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Ernst Gruenfeld vs Alexander Alekhine
"Sixth Sense" (game of the day Apr-21-2012)
Karlsbad (1923), Karlsbad CSR, rd 2, Apr-29
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Attack (D64)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-09-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <atarw: What's wrong with 34.Kf2?>

34...bxc4 with an extra rook.

Apr-18-12  LoveThatJoker: WOW!

LTJ

Apr-21-12  LoveThatJoker: I commented on this game three days ago: "WOW!" still stands. This is clearly one of Alekhine's classics.

LTJ

Apr-21-12  sevenseaman: The bout really heats up after 30. f3. Gruenfeld pits his ample wits against the very best. Anyone else, White had the game to win.

I do not grudge if it is termed a 'clasico'.

Apr-21-12  Mudphudder: Brilliant game! One of the best from Alekhine that I have ever seen.
Apr-21-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Could the black 33rd move be the greatest intermezzo move in history?
Apr-21-12  Octal: <kevin86>: It's not that difficult of an intermezzo move.

I'm not sure why Grunfeld even played Qxc4 instead of resigned. A master should see the end in less than a few seconds.

Apr-21-12  LoveThatJoker: <Octal: I'm not sure why Grunfeld even played Qxc4 instead of resigned. A master should see the end in less than a few seconds.>

From the purely professional point of view, a Chess Master may choose to not resign due to the fact that it may affect his standing in a tournament/match; hence the income to be generated by his overall result may be significantly reduced if he loses the game. Thusly, he may play on in the hope that he will win the game due to his opponent touching the wrong piece or failing to perform his final moves.

Of course to talk about the sportsmanship of such actions is to commence a whole other topic of discussion, but anything can happen: Vallejo-Pons vs Nakamura, 2011

LTJ

Apr-21-12  JohnDahl: <Could the black 33rd move be the greatest intermezzo move in history?>

No, but his 32nd could.

Black's defensive set-up after 17...Rac8 is a picture postcard of latent power.

Kasparov covers this game in <OMGP I> (pp.368-371). He quotes Kotov correcting some faulty Alekhine analysis.

After 30.Nc3 f5 31.f3 Alekhine gave the winning variation 31...Rxd4! 32.exd4 Bxd4+ 33.Kf1 Nf4 34.Qd2 Qc4+ 35.Ne2 e3! 36.Qe1 Bxb2 37.Rd8+ Kf7 38.Qd1 Bxa3 39.Qd7+ Be7 40.Qe8+ Kf6 41.Qh8+ Kg5 42.h4+ Kh5 43.g4 fxg4 44.Qe5+ g5!!.

Kotov showed that 36.b3! leads to a White win instead. But Kasparov disagrees with Kotov's assessment of 30.Nc3 f5 31.f3 as 'roughly equal', demonstrating that 31...Bxd4! 32.exd4 Qc4! 33.d5 Qc5+ 34.Kf1 Nf4 should be winning.

Apr-21-12  drpoundsign: Gruenfeld was no Dummy either. I would have taken the Black Rook at the end and exposed my groin-er-King.

and I READ "Chess for Dummies"

Apr-21-12  Jack Kerouac: Oats, not groats. Rooks for knights usually a key to victory in the hands of a Master.
Aug-12-12  acefire1: I just don't get. 33. Qf1. Why not 33. Kf2 instead? This at least gives white a fighting chance, as he is up in material.
Aug-12-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <acefire1: I just don't get. 33. Qf1. Why not 33. Kf2 instead? This at least gives white a fighting chance, as he is up in material.>

With only one pawn for the piece and Black's pieces more active, Gruenfeld wouldn't have survived long after 33.Kf2 Qxa2.

Feb-08-13  SirChrislov: <JohnDahl: Kasparov covers this game in <OMGP I> (pp.368-371). He quotes Kotov correcting some faulty Alekhine analysis.

After 30.Nc3 f5 31.f3 Alekhine gave the winning variation 31...Rxd4! 32.exd4 Bxd4+ 33.Kf1 Nf4 34.Qd2 Qc4+ 35.Ne2 e3! 36.Qe1 Bxb2 37.Rd8+ Kf7 38.Qd1 Bxa3 39.Qd7+ Be7 40.Qe8+ Kf6 41.Qh8+ Kg5 42.h4+ Kh5 43.g4 fxg4 44.Qe5+ g5!!.

Kotov showed that 36.b3! leads to a White win instead. But Kasparov disagrees with Kotov's assessment of 30.Nc3 f5 31.f3 as 'roughly equal', demonstrating that 31...Bxd4! 32.exd4 Qc4! 33.d5 Qc5+ 34.Kf1 Nf4 should be winning.>

<JohnDahl> This is an outstanding game. Thanks for showing Kasparov analysis.

In the words of Hungarian GM Gedeon Barcza (R.I.P.):

"Two games stand out for their logical unity of positional and combinational play-this game and Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938."

That's a great compliment. To compare it to the Botvinnik masterpiece. This is Alekhine at his best but I think I like the AVRO game a little more. I don't understand why Soltis (the writer) said this great game became less great more than 50 years after it was played because of the Kotov analysis that revealed a flaw in Alekhine's 30.Nc3 variation. So what? I don't think that lessens a game from its greatness. I still think it's great and Kasparov in his <OMGP vol. 1> strengthened Alek's idea with his own findings.

Feb-08-13  Mudphudder: 30....Rxd4! starting a great chain of events afterwards.
Jan-06-14  Dave1: What if 31.e:d4
Jan-06-14  Dave1: Got it. exd4 Bxd4+ Kf1 Nf4 Qd2 Qc4+ Ke1 Nxf2+ loses.
Mar-02-14  LIFE Master AJ: Holy bat shanks, Superman! This is a really beautiful game of chess!!!
Mar-02-14  LIFE Master AJ: I THINK I have seen this game before, but I am not 100% sure.

The really weird thing was that I actually got goose-bumps playing over this game just now.

Mar-02-14  LIFE Master AJ: OK, I have seen this game before. (Checked my copy of the Alekhine books in Descriptive Notation ... and there were many notes ... probably made when I was around 15 years old.) Still - a GREAT game of chess!!!!!
Mar-02-14  LIFE Master AJ: 30.f3 was an error.

Better was:
[>/= 30.Nc3 f5 31.f3 Bxd4 32.exd4 Qc4 33.d5 (33.Qe3 Nxb2 34.Rd2 Nd3 35.fxe4 Qxd4 ) 33...Qc5+ 34.Kf1 Nf4 35.Qe1 Nxd5 36.b4 Ne3+ 37.Kg1 Rxd1 38.Nxd1 Qc1 39.Qxe3 Qxd1+ 40.Kf2 Qc2+ 41.Kf1 , (Worse was: ‹41.Kg3? Qc7+ 42.Kf2 Qxh2; ) 41...Qc4+ 42.Kf2 exf3 43.gxf3 h5; ]

Analysis done with Fritz 13, checked with Houdini.

May-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: Even Harry Houdini himself couldn't have helped Gruenfeld here.

Crushing finish!

May-10-15  Marmot PFL: <In The Golden Treasury of Chess(first,and best,edition), Wellmuth calls this game Alekhines immortal..I personally rank it a little higher than either the Reti game or the Bogolubov game. Note, Incidentally,that all three of Alekhines masterpieces were played with BLACK >

In both of those games, especially the Reti one, white plays better than Grunfeld does here. This game was very one-sided.

Oct-16-16  jinkinson: I remember that The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games said that after 31. exd4 Bxd4+ 32. Kf1 Nf4 wins after either 33. Qxe4 Qc4+ 34. Ke1 Nxg2+ 35. Kd2 Be3+ or 33. Qd2 Qc4+ 34. Ke1 e3. But they missed 33. Rc1! Then the best Black can do is 33...Qxc1+ 34. Qxc1 Nxe2 35. Nxe2 Bxb2, when he should win this ending because of his 2 extra pawns.
Jun-24-18  Telemus: According to the tournament book, the game begun 1.d4 ♘f6 2.♘f3 e6 3.c4 d5 4. ♘c3 ♗e7 5.♗g5.
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