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.



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