8. Jensen, S. – Urkedal, F (Reykjavik Open) 1-0
If I had to guess I would say that you guys have probably never heard of either of these two players. Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal is an IM from Norway rated 2492 (as of 1/2/14). Soren Jensen is from Denmark rated 1849. Now what makes this game special? I can’t verify this but this may be one of the biggest upsets of the year. Not only is it an amazing upset, the game itself is remarkable. The game harkens back to the romantic period when players would sacrifice material leisurely for an attack against the black king. This is the only game on the list I’ve decided to annotate. Although the game is a mere 21 moves long it is rich with complications. I mention in my annotations a pdf by Peter Millican on the Double Muzio from 1989 which is still quite relevant and useful today for anyone looking to play the Kings gambit with white.
9. Pelletier – Hagen (European Individual Championships) 0-1
Another upset this time it was IM Hagen over GM Pelletier. I chose this game because although Black’s attack is one we see frequently in the Kings Indian it’s fairly rare to see black with 3 queens on the board. GM Joel Benjamin does a nice job with his analysis of this game so if you have questions I would direct you to his site for his analysis (requires ICC account).
10. Neverov – Bogdanovich (Ukranian Championship) 0-1
As I’ve made abundantly clear there were many games that could have (and probably should have) made this list. I chose this game in particular for the fighting spirit that was displayed by Bogdanovich in his marathon session with Neverov. Aptly named, “The Neverov-Ending Story” on chessgames.com this game caught my attention (as well as the attention of chessbase). It’s a dramatic game that really illustrates blacks desire to win at all costs. The longest game I’ve ever played was 100 moves (a game I played in 2009) which was a bit similar to this one except in addition to the knight and rook I also had a pawn (a decisive piece). Actually winning that game was huge for me as it netted me around 625 dollars which is my biggest tournament prize to date. Anyways, in this game black demonstrates that the long held notion that a Knight and Rook vs Rook is a “simple” draw is incorrect. As a person who has suffered through the arduous task of defending Rook and Bishop vs Rook I can say this is torture to play through so reader beware.
Shirov – Naser Al Sayed (Gibraltar; B90) 1-0 – a nice sacrificial attacking game from Shirov.