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Alexander Alekhine vs Emanuel Lasker
"Baked a Lasker" (game of the day Jun-15-2012)
Zurich (1934), Zurich SUI, rd 12, Jul-25
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Alekhine Variation (D67)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 8 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-09-03  ughaibu: This is Alekhine's only win against Lasker. He included it in his second book of best games, presumably this was mainly out of pride at eventually beating Lasker as the game itself is rather lightweight and was probably pretty much covered by Alekhine's opening investigations.
Jan-09-03  ughaibu: 13. ... e4 looks a lot more natural than ed4 to me. According to the 'opening explorer' there are no examples in the database. Does anybody know why this is?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: It seems to me that after 13...e4 White could play Ng5 in combination with Nf5 and put Black in an uncomfortable position.
Jan-09-03  ughaibu: I thought about that but I cant see anything immediately effective. If white plays 14.Ng5 what's wrong with h6 or Nb6? If white plays 14. Nf5 how about Qd8 or Qb4?
Jan-09-03  Sylvester: Alekhine says that 17...Qb6 was Lasker's mistake.
Jan-09-03  ughaibu: Sylvester: Did Alekhine make any remarks about the possibility of e4?
Jan-09-03  Sylvester: There is no comment on black's 13th move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 13...e4 14.Nf5 Qb4 doesn't seem to be good for 15.Ng5 with intention (for example after 15...Nb6) to play 16.a3 Qxb2 17.Ne7+ Kh8 18.Nxf7+ etc. 13...e4 14.Nf5 Qd8 looks playable.
Jan-10-03  Cyphelium: 13.- e4 14. Nf5 Qd8

A/ 15. Ng5 is perhaps not so good. 15.- Nb6 and white has to move the Nf5 since taking on f7 seems bad: 16. Ng3 Nxc4 17. Rxc4 h6 and black is better.

B/ 15. Ne5 might be a better try.

B1 15.- Nxe5? 16. dxe5 Nd5
(16.-Bxf5 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. exf6 gxf6 and white might be a little better due to black's spoiled pawnstructure, maybe this is the variation black should chose after 15.- Nxe5 though)

17. Ng3 (17. Nd4 Qe7 and black is ok.)

and now black has some trouble keeping the e4 pawn. 17.- Re8 18. Qd4.

B2 15.- Nb6! 16. Ng3 Nxc4 17. Rxc4 Be6 and now black is alright again...I don't know about that 14. Nf5 move...

Jan-23-04  TheAussiePatzer: What?! This game is not lightweight. Alekhine's play after 17...Qb6 is irresistible, threat follows threat until black is overrun.
Jan-23-04  ughaibu: TheAussiePatzer: How do the observations made in your ultimate sentence refute the suggestion "lightweight"?
Jan-23-04  sleepkid: well, Alekhine does capitalize on the initiative after Qb6, and finishes nicely. However, this is obviously not Lasker's best game, and his play is pretty much unrecognizable.

Alekhine probably chose this game for the instructive finish, but his opponent could have been anyone. The fact that it was Lasker probably just made him more inclined to include it in his book.

Jan-29-04  nateinstein: This one took me a few minutes, but I was also watching tv ;). I figured Nf5 was the lead but took me a few minutes to notice the nice Queen sac. I was thinking Rook to h3 but couldn't see how to get the tempo first. I later noticed the nice Qxg6 threat which after hxg6 then Rh3 would come in with check and there would be no defense.
Jan-29-04  TheAussiePatzer: uggaibu, perhaps we have a different definition of lightweight. I thought you meant that the game is not impressive. Is that right?

For me, the sheer accuracy and dynamism of the play after Qb6 is very impressive. Seirewan chose this as one of the few (about 10) whole game examples at the end of one of his books. I think it was the "Winning Chess Tactics" book but I can't remember.

Jan-29-04  ughaibu: After Qb6 the play is very nearly forced so I think the entire thing was probably covered, at least as far as the ideas if not the detail go, by Alekhine's opening preparation. The forced nature of the play means that Lasker had no chance to impose his personality so the game is no real contest. As a miniature it's quite nice but I dont think it's a great game and I'm sure Alekhine could have chosen better if he hadn't been set on showing that he'd won against Lasker.
Jan-29-04  TheAussiePatzer: For Alekhine to have prepared the final onslought he would have had to have anticipated Qb6, which is not a Lasker quality move. So I doubt it.

As for choosing the game for his (wonderful) book: his book has many more games than Seirewan's, which also gives the full game with analysis, so it doesn't seem unusual to include it. Basically, it's worthiness for inclusion is something that you stand in opposition with at least two grandmasters over. However, that's fine, chess is an art and opionions of beauty differ.

Jan-29-04  TheAussiePatzer: Beauty and instructiveness, that is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: If 26...♙xg6 27 ♖h3+ mates next;otherwise 27 ♕g7 mates!
Jan-29-04  clocked: perhaps black should have tried to hold the inferior endgame with 21...Qb5

A. 22.Nh6+ Kg7 23.Nxf7 Rxf7 24.Qxb5 cxb5 25.Bxf7 Kxf7 26.Rc7 b6 27.Rxa7 Ke6 B. 22.Ne7+ Kg7 23.Qxb5 cxb5
B1. 24.Rc7 a5
B2. 24.Nd5 Rc8 25.Nc7 a6

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I am sure Lasker regretted 17...♕b6. It looks like a common sense move to clear the file to dislodge the queen with ♖ad8, but 18. ♕d6 forces the knight back to d7, basically giving white the gift of several tempi. Salo Flohr played 17...g6 against Euwe in 1936 and got an easy draw.
Jan-29-04  Calchexas: Nate: I got it the same way. I saw the beautiful Nf5+ almost immediately. I saw how if the knight was already at Nf5, Rh3 would do the job. I can't believe how long it took to put the two together!
Apr-06-04  talchess2003: <nateinstein + calchexas> I don't see why you guys have to tell us your stories on how you got the problem... it seems more like of a reminder to us saying "oh yeah, I got this one!" Well, I got it too, but I don't tell the story of how I got it lol, and that goes for many others
Apr-06-04  talchess2003: it seems a pity that Alekhine was stuck with so many mundane opening lines and such a narrow opening choice... I mean I would really like to see him play in the modern day to see what openings he would favor. I wonder whether he would fall for the sharp lines like the Najdorf, or would he play more of a positionally solid opening, for this man does have a positional base despite all his creativity and combinations. Well, I know that I'd definitely like to see Alekhine play with and against the sharper Siclian lines... he would slice them and dice them with brilliance and beauty.
Apr-12-04  Shadow 812: It seems to be universally accepted that this brilliant flowing attack with it's neat little coup at the end was unstoppable: Too many books heap lavish praise on the winner (one such writer is Irving Chernev) whose books I enjoy very much, while at the same time failing to point out, that in order for an attack to succeed, the player who loses must have made an error somewhere along the way: In this game it was Lasker's 23rd move that lost the game, 23 f6?? was a bad blunder that weakened the pawn shield in front of the Black King, but this is never pointed out in any book where I have seen this game printed: Admittedly Lasker's position was hard to defend, but I believe that had he played 23. N7f6!? he would have been able to avoid the quick knockout that followed three moves later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: True, 23...f6 is a blunder, but Alekhine would have several wins after 23...♘7f6, the simplest being 24 ♖cd1 leaving Black without a good move. Trying to dislodge the invader only makes matters worse: 24...h6 25 ♕c1 a6 (what else?) 26 e5 ♘h7 (26...♘g4 27 ♕f4} 27 ♕d2 with ♘f5+ or ♘f7 in the air.
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