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Material Imbalances
Compiled by vikinx

Material imbalances are like, you know, a knight against a bishop, three pawns for a bishop, two knights vs two bishops, etc. These games show some of them.

Black has three pawns for a bishop.
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 74 moves, 0-1

White has a bishop for a knight.
Fischer vs Taimanov, 1970 
(B44) Sicilian, 58 moves, 1-0

Black first has 2P vs N, then 2P vs R, then 4p vs R.
Portisch vs Tal, 1964 
(A04) Reti Opening, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

White makes a sacrifice and overwhelms Black.
Janowski vs Kupchik, 1913 
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 36 moves, 1-0

White was a pawn up.
Taimanov vs Fischer, 1960 
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 87 moves, 1/2-1/2

White has won a rook for a bishop.
Bisguier vs J Sherwin, 1954 
(D01) Richter-Veresov Attack, 44 moves, 1-0

Black's strong bishop+pawn was no match for the White rook.
J Mieses vs Capablanca, 1913 
(C22) Center Game, 44 moves, 0-1

Black's queen+knight is stronger than White's queen+bishop.
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972 
(E41) Nimzo-Indian, 27 moves, 0-1

White had an extra pawn, and Black's were very weak.
Capablanca vs Burn, 1911 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 46 moves, 1-0

White's rook and pawn beat Black's knights.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990 
(C92) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 57 moves, 1-0

White forces the win of two pawns.
Capablanca vs Teichmann, 1913 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 38 moves, 1-0

Black's extra pawn did not stop White!
Kramnik vs Junior, 2000 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 33 moves, 1-0

White forced the win of Black's queen.
Anand vs Bologan, 2003 
(B17) Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation, 36 moves, 1-0

White's extra b-pawn forced the win of the game.
Smyslov vs Korchnoi, 1967 
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 74 moves, 1-0

Black had an extra pawn, and White botched the draw.
Spielmann vs Duras, 1907 
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 99 moves, 0-1

White's two pawns lead to Black's doom.
C Hansen vs E Agrest, 2004 
(E09) Catalan, Closed, 80 moves, 1-0

White's two pawns beat Black's rook!!!
Szen vs S Newham, 1851 
(B44) Sicilian, 64 moves, 1-0

Black's opposition beat White's pawn.
Gligoric vs Fischer, 1959 
(B99) Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line, 57 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's a-pawn was not strong enough.
Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1911  
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 42 moves, 1-0

White's two kingside pawns dominated Black.
Najdorf vs R Garcia, 1968
(A63) Benoni, Fianchetto, 9...Nbd7, 78 moves, 1-0

White had a rook and pawn for a bishop.
Tarrasch vs Alapin, 1905 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 48 moves, 1-0

White's 3 pawns > Black's bishop
Nakamura vs T Hillarp Persson, 2005 
(C02) French, Advance, 100 moves, 1-0

White won Black's rook and the game.
A Riazantsev vs S Ivanov, 2004
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 41 moves, 1-0

Black could have forced a win with his extra pawn.
W Bruijn vs H Kloos, 1851 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black rook beat White's bishop.
W Schlage vs Ahues, 1921
(C49) Four Knights, 40 moves, 0-1

White extra pawn was not very important.
Alekhine vs Yates, 1910 
(D61) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 46 moves, 1-0

Black's extra pawn created a Lucena Position.
Morozevich vs Gelfand, 2005 
(E06) Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3, 87 moves, 0-1

Black's extra pawn was not enough.
Topalov vs Kramnik, 2005 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's pawn pressured White into a loss
A Kochyev vs Smyslov, 1978 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 84 moves, 0-1

White kept the rooks and went on to lose.
NN vs Staunton, 1842 
(C45) Scotch Game, 64 moves, 0-1

White's extra pawn created a Lucena Position.
Reshevsky vs Najdorf, 1968 
(E87) King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 73 moves, 1-0

White drew, despite the fact that Black had two extra pawns.
Benjamin vs Karpov, 2000 
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 76 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's a-pawn only won because of the f-pawns.
Short vs Anand, 1991 
(B47) Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation, 59 moves, 0-1

Black's a- pawn was stronger than Black's e-and h-pawns.
Rubinstein vs Capablanca, 1914 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's rook was stronger than White's pawn.
E Williams vs Harrwitz, 1852 
(A03) Bird's Opening, 60 moves, 0-1

White's king and pawn was strong against Black's rook.
Leko vs Kramnik, 2004  
(A61) Benoni, 65 moves, 1/2-1/2

White's a-pawn immobilizes Black.
J G Campbell vs R Wormald, 1859 
(C84) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 57 moves, 1-0

This game is like number 37.
Shirov vs Kramnik, 1999 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 64 moves, 1-0

The knight held Black's rook and pawn.
Lasker vs Ed. Lasker, 1924 
(C99) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin,, 103 moves, 1/2-1/2

White won a pawn, then a piece.
Benko vs Averbakh, 1958 
(A36) English, 78 moves, 1-0

The knight was stronger than the bishop.
Benko vs Korchnoi, 1962 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 81 moves, 1-0

White again uses his knight properly.
Capablanca vs Reshevsky, 1936 
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 58 moves, 1-0

White's knight was very active.
Smyslov vs Euwe, 1946 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 49 moves, 1-0

White's two pawns are unstoppable against the bishop.
Benko vs Smyslov, 1959 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 74 moves, 1-0

See number 31.
Cunningham vs Loewenthal, 1856 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 76 moves, 1-0

Black's rook dominates White's pawn.
Loewenthal vs Morphy, 1858 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 80 moves

White forced the win of Black's remaining two pawns.
Smyslov vs Simagin, 1966 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 46 moves, 1-0

White won Black's c- and h-pawns.
Alekhine vs Saemisch, 1925 
(A31) English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation, 52 moves, 1-0

White won a rook for a bishop.
Shirov vs Grischuk, 2000 
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 49 moves, 1-0

White had two extra doubled pawns.
Bacrot vs Kramnik, 2005 
(E21) Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights, 56 moves, 1-0

White's four pawns balanced Black's crushing king.
Lilienthal vs Smyslov, 1941 
(E32) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Black's bishop kills Black (literally)!
Marshall vs Lasker, 1907 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 50 moves, 0-1

White wins the exchange and gives it back with an extra pawn.
Capablanca vs Janowski, 1913 
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 52 moves, 1-0

The h-pawn forces the win Black's rook.
Karpov vs Hort, 1979 
(B10) Caro-Kann, 73 moves, 1-0

Black's a- and g-pawns were unstoppable.
O M Hindle vs G Moehring, 1964 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 77 moves, 0-1

White uses his extra pawn,rook, and king to win the game.
Rubinstein vs Lasker, 1909  
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 1-0

Black's queenside pawns win a piece.
Marshall vs Capablanca, 1909 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 49 moves, 0-1

White wins Black's h-pawn.
Smyslov vs Xu Jun, 1985
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 67 moves, 1-0

White's queen overwhelms Black's rook and pawn.
Kasparov vs Topalov, 1999 
(B07) Pirc, 44 moves, 1-0

Black's pawn builds a Lucena Position.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1984 
(E15) Queen's Indian, 70 moves, 0-1

White has an extra pawn-yet the game was drawn.
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985 
(D58) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst, 71 moves, 1/2-1/2

White had a bishop for a pawn in this 193-move game.
Y Stepak vs Y Mashian, 1980 
(E19) Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 9.Qxc3, 193 moves, 1-0

White sacrificed his rook for the queening of his pawn!!!
Averbakh vs Korchnoi, 1965 
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 39 moves, 0-1

Black first had N vs P, then N vs PPPP, then RN vs R.
Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 86 moves, 1/2-1/2

White sacrifices his rook for a "book" win.
Deep Junior vs Deep Fritz, 2001 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 109 moves, 1-0

Dlugy vs F Doettling, 2006 
(D36) Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2, 161 moves, 1/2-1/2

B+P+P vs N
J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1901 
(C49) Four Knights, 68 moves, 0-1

The weak c-pawn caused material losses
Lasker vs Schlechter, 1910  
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 71 moves, 1-0

68 games

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