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Alexander Alekhine vs Samuel Reshevsky
Nottingham (1936), Nottingham ENG, rd 7, Aug-17
Queen Pawn Game: Colle System (D04)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-14-06  woodenbishop: <Something good always happens when they (Kinghts) stand next to each other.>

Yes, but in endgame theory, one must take caution (especially in won positions) to not stalemate the game, which can easily be done with two attacking/guarding Knights.

Jan-19-06  madlydeeply: Reshevsky doubles his knights smack dab in the middle of an open position seven times, on moves 28, 33, 35, 44, 52, 54, 61. There are all kinds of forking possiblities this formation sets up. It favors the fast calculating mind. Since Reshevsky's formal training consisted mostly of endless simuls when his family worked their child boy wonder genius, I wonder if he came up with this formation during the simul days, hoping the opponent would make a mistake. Or maybe its just a strong formation. I have become more and more interested in Reshesky since I found out that he never studied openings much (according to Silman's biography of Benko), therefore he was a natural genius that blazed his own trail, and according to Bronstein's book of the Zurich candidates tournament in 1953, the soviets were "concerned" about Reshevsky, apparently because he could come up with a theoretical novelty at any time, since he reworked his opening every game, which is what caused his chronic time trouble. I hereby dub this open game double knight formation the "Reshevsky Double Octopus". Try it sports fans, try it in simuls or even against that snotty kid that beats you every GD time you play!
Mar-17-06  RookFile: This is a very complex game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Calli>, supposedly Botvinnik said that <Alekhine lost this game only because he drank a whole bottle of wine before dinner> (source: Soltis, The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories), so I nominate it for your <Alekhine was drunk!> collection.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Okay the collection is updated. Added a lot of games, but I am thinking not adding any more since the comments are getting redundant. The point has been made.

Game Collection: Alekhine was drunk!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I'm thinking of starting a new collection, titled "Drink Like A Grandmaster". Games featured will include those of Chigorin, Alyekhin and Tal. Any other suggestions?


Oct-05-07  Resignation Trap: <Benzol> Don't forget Kholmov and Lutikov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <Any other suggestions?>

Yes, go down and get a pack of Lion's beer before you start. :->

Frank Marshall is another.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Resignation Trap> <Calli> LOL.

Isn't there a Russian proverb about Vodka and Chess being brothers?

Other possible candidates include James Mason, Joseph Blackburne, Johannes Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Benzol> <Resignation Trap> <Calli>

Don't forget a Swedish Grandmaster of the 40'/50', what's his name... ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <whiteshark> Do you mean Gosta Stoltz or Gideon Stahlberg? Both fit your description :)

I'm afraid that a lot of Nordic GMs are heavy drinkers, perhaps it's the cold, dark winter days with nothing else to do...?

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thank you <SwitchingQuylthulg>!

Yes, I meant <Stoltz>, wasn't sure about the 2nd GM.

In addition to it, <cold, dark winter days with nothing else to do> applies to all people living in northern countries, not saying that all <are heavy drinkers> :D

Dec-11-07  SuperPatzer77: Reshevsky's two black knights really baffled Alekhine although Alekhine was drunk. I show you something interesting - after 58...Nxe5! (instead of Alekhine's reply of 59. Ng2) below:

59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5! (threatening Nc3+), 61. Bd2 Nc4!, 62. h4 Kd4!, 63. h5 Nc3+, 64. Bxc3+ Kxc3 (threatening b2 - b1=Q), 65. Kc1 b2+, 66. Kb1 Kb3, 67. h6 Na3# .

59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5!, 61. Bc1 (only move) Nxc1, 62. Kxc1 Nc4!, 63. h4 Kd4, 64. h5 Kc3, 65. h6 b2+ 66. Kb1 Kb3, 67. h7 Na3# .

Dec-15-07  SuperPatzer77: Addition to the previous analysis: 58...Nxe5! (instead of Alekhine's reply of 59. Ng2), 59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5! (threatening Nc3+), 61. Bd2 Nc4!, 62. Bc1!? Nxc1, 63. h4 b2!, 64. Kc2 Ne2!, 65. h5 Nc3! (with idea of 66...b1=Q) .

58...Nxe5!, 59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Ne5!, 61. Bd2 Nc4!, 62. h4 Kd4! (threatening 63...Nc3+), 63. Bc1!? Nxc1, 64. h5 b2!, 65. Kc2 Ne2!, 66. h6 Nc3! (with idea of 67...b1=Q#) .

What two Black beauties! - Sammy Reshevsky's two Black knights really baffled Alexander Alekhine. Alekhine showed all of us what Alekhine analyzed in this game so, it is not my analysis - just Alekhine's.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <SuperP> After 59.Nxg6 Nxg6 60.Bxh6 , the simplest is just 60...Nc3+! 61.Kc1 Ne5 winning
Dec-17-07  SuperPatzer77: <Calli: After 59.Nxg6 Nxg6 60.Bxh6 , the simplest is just 60...Nc3+! 61.Kc1 Ne5 winning> Calli, you're right.

After 59. Nxg6 Nxg6, 60. Bxh6 Nc3+!, 61. Kc1 Ne5!, 62. Kb2 Kc4, 63. Bc1 Nd3+, 64. Ka3 Nxc1, 65. h4 Nd3!, 66. h5 b2, 67. h6 b1=N#!!! - Three Black knights keep White King at bay!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: The way Sammy used his two steeds is as noteworthy as it gets.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Alekhine is excoriating in his criticism of his 49. Ba3? in the following position

click for larger view

He wrote as follows regarding 49. Ba3? in the tournament book (“Nottingham 1936”, by Alekhine, Alexander, Russell Enterprises, Inc. ©2009, at page 87):

"Another terrible move! - instead of which 49. Bd4 was still good enough for a draw, as the exchange at d4 would lead to the loss of Black's passed pawn. From now on to the end Black’s play is of high class."

Of Reshevsky's reply, 49. … e5!, Alekhine says: “White should never have allowed this advance.” (Ibid., page 87.) Alekhine seems to assume that White’s position is now lost, and he does not comment on his 50. Ke3 (although he does comment regarding 52. Nh4 as follows: “Black would also have had excellent winning chances had White exchanged on e5.”)

To return to the position after 49. … e5!, I wonder if White might have had some chance to hold by exchanging immediately on e5 with 50.fxe5 (instead of 50.Ke3?). After 50. fxe5, the continuation Ndxe5+ 51.Nxe5+ Nxe5+ 52.Ke4 Ke6 53.h3 h5 54.Bf8 would have left Black with the following position:

click for larger view

which is difficult, but perhaps not yet lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: As an illustration of how White might defend from the position posted above (after 54.Bf8), play could continue:

54. ... Nf7 55.Kf4 Kd5 56.g4 hxg4 57.Kxg4 Nd6 (or 57...Kc4 58.h4 b4 59.Bxb4 Kxb4 60.h5 g5 61.h6=) 58.Kg5 b4 59.Kxg6 b3 60.Bg7 Nc4 61.Bc3, and Black should hold from this position without great difficulty.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <Benzol>, if you still seek games for the "Drink Like A Grandmaster" collection, look at the games of Alexander Tolush during the 1953 Budapest. According to an old friend of mine, he was passed out drunk before at least one of the matches.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <An Englishman> Thanks for the tip. The collection is on hold at the moment and will be for some time. When I finally get through all of <Richard Taylor>'s magazines then I might be able to devote some time to it.


Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: In Colle-Rubinstein Rotterdam 1931 White played 9 e4 and went on to win; Alekhine's 9 Qb3?! was weaker and resulted in an isolated pawn middle game where the white queen knight was passive on d2. 27 Nc5..Nd6 would have favored Black. 28..Nc7! was clever avoiding White getting an advantage with Rxd5 and Nf6+. 36 Bc1? was an error in time trouble; 36 exf+ or 36 f4 would have maintained the balance. Alekhine had not considered Reshevsky's 37..Nc2 though Reshevsky thought he would also have retained an advantage after 37..Nxb4 38 Bb2..Ndc2 39 Ke2..Nd5 40 Kd3..Ncb4+ 41 Kd4..Na6!. As mentioned above 49 Ba3? was a positional blunder (really a tough move to understand) allowing 49..e5 break after which Black was winning; 49 Bd4 would have kept White in the game. Black did not fall for the trap 58..b2 59 Kc2..Nxd2 60 Kxb2..Nb4 61 Kc3 with a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Alekhine, as I recall, was critical of 9.Qb3 in his annotations and mentioned Colle's move as being better than the game continuation.
Jan-07-17  newzild: <plang>

<49 Ba3? was a positional blunder (really a tough move to understand) allowing 49..e5 break after which Black was winning>

It's a positional blunder to allow 49...e5 for the following reasons:

1) Black exchanges a weak isolated pawn for a strong member of White's kingside pawn chain.

2) Black's king can advance into the centre via the light squares, now that e6 has been vacated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: 11. a5 looks like it wins a piece, but...d4xe3, 12. f2xe3, Nc5, 13. a5xN, NxQ, 14. b6xQ, NxR, is good for black. Or 12..Nc5 13. Qb6+ N(b)d7 doesn't lead to anything either.
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