The pieces at their best

How pawns make life easy (and hard) for pieces.

The best B Q K N R P ever!

Also, the best pieces and the worst pawns...

Click [...] for list of games

[Event The best Bishop in the world ever]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Fischer, Robert J"]
[Black "Andersson, Ulf"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A01"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "1970.??.??"]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. c4 Nf6 4. e3 Be7 5. a3 O-O 6. Qc2 Re8 7. d3 Bf8 8. Nf3
a5 9. Be2 d5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nbd2 f6 12. O-O Be6 13. Kh1 Qd7 14. Rg1 Rad8 15.
Ne4 Qf7 16. g4 g6 17. Rg3 Bg7 18. Rag1 Nb6 19. Nc5 Bc8 20. Nh4 Nd7 21. Ne4 Nf8
22. Nf5 Be6 23. Nc5 Ne7 24. Nxg7 Kxg7 25. g5 Nf5 26. Rf3 b6 27. gxf6+ Kh8 28.
Nxe6 Rxe6 29. d4 exd4 30. Bc4 d3 31. Bxd3 Rxd3 32. Qxd3 Rd6 33. Qc4 Ne6 34. Be5
Rd8 35. h4 Nd6 36. Qg4 Nf8 37. h5 Ne8 38. e4 Rd2 39. Rh3 Kg8 40. hxg6 Nxg6 41.
f4 Kf8 42. Qg5 Nd6 43. Bxd6+ 1-0

[Event The best Queen in the world ever]
[Site "queen: dominant when centrali"]
[Date "1920.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Rubinstein"]
[Black "maroczy, gothenburg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D63"]
[Annotator "Regis,Dave"]
[PlyCount "69"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Nc3 O-O 7. Rc1 Re8 8. Qc2
dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. Nxd4 a6 12. Rfd1 Qa5 13. Bh4 Ne5 14. Be2 Ng6
15. Bg3 e5 16. Nb3 Qc7 17. Qb1 {!} Qb8 18. Bf3 Qa7 19. Na5 {!} Bb4 20. Nc4 Bd7
21. Nd5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 Be6 23. Qe4 {[#]  ! The Queen enters the fray,
reinforcing several points of attack at once. The Black pieces are not easily
able to harass her.} Bxd5 24. Rxd5 Rac8 25. Rcd1 Bf8 26. b3 b5 27. Nd6 Bxd6 28.
Rxd6 Rc7 29. h4 {!} f6 30. Qd5+ Kh8 31. h5 Nf8 32. h6 Ng6 {[#]  The Queen now
makes the decisive invasion.} (32... gxh6 33. Rxf6) 33. Qe6 Rf8 34. Rd7 gxh6
35. Bh4 (35. Bh4 Nxh4 36. Qe7 Rxd7 37. Rxd7 Qxd7 38. Qxf8#) 1-0

[Event The best King in the world ever]
[Site "king: active in ending"]
[Date "1956.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tal"]
[Black "Lisitsin (STEAN/CHERNEV)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B71"]
[Annotator "Regis,Dave"]
[PlyCount "107"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. f4 Nc6 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8.
e5 Nd7 9. exd6 exd6 10. Be3 Be7 11. Qf3 d5 12. O-O-O Bf6 13. Bd4 O-O 14. h4 Rb8
15. Qf2 Rb4 16. Bxf6 Nxf6 17. a3 Qb6 18. Qxb6 Rxb6 19. Na4 Rb7 20. Bd3 Nh5 21.
Rhf1 Re7 {[#]  How to save the f-pawn?} 22. f5 {! Can't be done, but Tal gives
it up for a high price - scrambled pawns.} gxf5 (22... Bxf5 23. Bxf5 gxf5 24.
Rxf5) 23. Rfe1 (23. Bxf5 Ng3) 23... Rfe8 24. Rxe7 Rxe7 25. Kd2 {[#]  In Exeter
we say "KUFTE!" (King Up For The Endgame!)} Ng3 26. Kc3 f4 27. Kd4 Bf5 {[#] 
And there it is, nicely posted in the middle of a lot of weak Black pawns.} 28.
Rd2 Re6 29. Nc5 Rh6 30. Ke5 {!} Bxd3 31. cxd3 Rxh4 32. Kd6 Rh6+ 33. Kc7 Nf5 34.
Kb7 Nd4 35. Rf2 a5 36. Rxf4 Ne6 37. Rg4+ Kf8 {[#]} 38. Kxc6 {!} Nxc5+ 39. Kxc5
Re6 40. Kxd5 Rb6 41. b4 axb4 42. axb4 Ke7 {Too late} 43. Kc5 Rf6 44. Rd4 Rf5+
45. Kb6 Rf6+ 46. Kc7 Rf5 47. Re4+ Kf6 48. Kc6 Rf2 49. g4 h5 50. gxh5 Kg5 51. b5
f5 52. Rb4 f4 53. b6 f3 54. b7 {1-0} (54. b7 Rc2+ 55. Kd5 f2 56. b8=Q f1=Q 57.
Qg3+ Kf6 (57... Kxh5 58. Rh4#) (57... Kh6 58. Qg6#) 58. Qe5+ Kf7 59. Rb7+ Rc7 (
59... Kg8 60. Qg7#) (59... Kf8 60. Qh8#) 60. Rxc7+ Kf8 61. Qh8#) 1-0

[Event The best Knight in the world ever]
[Site "outpost for knight on d5"]
[Date "1945.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "smyslov"]
[Black "rudakowsky (CHERNEV)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B83"]
[Annotator "Regis,Dave"]
[PlyCount "55"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8.
Be3 Nc6 9. f4 Qc7 10. Qe1 (10. Ndb5 Qb8 11. Qd2 a6 12. Nd4) 10... Nxd4 11. Bxd4
e5 12. Be3 Be6 13. f5 {[#]} Bc4 $2 {? Black needs that Bishop. White now has a
simple plan: exchange off the other defender of the d5 square, improve the
position of his pieces, and look for the win!} (13... Bd7 14. Rd1 Bc6) 14. Bxc4
Qxc4 15. Bg5 {!} Rfe8 16. Bxf6 Bxf6 {[#]} 17. Nd5 {!} Bd8 (17... Qxc2 18. Rf2
Qc6 (18... Qa4 19. b3) 19. Rc1 Qd7 20. Nc7) 18. c3 b5 19. b3 Qc5+ 20. Kh1 Rc8 {
[#]  White now transfers his attention to the King} 21. Rf3 Kh8 22. f6 gxf6 23.
Qh4 Rg8 24. Nxf6 Rg7 (24... Bxf6 25. Qxf6+ Rg7 26. Rg3 Rcg8) 25. Rg3 Bxf6 26.
Qxf6 Rcg8 27. Rd1 {Black's position cracks.} d5 28. Rxg7 {!} (28. Rxg7 Rxg7 29.
Rxd5 Qf8 30. Rd8) 1-0

[Event The best Rpoks in the world ever]
[Site "rooks on files: open"]
[Date "1907.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Van Vliet"]
[Black "Znosko-Borovsky (CHERNEV)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D00"]
[PlyCount "72"]

1. d4 d5 2. e3 c5 3. c3 e6 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. f4 Nf6 6. Nd2 Qc7 {!} 7. Ngf3 {?!}
cxd4 8. cxd4 Nb4 9. Bb1 Bd7 10. a3 Rc8 11. O-O Bb5 12. Re1 Nc2 13. Bxc2 Qxc2
14. Qxc2 Rxc2 {[#]} 15. h3 Bd6 16. Nb1 Ne4 17. Nfd2 Bd3 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Nd2
Kd7 20. Nxe4 dxe4 21. Rb1 Rhc8 22. b4 R8c3 23. Kf1 Kc6 24. Bb2 Rb3 25. Re2 Rxe2
26. Kxe2 Kb5 27. Kd2 Ka4 28. Ke2 a5 29. Kf2 axb4 30. axb4 Kxb4 31. Ke1 Kb5 {!}
32. Kd2 Ba3 33. Kc2 Rxb2+ 34. Rxb2+ Bxb2 35. Kxb2 Kc4 36. Kc2 b5 {0-1 van
vliet-znosko-borovsky 1907 (CHERNEV)} 1-0

[Event The best Pawn in the world ever]
[Site "model ending: passed pawns mu"]
[Date "1960.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "fischer, rj"]
[Black "berliner (usa ch'p) [t50"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B03"]
[PlyCount "71"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 cxd6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Bd3 Bg7 8.
Nge2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O e5 11. d5 Ne7 12. b3 Nd7 13. Ne4 Nf5 14. Bg5 f6 15.
Bd2 Nc5 16. Nxc5 dxc5 {[#]  White has a passed pawn. Usually this is an
endgame theme, but here we see it throughout a middlegame with Queens.} 17.
Bxf5 Bxf5 18. f4 exf4 19. Nxf4 Qd6 {[#]  not the best blockader, and the other
potential blockaders are quickly exchanged.} 20. Nh5 {It's not a very good
bishop, but once it is exchanged White's own dark-squared bishop will have no
opposition in its prosecution of the advance of the d-pawn} Rae8 21. Nxg7 Kxg7
22. Bf4 Qd7 23. Qd2 Rf7 24. Bh6+ Kg8 25. Rae1 Rfe7 26. Rxe7 Qxe7 27. h3 Qe4 28.
Qf2 Qe7 29. g4 Bd3 30. Rd1 Be4 31. d6 Qe5 32. Bf4 Qc3 33. d7 Rd8 34. Qe2 Qf3 (
34... Qxh3 35. Qxe4 Qxg4+ 36. Kf2 {(threat Qe8+)}) 35. Qxf3 Bxf3 36. Bc7 {[#] 
simple as that} 1-0

[Event The best pieces and the worst pawns in the world ever]
[Site "weak pawns: creating holes"]
[Date "1876.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "steinitz, w"]
[Black "blackburne, j (london)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C77"]
[PlyCount "67"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 Be7 7. h3 O-O 8. Qe2
Ne8 9. g4 b5 10. Bc2 Bb7 11. Nbd2 Qd7 12. Nf1 Nd8 13. Ne3 Ne6 14. Nf5 g6 15.
Nxe7+ Qxe7 {[#]  "Morphy would probably have been very much surprised if
anybody had told him that only ten moves later White pieces would be settled
permanently on f6 and h6"} 16. Be3 N8g7 17. O-O-O c5 18. d4 exd4 19. cxd4 c4
20. d5 Nc7 21. Qd2 a5 22. Bd4 f6 23. Qh6 b4 24. g5 f5 25. Bf6 {[#]  here we
are...} Qf7 26. exf5 gxf5 27. g6 Qxg6 28. Bxg7 Qxh6+ 29. Bxh6 Rf6 30. Rhg1+ Rg6
31. Bxf5 Kf7 (31... Rxg1 32. Rxg1+ Kh8 33. Bg7+ Kg8 34. Be5+ Kf7 35. Rg7+ Ke8
36. Rxc7) 32. Bxg6+ hxg6 33. Ng5+ Kg8 34. Rge1 1-0

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