The worst chess game ever
Throughout our lives, we continue to strive for the best. The best colleges, best places to work, best vacation spots, etc. The list is endless. Of course, in our chess world, we also follow this same trend and look for the best games and the best players of all time.
I wonder why no one is looking for the worst? [Ed. Note: We are sometimes!] Well, there is no point in looking for the worst chess player since he is well known. At least, if we trust US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1972, who called GM Bobby fischer and introduced himself as “the world’s worst chess player … calling himself the world’s best player”.
But what about the worst game of chess ever played? You might wonder why we would even need to research such a horrible game. Well, besides the obvious human curiosity, there is an obvious utility that such a game could provide. Suppose you are a beginner chess player: which game would you rather analyze, one-by-two super GM played with almost 100% accuracy, or the following game, which I saw as a child in one of my first books? ‘failures?
I don’t know about you, but I smiled when I first saw this game. Meanwhile, the near-perfect game played by two super-GMs would have just bored me by then. Plus, learning this outrageous game, where Black was tamed in just three moves, assured me that I would never lose a game the same way, as happened in the Chess Olympiad there. not so long ago:
So what criteria should we use to determine the worst game ever played? If this is just educational value that demonstrates what you should never do in chess, then the following “game” would be near the top of my list of the worst of all time:
To be fair, those horrible king moves didn’t cause excessive damage (most of us would still lose to GM Magnus carlsen even after he played 2. Ke2 ??). Should we then consider the degree of damage caused by a bad blow? If so, few games can compete with such ultimate blunders as the following well-known examples.
We are all guilty of saying something like “I just played the worst game in all of chess history” after losing a particularly painful game. GM Tigran Petrosian probably thought the same after making an outrageous blunder in a very important tournament.
I just don’t think it’s fair to call a game “the worst ever” based on a single mistake, no matter how bad it was. For example, the Petrosian game above is actually a great example of constricting an opponent. in fact, without the tragic blunder, it would have been added to Petrosian’s collection of positional masterpieces.
It is obvious that to be considered “the worst of all time”, a game must always be played poorly from start to finish. Take for example the following game:
When one of the best grandmasters in the world behaves like an amateur player, you know the game is very bad. By the way, my apologies to amateur players, I know a lot of you can play better than that!
Yet even games where really bad moves were played from start to finish may not always be good material for our contest. Take, for example, the following notorious game:
It is a well known fact that this game was played under protest just like this infamous contest:
And I don’t even want to know what kind of events forced two masters to produce the following recent gem:
As you can see, it is not easy to determine the worst game of chess ever played. Therefore, when IM Ali Mortazavi tweeted that he would like to name the worst game of chess, I was quite skeptical. However, looking at the game I think he has a valid point. Judge by yourself :
While blunders are an integral part of bullet chess, here it was a bit too much. Six consecutive checkmate blunders in one in three moves, by players over 2400 must be the world record. Seven blunders like this in a game that only lasted 15 moves, it’s also a hard record to beat!
So, is this the worst game ever, or do you, my dear readers, have your own nominations? Let us know in the comments below!