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Alexander Alekhine vs Milan Vidmar
Hastings (1936/37), Hastings ENG, rd 2, Dec-29
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Attack (D65)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-08-14  jonie: Alekhine in the spirit of Capablanca's style!
Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Tenacious defence by old Vidmar. At move 32...Kf8 Alekhine commented,


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"White's winning plan is easy to explain but difficult to carry out. White exploits the fact that Black's pieces are occupied on the Q-side to create, by the gradual advance of his pawns and their exchange, vulnerable points in the centre and on the K-side. Only after this preparatory work can the decisive offensive begin." (Quoted in Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy.)

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 35...f6?!


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Since Alekhine explained he needs to create one or more extra weaknesses this plays into his hands by giving Black an isolated KP. That the weaker side in an ending should exchange as many pawns as possible is generally true anyway. Black must have over-thought this position.

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Hmm maybe I'm wrong 35...exf4 36.Rd4 Rd8 37.Rxd8 Kxd8 38.b6 Ne6 39.Kf2 fxe3+ Kxe3 still looks good for White.


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Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 37.Ra2


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Apparently to prevent ...Kd6 but I'm not so sure Black ought not to play it anyhow. 37...Kd6 38.Rd2+ Kc5 39.Rd7 Nxb5 40.Be4 h6 41.Rxg7 Nc3 42.Rc7+ Kb4 43.Bf5 Nd5 44.Rc1 Nc3 and all the pawns are on one side of the board with Black's pieces all active, if a little disco-ordinated.


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Maybe 40.Bg2 or 40.Bf3 was better.

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 40...Nd5 41.h4


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White declines entering a Rook ending and continues to seek to create another weakness. It is hard to see how the passed pawn can go anywhere without this as b6 is well blockaded.

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 43...Kd6 The Black Rook dare not retreat as then BxN becomes a threat.


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After Bxd5 Kxd5; b6 Kc6; Ke4 the K+P ending is winning for White.

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 45.hxg5 Preparation complete. The decisive assault begins: defending b5 with his B White will attack e5 and g7 with his Rook and King.


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Feb-10-19  cunctatorg: Extremely subtle -or even crazy- endgame!!
Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 47.Ra3


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now ChessGames gives 47...Ne7 but Shereshevsky says that 47...Nc7 was actually played here! This seems to threaten b5 but it turns out that after 48.Ra7 Nxb5 49.Rxg7 Rb8 50.Bf5 Rf8 51.Kg4 White has an easy win with the Black King excluded from the defence.


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Shereshevsky's version returns to the game here with 47...Nc7 48.Ra7 Rb8 49.Ke4 g6 50.Ra3 Rb6 51.Bc4 Rb8 52.Rd3+ Kc5 53.Rd7 Ne8 54.Bf7 Nd6+ etc. Black's moves 47 and 53 are parallel to ChessGames version. That this was even plausible I found remarkable!

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 50.Ra3 :- On reflexion this is the point which proves that Black's Knight _is on c7 and _not on e7. If it really were on e7 then Alekhine would not miss 50.Ra6+ winning the e-pawn immediately.
Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 53.Rd7 and it all over bar the shouting, no matter where the Knight is placed e7 or c7.


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Diagram of Shereshevky's version.

Feb-10-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Apologies the variation I gave above after 35...exf4 35.Rd4 is mince. (Utterly wrong) White's best reply is the obvious 35.exf4
Dec-19-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <now ChessGames gives 47...Ne7 but Shereshevsky says that 47...Nc7 was actually played here!>

Per Britbase, The Times, 8 January 1937 and BCM, February 1937, p57 have 47...Ne7.

However, Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond, 01-Feb-1937, p11 has 47...Nc7 and 53...Ne8.

Dec-19-20  RookFile: Milan was a strong GM, but he spent most of his time as an engineer. You wonder who strong he could have been if chess was all he did.
Dec-19-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I wonder how good a Red Cross volunteer Alekhine could have been.
Dec-20-20  aliejin: How good i dont know but
During the first alekhine war
he was seriously injured, saved his life
miraculously. But had to pass close
one year bedridden
He himself explained that he developed the
blind chess out of necessity
Dec-20-20  aliejin: Memory failed me
It was not several months without moving
in a hospital bed
It was several weeks
Europe-echecs published several articles
extraordinary stories about Alekhine's life,
a fragment of them

The "Bulletin des échecs" (№ 19-20, 1916) declares the circumstances of the obtaining of military distinctions by Alekhine:

«Sur le champ de bataille A. Alekhine a avec abnégation aidé les blessés, souvent sous l'artillerie ennemie et le feu des mitrailleuses, et a reçu pour cela deux médailles de Saint-Georges. A day, the evacuation of the champ de bataille, an officier blessed, suite à quoi il s'est vu remettre l'Ordre de Saint-Stanislas aux epées. … At fournissant une assistance aux blessés dans les endroits les plus dangereux, Alekhine a été blessé à deux reprises, the deuxième fois si gravement (au dos) qu'il a du être hospitalisé plusieurs semaines à l'hôpital de Ternopol ».

Jan-10-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Per Britbase, The Times, 8 January 1937 and BCM, February 1937, p57 have 47...Ne7.

However, Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond, 01-Feb-1937, p11 has 47...Nc7 and 53...Ne8.>

<Skinner & Verhoeven> has <47...Nc7> giving <Chess 1937, v2, p210-2>, <Schach-Echo 1937, p31-3> and <Shakhmaty v SSSR 1937, p35-6> as sources, but it's the fourth one, <My Best Games 1924-1937, p201-5>, that weighs most in its favour.

Grounds I think for changing the score away from <47...Ne7 48.Ra7 Rb8 49.Ke4 g6 50.Ra3 Rb6 51.Bc4 Rb8 52.Rd3+ Kc5 53.Rd7 Nc8>.

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