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Alexander Alekhine vs Efim Bogoljubov
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 13, Aug-25
Slav Defense: Soultanbeieff Variation (D16)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-26-07  Karpova: <Page 14 of Chess World, 1 January 1947 quoted from an article by Botvinnik in Ogonyok which was subsequently published in Albrecht Buschke’s periodical Chess News from Russia. An extract is given below:

‘During the Nottingham tournament of 1936 I happened to watch a curious scene. Bogoljubow was sitting deeply bent over the board, and was thinking tensely. Alekhine was briskly wandering around the table, fixedly looking at his opponent. Willy-nilly, I became interested, drew near to the table and saw the position after Alekhine had made his 35th move P-N5 [g5].>

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After 35.g5

<What can Black do? He has an extra pawn, but the situation is tense and the material superiority does not tell. White threatens 36 PxP, after which his bishop would be very strong.

Bogoljubow played 35...PxP. He had not taken the pawn off the board when Alekhine hurriedly approached and, without sitting down, played 36 P-B5!!, noisily banging down the piece. This sacrifice was so unexpected that Bogoljubow literally jumped out of his chair, in spite of his solid constitution. Evidently he had figured only on 36 PxPch K-N1; and in view of the threat, ...P-K4, Black’s situation would be quite secure.’>

Dec-26-07  paladin at large: <Karpova> Thanks - anecdotes like that really bring a game to life. Nottingham 1936 was tense and close.
Dec-26-07  whiteshark: Indeed! For the tournament cross-table:

(scroll down to <N>...)

Dec-26-07  RookFile: Nice story.

Dec-26-07  Eyal: Yeah, nice story. 36.f5 certainly threw Bogoljubov off balance... Instead of 36...Qf4?? he could have been ok after 36...e5! e.g. 37.fxg6+ Kxg6 38.h4 Kg7 39.hxg5 Qd6 (or Qc4).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: As <Eyal> has noted, Black is fine after 36...e5.

Fritz indicates the position would actually be slightly in Black's favor: (-.48) (21 ply) 36...e5 37.fxg6+ Kxg6 38.h4 Kg7 39.hxg5 Qc4 40.Qc6, and now Black can play 40...Qd3, 40...Qf7, or 40...Qe6, with each move giving Black a small advantage.

Alekhine stated, that if 36...e5, then 37.Qd5+ Kf8 38.Qc6 Qxc6 39.bxc6 exd4 40. Rxe7 Rxe7 41.Rxe7 Kxe7 42.c7 would win for White.

However, Black can improve on Alekhine's recommendation, 36...e5 37.Qd5+, now Black obtains the advantage by playing: (-.93) (22 ply) 37...Kg7 38.Qc6 Qc8 39.fxg6 hxg6.

In this line Black should not play 37...Kf8?. After 36...e5 37.Qd5+, (-.15) (21 ply) 37...Kf8? 38.fxg6 hxg6 39.Qc6 Qxc6 40.bxc6 Nc5, the position would then be close to equal after 41.Bxe5.

In Alekhine's line, after 36...e5 37.Qd5+ Kf8? 38.Qc6?, Black can then gain the advantage by playing: (-.76) (21 ply) 38...Rc8 39.fxg6 Qxc6 40.bxc6 Rxc6 41.gxh7 Kg7 42.Bxe5+ Kxh7.

Sep-09-14  ssitimefill: ... 5 e6 really does seem like a poor move, would any elite players of today play a move like that?

12 dxb4 d3 13 Bxd3 Qxd3 14 Ra3 appears to give white a clear advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Black's fifth move has actually become very common in recent years; it was a surprise to see games with it involving top players.
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  plang: Both Euwe and Bogoljubov played 5..e6!? against Alekhine in World Championship matches (and both lost with it); although the move has a poor reputation (and was ridiculed by Alekhine) it is still played by some today. In game 1 of the 1929 match Bogoljubov had played 7..Nd5; here he varied with 7..Ne4. In game 19 of the 1935 match with Euwe Alekhine had played 12 cxd; here he tried 12 Nxd4 which seems equally strong. Alekhine thought that 19 Bh6..Rd8 20 f4 followed by Bg5 would have been a stronger way to conduct the attack. After 22 Be3? White's advantage was gone; better would have been 22 Bh3..Rd8 23 Rd4. 25 Rza7..Nd5! 26 Rxa8..Nxe3 27 Rxf8+..Kxf8 28 Qd3..Nxd1 29 Qxd1..Qc5+ would have led to an ending favorable for Black. 30..f6?! weakened Black's kingside; 30..Qd5 was an alternative. As pointed out Alekhine's analysis at the end of the game was greatly flawed; is there another Super GM whose analysis is as subjective as Alekhine's?

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