Glucksberg - Miguel Najdorf

(Use the arrows below, or click on the actual moves in 
the text to move the pieces on the board.)

Glucksberg (2200) - Miguel Najdorf, (2500) 

 Warsaw, 1935

  [A.J. Goldsby I] 

Irving Chernev gives the following introduction to this game, in his book; "The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess." 
(Game # 837.) 

Chernev writes: "In this delightful game, which Tartakower called 'The Polish Immortal,' Najdorf sacrifices all of his minor pieces to mate with a Pawn. A work of art which would deserve high ranking on any critic's list of brilliancies." 

Beautiful words, and well-deserved. I consider Chernev to be one of the pre-eminent experts in this area. Based on this game and Chernev's judgment of it, I believe this game to be one of, "The 10 Most Beautiful Short Games of Chess (Miniatures) Ever Played." I would also like to propose a new name. (One that does not have racial overtones or is degrading in any way.) I would like to christen this game:
 Miguel Najdorf's "Evergreen Game."

 ... LIFE-Master A.J. Goldsby I.

1.d4 f52.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e64.Nf3 d5!?

Black is going to construct the "Stonewall Formation." 
(Of the Dutch Defense.)

 [ Some books recommend that Black play the precautionary ...c6 first. 
 For example: 4...c6; 5.Bf4 d6(5...d5!? )  6.e3,  etc. ]

5.e3 c6;   6.Bd3 Bd6;
('!' - The most aggressive.) 

7.0-0 0-0;   8.Ne2!?
,  White (needlessly) rearranges his pieces. 

 [I think the best move for White is:  8.Rb1!, "="  with the idea of 
 maybe expanding on the Queenside.  White can also play: 8.c5!? ].

A relatively normal and quiet closed position. 

9.Ng5?!,  A tricky move, but White vastly underestimated his opponent's resources. 

 (A reasonable move, as White hits the e6-square.)

 [ 9.c5!? ]

White may have seen this, but not the follow-up. 
This is a very sharp move, and basically risky - as the Bishop risks immolation on the Kingside. But the risk is justified and Najdorf has correctly foreseen that he may play this move.

,  This is much better than the alternative.

 [Not  10.Kxh2? Ng4+; 11.Kg1 Qxg5;('/+');  and Black is a lot better.]

10...Ng4!;  An excellent and sharp response. Black is playing very sharply.

 [ Maybe White had only counted on: 10...Qe7!?;  which is defensive, 
 but very tame. ]

,  White tries - belatedly - to close lines.

  [If White plays 11.Nxe6?;  then 11...Qh4!; "-/+" cooks his goose. 
  The only good move for White is: 11.Nh3 Bd6;('=/+') 
  which is slightly better for Black. ]

A very good move, guarding e6 and simultaneously working to get the Black Queen to the h5-square ... where it can threaten death and destruction to the White King.

  12.g3 Qh5;

, ["Box."]  This looks forced.

 [The alternatives are: 13.Nxe6?? Bg1+!; 14.Kg2
? allows a mate in one.
  14...Qh2+15.Kf3 Qh1#
 A rather shocking mate. ]

(Diagram.) Black to play. He plays a very shocking move.

(Maybe - '!!!') 
Even in the year 2000, the computers did not immediately see this move.

 [Maybe White expected Black to play something like: 13...Ndf6; 
 and the position is unclear.

,  This is forced.

 [14.Rxg1? Qh2+;  and mate next move. ] 

14...Qh2+15.Kf3,  White is just barely hanging on. 

Another surprise for White.

  [White may have been expecting the continuation: 15...Qh1+
Qg2+; 17.Ke1 dxc4; 18.Bxc4 Qxg3+
Nb6;{Unclear}etc.  (White may be surviving here.) ]

,  Again this is forced.

   [16.Qe2? e4+; 17.Nxe4 fxe4+; (17...Nde5+!!) 
    18.Kxg4 Ne5+; 19.Kg5 Qh6#. ]

 [A beautiful line is: 16. Ne2+?!, e4+!; (Not at all to win material.) 
17. Nxe4, Nde5+!!  A bolt of pure lightning. 
   18. dxe5, Nxe5+!;  19. fxe5, fxe4#.] 

!;  (Maybe - '!!')   Black continues to pour gasoline on the flame. 
(Black must not dawdle, as White may eventually free himself.)

17.fxe5 Nxe5+18.Kf4 Ng6+

19.Kf3 f4!!
;  (Maybe - '!!!')
 Another brilliant move, showing that Black is 100% 
committed to try and give mate.

(And the sacrifices continue to rain down on the unfortunate White King!)

[Perhaps White expected the following continuation: 19...Ne5+
Ng6+; 21.Kf3 Ne5+; 22.Kf4 Ng6+; 23.Kf3= , with a draw. ].

, Looks forced. 

One wonders if White saw his doom approaching? 
Or was the first player blissfully unaware of what was about to happen to him?

 [20.cxd5? Bg4+!; 21.Ke4, (21.Kxg4?? Ne5# ) 21...Bxd1; ('-/+')
 Chernev gives: 20.gxf4?? Ne5#(Or 20...Nh4# )
 Chernev also gives: 20.Bxg6 Bg4+!; 21.Kxg4 Qxg3+
hxg6+; 23.Kxg6 Rf6+; 24.Kh5 Rh6#!
 A cute variation where the White King is herded like cows on a cattle drive.]

(Diagram.)  Black to move.  What move would you play?

;   An extremely brilliant denouement. 
And probably another surprise for White.

(And the rationale behind this move is not easily or readily apparent.)

,  Black could avoid mate by playing 21. Ke3, but after Black 
captures the White Queen; the first player's position would - of course! - 
be hopeless.

 [21.Ke3 Bxd1;('-/+') ]

21...Ne5+!22.fxe5 h5#!;  0-1

As pretty as an ending to a game of chess as you are likely to ever see.

0 - 1

 This is actually a MUCH shortened version of the game as it exists in my computer database. 
If you would like to obtain a copy of this game, (for your own personal enjoyment - or to study 
and improve your chess); please get in touch with me. 

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  "The Best Short Games of Chess." 

  A.J. Goldsby I;  
 Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby,
2001 - 2005. 

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 2006.  All rights reserved. 

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