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Milan Vidmar vs Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 4, Aug-13
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Rubinstein Variation (E16)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Alexander Alekhine.      [77 more games annotated by Alekhine]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Alekhine's notes consider Black's game to be lost after 24. ... Qb7?, but there might have been a final chance to defend with: 27...Kb8, for example: 28.Qxa6 h6 29.Nxe4 fxe4 30.Re1 Rxe6 and Black still has chances to hold.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Referring to the line given in my previous post, after 29. ... fxe4, possibly stronger now for White would be: 30.f5, for example: 30. ... gxf5 (or 30...Bf6 31.fxg6 Rxe6 32.g7 Bxg7 (If here 32...Re8 33.Rf4 Bxg7 (or 33...Kc7 34.g8Q Rxg8 35.Bxe4 ) 34.Rf7) 33.Rf7 ) 31.Rxf5 Qb7 (31...Qxe6 32.Rf4 Qg6 33.a5 ) 32.Qb5 Rxe6 33.Rf8+ Ka7 34.Rd8 Re7 35.a5 c4 36.axb6+ Qxb6 (36...Bxb6 37.Qa4+ ) 37.Qa4+ .

Regardless, it seems remiss for Alekhine to have passed over 27. ... Qxa4? without comment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Alekhine considered 22...d5 to be an error, and recommended 22...Qc6 or 22...c4.

Fritz indicates Black has a strong, probably winning advantage, after 22...c4! 23.Qb4 d5 24.Ng5 Kb8 25.a5, and now either 25...b5 or 25...bxa5.

Fritz verified that Black also has the advantage after: (-91) (19 ply) 22...Qc6 23.Ng5 d5, and (-.82) (19 ply) 22...d5 23.Rxd5 c4! 24.Qd1 Rxe6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Both Alexander and Alekhine appear to have overlooked the move 23...c4!, which would have given Black a considerable advantage!

Fritz indicates Black has the advantage after: 23...c4! 24.Qd1 Rxe6, (-.91) (22 ply) 25.Ng5 Nxg5 26.fxg5 Bxb2 27.Qc2 Be5 28.Re1 Re7.

If 23...c4! 24.Qd1 Rxe6 25.Ne5 Bxe5 26.Bxe4 Bxb2 27.Rd8+ Qxd8 28.Bxb7+ Kc7 29.Qxd8+ Kxd8, Black has a winning advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Alekhine considered 24...Qb7 to be the losing move, he indicated that Black could still defend his position with 24...Kb8 25.Ng5 Rd8.

Fritz does not agree with Alekhine. Fritz indicates that not only was 24...Qb7! Black's best move, but it kept the position near equal: (.16) (23 ply) 24...Qb7! 25.Qb3 (.12 ) (22 ply) 25...Qc6 26.Ng5 Bf6.

Black could also play: (.16) (23 ply) 24...Qb7! 25.Qb3, (.12) (22 ply) 25...b5 26.Ng5 bxa4 27.Qxa4 Qb5 28.Qxb5 axb5 29.Bxe4 fxe4 30.Nxe4 Rxe6 31.Nxc5 Re2, with a near equal position.

Regarding Alekhine's recommended continuation: 24...Kb8? 25.Ng5 Rd8, Fritz indicated that 26.Qc4 would give White a considerable advantage.

In this line, 24...Kb8? 25.Ng5 Rd8, after 26.Qc4 Nxg5 27.fxg5 Ka7 28.g4 Qe5 29.Qb3, (1.58) (21 ply) 29...Qe2 30.gxf5 gxf5 31.a5 b5 32.Qg3 Be5, (2.84) (21 ply) 33.e7! Re8 34.Qh3 Bd6 35.Qxf5 Qxe7 36.Qd5 Qc7 37.Be4!, wins for White.

Some improvements for Black may be found in this line, but for now it appears to be winning for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: At move 24, and again at move 26, Alekhine indicated that Black's game was lost.

At move 24, Fritz indicated the game was near equal: (.16) (23 ply) 24...Qb7! 25.Qb3, (.12) (22 ply) 25...Qc6 26.Ng5 Bf6.

At move 26, Black could have continued with a near equal game: (.09) (22 ply) 26...Bf6 27.Nxe4 fxe4 28.Re1 c4 29.Qc2 Kb8 30.Bxe4 Qxe6.

Also playable was: (.28) (22 ply) 26...c4 27.Rc1 c3 28.Qc2 Qc4 29.Nxe4 fxe4.

Alekhine made no note of 26...Bf6 or 26...c4, only stating there was nothing Black could do, and provided the variation, 26...h6 27.Nxe4 fxe4 28.Re1, and if Black captures the e-pawn, then White would win with 29.Bh3.

However, even in this variation, (.48) (22 ply) 26...h6 27.Nxe4 fxe4 28.Re1, it is not clear that Black is lost if he plays: 28..c4! 29.Qc2 Kb8 30.Bxe4 Qxe6.

Instead of 26...Bf6, Alexander played 26...Bd4. Fritz provides the following analysis for this move: (.46) (22 ply) 26...Bd4 27.Qd3, (.38) (20 ply) 27...a5 28.Nxe4 fxe4 29.Bxe4 Qxe6, and Black may be able to defend this position.

In addition to 27...a5, Black also has chances to defend with 27...b5, 27...Kc7, or 27...Kb8. Instead of selecting any of these moves, Alexander effectively ended the game, with the terrible error 27...Qxa4??.

Alekhine made no comment about 27...Qxa4??, or of any of the alternative choices for Black at move 27. After move 24, it appears he believed the game was lost for Black, and other than his short comment at move 26, apparently thought additional comments or analysis were unnecessary.

Alekhine is virtually unrecognizable as the annotator for this game. It makes me wonder if something was missed or mistaken in the deciphering of his notes for the publication of the tournament book.

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