A Handful of Immortality

Almost all chess players, among the record of their games, have personal "Immortal" games. National "Immortal" games are known too - for example, "The Russian Immortal Game" (Shishkin-Griksberg, St. Petersburg 1889) and "The Polish Immortal Game" (Griksberg-Najdorf, Poland 1935) and many others. Here we shall limit ourselves to presenting only those generally recognized to be masterpieces of chess art.

Games & Compositions

1) The Immortal Game
So designated by E. Falkbeer, editor of the Wiener Schachzeitung, in 1885 for the game Anderssen - Kieseritzky, London 1851

"This game does not need any complimentary comments. Everybody will notice Anderssen's play, the succession, harmony and solidity of the attack from beginning to end."  -Mikhail Tchigorin

"In spite of the numerous errors, because the errors in the Immortal Game are mistakes peculiar to her epoch, her immortal beauty consists in Anderssen's immortal ideas."  -Richard Reti

No less than Tchigorin pointed out above that no notes are needed to appreciate the Immortal Game. But if the reader insists upon them, there are notes to this game in abundance. For example:

a) E. Falkbeer. "Wiener Schachzeitung", 1855; b) W. Steinitz. "The Field", 1879; c) M. Tchigorin. "Shakhmatny Vestnik", 1879; d) L. Bachmann. "Schachjahrbuch", 1891; e) L. Bachmann. "Professor Adolf Anderssen", 1902; f) H. v. Gottschall. "Altmeister Adolf Anderssen", 1912; g) J. Dufrense & J. Mieses. "Lehrbuch des Schachspiels", 1932; h) P. Romanovsky. "Mittelspiel", 1963; i) L. Pachmann. "Moderne Schachtaktik", 1966; j) J. Neistadt. "Nikoronovanye chempiony", 1975; k) A. Roisman. "400 kurzpartien", 1980; l) J. Nijstadt. "Zhertva ferzhia", 1989; m) S. Pickard. "The Chess Games of Adolph Anderssen", 1996; n) T. Lissowski. "Zagadka Kieseritzky' ego", 1996; o) V. Chashchihin. "Bessmertie", 1999

And so forth. Therefore, as Tchigorin approves, I give this game without comment.

Anderssen - Kieseritzky

[Event "The Immortal Game"] [Site "London"] [Date "1851.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Anderssen, Adolph"] [Black "Kieseritzky, Lionel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C33"] [PlyCount "45"] [EventDate "1851.??.??"] [EventCountry "ENG"] {[The Immortal Game]} 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 Qh4+ 4. Kf1 b5 5. Bxb5 Nf6 6. Nf3 Qh6 7. d3 Nh5 8. Nh4 Qg5 9. Nf5 c6 10. g4 Nf6 11. Rg1 cxb5 12. h4 Qg6 13. h5 Qg5 14. Qf3 Ng8 15. Bxf4 Qf6 16. Nc3 Bc5 17. Nd5 Qxb2 18. Bd6 Bxg1 19. e5 Qxa1+ 20. Ke2 Na6 21. Nxg7+ Kd8 22. Qf6+ Nxf6 23. Be7# 1-0

2) The Little Immortal Game
Named by S. Tartakower for the encounter Alekhine - Levenfish, St. Petersburg 1912 - notes by A. Alekhine in "My Best Games", 1908-1923 pp. 103-105.

Alekhine - Levenfish

[Event "The Little Immortal Game"] [Site "St. Petersburg"] [Date "1912.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Alekhine, Alexander"] [Black "Levenfish, Grigory"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A43"] [Annotator "Alekhine, A."] [PlyCount "37"] [EventDate "1912.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] {[The Little Immortal Game]} 1. d4 c5 ({The advance of this pawn is rightly considered inferior even when prepared by} 1... Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 {On the first move it constitutes in my opinion a grave positional error, for White at once obtains a great advantage in position by simply advancing the center pawns.}) 2. d5 Nf6 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 g6 ({If instead of the text-move Black replies with} 4... e6 {White's answer would be} 5. Bc4 {[%csl Rd6] and the sequel would not be satisfactory for Black because of his weakness at d6.}) 5. f4 {[%cal Ge4e5] [An attempt to refute Black's opening by a combination. That it succeeds however is not proof of its correctness.]} Nbd7 6. Nf3 a6 ({Necessary, for after} 6... Bg7 7. e5 dxe5 8. fxe5 Ng4 9. e6 Nde5 10. Bb5+ {Black has a bad position, having even lost the right to castle.}) 7. e5 dxe5 8. fxe5 Ng4 9. e6 $1 {[This demolishes Black's variation.]} Nde5 10. Bf4 Nxf3+ ({If now} 10... Bg7 {then} 11. h3 ({or} 11. Qe2 Nxf3+ 12. gxf3 Nf6 13. exf7+ Kxf7 14. O-O-O { with an overwhelming advantage for White.}) 11... Qb6 $1 12. Rb1 Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3 Nf6 14. exf7+ Kxf7 15. Bc4 {and} -- 16. O-O {with a fierce attack.}) 11. gxf3 $1 ({Weak would be} 11. Qxf3 {beause of} fxe6 12. Qxg4 e5 13. Qg3 exf4 14. Qxf4 Bg7 {etc, and Black stands well.}) 11... Nf6 12. Bc4 $1 {[This is preferable to the immediate capture of the f-pawn, a capture which the text-move renders much more threatening.]} fxe6 {[A grave strategic error, which apparently is based on not taking into account White's 15th move. The pawn on e6 now shuts off Black's entire play.]} ({Black had to play} 12... Bg7 13. exf7+ Kxf7 14. d6+ e6 15. a4 {and White would have obtained a strong passed pawn, but the loose position of the White King and his officers would have offered Black several chances of a counterattack.}) 13. dxe6 Qb6 {[This move, threatening two pawns at the same time, is shown to be insufficient by an unexpected combination comprising a sacrifice by White.]} ({The alternative was} 13... Qxd1+ 14. Rxd1 Bg7 15. Bc7 O-O 16. Bb6 {[%csl Rc5] and White wins a pawn, at the same time maintaining the pressure.}) 14. Qe2 $1 {[The initial move.]} Qxb2 {[Black cooperates with White's plans, but he had little choice.]} ({After} 14... Bg7 15. O-O-O O-O 16. Rhe1 {White has a winning position.}) 15. Nb5 $1 { [This attack by the Knight decides the issue in a few moves. Black has therefore nothing better than to accept the sacrifice and to capture both Rooks.]} (15. Kd2 {would be frustrated by} Nh5 16. Be5 Bh6+ 17. Kd3 Bxe6 18. Bxe6 Rd8+ {But White had a different scheme in mind.}) 15... Qxa1+ ({After} 15... Nd5 {there would follow} 16. Rd1) ({Somewhat better, but also insufficient, would be} 15... axb5 16. Bxb5+ Kd8 17. Rd1+ Bd7 ({or} 17... Nd7 18. Be5 Qb4+ 19. Kf1 {and wins.}) 18. O-O {(with the threat of 19.Be5)} Bg7 19. Rfe1 {with a decisive attack.}) 16. Kf2 Qxh1 17. Nc7+ Kd8 18. Qd2+ Bd7 19. exd7 (19. exd7 {Now if} e5 {then} ({After} 19... Nxd7 20. Be6 {mate is unavoidable.} ) 20. Ne6+ Ke7 21. d8=Q+ Rxd8 22. Qxd8+ Kf7 23. Nxf8+ Kg7 24. Qe7#) 1-0

3) The Quite Little Game
Again christened by S. Tartakower for the next game, Hellmar - Krejcik, 1917. If it were any "quieter"....

Hellmar - Krejcik

[Event "The Quiet Little Game"] [Site "Vienna"] [Date "1917.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Hellmar"] [Black "Krejcik, J."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A52"] [Annotator "Tartakower, S."] [PlyCount "34"] [EventDate "1917.??.??"] [EventCountry "AUT"] {[The Quiet Little Game]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. f4 Bc5 5. Nh3 Nxh2 ({It was better to play} 5... d6 $1 6. exd6 O-O $1 {and Black has good attacking chances against the pawns.}) 6. Rxh2 Qh4+ 7. Kd2 ({Right was} 7. g3 Qxg3+ 8. Rf2 d6 9. Qd3 {blunting the attack.}) 7... d5 8. Qb3 ({Worse was} 8. e3 Qg3) ({or} 8. cxd5 Qg3) ({or} 8. Qe1 Be3+) 8... Bxh3 $1 9. Qxh3 Qxf4+ 10. Kc2 $2 (10. e3) 10... Qxf1 $1 11. Qc8+ Ke7 12. Qxh8 Qxe2+ 13. Bd2 ({or} 13. Kc3 d4+ 14. Kb3 Qd1#) (13. Nd2 Nc6 14. Qxa8 Nd4+) 13... Nc6 14. Qxa8 Nb4+ 15. Kb3 Qxc4+ 16. Ka4 b5+ 17. Ka5 Bb6# 0-1

4) The Immortal Draw
The game Alekhine - Reti, Vienna 1922 deserves its title - a worthy struggle! Notes by Alekhine from "My Best Games of Chess", 1908-1923. pp. 192-196.

Alekhine - Reti

[Event "The Immortal Draw"] [Site "Vienna"] [Date "1922.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Alekhine, Alexander"] [Black "Reti, Richard"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C77"] [Annotator "Alekhine, A."] [PlyCount "122"] [EventDate "1922.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "14"] [EventCountry "AUT"] [Source "ChessBase"] {[The Immortal Draw]} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 {[If it was Black's intention to develop his Bishop at c5, he should have done so before playing ...b7-b5. The text-move, on the contrary, needlessly exposes him to grave perils.]} ({After his 5th move Black has nothing better than} 6... Be7 {which, however, gives him a satisfactory game.}) 7. Nxe5 $1 { [The correct reply, yeilding White in every variation an extremely dangerous attack.]} Nxe5 8. d4 Bd6 9. dxe5 Bxe5 10. f4 $1 {[This move, which would be bad if Black's b-pawn were still at b7 because of ...Bxc3+ and ...Nxe4, shows the error of Black's 6th move.]} Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 O-O ({Forced now, for if} 11... Nxe4 12. Bd5) 12. e5 {[White appears to have secured a decisive positional advantage, but my ingenious opponent succeeds in finding the only move to give him defensive chances, and in the sequel he shows in exemplary manner how to make the most of them.]} c5 $1 {[%csl Rb3] [The text-move threatens, should White capture the Knight, to shut off the hostile King's Bishop by ...c5-c4, thereby leading to an endgame with Bishops of opposite colors.]} ({If now} 12... Ne8 13. O-O d6 14. f5 {with an irresistible attack for White.}) ({or} 12... Ne4 13. Qd5 {wins.}) 13. Ba3 $3 {[The key-move of a profound combination whose principal variation consists of some ten moves and which results in the gain of a pawn in a superior position. It wasevidently quite impossible to foresee, at this stage of the game, that this material advantage, in conjunction with the position, would prove insufficient for victory against the impeccable defense set up by Black.]} ({What else could White play to keep his advantage? The following variations, considered during the actual game, seemed to his quite inadequate:} 13. Bd5 Nxd5 14. Qxd5 Qb6 $1 15. Be3 Bb7 16. Qxc5 (16. Bxc5 Bxd5 17. Bxb6 Bxg2 18. Rg1 Be4 $11) 16... Qg6 $1 $15) (13. exf6 Re8+ 14. Kf1 c4 $15) (13. c4 d5 $1 14. exf6 Re8+ 15. Kf1 Qxf6 $1 {and} 16. -- dxc4 $15) (13. O-O c4 14. exf6 Qxf6 15. Qd5 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 Bb7 $15) 13... Qa5 $1 {[The best reply. Black indirectly defends his c-pawn whilst attacking the hostile Queen's Bishop, but White's maneuver initiated by 13.Ba3!! is based upon the temporary removal of the Black Queen from the center.]} 14. O-O Qxa3 15. exf6 c4 16. Qd5 $1 ({Black was not excessively uneasy concerning the reply } 16. Qd5 {with the double threat of} -- 17. Qxa8 ({and} 17. Qg5 {threatening mate.})) 16... Qa5 $1 ({Convinced that he will save the situation with} 16... Qa5 {followed by capturing the King's Bishop, which is cut off. White cannot take the Rook because of} 17. Qxa8 Qb6+ {followed by} 18. Kh1 Bb7 {etc.}) 17. fxg7 Qb6+ 18. Kh1 Kxg7 $1 {[Once again the only move.]} ({If} 18... Rd8 19. Bxc4 bxc4 20. Qxa8 Bb7 21. Rab1 {and White wins the Exchange.}) 19. Bxc4 $1 { [The point of the whole combination! This Bishop, which appeared hopelessly doomed, gains a fresh lease of life.]} (19. Bxc4 {and if} bxc4 20. Qxa8 Bb7 21. Rab1 {as in the previous note.}) 19... Bb7 $1 20. Qe5+ ({Equally after} 20. Qg5+ Qg6 21. Bd3 f5 {Black would have sufficient resources available.}) 20... Qf6 21. Bd3 Rfe8 $1 {[An excellent defensive move, by which Black sacrifices a second pawn in order to occupy the important central files with his Rooks.]} ({ After} 21... Qxe5 22. fxe5 Rac8 23. Rf4 Rxc3 24. Rg4+ Kh8 25. Rh4 {Black probably could not save the game.}) 22. Qh5 h6 23. Qg4+ Kh8 24. Qxd7 Re7 25. Qd4 Qxd4 $1 26. cxd4 Rd8 27. f5 $1 {[In order to secure an outpost by 28.f6 (after 27...Rxd4) with good attacking chances against the position of the hostile King, but Black prefers to temporize and to postpone the capture of the d-pawn until later, first taking a precautionary measure.]} ({Taking advantage of the fact that the d-pawn cannot readily be defended, e.g.} 27. c3 b4 $1 28. cxb4 Rxd4 {followed by} 29. -- Rxb4) 27... f6 28. Rae1 {[Reconciling himself to giving back one pawn in order to exchange the formidable Black Bishop.]} (28. Rf4 {although temporarily preserving the advantage of two pawns, would be insufficient for success, e.g.} Rg7 29. Bf1 Rc8 $1 30. Rc1 ({or} 30. Rf2) 30... Rc3 {[%cal Gb7d5,Gc3a3] and White cannot possibly defend all his pawns.}) 28... Rg7 $1 ({Of course not} 28... Rxe1 29. Rxe1 Rxd4 {because of} 30. Re8+ Kg7 31. Re7+ {and White wins.}) 29. Be4 Rxd4 30. Bxb7 Rxb7 31. Re6 $1 {[Winning a pawn once again, but only momentarily.]} Kg7 $1 32. Rxa6 Rc4 ({ Still more exact was} 32... Ra4 $1 {although the text-move is also adequate.}) 33. Rf3 ({Obviously if} 33. Rf2 {then} Rbc7 {and the c-pawn cannot be defended. }) 33... Rxc2 34. h3 Kf7 $1 {[Forestalling the threatened 35.Rg3+ and 36.Rg6.]} 35. Rg3 Rf2 36. Rg6 Rxf5 37. Rxh6 Kg7 38. Rh4 b4 $1 {[After this move, which creates a permanent threat to dissolve the Queenside pawns, White's winning chances are reduced to vanishing point.]} 39. Rg4+ Kf7 40. Rg3 Rfb5 41. Rb3 Kg6 42. Kh2 Rc5 43. Ra4 Rcb5 44. h4 R5b6 45. Kh3 Rb8 46. g3 f5 $1 47. Ra5 Rc8 48. Rf3 Rf6 49. Kg2 Rc3 $1 50. Ra8 Rxf3 51. Kxf3 Rc6 52. Rg8+ Kf6 53. Rf8+ Kg6 54. Rb8 Rc4 55. Rb6+ $1 Kg7 56. h5 Rd4 57. Rc6 Re4 58. Rg6+ Kf7 59. g4 {[The supreme effort!]} Rxg4 $1 {[At once forcing the draw.]} 60. Rxg4 fxg4+ 61. Kxg4 Kg7 $1 (61... Kg7 {Black's King arrives just in time to stop White's a-pawn, e. g.} 62. Kf4 Kh6 63. Ke4 Kxh5 64. Kd4 Kg5 65. Kc4 Kf5 66. Kxb4 Ke6 67. Kb5 Kd7 68. Kb6 Kc8 {A splendid example of Reti's careful defense.}) 1/2-1/2

5) The Immortal Zugzwang
Christened by Em. Lasker for the game Saemisch - Nimzowitsch, Copenhagen 1923; notes by A. Nimzowitsch in "My System", Moscow: 1984 pp.44-45.

Saemisch - Nimzowitsch

[Event "The Immortal Zugzwang"] [Site "Copenhagen"] [Date "1923.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Saemisch, Friedrich"] [Black "Nimzowitsch, Aaron"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E06"] [Annotator "Nimzowitsch, A."] [PlyCount "50"] [EventDate "1923.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "10"] [EventCountry "DEN"] [Source "ChessBase"] {[The Immortal Zugzwang]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O d5 8. Ne5 c6 {[Safeguards the position.]} ({This is stronger than} 8... Qc8 {a move Saemisch used when playing Black.}) 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Bf4 a6 $1 {[%csl Gc4] [To protect the outpost station c4, by this move and ... b6-b5]} 11. Rc1 b5 12. Qb3 Nc6 $1 {[The ghost! With noiseless steps he presses on to c4.]} 13. Nxc6 {[Saemisch sacrifices two tempi (exchange of the tempo-eating Ne5 for the Nc6 which is almost undeveloped) merely to be rid of the ghost.]} Bxc6 14. h3 Qd7 15. Kh2 Nh5 $1 ({I could have supplied him with yet another ghost by} 15... Qb7 {planning} 16. -- Nd7 17. -- Nb6 {and} 18. -- Nc4 {but I wished to turn my attention to the Kingside.}) 16. Bd2 f5 $1 17. Qd1 b4 $1 18. Nb1 Bb5 19. Rg1 Bd6 20. e4 {[The only way to free up his game.]} fxe4 $1 {[This sacrifice, which has a quite surprising effect, is based upon the following sober calculation: two pawns and the 7th rank, plus an enemy Queenside which cannot be untangled - all this for only one piece!]} 21. Qxh5 Rxf2 22. Qg5 Raf8 23. Kh1 R8f5 24. Qe3 Bd3 25. Rce1 h6 $3 {[A brilliant move which announces the Zugzwang. White has not a move left.]} (25... h6 {Now if} 26. Kh2 ({or} 26. g4 R5f3) {then comes} 26... R5f3 {Black can now make waiting moves with his King, and White must eventually throw himself upon the sword.}) 0-1

6) The Immortal Ending
The beautiful ending Ortueta - Sanz, Madrid 1933 with notes by J.R. Capablanca from "El Ajedrez Espanol", February 1936, pp. 39-41. The beginning moves of the game have been omitted, but is printed entirely & with Capa's notes in "The Steeplechase" (Wylie: 1999), volume 5 of my Tactician's Handbook series.

"This combination, when I first saw it, so captured me that it was the main factor tying my fortune to chess forever." -T. Petrosian

Ortueta - Sanz

[Event "The Immortal Ending"] [Site "Madrid"] [Date "1933.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Ortueta"] [Black "Sanz"] [Result "0-1"] [Annotator "Capablanca, J."] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/pR4pk/1b2p3/2p3p1/N1p5/7P/PPr3P1/6K1 b - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "9"] [EventDate "1933.??.??"] {[The Immortal Ending]} 31... Rxb2 $3 {[A most brilliant ending, although it seems that Black could also have won without having to avail himself of such resources.]} 32. Nxb2 c3 33. Rxb6 c4 34. Rb4 a5 {[The finishing touch to this short but pretty combination.]} 35. Nxc4 c2 {[It is not necessary to give here the three or four further moves that were played before White resigned. The ending is an extremely beautiful miniature.]} 0-1

7) The Immortal Problem
Bajar's wonderful composition with notes by V. Archakov in "Shachmatnaja Mozaika" (Kiev: 1984) p. 12. First published 1856 in the "Era", we see a stream of sacrifices which is unparalled. For those who would try to solve this Mate in 9, pause a moment at the starting position before clicking the moves!

"This problem is truely a hymn to Combination in chess! The composer's enthusiastic contemporaries often referred to his 'immortal' problem."  -V. Archakov

The Immortal Problem

[Event "The Immortal Problem"] [Site "Mate in 9"] [Date "1856.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Bajar, K."] [Black "Mate in 9"] [Result "*"] [Annotator "Archakov, V."] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3Q4/5q1k/4ppp1/2Kp1N1B/RR6/3P1r2/4nP1b/3b4 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "17"] [EventDate "1856.??.??"] {[The Immortal Problem]} 1. Rb7 Qxb7 2. Bxg6+ Kxg6 3. Qg8+ Kxf5 4. Qg4+ Ke5 5. Qh5+ Rf5 6. f4+ Bxf4 7. Qxe2+ Bxe2 8. Re4+ dxe4 9. d4# {[In the original position the forces on each side were roughly equal, but in final position the White King is supported by his one remaining pawn only. This pawn deals the decisive blow.]} *

8) The Immortal Study
This endgame study by L. Mitrofanov is a fitting conclusion. The notes are Mitrofanov's own, as seen in my "Mitrofanov's Deflection" (Wylie: 1998), pp. 9-10.

The Immortal Study

[Event "The Immortal Study"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "1967.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Mitrofanov, Leopold"] [Black "White to play and win"] [Result "*"] [Annotator "Mitrofanov, L."] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/k7/P2b2P1/KP1Pn2P/8/8/7p/4n3 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "15"] [EventDate "1967.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] {[The Immortal Study]} 1. b6+ {[Black has three extra pieces; moreover only one step remains before the h2-pawn becomes a Queen. Black's advantage is so great that the involuntary question arises whether the position is a practical joke. It seems obvious that White must lay down his arms, but the task is "White to play and win." No, the author and jury are by no means joking!]} Ka8 $1 2. g7 {[White can play only with pawns; he has no pieces, you know.]} h1=Q 3. g8=Q+ Bb8 4. a7 (4. a7 {To prevent the threat of 5.Qxb8# is not so easy.} { For example, if} Nd7 {then new upleasantness lies in wait for Black after} 5. axb8=Q+ Nxb8 6. Qf7 {and wins. However, Black has here an opportunity to launch an attack.}) 4... Nc6+ $1 5. dxc6 Qxh5+ (5... Qxh5+ {Now it does not matter where the White King moves - a series of checks will follow, e.g.} 6. Ka6 (6. Ka4 Qd1+ {with victory for Black.}) 6... Qe2+ {Nevertheless, White has to choose one of these lines since there is obviously no other way. But all of a sudden...}) 6. Qg5 $3 {[Why? To give up the Queen for absolutely no compensation is too much! Even a chess computer trying to solve the study has no courage for it. John Roycroft, publisher of the English magazine "Endgame" reported to his readers the words of Grandmaster Yudasin: "The Queen is given for nothing!"]} Qxg5+ {[Black takes the valuable present, and yet with check!]} 7. Ka6 (7. Ka6 {It turns out that Black has no more checks, while White has the threat} -- 8. b7#) 7... Bxa7 (7... Bxa7 {It is useless now for White to play} 8. b7+ Kb8 {but his answer to Black's capture is murderous.}) 8. c7 $3 ( 8. c7 {This modest, quiet move compels Black's immediate capitulation. It is a remarkable finish, especially since even now not every thing is completely clear. We find it necessary to pause, and make ourselves comprehend what has happened. How did two pawns end up stronger than the armada of Black pieces? One of those trying to solve the study remarked: "The Mitrofanov entry is pretty good, but there is a shortcoming: that superfluous e1-Knight." But the whole point is that without the Knight on e1 everything would be all right for Black. He would then have, from the final position,} Qa5+ $3 9. Kxa5 Bxb6+ 10. Kxb6 {and it is stalemate on the board! There is a kind of mysticism here - the more pieces Black has, the worse he is for it!}) *

And so we have a handful of chess immortality!