List of All-Time Best Short Games 

Welcome to my list of the   BEST SHORT GAMES   of chess.  Please come back and visit again!

This page was last updated on 05/16/06

 (A short game or miniature is one that is defined as lasting 25 moves or less.) 

  Click  HERE  to go to what I consider to be  

  (It is also considered to be a miniature, as it is much less than 25 moves.)  

  Want to check these guys out? Click on this picture!  (y_g-c1.gif, 03KB)
This page is CLOSELY linked to my  web page  on   GeoCities  
 (Yahoo! server, see above) 
 on,   "The Best Short Games (miniatures) Ever Played."  
 Click  HERE  to go there now. 

This is my 'Candidate' list. 
(The list of games from which I will eventually cull my list of best games from.
I also plan on annotating all of these games and posting them here. All you have to do is ...
CLICK ON THE NAMES! Then you will be taken to a page where that game is annotated IN DEPTH!!)


Update: (May 19, 2001.) I have a list of about 50 miniatures and I am 
annotating them and playing through them in an attempt to find the ten 
best and prettiest short games of all time. 
(The high-lighted games are those that I think are the best and were the 
most closely scrutinized for my list of the "Ten-Best.") 

( The two games that are given above are: 
Reti - Tartakower; Vienna, 1910. {# 44}  & 
Ed Lasker - Sir G.A. Thomas; London, 1912. {# 546} ) 

A few others that  may  be included in this list are:   
Spassky - Aftonomov; Leningrad 1949. (# 801.)
Young - Dore'; Boston, 1892. (# 824) 
Reti - Capablanca; Berlin 1928. (#  548)
Pillsbury - Amateur; (BLINDFOLD!) Toronto, 1899. (# 778.) 
Pillsbury - Winawer; Budapest, 1896. (# 775.)
Glucksberg - Najdorf; Warsaw, 1935. (# 837)

Alekhine - Levenfish; St. Petersburg, 1912. (# 617) 
{This is an EXTREMELY brilliant game.}

Grunfeld - Bogolyubov; Vienna, 1912. (# 665) 
Janowski - Samisch; Mariendbad, 1925. (# 682)
 Boden - Bird; London, 1873. (# 686) 
  Capablanca - Foranoff; New York 1918. (# 834)
 Marache - Morphy; New York, 1857. (# 616) 
Steinitz - Rock;  Exhibition Game London, 1863. 
 (This page is not in this web-site!) 

[ The numbers in parenthesis refer to the game number in 
Chernev's book,
"The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess." ] 


 Second Update: (June 13, 2001.) Since I wrote the above words, many 
other games have been brought to my attention. Some of them are: 

Anderssen - Lange; Breslau, 1859. (# 547)
 Elaine Saunders - H. Saunders; (Blindfold!) England, 1936. (# 550)
Dake - DeBurca; Warsaw, 1935. (# 560)
MacDonnell - LaBourdonnais; London, 1834. ( # 562) 
Mikenas - Goldenov; Tiflis, 1946. (# 569)  
Bird - Steinitz; London, 1866. (# 586) 
Steinkuhler - Blackburne; Manchester, 1863. (# 605) 
Alekhine - Nimzovich; Bled, 1931. (# 607)
Nimzovich - Fleuss; Zurich, 1906. (# 615)  
(This game is very beautiful.)

A. Santasiere - E.B. Adams; New York, 1926. (# 635) 
Capablanca - Mattison; Carsbad, 1929. (# 679) 

Marshall - Burn; Ostend, 1907.  (# 683) 
 (A truly brilliant game by Marshall! One of the all-time great games.) 

S. Tarrasch - B. Richter; Halle, 1883.  (# 696)  
Tarrasch - Kurschner; Nuremburg, 1893.  (# 706) 
P. Keres - C.H.O.D. Alexander; Margate, 1937. (# 738) 
(Another red-hot, SMOKIN' game of chess.) 

S. Levitsky - F. Marshall; German Open Champ. 1912  (# 918) 
 (A game too uneven {in play} to be included in the "best ever" list. 
 But it DOES contain one of the more amazing moves ever played!!) 
 - Included by popular request! - 


A.J. Goldsby I - Internet Chess Opponent; 10/2000.
'U.S. Chess Live'  game. (U.S.C.F. Server.)
 (Maybe my  BEST  GAME EVER!!!!!! 
 And it IS a true miniature.)  
 (This page is not in this web-site!) 


 E.Z. Adams - Carlos Torre;  New Orleans, 1920. (# 791) 
 { Because of the doubts raised by Soltis - and others! - I am  not  going to include 
this game in my list of "The Ten Best Short/Miniature Games of Chess Ever Played." 
But it is still a great game and may be 
"The Greatest Game for Exploitation of The Back-Rank Ever Played."

And I have annotated it thoroughly for your entertainment!! } 
(Many writers - such as Soltis - feel this game, (Adams-Torre; see immediately above);
is a fake. I withhold judgment.


Bogolyubov - Tarrasch; Breslau, 1925. (# 826)  
R. Byrne - R.J. Fischer; U.S. Championship, 1963-64.
This game is NOT in Chernev's book.  {I am sure Chernev would have 
  included this game - and others! - if they had been played prior to the 
  publication of his book!}
  This game is also - easily - on anyone's list of  
  "The 100 Prettiest Games Ever Played."  
  Indeed, this is game # 26 in GM Andy Soltis's book of  
   "The 100 Best Games of The 20th Century."  [Ranked] ) 

Another game I already knew of, but someone just recently (July, 2001) 
reminded me of is:
 Bent Larsen - Boris Spassky; "U.S.S.R. vs. The Rest of The World." 
 [Match]  Belgrade, 1970.

(This game is game # 18 in Soltis's book. See just above.)  
(Both of the above games are also in the book, 
[The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games," 
By Nunn, Emms, and Burgess.) 


Several other games are very noteworthy, but I do not include them in my list. Specifically two 
are Adolph Anderssen's  "IMMORTAL GAME"  and his  "EVERGREEN PARTIE."

You cannot call yourself a student of the game unless you have played over both of these games. 
They are in literally dozens of chess books, especially those books on tactics.


The games that are high-lighted will almost certainly be included. The above lists, 
perhaps with the exception of the high-lighted games, are NOT set in stone.
(Of course, if I were to find a prettier game, I could always change this list.)

(You will be able to get the FULLY annotated version by getting in touch with me.)


 All of the games listed above are extremely beautiful!!!  Many have been brought to my attention 
 by readers, fans, and other persons. Occasionally I will make announcements on various chess servers 
 about topics like this. This has lead to literally HUNDREDS of e-mails, with many chess enthusiasts 
 bringing games to my attention. I can only pick ten games. These ten games are the result of a  
  LIFETIME  studying chess. I can only pick  ten games  for this list. If a game does not appear on this 
 list, it does NOT means it is not beautiful.  Just that the other games - the ones that made the list - 
 are more noteworthy. (In my opinion.)  


  Another point I want to make is some games are VERY beautiful and ALSO a miniature.  

Probably the best example I can think of is the game: G. Rotlewi - A. Rubinstein.  
(Lodz, 1907/8.) This game is a very famous game and appears on many people's 
lists of the best games of chess ever. Its a truly wonderful game of chess. High chess art.

  (See my  web page  devoted to "The Best Games Of Chess Ever Played.") 

I am NOT going to include that game here. Its 25 moves in length and technically 
fits the "miniature" requirement. But I think it would be silly to include that game here, 
as that other list, ...  ("The Ten Most Beautiful & Greatest Chess Games Ever Played."); 
obviously far supersedes this one.  (In my own opinion.) 

Obviously I could include that game. But I won't. To include that game here, as well as 
on the other list strikes me as silly and redundant. 'Nuff said?


I am going to leave this list here, (The list of candidate games, shown above.); 
even after I complete my list of, "The Ten Best." 


This is at the request of literally dozens of people that have sent me letters, and [mostly] 
e-mails requesting that I do so. (I guess so that they can look these games up, download 
them and analyze them. They ARE some GREAT GAMES!!) So enjoy!

The above two lists are by no means comprehensive. There are many, many games that I am considering for this list. They are NOT just the games from Chernev's book.  ("The 1000 Best, Short Games of Chess.")  I have many other sources, but I must admit that this book is up and away the biggest source of games for this list thus far in my hunt.


Many players have sent me games they have played. (Several have turned out to be completely bogus - or fakes.) Others have sent me games by GM's or other players, but were NOT suitable inclusion in this list. (Primarily because they were played against a very weak player, the combination was unsound, or it was the result of an oversight or a crass blunder.) This has lead many to ask what my standards are, so I felt it was only fair that I should publicly set forth exactly what my standards are.  

CRITERIA for inclusion:   I personally feel that at least one of the players should be 
a fairly well-known master, or a player of recognized  Master  strength.  I also feel the games 
should be exceptionally pretty, fairly sound, and ... 
  should not have been anticipated by another game!    
The opponent should have put up a reasonable amount of defense,  and the denouement should 
NOT be the result of a simple blunder. The combination, as much as possible, should be ... 
both creative and original. !!!  (And of course, it should be sound!) I prefer games that were played in tournaments, but this is not absolutely essential. (Games that were played in simultaneous exhibitions are given MUCH less consideration and weight.) 
I also should have some way of documenting the game, games that were played very 
recently and have never been published will almost certainly not be included. 
(This is because I do not wish to risk being fooled or duped by a 'creative' player. 
 *** This has already been attempted by several individuals! ***)  


 I assigned a 10 point numbering system. Each number was given an EXACT criterion. 
 There was little room for guesswork. I also assigned a 5 point numbering system for 
 historical importance and significance. (Unfortunately many great games were either 
 ignored or forgotten by the 'Chess Press.') In the end, only the games that received 
 the highest number point total would be included on my list. 
 This list is the result of
literally HUNDREDS of hours of work! 
(And a lifetime of studying the game of chess.)


Thus far, (July 30th, 2001) I have all ten games 
that I feel should be included in my list of the:
"Ten Prettiest, Short  {Miniature} Games of Chess Ever Played."


 (BUT ... I am no longer in the process of annotating all these games. 
It has occasionally taken 20-30  hours - or more! - to thoroughly annotate one game. ) 


 If  YOU  know of a good game that you think still deserves inclusion in this list, ... 
 ... send it  to me! 

 My list of the "10 Best Short/Miniature Games of All-Time" 

(I give them in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, by date. 
I am unable to rank them by beauty, because they are ALL great!
Each game is a thing of great beauty!)


I now have all of these games (on this list) annotated and available on a 
js-replay board. You will be able to just click on the game and go to a page 
where that game is thoroughly analyzed on a java-script re-play board ... 
with movable pieces!!

 Click on the games for the links!! 


  1. Harry N. Pillsbury - Seymon Winawer; Budapest, 1896. (#775)

  2. Richard Reti - Savielly Tartakower; Tournament Game. Vienna, 1910 (#44)

  3. Edward Lasker - Sir George A. Thomas; Casual Game. London 1912. (#546)

  4. Janowski - Samisch; Tournament Game. Mariendbad, 1925. (# 682)

  5. Richard Reti - Jose R. Capablanca; Tournament Game. Berlin, 1928. (#548)

  6. Alexander Alekhine - Aaron Nimzovich; Tournament Game. Bled, 1931. (#607)

  7. Glucksberg - Miguel Najdorf; Tournament Game. Warsaw, 1935. (# 837)

  8. Boris Spassky - Alex Aftonomov; Tournament Game, USSR Jr. Qualifiers, Leningrad, 1949. (#801)

  9. Robert Byrne - Robert J. ("Bobby') Fischer; Tournament Game.
    U.S. Championship Game, U.S.A; 1963-64.

    (This game is not in Chernev's book.)

  10. Bent Larsen - Boris Spassky; "U.S.S.R. vs. The Rest of The World." 
    [Match] Belgrade, Yugoslavia; 1970.

    (This game is not in Chernev's book.)

Easily ten of the best short games of chess ever played!!!!!

(Actually I am fudging a little, as by doing this - I can make my list 11 games long! Hee-hee.
  The ten games listed here, and the the Morphy game.) 

The game,  Alekhine - Levenfish; St. Petersburg, 1912. (# 617),  
is also  extremely  brilliant and could replace nearly any game on this list. 
( I left it off for two reasons: 
# 1.)  Levenfish slightly misplayed the opening;
# 2.)  The 2nd player's pawn snatch on b2 is a classic mistake. ) 
- - - BUT ... it is still an extremely brilliant game. 

The two games, Capablanca - Fonaroff;  and Marache - Morphy;  
(and Nimzovich - Fleuss; and Marshall - Burn)  also REALLY SIZZLE!!!
They could have  easily  been on the list of the ten best. 


Of course, I have not included Morphy's Game, (Morphy - Allies) even though it is easily the 
first and greatest short game of all-time. This is because this game could be in a class all by itself. 
[Many critics don't like this game, and have even savaged it.] 
But I think it is beautiful. Of course, you can play over it yourself, and YOU be the judge!! 
You decide if the game is indeed beautiful, and deserves to be on my list of ... 
the greatest miniature games.


You should also see the  list above  of the candidate games that I picked from. 
If I have made a significant oversight,  please bring it to my attention!

A friend recently sent me a file of about 40 of Tal's games. These are short games that Tal played, many mostly in simultaneous exhibitions. Time permitting, I hope to be bringing you many of these gems in the near future. (Keep your fingers crossed.) 

*** *** *** 

 Sept. 19th, 2001.  -  I have finished annotating ALL the games on this page! 
They are ALL posted and ready to be enjoyed by you. 
(I have not counted them, but there are close to 50 well-annotated 
that can be accessed from this one page.) 

 Nov. 16th, 2001.   I have finished all the games on this page. Many I have gone back and 
re-annotated them, checked them for errors, etc. Additionally, the download now contains all of 
the games on this page, some annotated in depth ... and all are at least briefly annotated. 


 I consider this page finished!!  (Nov, 2001.) 


 ITS HERE!!   (Thursday, August 23rd, 2001.)

If you would like to DOWNLOAD  all  of these games, click  HERE! 
( Click on the file that says "" ) 
(This file contains all of the games that are listed in  both  of my 
candidate lists AND  all  the games in my 'Top Ten' list.) 

 (Final download finished and posted 11/16/01.)  

 (You MUST have a  ChessBase  product to open this file!! 
 Get you version of ChessBase Lite for FREE at the above site!!!)

 NOTE:   These are the shortened versions for the full-length versions, you must  contact me. 


My goal is to annotate and post every game in this list, here on my website. (Done.) 

I want to make this one of the best - and the most popular! - of any chess page(s) on the web. 
If the game has been posted, you can simply click on the names in the list and be taken to a page 
where the game is in the form of a java-script replay board. (Annotated.) 


  (March, 2002: I have gone back through the Chernev book. I have identified a few more games I think 
    should be seen or brought to the attention of the general public. I should begin adding these shortly.)  

This pages' correct  URL:  (was)  

(Don't change anything ... upper-case must remain exactly as it is.) 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I. A.J. Goldsby, 1995 - 2005.  
    Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2006.  All rights reserved.