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The Immortal Game

Anderssen-Kieseritsky 1851

This game was played as a friendly aside to the 1851 Great Exhibition tournament – the first ever international chess event – which Anderssen won. His opponent, Kieseritsky, was chess tutor at the Cafe de la Regence, in Paris, where he gave lessons at five francs an hour.

1.e4 e5
2.f4 exf4
3.Bc4 Qh4
4.Kf1 b5

A whim of Kieseritzky

Immortal Game 1

5.Bxb5 Nf6
6.Nf3 Qh6
7.d3 Nh5
8.Nh4 Qg5
9.Nf5 c6
10.Rg1 cxb5
11.g4 Nf6
12.h4 Qg6
13.h5 Qg5
14.Qf3 Ng8

Otherwise the queen would be lost

Immortal Game 2

15.Bxf4 Qf6
16.Nc3 Bc5
17.Nd5 Qxb2
18.Bd6 Qxa1
19.Ke2 Bxg1

Blocks the diagonal

Immortal Game 3

21.Nxg7 Kd8
22.Qf6 Nxf6


Immortal Game 4

The vanquished Kieseritsky was so impressed by the brilliance of Anderssens play that he immediately telegraphed the moves to an awaiting audience in Paris, and the game ever since has been known by the unimproveable sobriquet, the Immortal Game.

Moves and a diagram from the game later appeared on German 75 pfennig currency coupons in the 1920’s.

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