In 2017, Spanish news outlet posted a piece called "La jugada mágica de Bogolyúbov" or "The magical play of Bogoljubov." The article recalled a chess match between grandmasters Ludwig Rellstab and Efim Bogoljubov in 1940. In the video attached to the article, Leontxo García, the host of a video series on chess for El Pais, used a chessboard diagram to re-enact the match. At one point in the video, García described a particular move by Bogoljubov as "maravillosa" or "outstanding". Pretty soon, people started using the screenshot of that particular moment as a meme.

The reaction image is often posted to express a genuine or, in some cases, sarcastic response to a well-executed (or poorly executed) plan. The phrase is usually quoted as a caption in an image featuring a man gesturing towards a chessboard diagram. And some of them are as outstanding as Bogoljubov's move!

As for the perpetrators who inspired the original video in the first place, Bogoljubov and Rellstab faced off 14 times playing classical chess, and Bogoljubov won 7 to 1, with 6 draws.

Sam Copeland, National Master and Director of Content for, told Bored Panda that he really enjoyed not only the 'outstanding move', but the entire game García had analyzed."[It's] a gorgeous 'miniature' (a game of fewer than 25 moves, rare among masters) which shows some very attractive ideas from White to force the early victory."

Copeland also provided us with very interesting details surrounding the game. "Interestingly, it was organized by the Nazis in occupied Poland. The white player, Efim Bogoljubov, a two-time world championship challenger, was actually born in Kiev but lived in Germany after he was interred there during WWI. This happened because he was playing the Mannheim 1914 tournament when war was declared between Germany and Russia, and he was not allowed to leave Germany thereafter," he explained.

"The star move is 16.Bg6!!", he said, highlighting that chess players add two exclamation marks to indicate a brilliant move. "It is striking because White offers three sacrifices: the bishop may be captured by two black pawns (either capture allows Nxd6+ as in the game) and the knight on c4 may be captured (when White has the excellent move Rxe6+!). Sacrifices in chess are always attractive, but sacrifices on an 'empty square' such as g6 are considered particularly striking because you are offering up your pieces without immediately gaining anything in return."

Candidate Master (CM) James Coleman from England also agreed to take a look at it, saying that his impression is "Black played a risky opening that didn't pay off and never fully equalized the game. Black probably should have tried 10...d6 to stop White from playing e4-e5, although White would have retained the advantage in any case. This was definitely one key moment." 

As for 16.Bg6, the 'outstanding move', Coleman described it as "beautifully aesthetic".

"[White put the piece] on a square where it could've been captured two different ways, but neither capture solved Black's problems. It's the sort of move that can be quite hard to see as the brain often filters such moves out as they are counter-intuitive in appearance."

"Realistically though, the game was just a typical example of a top player dismantling his weaker opponent and the game seems unremarkable with the exception of the Bg6! Bolt from the blue." Coleman said.

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See Also on Bored Panda