.

14. Are there any famous chess games that involve unusual or unconventional moves?

Yes, there are famous chess games that involve unusual or unconventional moves.

These games often showcase the creativity and originality of the players.

One example is the “Bongcloud” game played between Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen, where both players intentionally made suboptimal moves for entertainment purposes.

15. Can I learn from famous chess games even if I don’t play competitive chess?

Absolutely! Famous chess games can be enjoyed and learned from by chess enthusiasts of all levels, regardless of whether they play competitive chess.

The strategic ideas and tactical patterns showcased in these games can be appreciated by anyone with an interest in the game.

Summary – Famous Chess Games

Chess has witnessed numerous famous games that have left a lasting impact on the chess community.

The Immortal Game, played by Anderssen and Kieseritzky, showcased the power of sacrifices and tactical awareness.

The Game of the Century, played by Fischer and Byrne, demonstrated the brilliance of a young Fischer and the importance of initiative in chess.

Kasparov vs. Deep Blue marked a groundbreaking moment in chess history, highlighting the capabilities of artificial intelligence.

These games continue to be studied and celebrated for their strategic brilliance and contributions to the game of chess.

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