It’s just the second month of 2023, but we may have the game of the year on our hands. The following game was played by 39-year-old GM Gergely-Andras-Gyula Szabo at the Romanian Chess Championship 2023.
Szabo’s round-six victory over FM Nicodim-Cosmin Stepanencu is stunning enough to deserve a standalone article. It features a queen sacrifice, a mesmerizing tactical melee in which White sacrifices the kitchen sink, and a beautiful forced checkmate sequence to finish the game.
Starting with 27.Nh6!+, as played in the game, White had a forced checkmate in 16 moves!
The Chess.com Game Review feature thinks six of the moves are “brilliant” (!!). Four of them were played consecutively between moves 23 and 26. It also finds a whopping 11 to be “great” (!).
The feature also gives White a 93.4% accuracy (against Black’s 83.8%), estimating White’s play to be at the 2750 rating.
You can check out the full game below, annotated by GM Rafael Leitao.
IM Levy Rozman (GothamChess) also released a video about the game.
GM Benjamin Bok also created a video (this one is shorter) about the same game.
Tell us what you think about the game in the comments below!