Game of the Month, June 2021 – 2071

With this game Brandon joined the top 1000 classical players on all registered players on lichess.org, with his highest rating thus far on the site,

As well as playing in the high 96th percentile of classical players;

And being another milestone and facing off against an opponent over 2050, Brandon played a quiet, positional game throughout the opening and towards the middle transition. Though white blundered a piece, the final assault of the pagan, when it came, must have put the fear of God into Bran’s opponent.


A strong positional behind shows blacks absolute dominance of defensive entry points and a structure which makes whites pieces stupider and stupid by the move.. Already by here, at move 19. h5 white is just losing a piece and about to suffer for a long time if he needs to untangle.

In such circumstances, white plays correctly; giving up the bishop for two pawns and some counterplay:


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Now, what would the pagan do?

You should see it …


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And if he takes the rook, he’s getting mated …



Move 24 and the 2040 opponent blunders into a forced mate. Can you find it?



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You want to bring another piece in without giving up the coverage of pieces you already have on good squares; so, though. Therefore, rook f8 check, though still winning, loses the forced mate.

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In more honorable times, he would have resigned immediately after Rxf2.


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Now, I’m pretty sure Helen Keller could find the mate here in the dark …


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Only one move and …

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Pull the dark squared bishop back now and that’s it,

a demonstrative game where black’s better piece placement allowed for him to sacrifice the rook to destroy white’s king safety and, after a slip, white finds himself mated before move 25 with an entirely undeveloped queen side and no pieces with chances to do any damage to black’s position. Tactics from from a superior position, and here Brandon’s coordination and keen tactical awareness was a clinic on proper development, timely trades, and how no matter how off beat your opening, by following the fundamentals of development and principles of piece coordination one can get into a comfortable position with almost any opening — as long as one knows what the point of the opening is.

And mate # GG wp ttyl thx

For more commentary check back tomorrow, to watch the game live — replayed at actual speed – with running move analysis check out the following video:

Move 24 and the 2040 opponent blunders into a forced mate. Can you find it?

You want to bring another piece in without giving up the coverage of pieces you already have on good squares; so, though. Therefore, rook f8 check, though still winning, loses the forced mate. Only one move and …

Win w/ black vs 2100+ Brutal tactic forces resignation!

A solid game with brutal, tactical finish.

If white plays

then the game goes on… but …. white blunders:

Black has one move that wins on the spot …

and only one…

he fails to save his queen, but bails properly:

He takes the knight and the rook for the queen.

The game winds down to this position, but there’s one move that forces immediate resignation:

Pause the video and find the winning tactic here…

Check out the whole game here:


#7 – The Word is Compensation – Material vs Time

#7 – The word is compensation: please, take my knight!

This game features by way of demonstration the powerful idea of compensation by way of initiative. Whenever considering a piece sacrifice, one must always consider what there is to be gained from it, if anything. In this game, which was played in rapid time controls (10 minutes to each player), the knight sacrifice was meant to open up the position and mobilize, coordinate, and use my pieces in an effective (and, as would happen, decisive) fashion. With my opponent’s queen’s knight and rook yet to move, and his king still in the center of the board, the key moves were, first of all, not just the knight sacrifice – but a move which Ben Finegold would never recommend – f6! This move allows for the final piece to get involved in the attack on the enemy king.

Within a short period of time, and despite better options being available that would have allowed my opponent to equalize with engine-like precision, every single piece was concentrated on the enemy position with a number of pins, deflections, and the lingering threat of pawn promotion which accumulated in an unstoppable mate. Though this sequence began with Bratya giving away his knight – it is informative to consider the opponent never moved his queen’s rook, and only moved his queen’s knight when it was his only – brief – reprieve from checkmate.



#8 – In the Spirit of Mikhail Tal

This was a rapid game – 10 minutes for each player – played on chess.com and the first game of Bratya’s to be shared widely and commented upon by high profile players, commentators and YouTube personalities – after Agadmator, the famous Croatian chess YouTuber retweeted it – and the attack with which the game culminates is one that is, indeed, in the spirit of Mikhail Tal; seeing the opponent’s pieces lacking space and access into black’s position, or any target points, an exchange sacrifice followed by a bishop sacrifice rips open the king’s safety and, had the player with the white pieces not resigned, mate would have soon followed. This game would bring a lot of attention to some of Bratya’s other, wilder games which – while not as accurate – are just as brutal and unyielding.

The one mistake flagged by engines and evaluation software is the free rook I didn’t attack with the light-squared bishop; instead, on move I castled. In the final analysis, the game would be a poorer showing had I played the engine’s suggestion, and likely these fireworks would have been much more dull, instead I’d be up the exchange and in a slightly better position.

Brandon’s Top 10 Games of Chess, 2018-2021



WELCOME TO THE BEST GAMES OF BRANDON NOBLES, AN UP-AND-COMING TALENT IN THE
world of chess and on the verge of being a CM with a rating of 2181. His games and recent progress in recent years have been enjoyed by a broad audience of players and even received notice from titled players for their creative, forceful, and elegant style.


These games were chosen based on a number of criteria; the time they were played and their importance, the accuracy and creativity of the game; the beauty and aesthetic charm of a well timed sacrifice or combination and, finally, the most brutal sacrifices and combinations and the highest rated players yet beaten – a list which includes a FIDE Master (FM), a Candidate Master (CM), and an International Master (IM). The list will consist of games played during the period 2018-2021. In addition to these games, which are personal favorites, other notable and interesting games can be found in the gallery. Though he is at the beginning of what promises to be an interesting career in chess – should he pull himself

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#10 – Brandon Nobles v. G. Vanlue – 19 October 2018

Chucking a knight and pair of rooks for an unstoppable mate and brutal combination gives a glimpse into the future of this aggressive trickster. In his town of Whitmire, SC, he would be thought of as a mad pagan: thinking not if he should sacrifice a piece, but when and how many. This early flash of brilliance would be a sign of Bratya’s developing style of play.

While his opponent wasn’t the strongest or highest rated victim on this list, the attacking combination and willingness to trade pieces for time and initiative is evident early on in this sparkling miniature.

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#9 – A positional masterpiece against a seasoned veteran – C4 is explosive!

11 December 2018, played on a cold night in the waning days of 2018, Bratya played this game at the Whitmire Community Center against a local thought to be the strongest player in town. With 20 years of experience and 15 of those spent hustling in prison for cigarettes and commissary, this game, an early use of c4 – an opening Bratya would come to favor – would last for nearly 4 and a half hours. The result, however, by the middlegame, was never in doubt. A positional and strategic masterclass of maintaining pressure and striking with precision, this game saw Bratya emerge as the player to beat in his town of Bumfuck, Nowhere. 2019 would see our would-be master move up from a rating of 1520 at year’s end to drawing a Candidate Master by the end of 2019.

A game without inaccuracies, mistakes or blunders; the first game of mine to achieve such an evaluation.

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#8 – The first game to go viral: in the spirit of Mikhail Tal – 13 March 2020

This was a rapid game – 10 minutes for each player – played on chess.com and the first game of Bratya’s to be shared widely and commented upon by high profile players, commentators and YouTube personalities – after Agadmator, the famous Croatian chess YouTuber retweeted it – and the attack with which the game culminates is one that is, indeed, in the spirit of Mikhail Tal; seeing the opponent’s pieces lacking space and access into black’s position, or any target points, an exchange sacrifice followed by a bishop sacrifice rips open the king’s safety and, had the player with the white pieces not resigned, mate would have soon followed. This game would bring a lot of attention to some of Bratya’s other, wilder games which – while not as accurate – are just as brutal and unyielding.

The one mistake flagged by engines and evaluation software is the free rook I didn’t attack with the light-squared bishop; instead, on move I castled. In the final analysis, the game would be a poorer showing had I played the engine’s suggestion, and likely these fireworks would have been much more dull, instead I’d be up the exchange and in a slightly better position.

#7 – The word is compensation: material vs time

This game features by way of demonstration the powerful idea of compensation by way of initiative. Whenever considering a piece sacrifice, one must always consider what there is to be gained from it, if anything. In this game, which was played in rapid time controls (10 minutes to each player), the knight sacrifice was meant to open up the position and mobilize, coordinate, and use my pieces in an effective (and, as would happen, decisive) fashion. With my opponent’s queen’s knight and rook yet to move, and his king still in the center of the board, the key moves were, first of all, not just the knight sacrifice – but a move which Ben Finegold would never recommend – f6! This move allows for the final piece to get involved in the attack on the enemy king.

Within a short period of time, and despite better options being available that would have allowed my opponent to equalize with engine-like precision, every single piece was concentrated on the enemy position with a number of pins, deflections, and the lingering threat of pawn promotion which accumulated in an unstoppable mate. Though this sequence began with Bratya giving away his knight – it is informative to consider the opponent never moved his queen’s rook, and only moved his queen’s knight when it was his only – brief – reprieve from checkmate.



Flawless game in the Petrov – 0-1, 2018

This was one of my first triple 0 games – that is, 0 inaccuracies, 0 mistakes, and 0 blunders as evaluated on lichess. This was played in a tournament in which I didn’t do so well, finishing 49th out of 387. 3 wins, 3 losses. This was the highlight, though, and a quick beatdown / miniature in my then favorite open – the Petrov, also known as the Russian Defense.

My best tournament – shared 1st out of 355 players, PR 2033, 7-0

9 months ago I joined a Lichess rapid tournament for players rated under 1700 in rapid, which I was at the time. Game 1 was over rather quickly, and I had the momentum from the start:

Convincing win in the Petrov, with an extra sacrifice for good measure! 0-1.

Game 2 saw me playing with the black pieces for the second game in a row, so I decided to play the Sicialian defense this time, as it was something I had recently started preparing.

Convincing win in game 2! 0-2, preparing for game 3.

First game with white, got the advantage early on and never let it go. 3-0 start and at the moment was in 44th place.

Game 4 – another with the white pieces, literally ended in 10 moves and I move up to 15th place:

You have to be more careful than that! 4-0 to start the tournament – performance rating is at 2249.

Game 5 and I’m starting to get nervous, but the adrenaline is going and I barely survive the following game:

barely survived that one! Move up to 4th place, 5-0.

Game 6 is a change of pace, as the game is flawless: 0 inaccuracies, 0 mistakes, 0 blunders. A model of clean, efficient play. I’m in 1st place but being chased by another player.

Still in 1st place, this makes 6 wins in a row: performance rating is down to 2100. 1 game to go …

The last game would have me playing with white pieces, and again I play a nearly flawless game: 2 inaccuracies, 0 mistakes, 0 blunders. But in the meantime, the formerly 2nd place player has a marginally higher performance rating than myself, so despite having the same amount of wins, he takes the podium at first, leaving me as the tied- runner-up.
So the tournament ends after 7 straight wins and a performance rating of 2033.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed looking at this series of games, someday I will share the first rapid tournament I won and the first blitz tournament I would finish in a 3-way tie for 1st.

A link to the tournament @ lichess: https://lichess.org/tournament/Y2DhFZaQ I(

Screenshot of the final podium: