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Max Euwe vs Alexander Alekhine
"Quick on the Draw" (game of the day Aug-10-2007)
Living pieces exhibition (1936) (exhibition), Amsterdam NED, Oct-??
Slav Defense: Czech. Wiesbaden Variation Sharp line (D17)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: For those who thing that the Slav defense is a plodding, boring opening, this game should change your opinion.

10. Qf3, I have read, has been analyzed to a draw. Odd, since it looks like such a strong and logical move. The modern approach for White to play for a win is 10. Bd2.

Jul-04-02  mprchess: what a cool move, Rb7+!!!! i never would have seen that.
Aug-01-04  aw1988: Crafty, what's your eval on the final position?
Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 23. ♖d1+ ♘d7 24. ♗d3 ♕xg2 25. ♘e5 ♘bc5   (eval -0.55; depth 14 ply; 1000M nodes)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: This game was a "Living Pieces Exhibition". Therefore. the result and the moves should not be taken too seriously.
Aug-02-04  aw1988: How is this position only slightly better for black?
Nov-11-04  aw1988: Heh... back on Aug 2 I didn't appreciate the value of other pieces besides the queen.
Dec-13-04  filipecea: Total Mayhem!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Calli: This game was a "Living Pieces Exhibition". Therefore. the result and the moves should not be taken too seriously.> Right. You get a loong endgame -- and the pieces may expire before the end.
Aug-10-07  tacite: Why not 13. ... Bxc3+?
Aug-10-07  Nasruddin Hodja: <Sneaky: For those who thing that the Slav defense is a plodding, boring opening, this game should change your opinion.>

Good point. As a general rule, every sound opening, no matter how boring its reputation, has at least one variation that is hair-raising in its tactical complexity. For the Slav, it's the 8. ... Bxe4 sacrifice line in this game. For the Petroff, it's either of the Cochrane Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nxf7?!) or the KGB Variation (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 Bc5?! 5. Qd5?! (my own nomenclature)).

No chess opening is boring provided you can find the right sacrificial line.

Aug-10-07  soberknight: Wow. With a title "Quick to the draw" and a 22-move score, I thought decided to foist a grandmaster draw upon us. Far from it! This is a wild game, and I have no idea why the two world champions didn't keep on playing - exhibition or otherwise. Let me say it like this: If I had White's position against Alekhine, I haven't the faintest idea how I would hold the draw. It looks pretty hopeless, material equality notwithstanding.
Aug-10-07  Fezzik: This game represents a minor theoretical victory for Black. Remember though, Euwe is the only player in history to win three world championship games in a row with the same variation! (Yes, he won as White and Black in the Slav against Alekhin.)
Aug-10-07  gandu: White's mistake seems to have been 19. Kc2. 19. Bd3 seems to be a much stronger move.
Aug-10-07  RandomVisitor: After 18...Rf7
1: Max Euwe - Alexander Alekhine, Amsterdam 1936

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.3.2a mp up:

1. (4.08): 19.Bd3 Rd7 20.Kc2 Qf2+ 21.Kc1 Rxd3 22.Qxb8+ Ke7 23.Ra3 Nc5 24.Qe5 Kd7 25.g3 Qg2

2. (3.61): 19.Be2 Nxc3+ 20.Kc2 Nxe2 21.Rad1+ Ke7 22.Qxa7+ Kf6 23.Qxf7+ Kxf7 24.Rhf1 Ke8 25.Rxf4 Nxf4

3. (2.49): 19.Rc1 Nc5 20.Rc2 Rd7+ 21.Rd2 Rxd2+ 22.Nxd2 Qxa4+ 23.Ke1 Kc8 24.h3 Qa3 25.Ke2 Ncd7

4. (2.12): 19.Rb1 Nxc3+ 20.Kc2 Nxb1 21.Kxb1 Rd7 22.Nb2 Rd2 23.Bc4 Ke7 24.Qxa7+ Nd7 25.Nd3 Qxc4

Aug-10-07  psmith: <tacite> According to Fritz 5.32, 13... Bxc3 leads to equality after 14. bxc3 Qxc3+ 15. Ke2 Qc2+
Aug-10-07  psmith: <qandu>, <RandomVisitor>:

If 19. Kc2 was White's mistake, perhaps 15...Qf4 was Black's.

Fritz 5.32 thinks 15...Qc5 is better and leads to slight Black advantage after 16. Qxb7 Nd7 17. Qxa8+ Kc7 18. Qxf8 Qxf8

What does Rybka think?

Aug-10-07  tacite: <psmith> : Thanks. I see now. Does it mean that the position was to be draw that early in the game?
Aug-10-07  melv: What is living pieces exhibition?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Could this have been the beginning of the end of the title run for Euwe? He had captured the championship in a squeaker match in 1935-and was badly beaten in 1937. Later in the title tournament of 1948,he finished a poor last place.
Aug-10-07  Fezzik: @melv: The game was played on a lawn with humans dressed up as chess players. This is a chessic equivalent of a "friendly" in soccer/football.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Why in the world was this a draw? I wonder what would happen if the chess authorities decided to score a draw MINUS 1/2 each...
Aug-10-07  technical draw: <pp> Nice idea. I have heard a lot of ideas to rid the chess world of draws but this is the first time I've heard yours. The problem is you don't want to penalise true fighting draws.
Aug-10-07  Nasruddin Hodja: <playground player>: I think you're on the right track, but there are some problems. The most important of which is that it would destroy endgame theory--most endgames clearly have one player trying to win and another trying to hold the draw, which is as it should be. But with your scoring system, the defending player would clearly be better off resigning.

My own proposal to end grandmaster draws is simple: (1) draw offers are prohibited; games only end with resignation, checkmate, stalemate or when one player claims threefold repetition, insufficient mating material, or the 50-move rule, and (2) if the game ends in a draw, each player receives 0.01 point for every move played, to a maximum of 0.50. This would penalize players whose games end prematurely with a prearranged perpetual check sequence. It would also penalize players who trade off their pieces too quickly into a drawn endgame, which is all to the good.

Of course, even if a proposal similar to the above is not adopted, we can always reduce the proportion of grandmaster draws by following one simple guideline: if your name is Ulf Andersson or Zoltan Ribli, you don't get invited to tournaments, period ;-)

Aug-10-07  RandomVisitor: Black might have chosen to play on: after 22...Nxb7

1: Max Euwe - Alexander Alekhine, Amsterdam 1936

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 2.3.2a mp up:

1. (-0.78): 23.Rd1+ Nd7 24.Bd3 Nbc5 25.Rhf1 Qxg2 26.Rf7 Qxh2 27.Rxh7 Qg3 28.Nb2 Qe5 29.c4 Kc7

2. (-0.80): 23.Bd3 Nd7 24.Rad1 Nbc5 25.Rhf1 Qxg2 26.Rf7 Qxh2 27.Rxh7 Qg3 28.Nb2 Qe5 29.c4 Kc7

3. (-0.88): 23.Rc1 Nc5 24.Nb2 Kc7 25.Bc4 Qxg2 26.Nd3 Qe4 27.Nxc5 Qxc4 28.Nb3 Nd7 29.Rhg1 Qf4

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