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Efim Bogoljubov vs Alexander Alekhine
New York (1924), New York, NY USA, rd 17, Apr-09
French Defense: McCutcheon Variation. Wolf Gambit (C12)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-15-03  morphynoman2: The queen's sacrifice 25... axb5 fails because 26. Rxg6 fxg6 27. Ng3 The endgame is two rocks against rock and two bishops. Nothing to do. It is a draw.
Aug-15-03  Sylvester: Alekhine kept playing this guy instead of Capablanca. Against Capa he would have to play sober and might even lose!
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Alekhine kicked himself because he missed 26...Qxg3! which is a puzzle-like win.

At first it looks obvious, but how do you guard e7 after White plays 27 Qxf7, and threatens both 28 Qe8+ and 28 Rh7?

click for larger view

Alekhine's solution which meets both threats is 27...axb5 28 Rh7 Qe1+ 29 Ka2 Qb4! (hard to see because of the pin that has just been created by taking the bishop)30 Rh8+ Kd7 31 Rxa8 Qc4+!

Feb-22-18  Howard: Alekhine stated in the tournament book that this game was enough to "try nerves of steel".
Aug-21-18  Howard: According to the, excellent, tournament book, 79...e5! would have won. That was the good news.

The bad news is that the winning line given in the book would have been very difficult to see over the board. The book implies that Alekine may have seen the line, but didn't want to take the chance of trying it given its apparent complexity.

Aug-21-18  Telemus: <Howard: According to the, excellent, tournament book, 79...e5! would have won. That was the good news.>

This is a tactical position, and if checked with an engine, one can find several interesting points.

I. Alekhine's line after 79.. e5 80.fxe5 is far from being forced, and it contains a major blunder (85.♖g7 holds the position). Before that White had several possibilities to improve, e.g. 80.. ♗d8 81.♖gb1.

II. Black had indeed a very promising idea at this move: 79.. ♖b2+!. Stockfish gives ∓.

Aug-22-18  Telemus: I just saw that White could even have won by 82.♖xb8 ♔xb8 83.♖e1, since Black loses first e6 and then one of the other two pawns, too. Did both grandmasters overlook this?

No! The game-score here is wrong. Alekhine played 78.. ♖g8 (instead of 78.. ♖b8 given above). Of course, my comments of yesterday become thereby irrelevant.

Aug-22-18  Telemus: Checking Alekhine's analysis after 79.. e5 again, this time with the black rook on g8, the results are not too different from yesterdays.

Again it turns out that Alekhine's line after 79.. e5 80.fxe5 is far from being forced, and it contains several sub-optimal moves. Stockfish gives triple zeros ...

In the final position of one of Alekhine's *winning* lines, the one after 86.♖hb7 ♗d8,

click for larger view

White isn't lost at all. White can play 87.♖d7! threatening mate, and after 87.. ♖xg4 88.♖d6+ ♔f5 89.♖f7+ White eliminates the pawn f2.

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