My Best Games

In order to avoid difficult choices of preferring one game over another, I've simply presented them in chronological order, with a brief synopsis of each. Thanks to ChessBase 8.0 software it is now possible to play over the games and variations conveniently online, without having to set up a board! I have split the material into groups of years, and provided brief synopses of each game on this page. Perhaps these selections will give the reader a nicely inflated sense of my playing ability (as should all “best games” collections).

My best games, 1990-1995

1. Ferrero (1953) - Bengtson
Somerset Quads (3), 1990
A good positional performance from my A-player days, marked by psychological perceptiveness. Also a good example of play with one open file.

2. Bengtson - Lee (2062)
U.S. Open (9), 1993
A tense, double-edged middlegame leads to an interesting endgame, definitely one of my best, in which the bishop pair shows its power to the fullest.

3. Bengtson - Weerakoon (2185)
Pan Ams (5), 1993
A game memorable for its circumstances (a crucial team match), and also for its remarkable sequence of punches and ripostes in the middlegame.

4. Trubman (2145) - Bengtson
World Open "Expert" (8), 1994
My best game from one of my best tournaments: a clear-cut Nimzovichian positional conception highlighted by some crisp, energetic maneuvers.

5. Bengtson - Giacobbé (1958)
Pan Ams (2), 1994
A "brilliancy" in which I sacrifice a piece to break through to his king, and then spurn several easy wins in order to chase his king all the way to the queenside to be mated.

6. GM Sagalchik (2568) - Bengtson
Pan Ams (6), 1994
The second of my GM scalps; White plays a sharp variation of the Grunfeld but misses a key point, after which his position abruptly falls apart at the seams.

7. Bengtson - Fuhro (2000)
Boylston G/60 (3), 1995
White gains an advantage in development and space from the opening, and he refutes his opponent's freeing attempt with some sharp and elegant tactics.

My best games, 1996-1999

8. Bengtson - Capallo (2172)
Mass Open (3), 1996
Black chooses an doubtful opening variation; one more slip and White unleashes a ferocious sacrificial attack on his king, stranded in the center.

9. NM Cherniack (2366) - Bengtson
Mass Open (5), 1996
Against a slow English formation, Black plays aggressively on both sides of the board, and finally crashes through on the kingside.

10. FM Jensson(2220) - Bengtson
World Open (9), 1996
White misplays a sharp opening; when Black finally coordinates his army the opposite bishops help him to take dead aim at White's king.

11. Bengtson - FM Ippolito (2441)
World Open (8), 1998
Black makes some mistakes in the opening, and is soon denied the right to castle. White proceeds steadily and manages to paralyze the whole Black position.

12. NM J. Meyer (2330) - Bengtson
Free State Chess League (1), 1999
In this complex league match game I was compelled by match standings to play for a win. I sacked a pawn, gained tremendous pressure and converted in the endgame.

13. NM Collier (2230) - Bengtson
Free State Chess League (4), 1999
A charming miniature. Black grabs a pawn in the opening, and when White misplays his attack Black suddenly seizes the initiative and launches an amusing mating combination.

14. Bengtson - NM Hoekstra (2247)
Eastern Open (5), 1999
Another charming quickie. Black gets too ambitious at the end of the opening; the two kingsides are weakened, but in White's favor.

My best games, 2000-present

15. Bengtson - IM Khmelnitsky (2172)
US Amateur Team (3), 2001
Black is insufficiently prepared for a sharp opening and finds himself down material. However, the endgame has some pleasing moments and concludes with the famous bishop-knight mate.

16. Bengtson - GM Zaitshik (2570)
World Open (2), 2001
Black misplays the opening and finds his queenside torn to shreds. White's attack nets a pawn; then he consolidates and takes full control of the position.

17. Bengtson - M. Garcia (2137)
U.S. Open (3), 2001
In a theoretical King's Indian, White lets Black win a piece and chase his king to the center, banking on two dangerous passers and aggressive heavy pieces. The gamble pays off. Was it luck or intuition?

18. Yanayt (2058) - Bengtson
U.S. Open (8), 2001
An M21 student of mine allows a dangerous countergambit in the Sicilian. One more error and he's on the ropes, but Black must calculate well to drive home the attack. The conclusion is aesthetically pleasing.

19. Passell (2045) - Bengtson
Free State Chess League (2), 2001
A USATE teammate of mine wins a pawn in the opening but concedes powerful positional pressure for it. When he tries to break free of the bind, his king finds itself under a violent sacrificial attack.

20. Bengtson - Kleiman (2190)
Vermont CCA International (3), 2003
In a state-of-the-art Anti-Moscow Gambit, I attacked directly through the center; after some exciting fireworks I emerged the exchange ahead but still had to work to convert in the endgame.

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