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Alexander Alekhine vs Sik
Prague blitz (1943)  ·  French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Euwe-Keres Line (C07)  ·  1-0
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Last move:

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Given 10 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I picked Bh6
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <JG27Pyth> Blitz is the German word for lightning. Two of Santa's reindeers are Donner and Blitzen - literally thunder and lightning.

My understanding was that when Adolf Hitler was a soldier in the first world war he was struck by how slow trench warfare was. Both sides hunkered down in well fortified positions so that it could take months to gain a hundred yards of ground.

So for WWII, the German army developed a new way of fighting called Blitzkrieg - "lightning war". The idea was to make a rapid strike at the enemy before they could dig into trenches. Blitzkrieg typically involved intense use of air superiority to knock out enemy communications and key strategic sites. Then fast moving motorised troops and tanks.

Blitzkrieg worked well for most of Europe but failed against England because of the logistical difficulties of crossing the channel and the inability to gain air supremacy. It also failed on the Russian front due to the immense distances involved, the cold Russian winter and the fierce resistance by the soviet army and civilians.

Which came first, blitz chess or blitzkrieg? Tricky one. I found this article ...

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...

This suggests that the term "lightning chess" was being used in 1897, but the first recorded use of the term "blitz" was in 1942.

By contrast, Wikipedia suggests that "blitzkrieg" was first used in military documents in the 1930s but didn't enter common parlance until it was used by journalists in 1939...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitzk...

It's almost as tricky to call as today's POTD. But I'd hazard a guess that Blitzkrieg (1939) wins by a nose from blitz chess (1942).

Jan-25-12  JoergWalter: <once> another ingredient of the blitzkrieg was that the german army was on drugs (pervitin) to stay awake and attentive for longer periods of time without sleep. so they could cope with the enourmous physical challenges.
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: <I really wish CG would come down from Mount Olympus and walk amongst us mortals for a while. What gives with today's POTD guys?>

Sorry about this puzzle.

The story is simple. We thought that Bf6 in fact won, not realizing that ...Bf5 was a saving grace. It was never intended to be a spoiler.

Jan-25-12  Penguincw: < chessgames.com ...
The story is simple. We thought that Bf6 in fact won, not realizing that ...Bf5 was a saving grace. It was never intended to be a spoiler. >

Hmm. Would 18...Bf5 really save the game? I'm just a beginner, but would 19.Qh6 win the game?

Jan-25-12  gregkoch: It's interesting to me that White's attack on the dark squares <18.Bf6> can be matched by Black's defense on the light squares <18...Bf5>.
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Alekhine vs Sik, 1943 postscript: Fritz 12 considers 18.Qg3 best, and beats Crafty End Game Trainer (interactive link: http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-t...) in starting 18. Qg3 Rb4 19. h3 Kh8 20. Qe5 Rg8 21. Bf6 Qb6 22. Rg3 Bg4 23. Bxg7+ Rxg7 24. Rxg4 Rbxg4 25. hxg4 f6 26. Qxd5 Qxb2 27. Re1 Qb8 28. Qc6 Qf4 29. g3 Qd4 30. Qe8+ Rg8 31. Qf7 Qxg4 32.Qxf6+ Qg7 33. Qxg7+ Rxg7(?) 34. Re8+ and wins the Pawn ending. The variation is interesting as a way of examining the possibilities of the position. But it is meaningless as an objective test of whether the position as drawn or won, because Fritz 12 analyses to greater depth.

Fritz 12 also beats Crafty EGT eventually with the game line 18.Bf6, but the position is level for a long time. Here are the moves Fritz found: 18... Bf5 19. Qg5 Bg6 20. Be7 Rfc8 21. Qxd5 Rxb2 22. c3 Kh8 23. h4 h5 24. a4 Qc7 25. g3 Qa5 26. Qd7 Rcb8 27.Qc6 R8b6 28. Qxc5 Rb1+ 29. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 30. Kh2 Qa6 31. c4 Rb2 32. Re5 Qxa4 33.Qd4 Qa2 34. Bc5 a5 35. Qf4 Re2 36. Be3 a4 37. g4 f6 38. Ra5 hxg4 39. h5 Bf7 40.Ra8+ Bg8 41. h6 Rxe3 42. hxg7+ Kxg7 43. Qxg4+ Kh6 44. Qf4+ Kg7 45. Qxe3 Qxc4 46. Ra7+ Bf7 47. Qg3+ Kh7 48. Re7 Kh8 49. Re3 Qd4 50. Rf3 Kh7 51. Rf4 Qd1 52. Qh4+ Qh5 53. Qxh5+ Bxh5 54. Rxa4 and White is the exchange up.

Jan-25-12  BOSTER: <alshatranjl> <Can we call this a bluff by Alekhine?>.

I don't think that move 18.Bf6 is a bluff.

First of all this move created at least three very interesting traps.

1. 18...gxf6 is most primitive-mate in 3 after 19.Rg3+ 2. 18...Rb4 19.Rg3 if Rxh4 20.Rxg7+ Kh8 21.Rg5#
3. 18...Qb4 19 Rg3 Qxh4 20. Rxg7+ Kh8 21.Rg5#.

If black played 18...Rfc8 19.Qg5 Kf8 20.Qxg7+ Ke8 21.Rxe6+ and white won.

And even after the best defense 18...Bf5 19.Qg3 Bg6 20. Be5 I guess white is better.

Jan-25-12  gregkoch: <Penguincw: Would 18...Bf5 really save the game? I'm just a beginner, but would 19.Qh6 win the game?>

19.Qh6 would indeed win the game... for Black! Consider: 18.Bf6 Bf5! 19.Qh6?? gxh6 20.Rg3+ (I don't know what else you were looking for) Bg6


click for larger view

Jan-25-12  Waitaka: I went in a different line: 18.Qh6 gxh6 19.Bf6 ... 20.Rg3#, but as already pointer, this also can be defended.
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: Speaking on something besides the puzzle being cooked...

So you're playing the world champion in a game of a blitz- the circumstances are moot. You have gotten a lot of material off the board, the pawn position isn't too bad, but your queen is offsides (Alekhine was the master of getting his opponents pieces on the wrong side of the board) And Alekhine, THE WORLD CHAMPION, one of the greatest attacker offers a sacrifice 18. Bf6

What do you do?

You scoop it up and walk straight into a mate.

Why Sik? Why would you do that?

Jan-25-12  Penguincw: < gregkoch: <Penguincw: Would 18...Bf5 really save the game? I'm just a beginner, but would 19.Qh6 win the game?>

19.Qh6 would indeed win the game... for Black! Consider: 18.Bf6 Bf5! 19.Qh6?? gxh6 20.Rg3+ (I don't know what else you were looking for) Bg6 >

Whoops. I didn't see bishop block. If I did, then ball game over for white.

Jan-25-12  TheoNov: Found something while reviewing the game. Alekhine could have played a brilliant sac on move 13 which looks winning to me. Has anyone noticed this before?


click for larger view

13. Qxd5!! Qxb5 14. Rxe6+


click for larger view

A) 14. .. fxe6 15. Qxe6+

A1) 15. .. Be7 16. Re1 Qc5 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18. Rxe5 Qxe5 19. Qxe5 O-O-O 20. g3 Bxg5 21. Qxg5


click for larger view

A2) 15. .. Ne7 16. Ne5 Rf8 17. Bxe7 Bxe7 18. a4 Rf6 19. Qg8+ Rf8 20. Qxf8+ Bxf8 21. axb5 Rc8 22. c4 Bd6 23. Re1 Bxe5 24. Rxe5+ Kf7 25. b3


click for larger view

Responses other than 14...fxe6 leave Black completely lost. For instance:

B) 14. .. Kf8 15. Be3!

B1) 15. .. Kg8 16. Bxc5 h6 17. Rae1 Nb4 18. Qf5 b6 19. a4!


click for larger view

B2) 15. .. Nb4 16. Qxc5+ Qxc5 17. Bxc5+ Kg8 18. Re7 a5 19. Bxb4 axb4 20. Rxb7 h5 21. Rxb4


click for larger view

Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Nice find <theo> Looks winning to me.
Jan-25-12  1stboard: With regards to blacks 17th move, what is wrong with Bf5 instead of Rab8 ??

this would protect h7 and allow Bg6 to seal the g file.

or am I missing something ???

Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 18.Bf6. But I don't think it wins, I looked at it for 15-20 minutes, I could not refute 18...Bf6 & 19...Bg6. (Please! Someone tell me what I am missing here?)
Jan-25-12  stst: No board, purely mental, see if got anything wrong.. 18.g4(to make way for safe R parallel shift) d4
19.Rh3 h6
20.Bxh6 gxh6
21.Qg5+ Kh8
22.Rxh6#
Jan-25-12  Bates79: What a "Sikophant" he is for taking that bishop on f6!
Jan-25-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Alekhine vs Sik, 1943

White to play (18.?) "Medium/Easy"

Opposite-colored bishops often leads to a winning attack against the king, as in this game.

18. Bf6!

Preparing 19. Qg5 g6 20. Qh6 and mates. Now if 18...gxf6 19. Rg3+ Bg4 20. Rxg4+ Kh8 21. Qxf6#. Alternatively, 18...Kh8 19. Bxg7+ Kxg7 (or 19...Kg8 20. Bf6) 20. Rg3+ also mates.

18...Rb4 (Qb4 is similar) 19. Rg3! Rfc8

Or 19...Rxh4 20. Rxg7+ Kh8 21. Rg6#; 19...Rg4 20. Rxg4 Bxg4 21. Qxg4 g6 22. Qg5 followed by 23. Qh6 also mates.

20. Rxg7+ Kf8 21. Qxh7 and White should win.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, I (and others) have egg on my face! Don't know how it totally escaped me that Black had an easy defense with 18...Bf5. My only consolation is that Alekhine's opponent missed it too, except it was a blitz game, so he had little time to find it!

Jan-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: << Jan-25-12 chessgames.com: <I really wish CG would come down from Mount Olympus and walk amongst us mortals for a while. What gives with today's POTD guys?> Sorry about this puzzle.

The story is simple. We thought that Bf6 in fact won, not realizing that ...Bf5 was a saving grace. It was never intended to be a spoiler. >>

This makes me feel just a little better ... but not a lot. I guess I was not the only individual frustrated by this one.

Jan-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <chessgames.com> Thanks for letting us know - much appreciated.
Jan-26-12  AlphaMale: <Sorry about this puzzle.

The story is simple. We thought that Bf6 in fact won, not realizing that ...Bf5 was a saving grace. It was never intended to be a spoiler.>

Like I said, they're amateurs.

Jan-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Close the door quietly on the way out, there's a good chap.
Jan-26-12  1stboard: Lifemaster AJ , I am glad I posted a good comment about 17 Bf5 , sometimes I wonder If I am correct about something, Thanks for your comments.
Feb-05-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <<Jan-26-12 1stboard: Lifemaster AJ , I am glad I posted a good comment about 17 Bf5 , sometimes I wonder If I am correct about something, Thanks for your comments.>>

Sorry that I missed this earlier - thanks ... and you are (of course!!!!!) ... very welcome.

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