When I sat down to write about an immortal chess game, I had very little knowledge about it and kept letting my mind make different meanings of it based on what I already knew. Is it a special form of chess? Does it have something to do with immortal people? Do immortal people play chess!? So I went on to find out, after much speculation, what is an immortal chess game?
Last Updated: May 7th, 2022
Included the PGN of the original Immortal Game for you to be able to go through the game, move by move.
What is an Immortal Chess Game?
My curiosity led me to find that there isn’t a clear definition, but rather interpretations of what it is. So here’s mine.
An immortal Chess game are games that live on in the minds of people for many years to come. The game typically includes bold sacrifices that are made to eventually secure victory over the component.
The game is known to be so good that it is said that the famous chess players usually remember the moves of an immortal chess game for several years to come. This is because of the iconic moves that are played during the immortal chess game that end up making the game very memorable.
NOTE: There is no singular Immortal Chess Game, but rather multiple. Many of the greatest players in history have what is know as their immortal Chess game. However, there is one “most famous” immortal Chess game that is simply known as, “The Immortal Game” that we’ll discuss next.
But… what is an immortal chess game?
I had the direct answer to what the immortal chess games were but I still wanted more. So I did a little research. Specifically, the most famous immortal Chess game was played by Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky on June 21, 1851. A lot of “bold sacrifices” that were made during the course of this game made it perhaps unparalleled in chess literature.
The original Immortal Game was played in 1851 between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky.
Interestingly, in the original immortal chess game, the winning player – Adolf Anderssen had to give up most of his chess pieces in order to produce a checkmate to defeat his opponent Lionel Kieseritzky. This game that has lived through the year and has made history was not even a formal tournament between the two and was only a game that the two played during the break between two formal tournaments.
To give you a rough mental picture, Anderssen, during the game, sacrificed a bishop on move 11, both rocks on move 18, and also the queen on move 22. However, Kieseritzky who lost the game shockingly lost only three pawns during the game.
When the game got over, Kieseritzky, who was very impressed by the way the game had panned out sent the moves of the game to the Parisian chess club that he was a part of. In July 1851, this game was published by the French chess magazine La Régence. Later, the game was renamed ‘The Immortal Game’ to make it highly distinguishable in history.
Interestingly, the game was then played in several places. Some places made live players recreate the game in Italy. The game also became a standpoint of inspiration for fictional movies that took pieces from it to build their storyline. However, this was not the only immortal chess game that has been known in history. There are a total of 11 immortal chess games that are known for their wits and moves.
There was a period of about 100 years that later came to be known as the romantic era of chess. This was because players used smart and bold moves and relied on tactics to find new and interesting ways to win over their opponents. The original immortal chess game actually set a precedent for the romantic era to start. The way in which Anderssen handled the game and drove it to victory made the game shine bright in history. Anderssen later went on to show some of these exemplary moves in the Evergreen game as well.
What makes a chess game immortal?
Another thing to think is what is so special about the immortal chess games and why can’t all the chess games be considered immortal. The answer is that the immortal chess games are particularly famous for their “bold sacrifices” and impeccable moves that go down in history as something that people would learn from and incorporate in their own games.
The normal chess games might include some well-known, commonly used moves but the ultimate wit of the winning player in an immortal chess game to outdo the other player is what makes the game special.
Who won the original immortal chess game?
The immortal chess game that was played in London on June 21, 1851, was won by Adolf Anderssen. This came as a pleasant surprise to many because, during the course of the game, Anderssen had to sacrifice a bishop on move 11, both rocks on move 18, and also the queen on move 22. This had to be done in order to have a checkmate against his opponent Kieseritzky who shockingly lost only three pawns during the game.
What is the romantic era of chess?
The period from the 1850s to 1950 is known to be the romantic era of chess. This is because, during this period, players experienced a lot of experimenting in the game to figure out different means to win over the opponent. During this era, players developed bold moves and mainly relied on tactics to find ways to head straight to victory over their opponents. The original ‘immortal game’ was also played during this era. Therefore, bold sacrifices and smart moves during the game became a memorable thing during this era.
What was the most interesting thing about the immortal game?
The most interesting thing about the original immortal chess game which is now called the immortal game was that the winning player – Adolf Anderssen had to give up almost all of his chess pieces during the course of the game. This had to be done to formulate a chance that a checkmate could be done against his opponent Lionel Kieseritzky. This later led him on to be the winner of the immortal game.
Another interesting thing about the game was that this game was not a formal tournament between the two. This game was only played during the break between two formal tournaments.
I hope this article explaining what an Immortal Chess game is helped you and gave you everything you wanted to know.