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Picturesque Positions
Compiled by Benjamin Lau

I'm not too sure what exactly is a "picturesque position," but I guess the simplest and most straightforward definition would be a position so amazing, beautiful, or unique that it is practically "worth framing" as Eggman succintly put it. If anyone finds any great positions worth framing, please tell me!

I used to have a set of criteria below, but I found it a bit too dogmatic and longwinded, so just simply tell me if you think a certain game position is very interesting. Usually if it resembles anything in the collection already, I'll immediately accept it. Thanks in advance.

A diamond of knights
T Luther vs M Thinius, 2004 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

A beautiful deposition of four knights
H Clemenz vs F Eisenschmidt, 1862 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 24 moves, 1-0

The devastating X-wing fighter pawn formation after 35...Rd5 :)
Ponomariov vs Anand, 2003 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 52 moves, 0-1

The last position looks like an old piece of Roman architecture
Michelet vs Kieseritzky, 1843 
(C37) King's Gambit Accepted, 31 moves, 1-0

The pony express brings in a mate
J Smith vs G H Derrickson, 1860 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 17 moves, 0-1

No one really cared about the pawns anyway
W R Ballard vs J Fagan, 1884 
(000) Chess variants, 30 moves, 1-0

Pawn fortress
Capablanca vs K Treybal, 1929 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 58 moves, 1-0

So close and yet so far, eh Petrosian?
Korchnoi vs Petrosian, 1974 
(A17) English, 51 moves, 1-0

Meeting between two monarchs
Short vs Timman, 1991 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 34 moves, 1-0

After 22...Nc1, all of Karpov's pieces have returned home
Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993 
(E86) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6, 27 moves, 0-1

28...Nh1! and Piket is thunderstruck
Piket vs Kasparov, 1989 
(E99) King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 28 moves, 0-1

Anand and Kaspy build a kingside staircase together
Anand vs Kasparov, 1996 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 55 moves, 0-1

An elegant touch at the end
J Reinisch vs Traxler, 1890  
(C57) Two Knights, 17 moves, 0-1

Traffic jam on the "a" file after 20...Qa5 :-)
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 70 moves, 0-1

A queen and two rooks en prise in the final position.... Draw!
Kramnik vs Anand, 2004 
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Without a move
Capablanca vs Ragozin, 1935 
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 49 moves, 1-0

Nimzo brings Samisch to a complete standstill
Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923  
(E18) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3, 25 moves, 0-1

Bronstein teaches the art of prophylaxis to the iron idiot
MacChess vs Bronstein, 1997 
(A97) Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky, 60 moves, 0-1

J Kaplan vs Bronstein, 1975 
(C11) French, 26 moves, 0-1

29...Bd3 and a nice blockade worth framing
Reshevsky vs Petrosian, 1953 
(E58) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with 8...Bxc3, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

The great wall
Kasparov vs X3D Fritz, 2003 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 45 moves, 1-0

Trapped on the 1st rank with a krazy rook :)
Matulovic vs Suttles, 1970 
(B06) Robatsch, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

This position looks familiar for some reason
Janosevic vs Geller, 1968 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 0 moves, 1/2-1/2

Entombed queen
Nimzowitsch vs A Hakansson, 1922  
(C02) French, Advance, 27 moves, 1-0

An inverted pyramid of heavy pieces after 37. Rxg7 :-)
Spielmann vs Rubinstein, 1911  
(C49) Four Knights, 37 moves, 1-0

A funny looking conclusion
H Helms vs O Tenner, 1942 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 13 moves, 1-0

The shot heard around the world
O Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1914 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 29 moves, 0-1

The final position is a timeless classic
Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858  
(C41) Philidor Defense, 17 moves, 1-0

A Gibaud vs F Lazard, 1924 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 4 moves, 0-1

Twin knights at the castle doors
A Rabinovich vs L Christiansen, 1995 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 36 moves, 0-1

A queen down, Tal hangs all three minor pieces with 21. Bf5!!
Tal vs H Hecht, 1962 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 49 moves, 1-0

The pawn truly is the soul of chess
McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834 
(B32) Sicilian, 37 moves, 0-1

23...Qg3!! and Marshall gets showered with gold coins :-)
S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912 
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 23 moves, 0-1

The most remarkable pawn structure ever after 38...Qe8
Alekhine vs V Nenarokov, 1907 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 0-1

Everything as it once was before...
A Medina Garcia vs Gligoric, 1968 
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 29 moves, 0-1

After 61 f5, the black king is completely encapsulated!
Short vs Gelfand, 1991 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 61 moves, 1-0

Clash of ideas
Saemisch vs Ivkov, 1969 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 32 moves, 0-1

Morphy finds a peculiar corner mate to tie things up
Morphy vs Le Carpentier, 1849 
(000) Chess variants, 13 moves, 1-0

A pawn picture after 20...exd4
A M Swank vs Fischer, 1956 
(B20) Sicilian, 43 moves, 0-1

Fischer finishes off "Greenblatt" with a truly unusual mate
Fischer vs Mac Hack VI, 1977 
(C33) King's Gambit Accepted, 21 moves, 1-0

19 Nd5+ lines up four minor pieces on the d file
V Budde vs B Roeschlau, 2004 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 22 moves, 1-0

The adjacent knights after 37. Nxf6+ are a nice touch
Kasparov vs S Palatnik, 1978 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 37 moves, 1-0

A beautiful pyramid of pawns after 28...Ne5 :-)
Bronstein vs E Rojahn, 1956 
(C58) Two Knights, 38 moves, 1-0

Time stands still after Rubinstein's 23...Rd2!!
Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907  
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 25 moves, 0-1

A black mountain arises after 50...d3
Polgar vs Bacrot, 1999 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 75 moves, 0-1

Picturesque bishop placement in the stunning finish
Anderssen vs Dufresne, 1852 
(C52) Evans Gambit, 24 moves, 1-0

A mountain of jumbled minor pieces in the center after 13...Bd7
Alekhine vs Euwe, 1926 
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 49 moves, 1/2-1/2

A nice arch of minor pieces after 16...Be3#
S S Dodge vs J Houghteling, 1905 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 16 moves, 0-1

Zigzaggy pawns after 31...a6
Bogoljubov vs H Mattison, 1929 
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 113 moves, 1/2-1/2

Ivanchuk's king is literally cornered
Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1994 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 39 moves, 1-0

32...b5 and the white queen has nothing to do
D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956  
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 41 moves, 0-1

A holy cross of pieces at the end, with the king at the center
Koblents vs Keres, 1945 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 39 moves, 0-1

A frameable finish
Bogoljubov vs Capablanca, 1928 
(E12) Queen's Indian, 41 moves, 0-1

Rook square after 36. Rc7
V Akopian vs Shabalov, 1990
(A62) Benoni, Fianchetto Variation, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

A king caught on the wrong side of the atlas
Piket vs R Douven, 1988 
(E99) King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov, 43 moves, 0-1

Another square of steeds
Geller vs E Etcheverry, 1954 
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 28 moves, 1-0

Stuck in the middle
J Thompson vs Mackenzie, 1864 
(C37) King's Gambit Accepted, 14 moves, 0-1

An exchange sac for a picturesque finale
Kasimdzhanov vs Kasparov, 2001 
(E00) Queen's Pawn Game, 29 moves, 0-1

Unusual pawn lineup
J Geller vs O Huguenin, 2004 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 16 moves, 1-0

A beautiful clean mate from Blackburne
A Steinkuehler vs Blackburne, 1863  
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 22 moves, 0-1

Queen in a bottle after 35...Qc7
M Dizdarevic vs I Bjelobrk, 2001 
(C11) French, 36 moves, 0-1

A pretty and unique "swallow's tail" mate
Keres vs Fischer, 1959 
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 53 moves, 0-1

Pawn avalanche
Gufeld vs Kavalek, 1962 
(C64) Ruy Lopez, Classical, 32 moves, 0-1

22...Nd5 RRBB
H Hurme vs A Remmel, 2001
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 37 moves, 0-1

19. Bf5 minor piece square
Kasparov vs Psakhis, 1990 
(E42) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 c5, 5.Ne2 (Rubinstein), 36 moves, 1-0

Blackburne's classic smother mate
NN vs Blackburne, 1871  
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 21 moves, 0-1

Another square of knights after 27. Nd4
Barcza vs Szabo, 1946 
(A04) Reti Opening, 39 moves, 1-0

Two funny knights sit on the enemy's last rank after 28...Nxe1
I Rogers vs P Acs, 2003 
(A22) English, 34 moves, 1-0

Extraordinary final position!
J Hohmeister vs T Frank, 1993 
(A40) Queen's Pawn Game, 12 moves, 1/2-1/2

A different kind of "Four Knights" Defense
A Lehtinen vs T Simola, 1995 
(B24) Sicilian, Closed, 41 moves, 1-0

An amusing final resting place for the white monarch and queen
V Malakhov vs Zvjaginsev, 2004 
(E97) King's Indian, 43 moves, 0-1

Cute cross pins after 38...Re2
A Bannik vs A Cherepkov, 1961 
(B44) Sicilian, 39 moves, 0-1

An intricate mate
B Kazic vs B Vukovic, 1940 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 18 moves, 1-0

Rare modern smothered mate
Grischuk vs Ponomariov, 2000 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 27 moves, 1-0

A pretty epaulette mate
Carlsen vs S Ernst, 2004 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 29 moves, 1-0

A matter of black and white
Zukertort vs Steinitz, 1886 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 47 moves, 1-0

Cornered king after 25. Qb6
Rubinstein vs Hromadka, 1923 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Fantastic mate with a pawn
Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929 
(A85) Dutch, with c4 & Nc3, 22 moves, 0-1

Another set of quadruple pawns
Van der Wiel vs Hort, 1981 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 40 moves, 1-0

A picturesque maneuver, though not enough to win
G Vescovi vs Shabalov, 2004 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 41 moves, 1-0

A strangely pleasing end
J Bruehl vs Philidor, 1787 
(C23) Bishop's Opening, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

A cute mate in the Budapest
K Hoeregott vs W Schlage, 1929 
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 11 moves, 0-1

Backrank bonanza after 27...Qf2!
Larsen vs Ljubojevic, 1975 
(A77) Benoni, Classical, 9...Re8, 10.Nd2, 27 moves, 0-1

The "Alterman Wall"
B Alterman vs Deep Fritz, 2000 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 87 moves, 1-0

The big squeeze
A Zinkl vs Janowski, 1894 
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 46 moves, 0-1

Tarrasch provides us with a nice mate after 21. N2f4#
Tarrasch vs Romberg, 1893 
(000) Chess variants, 21 moves, 1-0

Charming finale!
Kotov vs Bondarevsky, 1936 
(A90) Dutch, 27 moves, 0-1

Steinitz gives NN a pretty mate :)
Steinitz vs NN, 1874 
(000) Chess variants, 15 moves, 1-0

A cute finish with all four rooks stuck on the last rank
M Szigeti vs Benko, 1945 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 0-1

Both knights en prise by pawns after 32. Nh6+!
Larsen vs A Matanovic, 1965 
(E07) Catalan, Closed, 32 moves, 1-0

Sparkling simul smother mate
Najdorf vs NN, 1942 
(C26) Vienna, 20 moves, 1-0

White mates with four pieces en prise, inc. the mating piece!
Prince Dadian vs M Bitcham, 1892 
(C56) Two Knights, 20 moves, 1-0

A king and pawns in chains
Botvinnik vs G A Thomas, 1936 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 69 moves, 1-0

28. Nxh7! and the king is literally surrounded by knights
J Enevoldsen vs Nimzowitsch, 1933 
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 40 moves, 1-0

"The epitome of a closed game"
Averkin vs Beliavsky, 1973 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 42 moves, 1-0

Picturesque phalanx of pawns after 21...Nb7
Petrosian vs Petrovsky, 1946 
(E11) Bogo-Indian Defense, 28 moves, 1-0

96 games

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