A chess game can be a form of art. Winning generally takes precedence over aesthetic considerations; however, artistic positions can be strived for during the contest. The stronger a player’s ability the more likely he/she will notice aesthetic elements. Oftentimes, master level players will see several accurate possibilities and make a decision based on aesthetics to steer the game toward a pretty finish. When this occurs, even the losing player can appreciate the artistry that was displayed on the chessboard.
Below is my most beautiful chess finale of recent memory. Immediately after I played checkmate, my opponent paid me the highest compliment a chess artist can expect in such situations. With an expression of pure amazement he said, “Wow… That was a pretty!”