Saturday, November 27, 2010

Top 10 Blunders

Hello -

I will be starting a series of top 10 lists. This one is the top 10 blunders in the history of chess. I am interested to hear your comments - maybe you might disagree with the blunders and the order. Enjoy!
BLUNDER #10: Reshevsky-Savon 1973

Here, white is down a piece, but he has managed to use his major pieces to hunt out the black king. In fact, he has a mate in 3 with 40. g5+ Kxg5 41. h4+ Kxh4 42. Qf4#. White has 4 other moves that mate soon, and 2 other moves that maintain at least a rook's worth advantage. Reshevsky, however, announced mate with 40. Qxg6+. He missed the bishop on b1, and resigned after 40... Bxg6. Reshevsky was in time pressure.

BLUNDER #9: Taimanov-Fischer 1971

Taimanov had already lost the first four games of this match. This endgame is drawn, but Taimanov was already discouraged by losing four games in a row. He managed to lose again with 46. Rxf6??. After 46... Qd4+ Taimanov resigned, as the rook is lost. After 47. Rf2 comes 47... Ral+.


This is one of the most bizzare blunders ever. White moved his queen to g3, announcing checkmate. He forgot that his pawn wasn't guarding the queen because it moved the other way! White resigned after black took the queen.

Here is another easily drawn position. Bareev pictured the variation 35... Rxd5 36. Nxd5 Ba7. He played it - but mixed the move order up! After the terrible 35... Ba7?? white mated with 36. Rxd8#. Note that 35... Ba7?? is the only move on the board to allow a mate in one!
This is a crucial game in the world championship match. Steinitz sacrificed a piece to get 2 rooks on the seventh, but Chigorin is winning. Instead of playing the obvious (and good) 32. Rxb7, Chigorin had a major oversight and played 32. Bb4??. After 32... Rxh2+ white resigned. After 33. Kg1 would come 33... Rdg2#.

This blunder is not like the others. In this position, black's bishop is pinned. Black, however, had the opportunity to win the queen with 36... Bg1!. The queen would be attacked, and mate would be threatened on h2. Instead, what did Marco do? He resigned! This is the earliest example of premature resignation.

Have you ever heard of the saying "Nigel Short?" This means a bizzare mate in the endgame with limited pieces. This is the game that saying came from. Here, white could win with 58. Nxf6. Instead, Short came up with 58. Ke6??. A crazy mate occurs after 58... Bc8#!

In this position, white should win, but the win is not easy at all. The players have been playing for a long time, and are exhausted. Maybe that explains 87... Ke6??. Another "Nigel Short" mate occurs after 88. Bf5#! ==========================================================

Here, white has great positional strength. 36. Qc7 secures a 2 and a half pawn advantage. Instead, Petrosian played the worst blunder of material in chess history. 36. Ng5?? just hung the queen, and Petrosian resigned after 36... Nxd6.

In this position, a draw would result after 34... Kg8. Kramnik, however, made the worst blunder in the history of chess. 34... Qe3?? Kramnik made this move and went to take a walk. After he came back, he was shocked that he had been mated by 35. Qh7#! The spectators were equally surprised.

That's my list. Please comment, and what is your opinion? Do you think there are better ones? Do you think the order is wrong?


Binnie said...

I was surprised to see a game from 1892. And I have never heard of the "nigel short" -- but then again, I have not read as many chess books as you have. I don't think I'm in the same league as you!! You are light years ahead of me in chess! But I may beat you in cooking! Love you, Grandma

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