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Alexander Alekhine vs Friedrich Koehnlein
Duesseldorf (1908), Duesseldorf GER, rd 4, Aug-06
Colle System (D05)  ·  1-0



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Given 83 times; par: 27 [what's this?]

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find similar games 1 more Alekhine/Koehnlein game
sac: 16.Qxd6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I got the puzzle right,but didn't know the follow up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Vicars need love, too.
Mar-17-11  morfishine: <gofer> Good, actually great work on 14.Rxe5. I spent quite a lot of time on that move before finding 14.Nxe5 and 16.Qxd6. Its good to know, from what I can tell, that 14.Rxe5 also wins, primarily due to blacks poor development.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Once .... the bicycle> Brilliant :)
Mar-17-11  KingV93: I also saw Nxe5 and Bc4+ but not the Queen capture...feeling a bit skeptical about awarding the point today. I should probably cut myself a break and award the point and a pint of Guiness as well!

On second thought the heck with the point I'll take the Guiness!

Mar-17-11  gazzawhite: First time I've ever gotten the first 4 puzzles in a week. Took me a few minutes before I realised that after 14. Nxe5, 14... Qxg5 is forced.
Mar-17-11  castle dweller: regarding <izimbra/once> . . . .

To spell it out,

the bike is analagous to a game of chess in this story.

the lost bike represents a game that is lost/forgotten and cannot quite be remembered of its own accord.

the bishop is like friend whose advice is analagous to a tool which can be used as a "remembering device" to recall the bike/game.

This particular remembering device, however, has the unintended consequence of recalling an association/indiscretion that, how shall I say, may best be forgotten.

Having established that . . . then one might assume that the Vicar (us) would prefer to lose the bike rather than being forced to recall his prior indiscretions by employing the Bishop's advice/tool.

I am not sure, however, that I follow how part of the Vicar's alternative requires the Bishop stealing the bike for him? Other than to imply that the Vicar remembered the game all along - and that his "confession" to the bishop was for purposes of absolution and being forgiven - knowing/remembering full well his past indiscretions of adultery.

Mar-17-11  kb2ct:

Always look for a queen sac in a CG puzzle.

Mar-17-11  izimbra: <castle dweller> The way I heard it is that <the vicar> and his wife were planning to divorce, he was lonely, and he got lured into some sexy flirting by organized con artists.

Calling any of that adultery, or claiming it was a case of just rewards is an absurd stretch. My point above is was that (as I imagine it) <the vicar> had real affection/love for some of the players, the emotional toll on him when he realized it was all fake might well have been greater than the amount of money he might have lost if the con was more successful (considered in the abstract by itself, but given the same general circumstances).

Mar-17-11  castle dweller: <izimbra>

- didn't know you were alluding to another tale!

Mar-17-11  WhiteRook48: i went for 14 Nxe5 but with the wrong idea
Mar-17-11  stst: Two main lines after 14. Nxe5:
(I) 14... QxB, 15. Bc4+ Kh8 16.QxB PxQ 17.Nf7+ Kg8 18.NxQ Kh8 19.Nf7+ etc and Bk, losing the Q and being harassed by W's N, can resign now; OR (II) 14... Qxd1 15.Bc4+ (yes, same trick first) Kh8 16. aRxQ (must get rid of Q before going down Nf7+, as R at f8 can take it, f8 guarded by B at d6,) BxN 17. RxR h6 (leaving K some air) 18.Be7 (smothering the f8R) Re8 19.Bf7 and Bk will lose the exchange, by brute: RxB 20.RxR then Kh7 (B is trapped) 21. Rd8 locking B and R at a8, and Bk can resign in view of W's overwhelming position and material.

Alekhine should be about #2 or 3 on my list!

Mar-17-11  SufferingBruin: Yeah, Alekhine could play a little bit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Or maybe the bicycle was a metaphor for the vicar's faith? At the start of the story, the vicar has assumed that his bicycle has been stolen. Without any evidence or proof, his first reaction was to take the cynical view and to doubt his parishioner's honesty. And that is a pretty mean-spirited thing to do for a man of the cloth.

The reality is that no-one has stolen his bike. He misplaced it through his own forgetfulness. So when he recovers the bike, it reminds him that he should really have more faith in his fellow man. Instead of thinking the worst of others, he should first look to his own weaknesses.

For that matter, we have no proof that the vicar was guilty of adultery. He may have been advising a married couple in his parish who were having marital problems.

So perhaps we are at fault when we jump to the conclusions that the adultery in the story must be the vicar's? Metaphorically, have we all lost our bicycles?

Or maybe it's just a joke, which was already decades old when it was first told to me some thirty years ago?

Mar-18-11  Orhtej: Nice game for alekhine..:p
Mar-18-11  castle dweller: just to clarify . . .

- the reason I mentioned adultery is because, given what <once> had mentioned in his story, that analogy is reasonable to ASSUME - although of course it is not by any means proven.

When the vicar mentions adultery in his sermon, it triggers his recollection of where he left his bike - so its not unreasonable to assume that PERHAPS it was his own indiscretions that triggered that recollection. The story, as related here, does not allow us to really make much more inferences than that.

As far as the real story goes, I have never heard it before, and have no clue about anything it intends to relate. I took all my cues from the story that <once> wrote here! Obviously, if there is any more to the story than what was retold here, that could change everything!

I agree that the bike could be a metaphor for the vicar's faith, or lack thereof - if the bike is seen thru the lens of forgetfulness - because at the end of <once's> tale, he compares the lost bike to a forgotten game. So yes, surely it is possible that the Vicar has misplaced his goodwill toward others - although then perhaps another of the ten commandments would have been a more appropriate trigger to his recollection.

I was curious, though, as to why the week passed in a "sepia-tinged" haze - is that the colour of a mind searching for a foggy recollection??

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <castle dweller> To explain...

It's not a true story. It's a very very old joke. The mechanism for the humour is that an unexpected revelation <that the vicar is being adulterous> is revealed through indirect means - <him forgetting where he left his bike>.

The sepia tinge is because the story/joke is set in the 1950s, when everything was black and white.

And the link to the game is about forgetfulness. I really cannot remember seeing this game before, but I got to the solution almost instantly. And I'm normally not a good enough analyst to solve Thursday level problems as quickly as that.

Apparently Paul McCartney had a similiar experience with the song "Yesterday". He says that he heard the song in a dream. What is more, he dreamt it so clearly that he was able to play it note for note when he woke up. And this worried him - had he remembered it clearly because it was a song he had already heard and just remembered, or had he really just made it up in a dream? Forgetfulness or inspiration?

So he played the song for the other Beatles to see if they recognised it.

Who knows? Whilst he was doing this, maybe Ringo said something like: "Hey, this reminds me of a joke about a vicar who thought his bike had been nicked...."

Mar-18-11  castle dweller: <once>

I'm not sure this is entirely worth the effort here, but for the sake of clarity, and possibly some closure as well,

Let me explain . . .

I think the misunderstanding stems from <izimbra's> comments - since he references elements of the real/original story that you didn't include when you told it. For instance, he said:

<The way I heard it is that the vicar and his wife were planning to divorce, he was lonely, and he got lured into some sexy flirting by organized con artists.>

and then he said, to me, . . .

<calling any of that adultery . . . is an absurd stretch>

But this seems kinda whacky to me - I am not sure I understand why labeling it adulterous was an "absurd stretch" - it seems perfectly sound, given what you said.

For instance, since it was the association with "adultery" that led to his recollection, we can fairly assume he was adulterous - at least that's how I understand the humour.

In any case, I stand by my assessment and think its fine!!

And thanks about the sepia reply, if we are creating montages for the kids at school, we use sepia as a means of conveying temporal distance as well.

Mar-18-11  castle dweller: and I can't sign off here tonight without saying one more thing . . .

It's interesting that you mention Sir Paul and the Fab Four - for surely (among other things) they were masters of the art of association.

The Beatles are among my favorite musicians and I never tire to hear about their history and sources of inspiration, etc. They really were something special, no?

As an amateur musician myself, I find that I have similar experiences where I wonder exactly how I came up with a certain sound or melody. As an artist, one always looks inward to discover sources of inspiration and I imagine that it happens all the time with artists, regardless of the medium they use. "Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time . . . . and find that I get by with a little help from my friends . . . (we both ended on a Ringo, savvy?)

Mar-18-11  izimbra: <castle dweller> I had the same interpretation of <once>'s story and you are correct that I was describing a truly different story that I had heard. After that however, you go on to make an argument that selectively combines pieces from the two different stories, perhaps generating more confusion.

You mention a desire for "closure". The following Wikipedia article is a little abstract, but I recommend a close reading, as it may not only help you with that goal, but also describes important wisdom of general applicability:

Dec-18-13  MarkFinan: I think Alekhine is just taking the micky out of his opponent with the Queen sac here. There's just no need to play it as far as I can see anyway! Same threats, same result whether he plays 16.Qxd6!? or not. Or is my patzer brain missing something beside common sense here? For that reason alone this game doesn't make my collection of miniatures, and I know that would bother him greatly lool.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <MarkFinan>
<same result whether he plays 16.Qxd6!? or not>

The difference: on the immediate 16. Nf7+, Black can play <16...Rxf7> because he still has the bishop on d6, thus allowing 17. Re7+ <Rf8>. So White would win only the exchange (17. Bxf7), instead of a whole piece as in the game line.

Make sense? Now add it back to your collection of miniatures.

Dec-18-13  MarkFinan: Beatgiant.. For once your far superior than mine chess knowledge didn't make sense, no. I obviously saw that the bishop was defending the f8 square, but totally missed that if white did play Nf7+ ..RxN Re8+ and simply rook or bishop back to f8. So I missed it as I only skimmed through the game once very quickly looking for *something* brilliant to catch my eye to add to my collection. Now I've been back through the game I still don't think it's anything special and I honestly think if it was a game of my own I would have seen it.

Jan-07-15  Paarhufer: The game score is wrong. K√∂hnlein played 16.. ♕xg2+ and resigned after 17.♔xg2. This can be found in the tournament book and in some newspapers from 1908. And also here:, where Winter gives the DSZ as a further source.
Dec-12-15  Sularus: This is probably the earliest Colle game here at CG.
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