The most outrageous Queen Sacrifice in Chess History | Nezhmetdinov vs Chernikov (1962)

The most outrageous Queen Sacrifice in Chess History | Nezhmetdinov vs Chernikov (1962)

Hi all, we’re going to look at another instructive
game today. This time featuring a spectacular positional queen sacrifice. Mind-boggling
complications arise in this game. I can’t possibly explore all the variations, but if
you have any questions please leave them in the YouTube commentary and I’ll try and
answer them. Whites position Nezhmetdinov and black was Chernikov. The year was 1962,
played in Rostov. So Nezhmetdinov played e4 and then we have here the Sicilian defense
was played, the open Sicilian and now we see the accelerated dragon variation. So black
with g6 is though weakening the dart squares around the king. Let’s make a mental note
of this for the main strategic theme of the game, which is the positional queen sacrifice.
Nc3, bg7, be3, theory so far. Nf6, bc4. So the bishop is quite comfortable in that diagonal
eyeing the sensitive f7 pawn. After castles bb3, ng4 was played and now we see the trade
of knights and qh4. So white has got a kind of attacking looking position. After qa5 castles
was played. The queen by the way I couldn’t have taken the pawn, because of nxc2++. I’ll
explain that in the YouTube commentary if you want. So here black played bf6. Now here
is the start of this amazing positional queen sacrifice. Instead of just routinely moving
the queen away and maybe even accepting a draw by free fold repetition, like qh6, bg7,
qh4, bf6, white was very bold. White by the way was Tals’ trainer and a good friend
of a Tal. He had a plus record of 4-1 against how this guy Nezhmetdinov and he helped Tal
win and the world championship match against Botvinnik. The first time he faced Mikhail
Botvinnik. So Tal and Nezhmetdinov have a kind of similar attacking combinative style
and in this position Nezhmetdinov came up with this crazy idea of just sacking the queen
for two minor pieces and a bit of central control apparently. So qxf6 was played. Now
instead of black routinely recapturing with exf6 and bxd4, where this knight is going
to be immediately useful coming to d5, he plays actually ne2 to deflect the knight away
to make it lose time at least. So here after exf6 would you say that white is lost here?
After all white has sacrificed a queen worth 10 units by the standard of chess skills for
two pieces worth 6 units. But let’s start to look at the positional compensation and
blacks king safety. After nc3 we’re going to see an octopus knight. Have a look at the
knight on d5, earlier video. So the octopus knight comes in now to d5. So black can’t
take on e4, because already the octopus knight is taking care of things. Nf6 and winning
the rook. So black defends. Defends the pawn on f6 and now white starts intensifying all
the pressure on this measly poor f6 pawn. Because if that f6 pawn goes then the gates
are open for black’s king side weaknesses. So white now played bd4 and also now as well
as these two pieces ganging up on f6, white also made way now for this rd1 to d3 to f3
maneuver making use of this semi open d-file. And the fact he hasn’t got a d pawn.
So white is really ganging up now on f6. Kg7 was played and now rad1 and now here I left
it in Rybka believe it or not. This position and it’s starting to become equal at depth 16.
At depth 19 it was definitely equal. Rybka assessing the position now as equal believe
it or not. D6 was played with the idea now of bd7 to b5. So blacks trying to activate
this bishop and fort whites attack. So rd3, bd7, rf3. So the ganging up continues on the
f6 pawn and now bb5 is played. So white has this choice, does he want to move that rook?
He told what to do. No he plays bc3 actually first. He attacks blacks queen. After qd8,
he still doesn’t move the rook. He plays nxf6. So there’s all sorts of menacing threat now.
Black actually played be2 in the game and here white now has a clear advantage according
to rivka. Can you see the next move that white played? I’ll give you five seconds starting
from now. Right, black played nxh7++. Wow! So this bishop
is checking the king right and after the king takes the knight, we see um if the king taken
the knight, we see kind of a pack of cards effect. Because rxf7++ and all of a sudden,
this rooks completely free. So see the king move to h6. Then bxe6 is strong and whites
winning this believe it or not. White’s got ample compensation now. The rook and two bishops
are starting to be more than enough for rook and queen after bishop takes rook. So for
example bishop takes rook and bg7 and white’s much better according to rivka. So nxh7++,
black actually played kg8 and now white played rh3 and all of a sudden, we see this coordination
of the rook and bishop on this sensitive h8 square. So white’s still offering this exchange
for yet another move. Black now wanted desperately to try and block this diagonal. He played
actually re5 and now white’s continuing his ferocious now attack, played f4. So that rook
is being evicted off that a five square. Black now played bxf1 refusing to move the rook
and now Nezhmetdinov instead of even just taking the rook, he played actually just kxf1,
saying to black what are you going to play now? Because this diagonal and this rook are
really coordinating very well. Blacks king is in real trouble here and look at this rook
on a8, it’s still not doing anything much. It can’t sacrifice itself yet for that this
bishop. It is not on c8 yet. So he does actually play rc8 and white wants to avoid any rxc3.
He is blunting this powerful diagonal. So he plays actually here bd4, a quite move,
bd4. So white’s keeping all these positional trumps. Black’s not going anywhere anytime
quick. So b5 was played and now Nezhmetdinov of instead of taking the rook actually just
plays ng5. So he’s exerting now pressure on f7. So looking at bishop and knight coordinating
as well as this bishop and this rook. So it’s a great amazing team here of four minor pieces
going absolutely wild around black’s king. Rc7 was played trying to defend that f7 point
and now we see a spectacular idea. I’ll give you five seconds to see if you can spot it
starting from now. Okay white played bxf7 believe it or not. Though this is getting
a bit ridiculous. What is going on here? In the game, let’s just look at the game continuation.
Rxf7 was played and now look at the material situation. Black 10,15, 20, white 3, 6 and
11 in total. So a deficit of 9, however can you see a very nice move here for white? I’ll
give you 5 seconds starting from now. White played rh8++. So this is reminiscent of Petrosian
Spassky kind of rh8++ where blacks position comes down like a pack of cards. Because after
kxh8, nxf7 winning a whole rook and also forking queen and king leaving white up on material
believe it or not after all that. After nxd8 white is now clearly up a material. Rxe4 was
played and now white plays nc6 just protecting that bishop and after rxf4, ke2. Black has
had enough. Black resigned, a pawn down and knight and bishop are more than enough for
the rook. So whites got a clear material advantage and black left it there.

100 thoughts on “The most outrageous Queen Sacrifice in Chess History | Nezhmetdinov vs Chernikov (1962)

  1. brilliant and scintillating, hands down, you have the best chess videos in you tube. excellent commentary and brilliant games. look forward to the next videos. A series of Anand vids please? Perhaps from his younger and formative years….just a request and I would be honored if u could please oblige.

  2. I can't see how it would be easy for the black King to escape to the queenside at any time, and also the ending is winning for White for an experienced Grandmaster, which is why Black resigned at this point.

  3. Can I ask a question – After Whites Queen sac, is Nxb3 any good for Black. I havn't analysed this on a computer, its just a quick idea to remove White's powerful Bishop on b3.

  4. Robotman42, you probably meant 18. … Re5, I guess. Well, after 19.Sxf6!! Kxf6 20.f4 white has a devastating attack. Instead, 19…Be6 20.Bc3 Qa6 21.Bxe6!! Rxe6 22.Sd5+ Kf8 23.Sc7 Qc6! 24.Sxa8 b6 25.e5! Qxa8 26.exd6 Ke8 27.d7+ Kd8 leads to an endgame where white should not stand worse (although it will be very hard to win).

  5. Who would've thought that this could be achieved right after the queen sacrifice! Only because of the g6 pawn like you said.. Better watch it when you Fianchetto ^^'

  6. _I_ could have played this queen sac against a rubbish player, and could have then gone on to mess it up, and no one would have known that I know anything about chess (I'm well over 2000).
    Chernakov on the other hand, perhaps did not need to play such a game in order to win, but just wanted to have fun. Or did he?
    Was this a prepared opening till the sac?

  7. I did some analysis on this game, trying to find out if the queen sac was really sound. My computer thinks that black is better on move 12 and that white is better after move 18 – so I tried to find decent alternatives for black between 12 and 18 – without finding anything that was really convincing – so my current assement is that yes – it is sound 🙂 – but there is still a lot of ground I haven't looked at yet.

    Damn I love this game, it's SO beautiful!

  8. well… There is no final answer to that question. Just like gold isn't worth anything when you are thirsty in the desert – the queen isn't worth anything if you are facing a mate. Modern computer programs use fluctuating piece values – as do all serious or semi-serious human players. It all depends on the position. To say that the queen is worth 9 or 10 units is merely a guideline.

  9. Absolutely brilliant! I can't understand how he could see the whole theme at the point of queen sacrifice. A lot of things could've gone wrong. I'm just a casual internet chess player but always have admiration for people who can think this deep. Can you teach that?? ….:))

  10. why would black take on h8 at 9:32?
    why not play King to g7??
    White would obviously follow up with RxD8 .
    Black still loses the queen but it's better than losing a queen and rook!

  11. If Kg7 @ 9:32, black does not need to take the queen right away. Black can play Bxe5+. The king can't move and blocking would make things worse, so black plays dxe5 and now white can take the queen. Either way, black is losing a rook and the queen. Rybka however does prefer Rxd8 right away after Kg7 and gives an advantage for white in both variations.

  12. Q x f6 !!
    Wonderful !
    Nezh a réfléchit presque une heure sur ce coups; je préfère cette partie à celle gagnée contre Polugayevski, si souventt montrée…

  13. @xEric1993 It still loses a rook because both black's rooks are under attack. Not only that but the position is lost anyway because of the weakness of Blacks' pawns. They can be easily picked off. In the Kg7 line White has a rook and a piece vs a rook. Black went for the probably better line of rook vs knight and bishop.

  14. The position before the sac was known, and it was thought to lead to a draw. Chernikov fancied he would secure the draw against a tired Nezmehtinov, and go about drinking his vodka. However, apparently some 40 minutes went by before Nezmeht unleashed the shocker!! The rest is history.

  15. gr8 game not just because of a great queen sac by white. but black hung on and fought real hard and tried best. not goin for easy offerings. this was a perfect match up!

  16. I usually pride myself in being the kind of player that will sack a bishop or a knight for some positional compensation or an attack of sorts, but this just blows everything out of the water! What a game!

  17. I don't know if you've seen the Nezhmetdinov chess biography put together by JessicaFischerQueen at /watch?v=T_Io7jbHsYs&feature=relmfu but this game is reviewed in the opening minutes of that video. It's definitely worth a watch and I loved watching your video about this game having already watched the documentary a few months back. Great history and great chess. Thanks for the great commentaries KC.

  18. I was intrigued to hear the Q as worth 10 rather than 9. clearly both humans and puters need to ascribe value to things like the bishop pair but I expect puters add them dynamically without altering basic values. .The already strong chessmaster 9000 uses tweakable values and allows different settings for the two sides but the Q defaults at 9 and the implication is that they are not directly altered while running. One can still see programs report value to drawn positions.

  19. I am not very good at chess, but I used to play it with my grandma and it is very interesting. I do not know how I got to this video, but I am glad to see that there are so many people who care about chess, and that it is getting the respect and attention it deserves.

  20. after the knight takes on h7 and if king takes knight then easy rook a3 followed by rook h8 is mate right? why complicate with that wariation of rook takes f7?

  21. Chernikov was a strong player and he knew that variation, which led to a draw, which is what he wanted. Nobody had had the balls to sac the queen like that, until this game.

  22. Astonishing game by White. Nezhmetdinov and Leonid Stein are probably least recognized in the West compared to their strength. These guys were simply brilliant attackers, yet always in the shadow of Spassky, Petrosian, Tal, Botvinnik or Smyslov. It's a shame, so I really welcome you presenting this game!

  23. Brilliancy games playlist:
    Join me for a game:

  24. This reminds me of the Game of the Century when the young Fischer decided he wouldn't need his queen to completely obliterate his grand master opponent, Donald Byrne. Altough that was a more tactical sacrifice. What Nezhmetdinov did here is absolutely incredible. I like sacrifices a lot, but I wouldn't have even considered Qxf6 in that position.

  25. Not to even try to 'take away' anything from Nezhmetdinov's brilliant achievement here, but I'm pretty sure that he should have played 28. Bxe5 … before playing 29. Bxf7 … and completing his combination.  This would have left him a full Knight up, 'after the dust settled', and I can't see any way for Black to use this 'intermezzo' move to 'wiggle out'.  Am I missing something?

  26. Rashid calculated about 45-60mins before he played Qxf6. At first, Chernikov got off his chair and wandered around the tournament area. Later, he got tired and became impatient with Rashid.  A young boy from the crowd ran and informed him that Rashid had sacrificed his queen. Once he came back and saw what Rashid played, he never left his seat again.

  27. xEric1993: "why would black take on h8 at 9:32? why not play King to g7?? White would obviously follow up with RxD8 . Black still loses the queen but it's better than losing a queen and rook!"

    Kxh8 captures a rook whereas Kg7 doesn't, silly. Perhaps you were misled by kingscrusher's silly "winning a whole rook" comment.

  28. One of the greatest tactical, strategic, combinational, positional games I have ever witnessed! Truly remarkeable talent was Rashid! What a Queen sac, balls of titanium!

  29. Did he saw all those combinations near the end of the game at the time of that sac, or did he sac-ed his queen for positional advantage only!!!

  30. does anyone understand the position @ 1:24 where he says …..Qxe7 is not possible because of Kxc2+…….. kxc2 isn't check

  31. All the highlights and arrows make his videos unwatchable. I know he thinks he's cool or something because of it but it's very annoying. I can figure it out without all that I'm not stupid

  32. New version of this game video:
    Replayable game link:
    Join me or other Youtubers for a game: – Cheers, K

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