Bloodless Victories

A bloodless victory in chess is a win for one of the players in which no pieces are taken.


Games of this genre tend to be short as longer games increase the possibility that a piece being taken or exchanged. The knight, with it’s ability to jump over pieces, and thereby avoid taking a piece en route to an attack, is disproportionally used in these types of games. Smothered mates are often seen.

A simple example of a bloodless victory is Fool’s Mate (1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#)


Another simple example is Fischer-Panno, Palma de Mallorca Izt., 1970. The entire game went 1.c4 1-0. Panno had a dispute with the organizers and resigned here.

There are many more examples. Here is a favorite of mine.

Blindfold game
Havana, 1891
1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 Nh6 5.O-O (Interesting to note that the exact sequence of moves also occurred in S. Retout (1808)-S. Burnet, England Open, Charlton 1973 which continued with 5…exf4 6.d4 Qf6 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Bxf4 Ne7 10.Bxh6 gxh6 11.Nf6# 1-0. But that game had some captures, so let’s get on with this game.) 5…Be7 6.d3 O-O 7.f5 Ng4 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.a3 Nc6 10.h3 Nf6 11.g4 Na5 12.Ba2 b6 13.g5 Ne8 14.h4 Kh8 15.Nh2 f6 16.g6 h6 17.Qh5


(ΔBxh6) 1-0

Even rarer is the bloodless mate. Same conditions, but the game ends in checkmate.


This is a recent game played by two amateurs.


“Daveacksh” (1241)-“bandabou” (1212)
Blitz Game, Feb. 21 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 e6 4.c3!? Na5 5.Na3 a6 6.d4 b5 7.Be2 c4 8.O-O Bb7 9.e5 Be4 10.Ng5 Bg6 11.Bf3 Rb8 12.Ne4 Ne7? 13.Nd6mate 1-0

This type of mate, sans captures, has also occurred in Master (and near-Master) games.

Carl Hartlaub-H. H Rosenbaum
Freiburg, Germany, 1892
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 f6 4.Nh4 g5 5.Qh5+ Ke7 6.Nf5mate 1-0

Chris W. Baker-Bernard Cafferty
British Chess Ch., Qualification Tournament
Clacton-on-Sea, 1974
1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 Ne4 4.Nce2 Nc5 5.c3 Nd3mate 0-1



Juan Antonio Palmisano-Guillermo Llanos
Buenos Aires, 1995
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 Qa5 8.a4 Na6 9.Ra3 Nb4 10.Nge2 e5 (Black has the advantage so White wants to defend. But his move, while well-intended, allows Black to increase his advantage to a -+.) 11.Bd2?? Nd3# 0-1


Emi Hasegawa-Mi Yen Fong (1885)
Women’s Ol.
Istanbul, Aug. 28 2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 O-O 6.Bd3 e5 7.d5 Nbd7 8.b4 Nh5!? (8…a5 is more popular. The text move deserves to be investigated more.) 9.O-O Qe7 10.Ne2 c5 11.b5 f5! (The main point of 8…Nh5!?) 12.Rb1 f4 (Black obviously has the advantage.) 13.Kh1 g5 14.Neg1 g4 15.Nd2 Qh4 16.f3 Ng3#

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