The Wildest Game

  • GM BryanSmith
  • | 12 feb. 2013
  • | Visto 24754 veces
  • | 54 comentarios

Recently, a friend sent me a fantastically crazy game, and I have decided to share it in my column. It was a fairly obscure game, from the Beverwijk tournament of 1961. The position that arose was so incredibly lopsided that it is hard to believe. Huge swings of material occurred, as the players fought tooth and nail for the initiative, with Black having the last say - White's attack broke through and won the queen, but the black king escaped, fled to the kingside, and then his own attack commenced. We will look at the game in stages.

The game was an unusual variation of the King's Indian. Why does this opening produce so many wild, rich, and unusual games? I think there are several answers. First of all, unlike some tamer openings, most of the pieces remain on the board for a long time. Second, the nature of the first few moves is towards imbalance - White has three pawns in the center, while Black is busy fianchettoing his bishop. Inevitably Black hits back in the center, resulting in either a fairly blocked center where the battle moves to the wings, or an open center with hand-to-hand fighting.

But I think it is more than just these factors. There is also the element of theory and the lack of forcing variations. While there is a fair amount of theory in the King's Indian, the absence of clear forcing variations and the complexity of the play means that there tend to be many possible moves for the players in most junctions in the game. Even in the most theoretical lines of the Mar Del Plata variation (where theory can extend to move 25 and beyond) there are still not many lines that actually result in some kind of simplified endgame.

Here the position is very non-standard. Black hit back in the center with ...c5, making the structure typical of the Benoni. However, Black has castled queenside, which is highly unusual and risky in this structure. White has a clear attacking plan on the queenside (a2-a3 and b2-b4), as well as an excess of space in the center (pawns on d5 and e5). However Black is not sitting still. He has grabbed White's dark-squared bishop, a major accomplishment in this structure. In the meantime, he has weakened the white king's position, making it vulnerable to ...h5-h4, as well as potential checks on the a7-g1 diagonal.

The competing attacks have reached an extreme point. The white attack looks more "visual" with immediate contact being made with the black king. But in fact somehow Black's attack, although slower, has more power - largely due to the unopposed dark squared bishop. White soon realized he could not actually catch the black king, which fled to the kingside, so checkmating the queen would have to do.

On the first glance at this game, it was scarcely believable. First the gigantic attack on the black queenside, the fleeing black king, and now the queen trapped. But soon you see the power of Black's slightly slower attack. Let's stop and look at this position:

Somehow the King's Indian has a propensity for generating positions that look like the pieces were just dropped on the board out of a bag, randomly. You can see another such one in a game I played, in the article "Chess and the Moon". That game was nowhere near the level of this one, but it matches it for sheer randomness of the position.

The black queen is well trapped, and giving it up for two pieces by the cowardly 29...Bxc3 30.Rxa5 Bxa5 is not an option - Black's attack will be gone, his pieces disorganized, and he will be facing the dangerous d5 and c5 pawns. So the queen is instead sold off for one tempo, to push a pawn. A position results with White up an entire queen and facing the relatively slow progression of the black kingside pawns.

By pure luck material is now exactly equal. But it is now Black who has a decisive attack.

This game is totally obscure and practically unknown. Looking for information about the game or the players online, I could find very little. It was played in Beverwijk 1961. Joaquim Durao is an Portugese international master who was champion of his country thirteen times. About his opponent, I have no information, although in his games in the database against Durao he scored a respectable 1.5-2.5, so he was probably a reasonable international-level player.

This unknown game is one of the most chaotic and fantastic I have seen on the chessboard. This is why I chose to share it with you. Certainly it fits into the subject of "Attack and Defense!"


  • hace 5 semanas


    Francisco José Pérez is the one pointed by Matencia in a previous comment. Pérez was a International Master and won the Spanish championship three times.

    Thanks GM Smith for posting this game, that I saw once in a Spanish newspaper, about 30 years ago, and couldn't find easily again!

  • hace 3 años


    32... f3 33. Kd1! Rh1+ 34. Kc2 fxg2 35. Rxa7
    Qb7 is coming, and White will have the final say, just before Black can do anything.

    What about 35... e5! :) Qb7 is not a threat any more...

  • hace 4 años


    I love King's Indian! Smile The wildest opening! Thanks so much for this game!!

  • hace 4 años


    This is why I love the King's Indian! :-)

  • hace 4 años


    Thanks for sharing such a fun game and your analysis of it!

  • hace 4 años


    Black's kingside march to victory is beautiful to watch, very amazing game!

  • hace 4 años


    Lembrei de Morphy !

  • hace 4 años


    What a game! keep it coming! I think I should include the KID from this day on... Very nice article Brian! Awesome!

  • hace 4 años


    What a game! That was just crazy.....

  • hace 4 años


    Wow! It's for things like that game and this article that I love chess. I've been going through it for first time while listening Mahler's Symphony No. 2  ( and it's been a truly magic journey. Thanks!

  • hace 4 años


    As the shogi proverb goes: speed over material in the endgame [read: mutual king hunts]. Tempi are worth more than the material if you have the attack and your opponent doesn't, but in international chess?! Stunning.

  • hace 4 años


    Indeed it is "that" Perez (matencia), IM Francisco José Perez

    Born 08/09/1920 in Vigo, Spain; died 20/09/1999  in La Habana, Cuba

    He played with players all the way from Capablanca to Kasparov

    This is a wild blitz (only 12 moves!) against Alhekine:

    Perez Perez, Francisco Jose vs. Alekhine, Alexander

    Madrid blitz | Madrid | 1943 | ECO: C25 | 1-0

    1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 exf4 4. Nf3 g5 5. d4 g4 6. Bc4 gxf3 7. Bxf4 fxg2 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Qh5+ Kg7 10. Rg1 Nge7 11. Bh6+ Kg8 12. Rxg2+

    This link has all his wins in PGN:

  • hace 4 años


    A nice, unusual speculative Queen sac. Be3! is an amazing follow-up. Seems, however, White could save himself by playing 30. d6 hxg3 31. Qe7+ Kg8 32. Qxg5+ with perpetual check. Provided he realized being lost!

  • hace 4 años


    KID is an absolutely wild opening. there is another classic played by Eddie Gufeld - that game is simply unbelievable

  • hace 4 años


  • hace 4 años


    Joaquim Durão...a great portuguese player.

  • hace 4 años


    Could be please the PGN file? :D thanks for future

  • hace 4 años


    Best. Game. EVER!

  • hace 4 años


    Very interesting game - I will use this for the 20 minute exercise 

  • hace 4 años


    Great game, thanks!

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