visayanbraindoctor: <Alekhine: 15. Be3! The consequences of this move are not very difficult to calculate>
What?! Envisioning such moves as 19. Nxg7! from the starting position, which AAA says is <not difficult> is very very difficult!
<prinsallan: The "simple" combination as Alekhine puts it will make me ponder of what Alekhine considers a "hard" or "strategic" combination ;D
I would never have spotted the simple, yet amazing:
17. Na4 Qa5
18. Nxc5 Nxc5
Furthemore, it seems that Alekhine had already seen his typical sting at the end of the tail combination had Black moved 19...Nce4
<The only reply - excluding the text - would be 19...Nce4, against which White would first have forced the black queen to abandon the fifth rank and would then have occupied the long diagonal with the bishop, with decisive effect: 20 b4! Qe5 21 Bf4 Qb5 (or 21...Qc3 22 Nh5!!) 22 a4! Qxb4 23 Be5 etc.>
The concept of driving out the Queen from the fifth rank with pawn sacs so that the White Bishop could get to Be5 and occupy the a1-h8 diagonal without getting eaten by the Black Queen is a fantastic conception. Unbelievably Alekhine had already prepared for this potential line from the position at 15. Be3!
And Alekhine thought it was <not very difficult>!
What then is very difficult for this guy?
Rabar probably saw what AAA was planning at this point and chose the lesser evil 19... Kxg7, consigning AAA's brilliant idea to the footnotes. AAA is left a pawn up and with the better pawn structure, which he routinely converts into a win. It's almost a shame that Rabar did not sportingly enter the primary variation that AAA had prepared. Nevertheless it does not mean that this game is any less brilliant.
This game is little known and played during WW2. I have no doubt that if it were played yesterday and we kibitzers followed it up live in the internet, there would have been at least a couple of pages of posts on this game, many of which would be wowing White's imaginative and fantastic tactical and combinative vision. (The closest any top master played like this regularly was when Kasparov played like this.)
The more I play through Alekhine's WW2 games, the more I realize that he was playing at a kind of second peak, in utter contradiction to reports that claim he had markedly declined after 1939.