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Alexander Alekhine vs Savielly Tartakower
San Remo (1930), San Remo ITA, rd 8, Jan-25
Dutch Defense: Nimzo-Dutch Variation (A90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-02-05  eyalbd: Alekhine comments for White's combination:

33. ♗xe4+! ♗xe4
<"At first sight, having in view the (very poor) transaction 33..♗xe4 34. ♘xe4 ♔xe4 35. ♖e3+ ♔xd4 36. ♖xe8 ♖xa4 etc; but in reality forcing a technically rather easily won Rook endgame with an extra Pawn.">

34. g4+ ♔f6
<"The simple but very unkind point: 34 ..♔f4 35. ♘e6#">

The king must move back and white won a Pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Of course Tartakower's 32...Ne8? unguarding everything was a big help.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <9.Nh3 d5> White has a nice position out of the opening.

<14.f3 Nd715.e4 ...> But things are not realy happenig for White in this part of the game.

<21.Qf7> Elegant forcing of the swap of queens.

<22...Kh7 23.Nd6 Be6> 22...Kg8 was probably a bit better, but, on the surface, Kh8-h7 seems to take the cleanest path towards the e4 liability. Objectively, quick a7-a5 (eg, 23...a5) with quick pawn swaps was probably the best strategy for Black; the game looks drawish then.

On the other hand, Black's plan in the game looks good: Kh8-h7-g6-f5, then Nf6-e8-d6. The problem is that AAA notices a deadly tactical oportunity along the way. So he just lingers his pieces around and sets up the strike.

<30.Ra3(!) Kg6 31.h3(!) Kf5 32.Kf2(!)...> Inconspicuous. But the abush is set!

<32...Ne8? 33.Bxe4! Bxe4 34.g4+!...> and if 34...Kf4, then 35.Nd6#. That is the ambusch; Black has to give up the pawn.

Oct-06-05  notyetagm: 33 ♗xe4+!, winning a pawn for nothing. After 33 ... ♗xe4 34 g4+ (<remove the guard>), if Black attempts to continue defending his loose bishop with his king he runs into 34 ... ♔f4?? 35 ♘e6#!.
Oct-06-05  notyetagm: Note that in the winning variation given above, 35 ♘e6#! is a beautiful pure checkmate in the middle of the board! How Alekhine found these tactical resources never ceases to amaze me.
Feb-10-07  Articcircle: Alekhines move 39.g5 was a pawn sacrifice, that Black should have declined. I think if Tartakower had played 39...h4!? (Instead of 39....Rxg5?) 40.Kd3 Rxg5 41.Kc4 Kd6...Tartakower would have got definite drawing chances. Or 39...h4!? 40.g6 Kf6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Articcircle> Excellent point. No one seems to have pointed this out before. Alekhine's shallow manuevers in order to play 18.Ne6?! are easily refuted by 18...Rf6 but Tartakower is very obliging in this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Articcircle>,<Calli> I recal this rook ending was analyzed in Smyslov and Levenfish's rook endgames book and they did claim that 39...h4! draws. Unfortunately, I do not have that reference handy at the moment.
Feb-11-07  crwynn: <<Articcircle> Excellent point. No one seems to have pointed this out before. Alekhine's shallow manuevers in order to play 18.Ne6?! are easily refuted by 18...Rf6 but Tartakower is very obliging in this game.>

18...Rf6 19.Rxf6 and I do not see the easy refutation. 19...Nxf6 20.Ng5 h6 21.Qf7 does not seem substantially different from the game, and 19...Qxf6 20.Rf1 Qg6 21.Re1 does not seem very good for Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <CRWynn> if 18...Rf6 19.Rxf6 Nxf6 20.Ng5 h6 21.Qf7?? then 21...Qd6 and Black wins.
Feb-11-07  crwynn: Ah. So 18...Rf6 is indeed an improvement, but I think even a strong player could be excused for overlooking such a tactical sublety. After all, I suppose the only reason 21...Qd6 doesn't work also in the game is 22.Rxf6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: imho, it is not very subtle. Why develop the White pieces with 18...Rxf1? Alekhine is attacking wihout any justification and it takes very weak play by Tarta to give White the advantage. Why does he play 20...h3? Simply Bd7 and White probably takes the draw.
Feb-11-07  crwynn: I do not see how Alekhine is attacking without justification; it seems to me that he is not really attacking at all. It is not as if he had some idea of mating Tartokower; he just wanted to improve the position of his pieces and win the pawn back if possible. It seems to me he wanted to put a Knight on e5 and only switched plans because Qf7 was stronger; for instance 18...Rf6 19.Rxf6 Nxf6 20.Ng5 h6 21.Nf7+ Kh7 22.Ne5 or 18...Rxf1+ 19.Rxf1 Nf6 20.Ng5 Bd7 21.Nf7+ Kg8 22.Ne5+ Kh8 and either way, White's position looks okay to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: After 8...Rf6 19.Rxf6 Nxf6 20.Ng5 h6 21.Nf7+ Kg1 22.Ne5+ Be6 and White is a pawn down.

You can't attack with two pieces against Black's position. Fortunately for AA, Tarta gives up his own piece with Rxf1 and develops White's QR.

Feb-11-07  crwynn: In your variation White plays 22.Nxh6+ with advantage; however ...Kh7 looks good for Black, yes.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 21...Kg8 22.Nxh6+? Kf8 loses a piece because the knight is trapped. 21...Kh7 is also good.
Jan-14-08  notyetagm: <notyetagm: 33 Bg2xe4+!, winning a pawn for nothing. After 33 ... Bd5xBe4 34 g3-g4+ (<remove the guard>), if Black attempts to continue defending his loose bishop with his king he runs into 34 ... Kf5-f4?? 35 Nc5-e6#!.>

click for larger view

Feb-27-10  notyetagm: I just love how Alekhine's 33 ♗g2xe4! is not a <DECOY FOR ALIGNMENT> but rather a <DECOY FOR LOOSENESS> (34 g3-g4+ <REMOVE THE GUARD>).
Jan-22-11  k.khalil: Beautiful
Feb-20-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: EXCHANGE ON THE LOOSE SQUARE: THEN NA++,ND--
Feb-20-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: EXCHANGE ON THE LOOSE SQUARE: THEN NA++,ND--

Alekhine vs Tartakower, 1930 32 ... Nf6-e8? leaves e4-pawn loose for shocking 33 Bg2xe4+!

Feb-20-11  notyetagm: Game Collection: KNOW THE ENEMY KING'S FLIGHT SQUARES AT ALL TIME
May-04-12  Ulhumbrus: The move 9...d5 offers White a target on d5.

Although it may seem that the d5 and f5 pawns can keep White's e pawn back Alekhine does not wait for Tartakower to bring his queen's knight to f6 but smashes Black's centre up by the advance f3 and e4 first.

As White's N on h3 can head for f4 attacking the point e6, this suggests defending the point e6. One way to do that is to play Black's queen's knight to d8 so as to cover the point e6 eg 9...Qe7 10 Nf4 Nc6 11 d5 Nd8

Jun-25-14  goldenbear: <Calli> If 39.h4... what does Black do after 40.Rc1...?
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