Games Identified

In my post last Monday I presented an exercise in which five games were to be identified. Here they are again with the players names revealed:

Assuming we don’t actually know the games, how might we deduce the identities? Well the easiest is surely the Anderssen – Kieseritsky game is so old that it has to be one of the two Bishop’s Gambits, but which is which? Essentially I think we need to be suspicious about the 15 move game because of Black’s rather deep resignation. In old games they didn’t throw in the towel so early, so something is amiss.

The other Bishop’s Gambit, Short – Kasparov, is very hard to guess unless one knows the story line. It was actually an exhibition game played after their 1993 match had been decided in which the opening was prescribed for them. Kasparov was none too pleased to be playing this line and resigned in disgust, rather early.

As the Najdorf was a Kasparov specialty, one might well guess the Karpov – Kasparov game. One of the main problems is that Anatoly Karpov became known as a 1.d4 player, and it requires some expertise to know that he played 1.e4 until this match. The game of course is very typical of Garry Kasparov’s vibrant and dynamic style. Nobody else could have played quite like this.

The game Kramik – Anand is kind of guessable in that Vladimir Kramnik has shown a preference for 1.d4 whilst Vishwanathan Anand is known to like the Slav and Semi-Slav Defences. The Semi-Slav was in fact the knife at Kramnik’s throat in this match because it prevented him from getting the kind of small, risk-free edge with which he is incredibly strong.

Can we guess the ‘unknown’ game, Rajkovic – Martin? Probably not without actually seeing it, but then it was only put in the pile as a way of making things more interesting…

Nigel Davies


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: