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Alexander Alekhine vs Grigory Levenfish
"St. Petersburg Spilled Blood" (game of the day Sep-28-11)
St Petersburg (1912)  ·  Benoni Defense: Benoni-Indian Defense (A43)  ·  1-0
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Given 68 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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sac: 15.Nb5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-28-08  battleaxe: So if 19. Nxd7 was the plan 20. Be6 ?
Dec-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: First time I have seen this game; so much like the Immortal Game Anderssen vs Kieseritsky.

Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851

Whatever else can be said about him, Alekhine was a brilliant monster of an attacker. Material for him took second place to the attack; and he was always more than willing to give up material rather than defend and allow the initiative to slip away. If anyone wants to learn all about keeping the initiative, Alekhine's games are a model; he was always striving to find threats, and more often than not found them.

Jul-20-09  LIFE Master AJ: I have (briefly) annotated this game. Its also a js-replay page, so you can actually play over the moves as well. (http://www.lifemasteraj.com/old_af-...)
Jul-20-09  LIFE Master AJ: An interesting idea, but one that Chernev does not consider is: 19...Ne4+!?; 20.fxe4 Qxe4; 21.Nxa8!, The best, although the reason for this move is NOT apparent at the first glance. (Also winning for White is: 21.Ne6+ Qxe6; 22.Bxe6, " " ) 21...Qd4+, This looks like it kills White's attack. (Hopeless is: 21...Qxf4+; 22.Qxf4, " ") However, after 22.Qxd4 cxd4; 23.Be6, ('!') and (now) Black is strangely helpless to prevent mate on c7.
Mar-18-11  Llawdogg: So, is this Alekhine's Immortal Game? Levenfish was a very strong player. And Alekhine attacked like Anderssen. So, maybe.
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Had to look this one up. "St. Petersburg Spilled Blood" refers to a cathedral built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

You can speculate on how that relates to the game.

http://www.saint-petersburg.com/vir...

Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Is this the anniversary of St. Pete v. Moscow chess? The two cities have played many times over the past 100 or so years. I think the first match was played at the Chigorin chess club in St. Pete. Perhaps this Alekhine game was part of a team match? Alekhine had yet to leave Russia.
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Levenfish played like a fish. Why was wrong with 10...Bg7 ?
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <HeMateMe: Is this the anniversary of St. Pete v. Moscow chess? The two cities have played many times over the past 100 or so years. I think the first match was played at the Chigorin chess club in St. Pete. Perhaps this Alekhine game was part of a team match? Alekhine had yet to leave Russia>

Good question. Does any one know the answer?

Was this played under classical time control?

http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp...

How about the above 2011 Moscow vs St. Petersburg match; are the games played under classical time control?

Sep-28-11  I Like Fish: al wazir ...
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The event was a "1st Category" tournament in St. Petersburg, held in March-April 1912. Alekhine won with 7.0, ahead of Levenfish (6.5), Ilya Rabinovich and Peter Romanovsky (6.0).
Sep-28-11  KingV93: Wow! Talk about attacking chess! This is a 20 move demolition. The confidence displayed in the depth of his calculation and the bold sacrifices is truly amazing.
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A classic game with a two rook sacrifice.
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Here's how I see the continuation after 10...Bg7: 11. h3 Nxf3+ (because the immediate retreat of the ♘ from g4 loses a piece) 12. Qxf3 Nf6 (12...Ne5 13. Bxe5 Bxe5? 14. Qxf7#) 13. exf7+ Kf8 (13...Kxf7 14. Bc4, and black is in big trouble, e.g., 14...b5 15. d5+ bxc4 16. Qxa8, or 14...Re8 15. d6+ e6/Kf8 16. O-O, with Bg5 and Ne4 in the offing) 14. O-O-O Bd7 15. g4.

Black is cramped but still alive, and the position looks defensible. I don't see any immediate prospect of a mating attack, though maybe Alekhine would have.

Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  mike1: yes, geat finish... but 13th Qxd1+, 14, Rxd1 Bg7
should be the test for White's set up.EG 15. Nb5 o-o.
Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Phony Benoni: The event was a "1st Category" tournament in St. Petersburg, held in March-April 1912. Alekhine won with 7.0, ahead of Levenfish (6.5), Ilya Rabinovich and Peter Romanovsky (6.0).>

Thanks.

It looked like pretty strong tournament. Levenfish later became a two time Soviet champion in the 1930s, and Botvinnik could not beat him in their 1937 match. Levenfish committed mistakes, but this game shows how fantastic Alekhine's combinative powers were.

Who are the 20the century chess masters that played successful double rook sacs? I know that Reti did two against Euwe.

Reti vs Euwe, 1920

Euwe vs Reti, 1920

Are there any others?

Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <visayanbraindoctor> Here's a good one:

N Gaprindashvili vs R Servaty, 1974

This is probably one of the more famous:

E Canal vs NN, 1934

I tried a search for double rook sacrifices in the Sacrifice Explorer, but most of them seem to be games where two rooks were given away, not necessarily by the traditional back rank looting.

Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A few more:

Rodzynski vs Alekhine, 1913

J M Craddock vs Mieses, 1939

Colomer vs Vivas, 1947

Tartakower vs O Bernstein, 1937

And you just know that <Emil Joseph Diemer> and <Josef Emil Krejcik> would get in on the fun:

NN vs E J Diemer, 1978

Helmer vs J Krejcik, 1917

Sep-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <Phony Benoni> Thanks for the info. I deleted my previous post in view of your latest post.

There must be others, but it seems that only this, the two Reti vs Euwe games, and the Tartakower vs Bernstein games were played in serious classical tournaments, and involved all-GM caliber players (both attacker and defender).

The two Reti vs Euwe games must be the weirdest most anomalous phenomenon in chess history. It seems that they involved not only GM caliber players, they were played in a match between these two players and were played back to back. What is the statistical probability of that to occur, one in a zillion?

Sep-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: What would Alekhine have in mind if Levenfish exchanged pawns with 9...fxe6?

I looked at 10.dxe6 ♘b6 11. ♕xd8+ ♔xd8, but I can't see how Alekhine can protect the pawn on e6.

Sep-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <GrahamClayton> 12.Ng5 might be troublesome for Black. One amusing, though unforced line is 12...Kc7 13.Bf4+ Kc6 14.Nf7, threatening the rook and 15.Nd8#.
May-07-13  JimNorCal: <visayanbraindoctor>: "It looked like pretty strong tournament. Levenfish later became a two time Soviet champion in the 1930s, and Botvinnik could not beat him in their 1937 match." Romanovsky was strong as well. I Rabinovich was the first (one of the first?) Soviet players allowed to go outside the country to play. Check out his results in Baden Baden 1925.
Feb-06-14  MarkFinan: This game is unbelievable! I remember another game played a long time ago where black takes the poisoned pawn on b2 then the rooks on a and h1 whilst white has a winning attack with pawns up on the 6th and 7th ranks, but I can't remember for the life of me who the players were, although im fairly sure that description will ring a bell with some of you guys here who seem to know who played what and when and where? Anyways here


click for larger view

I let my engine (which I'll be changing soon!) look at this position for maybe a minute, after flicking through this game pretty quickly to reach the above, and it didn't see Nb5! Once you play the move it saw it, but not until! Very strange. I'm beginning to think that because I always have it on something like 70% strength to play a game against that it must only analyze at that strength too? Either that or it's just rubbish for both playing and analysing! #droidfish

Mar-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The next game was published widely in many European chess magazines shortly after it was played. It also reappeared in the following rather strange circumstances. During 1918-1919, rumours had appeared in the West that Alekhine had been killed by the Bolsheviks. Then in 1920, <Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond>, p174 and the <British Chess Magazine> 1920, p390 both reported that Alekhine was still alive and published a brilliancy against Levenfish said to have been played in Petrograd in 1919. This game was picked up and published by many other European chess magazines. The so called new brilliancy was none other than the game played by Alekhine in 1912.> Skinner & Verhoeven
Sep-03-15  The Kings Domain: Shades of "The Immortal Game". Alekhine relegated his opponent to amateur status.
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