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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Alexander Alekhine
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 16, Mar-15
Alekhine Defense: Maroczy Variation (B02)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-01-08  Knight13: Solid defense by Nimzovich.

Instead of 13. Be3 better is O-O.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: A minor comment to this game: In his notes to White’s 11th move (<11. Nd2>), Alekhine wrote the following in the tournament book (“New York 1927”, by Alexander Alekhine, tr. fr. German by Mary Lawrence, Russell Enterprises, Inc. ©2011, at page 138): “To avoid the queen exchange would be inadvisable – for example, <11. Qg2> *** <11. … Ng5 12. Qxd5 c6!> (not <12. … Qxd4?>, because of <13. Bb5+>, etc.) together with 14. [sic; should be <13.> since this move follows 12. ... c6! in the main variation] <… Nf3!+> and <… Nxd4> , etc.”.

Alekhine apparently assumed that after <11. Qg2 Ng5 12. Qxd5 c6>, White would have been forced to retreat the queen. In this variation, however, White could still have avoided disadvantage by playing <13. Be2!> (attacking the Black Queen and covering the f3-square) with equality.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: It is perhaps worth noting with regard to the move suggested in my previous comment (<13. Be2>, but in a varition starting with <11. Qg2> analyzed by Alekhine (as given above), <not> in the game text) that it only works because after the desperado move <13. ... Qxe2+>, the Black Knight on g5 is hanging, so that after <14. Kxe2 cxd5>, White recovers the piece with <15. Bxg5>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Alekhine (op. cit.) at Black’s 28th move (<28. … Bg4> was actually played) gives the brief comment, “If now <28. … Rc6, then 29. Bb4!>, etc.”, seemingly thinking everything would be fine for White. If Black continues here with <29. … Be5>, White runs into trouble in this hypothetical line. For example, <30. Ne3 Be6>, and now White is hard-pressed to find a satisfactory way to deal with the threat of <31. … Bc7> and <32. … a5>. So it appears that <28. ... Rc6> would, after all, have offered real winning chances.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: At the end of the variation considered in my previous post (i.e., after a hypothetical <28. … Rc6 29. Bb4 Be5 30. Ne3 Be6>, White’s best defense probably would be to trade his a-pawn for Black’s e-pawn with <31. Nf1 Bxa2 32. Rxe4>. Black would presumably here play <32. … Rce6> and retain reasonable winning chances with his two Bishops.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: A few additional notes on this game, in some cases based on Alekhine's comments (op. cit.):

<Nimzowitsch vs. Alekhine> (New York 1927, Round #16): <1.e4 Nf6 2.d3 e5 3.f4 Nc6 4.fxe5 Nxe5 5.Nf3> (or 5.d4 Ng6 6.e5 Ne4 and Black stands well) <5...Nxf3+> (5...Ng6 6.Be2 d5 7.e5 Nd7 8.d4 f6 9.0–0 fxe5 10.Ng5 Nf6 11.Bh5 would not be good for Black) <6.Qxf3 d5 7.e5 Qe7 8.d4> (8.Bf4 Qb4+ 9.Nd2 Bg4 10.Qg3 Nh5 11.Qxg4 Nxf4 is seemingly somewhat better for Black than Alekhine's assessment of "comfortable equality".) <8...Ne4 9.Bd3 Qh4+ 10.g3 Qg4 11.Nd2> (11.Qg2?! Ng5 12.Qxd5 c6! (but not 12...Qxd4? 13.Bb5+! and ) and now, to avoid disadvantage, White must find the following sharp line: 13.Be2 Qxe2+ 14.Kxe2 Bg4+ 15.Ke1 cxd5 16. Bxg5 with approximate equality) <11...Qxf3 12.Nxf3 Be7 13.Be3 Bh3 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.Nd2 0–0–0 16.0–0–0 f6 17.exf6 Bxf6 18.c3 Rhe8 19.Rde1 Re6 20.Re2 h5 21.Rhe1 Rde8 22.Bf4 Bf5 23.d5 R6e7> (The Black Rook must leave the 6th rank, for example: 23...Ra6? 24.Nxe4 Bxe4 25.Rxe4 Rxe4 26.Rxe4 Rxa2 27.Rc4 Bd8 28.Bxc7! ) <24.h4> (24.d6 Re6 25.dxc7 g5 would have been fine for Black.) <24...b5 25.d6?!> (if 25.a4 a6; or 25.c4 Rd8 [but not 25...bxc4 26.d6 cxd6 (better here is 26...Rd7 27.Nxc4 c5) 27.Nxc4 Rc7 28.Rc2!±] 26.Nxe4 bxc4 27.Nd6+ [or 27.Nxf6 Rxe2] 27...cxd6 28.Rxe7 Bxe7 29.Rxe7 Rd7=) <25...cxd6 26.Bxd6 Re6 27.Bc5> (or 27.Bf4 b4 28.c4 Rc6 ) <27...a6> (Alekhine analyzes 27...a5 28.Nb3 (28.Nf1 Rc6 29.Bf2 b4 ) 28...Bg4 29.Re3 g5 30.Nd4 gxh4 31.Nxe6 Rxe6 32.gxh4 [if 32.Rxe4? Bg5+] 32...Bxh4 ) <28.Nf1 Bg4> (A last try for a win [with better prospects than recognized in Alekhine's notes] would have been 28...Rc6 29.Bb4 Be5 (29...Bd8 30.Ne3 a5 31.Bxa5!) 30.Ne3 Be6 31.Nf1 (or 31.Kc2 Bc7) 31...Bxa2 32.Rxe4 Rce6 33.R4e3 Bb3 34.Kd2) <29.Rd2 g5 30.hxg5 Bxg5 (30...e3?! 31.Rd5=) 31.Be3 Be7 32.Bf4 Bc5 33.Ne3 Bxe3 34.Bxe3> and 1/2 - 1/2

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