The Most Popular Chess Game: A Ranking of the Favorites

Choose the chess game you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 17, 2024 06:55
Step into the fascinating world of chess and join the ranks of millions who have been captivated by the strategic battles on the 64-square board. StrawPoll invites you to participate in our latest ranking: "What is the most popular chess game?" where you can cast your vote for the most iconic, thrilling, and unforgettable matches in chess history. From the legendary battles of grandmasters like Kasparov and Fischer to the recent clashes of modern-day prodigies, this is your chance to weigh in on the ultimate showdown of intellectual prowess. Can't find your favorite game in our list? No problem! You can also suggest a missing option and let others discover the brilliance of your chosen match. Ready to dive into the rich and complex world of chess? Click further and let your voice be heard in our grand StrawPoll ranking!

What Is the Most Popular Chess Game?

  1. 1
    58
    votes
    This game was highly anticipated as it was the world championship match and was closely contested, with Carlsen emerging as the winner. You can
    The Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin (2016 World Chess Championship) was a highly anticipated chess match between reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen from Norway and challenger Sergey Karjakin from Russia. The match took place from November 11 to November 30, 2016, in New York City, USA.
    • Event Type: World Chess Championship
    • Year: 2016
    • Location: New York City, USA
    • Players: Magnus Carlsen (Norway) vs Sergey Karjakin (Russia)
    • Dates: November 11-30, 2016
  2. 2
    28
    votes
    This game is considered one of the most iconic chess games in history, with the American Fischer defeating the Soviet Spassky in a highly publicized match during the Cold War. You can
    The Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky (1972 World Chess Championship) is a famous chess match that took place in 1972 between American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer and Soviet Union's reigning World Chess Champion Boris Spassky. It is often regarded as one of the most significant events in chess history due to the Cold War context and the high level of competition involved.
    • Event Date: July 11, 1972 - August 31, 1972
    • Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
    • Number of Games: 21
    • Winner: Bobby Fischer (United States)
    • Final Score: 12.5 - 8.5 in favor of Bobby Fischer
  3. 3
    27
    votes
    This game was significant as it marked the first time a computer defeated a reigning world chess champion. You can
    Garry Kasparov vs Deep Blue (1997) is a historic chess game that took place between world chess champion Garry Kasparov and the IBM chess computer Deep Blue. It was a highly anticipated match as it pitted the best human player against a powerful AI opponent.
    • Date: May 3-11, 1997
    • Location: IBM headquarters, New York City, USA
    • Result: Deep Blue won the match 3.5-2.5
    • Game format: 6-game match
    • Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours, then sudden death in 60 minutes
  4. 4
    22
    votes
    This game was part of a highly contested match between the two chess legends, with Karpov ultimately emerging as the winner. You can
    The Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov (1985 World Chess Championship) was a highly anticipated chess match that took place between reigning world champion Anatoly Karpov and challenger Garry Kasparov in 1985. The match stretched over several months and is considered one of the most famous and significant chess battles in history.
    • Event: 1985 World Chess Championship
    • Date: September 3 - November 9, 1985
    • Players: Anatoly Karpov vs Garry Kasparov
    • Location: Moscow, Russia
    • Match Format: Best of 24 games
  5. 5
    18
    votes
    This game marked the first time an Indian player faced off against a Norwegian player in a world championship match, with Carlsen ultimately emerging as the winner. You can
    The Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen (2013 World Chess Championship) is a chess game that took place from November 9 to November 22, 2013. It was the culmination of the World Chess Championship cycle where defending champion Viswanathan Anand faced challenger Magnus Carlsen.
    • Event dates: November 9-22, 2013
    • Location: Chennai, India
    • Organizer: Tamil Nadu State Chess Association (TNSCA)
    • Format: Best of twelve games
    • Time control: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves, and then 15 minutes to complete the game with a 30-second increment from move 61 onwards
  6. 6
    7
    votes
    This game was part of a highly contested match between the two Soviet chess masters, with Tal ultimately emerging as the winner. You can
    The Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik match in the 1960 World Chess Championship is considered one of the most iconic chess games in history. It was a best-of-24 match that took place in Moscow, Soviet Union, from March to May 1960.
    • Event: 1960 World Chess Championship
    • Players: Mikhail Tal vs Mikhail Botvinnik
    • Date: March to May, 1960
    • Location: Moscow, Soviet Union
    • Match Format: Best-of-24
  7. 7
    12
    votes
    This game was part of a highly controversial match between the two Soviet chess players, with Karpov ultimately emerging as the winner. You can
    The Anatoly Karpov vs Viktor Korchnoi (1978 World Chess Championship) was a highly intense and historic chess match held in 1978 between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi. The match took place in Baguio City, Philippines, and lasted for several months.
    • Date: 1978
    • Location: Baguio City, Philippines
    • Match Duration: Several months
    • Contestants: Anatoly Karpov (Soviet Union) vs Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union)
    • World Chess Championship: Yes
  8. 8
    3
    votes
    This game was highly anticipated as it featured two of the top chess players in the world and was closely contested, with Carlsen emerging as the winner. You can
    The Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura (2015 Zurich Chess Challenge) is a highly anticipated chess game that took place during the 2015 Zurich Chess Challenge tournament. It featured a face-off between two of the world's top chess players, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura. The game attracted significant attention from chess enthusiasts and was a thrilling encounter between two formidable opponents.
    • Date: 2015
    • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
    • Players: Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura
    • Time Control: Classical
    • Opening: Queen's Gambit Declined
  9. 9
    0
    votes
    This game was part of a highly controversial match between the two chess players, with Kasparov ultimately emerging as the winner. You can
    The Gary Kasparov vs Nigel Short (1993 World Chess Championship) was a highly anticipated chess match that took place in 1993. It was a battle between two renowned grandmasters, Gary Kasparov from Russia and Nigel Short from England, for the World Chess Championship title. The match was held in London, and it gained significant attention and media coverage due to its historical significance and the intense rivalry between the two players.
    • Year: 1993
    • Location: London, England
    • Players: Gary Kasparov, Nigel Short
    • Event: World Chess Championship
    • Result: 1-0 (Gary Kasparov won)
  10. 10
    12
    votes
    This game was part of a highly contested match between two of the greatest chess players of all time, with Capablanca ultimately emerging as the winner. You can
    The Jose Capablanca vs Emanuel Lasker (1921 World Chess Championship) is a historic chess game that took place in 1921 during the World Chess Championship. It is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and significant chess matches in history.
    • Event: 1921 World Chess Championship
    • Players: Jose Capablanca vs Emanuel Lasker
    • Date: March 15 - April 18, 1921
    • Location: Havana, Cuba
    • Result: Capablanca won the match with 4 wins, 10 draws, and 0 losses

Missing your favorite chess game?

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Ranking factors for popular chess game

  1. Historical significance
    The impact of the game on the chess world, its relevance in the development of chess theory, and its influence on future games and players.
  2. Level of mastery
    The skill of the players involved, demonstrated through their moves, tactics, and strategies, as well as their respective ratings and rankings at the time of the game.
  3. Complexity and depth
    The degree of difficulty and the intricacies of the positions reached during the game, as well as the players' ability to navigate through these complexities to find the best moves and plans.
  4. Creativity and originality
    The novelty and uniqueness of the moves and strategies employed by the players, including the use of new opening systems or unorthodox ideas that lead to interesting and unexpected positions.
  5. Quality of moves
    The accuracy and precision of the moves made by both players, as well as the presence (or absence) of mistakes, blunders, or missed opportunities.
  6. Entertainment value
    The excitement and drama generated by the game, including risky sacrifices, attacking play, unexpected turnarounds, and other factors that contribute to its overall appeal for spectators and chess enthusiasts alike.
  7. Significance within a match or tournament
    The importance of the game in terms of its impact on the outcome of a match or tournament, as well as the pressure and stakes involved for the players.
  8. Lasting legacy
    The game’s contribution to the growth and popularity of chess, and its lasting impact on chess players and fans in general, including the extent to which it has been analyzed, discussed, and referenced in chess literature and media.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular chess game. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or game is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1842 views
  • 187 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each game once every 24 hours. The rank of each game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular chess game

Chess is a centuries-old game that has captivated players of all ages and backgrounds. With its roots in ancient India, chess has evolved into a complex and strategic game that requires skill, patience, and a deep understanding of the rules and strategies. Over the years, countless variations of the game have emerged, each with its own unique set of rules and challenges. Despite the many variations of chess, there are a few games that stand out as the most popular among players. These games are often known for their intricate strategies, challenging gameplay, and competitive nature. Whether you are a seasoned chess player or just starting out, exploring the most popular chess games can be a great way to improve your skills and challenge yourself. So, what are the most popular chess games out there? Let's take a look.

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