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Efim Bogoljubov vs Alexander Alekhine
"Sacrificing the Queens" (game of the day Oct-01-2018)
Hastings (1922), Hastings ENG, rd 10, Sep-21
Dutch Defense: Nimzo-Dutch Variation (A90)  ·  0-1


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Given 68 times; par: 106 [what's this?]

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sac: 31...c2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-26-17  slideon: Amazing game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: One of the greatest games ever!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <kevin86: One of the greatest games ever!>

It's weird. A lot of people think that.

Sep-26-17  Howard: Wasn't aware that Alekhine missed a better 29th move--thanks! But, then it seems peculiar that the "computerized" analysis that posted doesn't point out that on the 30th move, Alekhine also missed a better move. Kasparov's book--among others--points that out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: thanks chessgames. White was chased from pillar to post

Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1922 [analysis]

Sep-26-17  Howard: Somehow, I think this classic could stand much more detailed computer analysis. It probably wasn't played as "perfectly" as seems to imply.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Howard: Somehow, I think this classic could stand much more detailed computer analysis. It probably wasn't played as "perfectly" as seems to imply.>

Nah. I reckon these two players had analysed this game very fully the night before.

Premium Chessgames Member <What I find odd is that Stockfish is completely silent about moves 30-54. Did both players choose the absolute best move from move 30 to the end?> Not necessarily the positively best move, but not so different in evaluation to warrant a comment.

Understand that our "full game analysis" has four modes:

Blunders only
Broad evaluation
Intensive evaluation
Annotate every move

As of right now, the default for analyzed games in the database is "Intensive", which means that when the eval is near 0.00 it takes a 0.50 difference to warrant a comment. As the eval strays from 0.00, the threshold increases. For instance, if somebody is winning by +7.50 and they missed an opportunity to turn it into +8.75, or dropped a pawn to achieve +6.45, we're not going to slap them down with a question mark.

In the case of move 29...b4, Stockfish does indeed say in the notes above <29...b4-+ -6.35 (40 ply) after 29...Qh5 30.Nf2 Qe2 31.Nf1 Qe1 32.Rxa8 Rxa8 33.Qxe1 Nxe1> agreeing that 29...Qh5 is stronger. (When it uses the word "after" like that, it is saying, "This is the evaluation of the position after 29...Qh5, even though ...Qh5 was not played.")

But is it really "much stronger?" If it was, our software should award a question-mark. The test is to analyze the position after 29...b4: if the evaluation suddenly dropped to -2.85 or something, then yes, Alekhine was being too fancy for his own good. But if it remains in the neighborhood of -6.35 then no big mistake was committed.

So we look at analysis of move 30.? (This is very easy; just click on ...b4 and then use Olga's "ENGINE" link. You will NOT have to wait for the evaluation to complete; since we analyzed this game in advance our results are in the database for instant gratification.)

It shows that with what SF regards as best play the game would continue <1) -7.13 (40 ply) 30.Rxa8 Qxa8 31.Qc2 Ne1 32.Qb2 Nxg2 33.Bxg2 Qa3 34.Bf1 Ra8 35.c5 Qxb2> which would imply ...b4 is even better for Black than the recommended 29...Qh5.

I believe this is an example of a horizon-effect in which a position seems to be much better/worse the longer it is analyzed. Moreover, the point is that from move 29 onward Alekhine had the game well in hand at this stage and therefore there is no reason to criticize his play. (If, however, he missed a checkmate, it would be noted.)

I don't own Kasparov's entire OMGP collection, so I am curious what specifically he had to say about 29...b4 vis-a-vis 29...Qh5. From our analysis it's unclear if 29...Qh5 is better at all, much less "much better."

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Stockfish 030916 64

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 030916 64:

1. -+ (-8.96): 29...Qh5 30.g4 fxg4 31.Nf1 g3 32.Qa3 Rab8 33.Nc3 Nf2 34.Rxg3 Nxh1 35.Rg2 Qxh4 36.Qe7 Rg8 37.f5 Bxf5 38.Rxb5 Rxb5 39.cxb5 Qe1 40.Qb4 Bh3 41.Nd5 Qd1 42.Qd2 Qxd2 43.Nxd2 Bxg2 44.Kxg2 Nxd5 45.Kxh1 Re8 46.Nc4 Rb8 47.Nd2 Nxe3 48.Nxe4 Nf5 49.Nc3 Nxd4 50.Kg2 Nxb5 51.Ne4 Re8 52.Nc5 Kh7 53.Kg3 Kg6 54.Kf4 Nd6

2. -+ (-8.09): 29...b4 30.Qa1 Rxa5 31.Qxa5 Qa8 32.Nb3 Qxa5 33.Nxa5 Ba4 34.Rd2 Ra8 35.Rxd3 Rxa5 36.Rd2 Bb3 37.Nf2 Ra1+ 38.Kh2 Bxc4 39.Rc2 Bd5 40.Rxc7 b3 41.Rc8+ Kh7 42.Rb8 Ra2 43.Kg1 b2 44.Bg2 Ra1+ 45.Kh2 b1Q 46.Rxb1 Rxb1 47.Bh3 Rb2 48.Kg1 Kg6 49.g4 Re2 50.h5+ Kf7 51.g5 Nxh5 52.gxh6 gxh6 53.Bxf5 Re1+ 54.Kg2 Rxe3 55.Ng4 Nxf4+ 56.Kg1 Rg3+ 57.Kf2 Rf3+ 58.Ke1 Ng2+ 59.Kd2 Rd3+ 60.Kc2 Ne1+ 61.Kc1 Rxd4 62.Nxh6+ Kf6 26.09.2017)

It looks like 29...Qh5 is slightly more efficient than 29...b4, but not much.

Kasparov does not say anything about 29...Qh5 in my edition of OMGP.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I omitted that was at 42 depth. I let it run even further to 43 depth and the scores converged a bit.

Stockfish 030916 64

click for larger view

Analysis by Komodo 10 64-bit:

1. -+ (-8.96): 29...Qh5 30.g4 fxg4 31.Nf1 g3 32.Qa3 Rab8 33.Nc3 Nf2 34.Rxg3 Nxh1 35.Rg2 Qxh4 36.Qe7 Rg8 37.f5 Bxf5 38.Rxb5 Rxb5 39.cxb5 Qe1 40.Qb4 Bh3 41.Nd5 Qd1 42.Qd2 Qxd2 43.Nxd2 Bxg2 44.Kxg2 Nxd5 45.Kxh1 Re8 46.Nc4 Rb8 47.Nd2 Nxe3 48.Nxe4 Nf5 49.Nc3 Nxd4 50.Kg2 Nxb5 51.Ne4 Re8 52.Nc5 Kh7 53.Kg3 Kg6 54.Kf4 Nd6

2. -+ (-8.50): 29...b4 30.Rxa8 Qxa8 31.Qc2 Ne1 32.Qb2 Nxg2 33.Bxg2 Qa3 34.Bf1 Ra8 35.c5 Ng4 36.d5 Qa1 37.Be2 Qxb2 38.Nxb2 Ra1+ 39.Kg2 Nxe3+ 40.Kf2 Nxd5 41.Bc4 e3+ 42.Ke2 exd2 43.Bxd5 Rb1 44.c6 Be8 45.Kxd2 Rxb2+ 46.Kd3 Rb1 47.Be6 Bxc6 48.Bxf5 Rb3+ 49.Kc4 Rxg3 50.Kxb4 Rf3 51.Kc5 Rxf4 52.Be6 Bf3 53.Bb3 Rxh4 54.Bc4 Re4 55.Ba2

Dec-30-17  ketchuplover: I like to think Alekhine had the final position in mind from move 1 :)
Premium Chessgames Member
Es ist garbaggio,
Este caravaggio!!
Partida Alecceena,
Molto fabra queena!....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Onsey Seyon: Triple Queen sac? In truthe, it looks like a fine game alright by the Russian champion. No queen sac to i find. Not a three, nor a two, nor a one, nor any. What is this queen sac and can i get me one? Me heard that a very strong chess player is allowed nine queens. The initial one plus eight more. Is this too true? Thanks, a beutiful belloom. Good, good. 🔤
Jun-19-18  ughaibu: <a fine game alright by the Russian champion>

Alekhine was joint Russian champion in 1913/14, but that title no longer existed when this game was played, and Alekhine won the first Soviet championship, but by the time of this game had left the USSR for good. Bogolubow, on the other hand, had yet to win his two Soviet championships. So, neither player was "Russian champion" at the time of this game but both, if "Russian" is understood in Fischer's sense, were Russian champion at other times.

In short, which of the players are you talking about?

Sep-05-18  PJs Studio: The tactics are brilliant in this game but whites opening and early middlegame play leave a lot to be desired.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Is Marvin the paranoid android in charge of the puns these days?
Oct-01-18  TheaN: Interesting to see the engine analysis. I guess it's a very good example of the differences in 'human' approach between actual humans and pure calculators. Soon to be thrown in the mix will be a very dangerous combination of these two, as Leela (Lc0) is currently showing.

Imo, b4 is the practical win. Properly calculated Alekhine obviously saw 29....b4 30.Rxa8 bxc3 31.Rxe8 c2! which will simply give Black his queen back with the position still being lost for White, thus the more practical option. 29....Qh5 grinds out the closed position and is preferred by silicon.

Oct-01-18  Ironmanth: Wow. This one will take some time to digest; another cup of morning Joe to think this complicated game through. Thanks for this one, chessgames.
Oct-01-18  Violin sonata: No need an engine analysis, everyone here just talking about an analysis after the exchanging of queens, We already know that since the black move 33 white has no chance to winning, but it looks like Bogoljubov wants to continue the game until 20 moves later, and Alekhine had a clear mind to force it him to resign. Why he did do that? it remains a mystery to me
Oct-01-18  Howard: With the literally hundreds of great games out there that most of us haven't uncovered yet, why is this website recycling previous GOTD games ?
Premium Chessgames Member

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 23 dpa done

<1. + / = (0.30): 16.b4> Qe8 17.b5 Nd8 18.Nh3 a4 19.Rab1 h6 20.Rfe1 Qe7 21.Qc2 Kh7 22.dxe5 dxe5 23.Rb4 c6 24.bxc6 bxc6 25.c5 Nf6 26.e4 g6 27.Rd1 Be6 28.Qc3

2. = (0.14): 16.Nh3 Qg6 17.Nf3 Qf6 18.Rfd1 e4 19.Nh2 Nh6 20.Nf4 Ne7 21.Rac1 c6 22.h5 Nf7 23.Nf1 Kg8 24.Qc2 b6 25.Qc3 Ng5 26.c5 bxc5 27.dxc5 Qxc3 28.Rxc3 d5 29.Nd2 Ne6

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: I really love those great Alekhine masterpieces!
Oct-28-18  princecharming: 47...Qe2!! Beautiful zugzwang.
Dec-01-18  MrJafari: While there's no enough time to read all comments here, I agree with <Calli> and <Sneaky> from the first page. and from the 10th page with <offramp> that this is not as great as people say!
Dec-29-18  HarryP: A great game. I love the final position. After all the complications, what is left is a win in a simple Pawn ending.
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