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David Bronstein vs Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander
Hastings (1953/54), Hastings ENG, rd 7, Jan-06
Dutch Defense: Blackmar's Second Gambit (A80)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-19-04  qqq: here it is...possibly the longest game ever?
Jun-19-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Try I Nikolic vs G Arsovic, 1980
Oct-05-05  Runemaster: At the very end, 118...g2 is a nice little trick that it's easy to forget about in these endings. If 119. Qxg2 Qc2+ gets the queens off with an easy win for Black.

It looks to me as if Bronstein took his opponent a little too lightly in this game. He chose a dubious opening to play in a serious tournament and then seemed very willing to exchange pieces when a pawn down.

Dec-11-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I like the way black wins a pawn at move 2 and converts it 118 moves later.
Dec-11-06  gus inn: <chessgames com> Today it should have been a Bronstein-win .. IMO.
Sep-22-08  Resignation Trap: Here's a photo of this game in progress after Black's 13th move: http://www.chesspro.ru/_images/mate... .
Dec-06-08  jerseybob: This is one of my all-time faves, really two or three games in one. Bronstein definitely made it too easy for black to unwind, and once Alexander got in 19..e5 the game was positionally won - although with a lot of tactics to wade through. I don't agree with Runemaster that this is a dubious opening for white; it's a very tough attack if played right. In the 1970 Baltimore Open, I had the black side of this in one of my games, got a little sloppy and landed in a heap of trouble when white started pushing his h-pawn. Only a blunder by white saved the day for me.
May-08-09  Brown: <Runemaster> Many of Bronstein's games are different, from opening to ending.
Jul-06-10  I play the Fred: This game has been described as historic in some quarters; any idea why?
Mar-26-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <I play the Fred> I have heard that this game had so many adjournments over so many different days that it became like a serial in the national British newspapers, and the whole nation became engrossed in its outcome.
Mar-26-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<offramp> and <IPTF>

I remember Chernev's account of the interest this game generated in "the Golden Dozen".

Mar-26-12  paul1959: It is not clear why this opening is named the Blackmar Second gambit. The first two moves introduce the Stauton gambit (A82 and A83) which is a good way to meet the Dutch ( See Lasker-Pillbury 1904). This gambit is the reason why so many Dutch start with 1 d2-d4 e7-e6 with f7-f5 being played on the second move if White avoids 2- e2-e4 transposing in the French.
May-31-14  ElSegundo: This game was played in a time when British chess players were chess minnows and Russian Grandmasters were chess gods. Alexander was respected by the gods though - he upset Botwinnik's feared French Winawer by deconstructing the seemingly deadly line he expected the great Soviet champion to play, in pre-match analysis. And I was young then. Happy days!
Nov-22-15  zydeco: This article captures some of the excitement surrounding the game:

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/...

Jan-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <ElSegundo: This game was played in a time when British chess players were chess minnows and Russian Grandmasters were chess gods. Alexander was respected by the gods though>

Just discovered this game. One of the greatest Queen endings I have ever seen.

Phase 1.

Alexander retains the pawn White gambited and with

18... Rf5! Alexander piles up on the e5 square with all his pieces, knowing that if he gets in e5, eliminating his backward pawn, he would be a clear pawn up and have good chances for winning.

19. Re3 e5

Phase 2.

Mass exchanges on the e5 square liquidates the game into a Queen ending, with Black retaining the gambitted pawn.

20. dxe5 Ndxe5 21. Nxe5 Rfxe5 22. Rxe5 Rxe5 23. Rxe5 Qxe5 24. Qxd5 Qxh2

27. Qc8. Bronstein rightly refuses to part Queens and go into a Knight ending. Knight endings resemble to some extent pure King and Pawn endings; and so are won much more easily than Queen endings.

27. Qc8 Nd8!

A back to the first rank move that limits the White Queen.

28. g4 Kg7 29. b3 c6 30. g5

What's the purpose of Brontein's g4 and g5 moves? They're to prevent Black from gaining an unopposed passed pawn. Creating a passed pawn is an all important theme in winning Queen endings.

Bronstein prevents Black from creating a passed pawn on the Kingside and achieves a dangerous Q + N combo in front of the Black king, but in so doing had to sac another pawn in the Queenside for the tempo gain he needed to achieve the above. Pawn sac for positional assets.

30. g5 Qe7 31. Qg4 Nf7 32. Ne4 Qxa3

Black's Knight though is well placed for defense, and White lacks material for a mating Q + N attack. Alexander than piles up on the white pawn holding up his Kingside majority.

33. Qe6 Qa5

Rather than allowing his Q to get tied up defending the g5 pawn, and subsequently wait and watch Black advancing his Queenside pawn majority, Bronstein decides on active play. He exchanges off the defending Black Knight in order to create chances for a perpetual with his Queen, thus going to a pure Queen ending.

34. Nd6 Nxd6 35. Qf6 Kg8 36. Qxd6 Qe1

Jan-15-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: Phase 3.

Now comes the marathon part. I am very poor at Queen endings, which often resemble a bizarre abstract splash of chaotic colors for me, but I can get the gist of what is happening.

Alexander essentially decides that his King is too exposed on his King side, with only two pawns for cover. So he King marches to the Queenside where he has three pawns to cover his King.

37. Ka2 Qe8 38. Qc7 b5 39. Kb1 Qe1 40. Kb2 Qe6 41. b4 Qe4 42. Qd8 Kf7 43. Qf6 Ke8 44. Qd6 Qd5 45. Qf6 Kd7 46. Qg7 Kd6 47. Qf6 Kc7 48. Qg7 Qd7 49. Qe5 Qd6 50. Qg7 Kb6 51. Qc3 Qe7 52. Qd4 Kb7 53. c3 Qf7 54. Qh8 Kb6 55. Qd4 Kb7 56. Qh8 Qd7 57. Ka3 Qe7 58. Qf6 Qc7 59. Kb2

Once this is done, he now creates the all important passed pawn, but this time on the Queenside. His pawn structure on the Queenside affords better protection for his King

Phase 4.

Alexander takes the plunge. He creates his sought for passed pawn on the Queenside but at the expense of uncovering his king to checks. He has foreseen this though and marches his King back to the Kingside in order to capture the White g5 pawn.

59... a5 60. bxa5 Qxa5 61. Qe6 Qc7 62. Kb3 Qf4 63. Qd7 Kb6 64. Qd8 Kc5 65. Qe7 Kb6 66. Qd8 Kc5 67. Qe7 Kd5 68. Qd7 Qd6 69. Qg4 Qc5 70. Qd7 Ke5 71. Qxh7 Kf5 72. Qd7 Kxg5

The purpose of these long king marches? It gives Black two mobile passed pawns.

Phase 5.

Since his King, after his mission to capture the White g5 pawn is completed, is more exposed in the Kingside, Alexander than embarks on a King march back to the Queenside, his third lateral across the board King march! He knows that his King is better protected from checks on the side where he has two pawns rather than one.

73. Qd2 Kf6 74. Qd8 Kf7 75. Qc7 Qe7 76. Qf4 Kg7 77. Qd4 Qf6 78. Qe4 Kf7 79. Kb2 Qd6 80. Qf3 Qf6 81. Qe4 g5 82. Qh7 Ke6 83. Qe4 Kd6 84. Qd3 Kc7 85. Qh7 Kb6

Phase 6.

With his king protected from perpetuals, Alexander than can make several moves with purposes other than to run away from checks. In effect he gains extra tempi. He uses these tempi to push his passed g pawn up and to place his Queen in a dominating position in the middle of the board.

Notice that the middlegame principles of central domination, initiative and tempi have come into play. From this perspective Queen endings are like complicated middlegames, and often should be played like one.

73. Qd2 Kf6 74. Qd8 Kf7 75. Qc7 Qe7 76. Qf4 Kg7 77. Qd4 Qf6 78. Qe4 Kf7 79. Kb2 Qd6 80. Qf3 Qf6 81. Qe4 g5 82. Qh7 Ke6 83. Qe4 Kd6 84. Qd3 Kc7 85. Qh7 Kb6 86. Kc2 Qf4 87. Qe7 Qf2 88. Kb3 Qd2 89. Qe8 Qd5 90. Kb2 Qd6 91. Qe3 Qc5 92. Qe8 Qf2 93. Kb3 Qf6 94. Qd7 Kc5 95. Kc2 Qe5 96. Qd8 Qe4 97. Kb2 g4 98. Qd7 Kc4

Phase 7.

Putting his central domination and the fact that the White Queen has to guard his g-pawn over in the Kingside from advancing more, Alexander attacks White's King and remaining pawn on the Queenside directly. This nets him the last pawn and he is now three pawn up.

99. Qd1 Qg2 100. Ka1 c5 101. Qc2 Qf1 102. Kb2 Kd5 103. Qd2 Ke4 104. Qg5 Qf5 105. Qh4 Kf3 106. Qh1 Ke2 107. Qg2 Ke1 108. c4 b4 109. Qg1 Ke2 110. Qg2 Ke3 111. Kb3 Qd3 112. Ka4 Qxc4

Phase 8.

Alexander shelters his King around his two pawn Queenside majority while pushing up his g pawn in the Kingside up to Queen.

113. Qg3 Kd2 114. Qf2 Kc3 115. Qe3 Kb2 116. Qe5 Qc3 117. Qg5 g3 118. Qg4 g2 119. Qg5 Qc1 120. Qc5 Qc2

0-1

I am sure that in the details, improvements for either players can be discovered by computers or by professional analysts, but above is the plot of the game as I see it.

Apr-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Alexander learned from his defeats: compare C H Alexander vs Reshevsky, 1936
Apr-05-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: "Alexander's Immortal"

LOL

*****

May-05-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: one last swindle chance at the end. A lot of very informative comments on this page, about the game and the players.
Feb-27-18  Albion 1959: As is so often in an endgame, the last solitary pawn is enough !
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