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Alexander Alekhine vs Vasily Rozanov
Moscow Chess Club Autumn t (1908), Moscow RUE, Nov-04
Owen Defense: General (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-21-02  Bears092: Could this be classified as a version of the French Defense? After blacks fourth move it looks like a French.
Jul-07-03  sarayu: re: 10...Rxh7. Why exchange the rook, instead of Nxh7? If 10... Nxh7; 11. Bxh7 Rxh7 preventing 12. Qxg7. ???
Jul-07-03  sarayu: I get it...because otherwise he loses the knight. 11. Qxg7 Rf8; 12. Qxh7 or Bxh7.
Jul-07-03  patzer2: Wow! With 14 Rxh4! Alekhine threatens an inescapable mating web with 14 Rxh4! Qxh4 15. Bg5 Qh1 16. Ke2 Qxa1 17. Qf6 (and mate with 18. Qe7# or 18. Qd8# cannot be avoided). Black can only escape this fate by giving up the queen (losing too much material), as in the game continuation. Note that 15...Qh7 loses immediately to 16. Qf6, with essentially the same deadly double mate threat (17. Qe7# or 17 Qd8#).
Jul-07-03  fred lennox: Looks life a French to me. Black tries to solve the problem of the Queens bishop, it seems, but with 5...c6? Nd7 is more in charactor of the position.
Jul-07-03  KnightBlade: I saw 14 Rxh4 but i missed 17 Qf6 which is decisive, i kept coming up empty after 17 Bh6 Nbd7
Sep-06-04  Knight13: Why not 16...Qxa1?
Sep-06-04  mjk: <Knight13> 16...♕xa1 17.♕f6 threatening mate at e7 and d8 simultaneously.
Feb-08-05  Saruman: <15.Bg5!> was a clever maneuver by Alekhine and Rosanov had to pay the prize. Although the real combo started as early as move 10.
Sep-28-06  Phony Benoni: An unusual double-rook sacrifice: one active, one passive.
May-16-09  vonKrolock: It's a French, but quite rare. Yesterday I was playing, as black, a friendly game with that <"rusty Rasputin">, or <"pusillanimous popinjay"> (my computer) and the game started 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 b6 4.♘f3 ♗b7 5.exd5 - the <"tin-plated tyrant"> diverges... 5...♗xd5 6.♘xd5 ♕xd5 7.♗d3 ♘f6 8.c4 ♕b7, introducing

click for larger view

the "French Queen Fianchetto"

More Zachary Smith's 'Monikers for machines' here

May-16-09  WhiteRook48: White is on top
Jul-25-09  backrank: 8. ♘g5! is very strong, threatening ♘xe6!. White can afford attacking before developing since he has space advantage in the center (mainly due to the pawn e5). Of course, the combination 13. h4 followed by 14. ♖xh4!! is very pretty. Black had to take the h4 pawn since otherwise it would simply have marched on, while additionally there had been the threat ♖h1-h3-f3. Note that the double mating threat on e7 and d8 after 17. ♕f6 is possible since Black's queen's wing is totally undeveloped.
Jan-18-12  tenorhighc: 21. Nd1. The position was locked so tight that Black had to sit there and wait for death to occur. The slow white Knight moved his way taking 4 moves to get to NF6+.
Jul-06-15  visayanbraindoctor: First time I have seen this little gem of a game. Alekhine displays total tactical control and produces a rare double rook sacrifice. Only a few players ever get to produce such a sacrifice in their entire careers but here we have 16 year old Alekhine doing it.

When he played 10. Nxh7, AAA must have seen that it was leading by force to the position at 13. h4. This position is clearly winning for White if Black does nothing. White simply pushes his h-pawn up the board to queen.

Hence AAA must have seen in his mind's eye that after 13. h4, Bxh4 was the only viable Black option, in which case black apparently terminates the threat. Most players would have stopped analyzing there in their mind's eye.

But not the imaginative Alekhine, who clearly had already prepared a further sacrificial sequence featuring the rare double rook sac. In this case it's based on deflecting the black Queen away from the defense of the e7-d8 squares.

This may look obvious to us in retrospect, replaying this game in our comfy computer. But the theme of deflecting the black Queen away from the e7-d8 squares is based on two more events. One, eliminating Black's dark squared bishop which was also contributing to the defense of e7-d8. This AAA did by sacking his rook for the bishop 14. Rxh4. Two, placing a White bishop on g5 and the white Queen on f6 15. Bg5 Qh1 16. Kd2 Qg2 17. Qf6.

All these ideas are not easy to see from the initial position at all beginning at 10. Nxh7. Along the way Alekhine also had to calculate through a myriad of potential variations, aside from probably calculating up to 17. Qf6 from the initial 10. Nxh7 in his mind's eye.

I would bet that if present-day kibitzers saw a game like this being played live in the internet by a 16 year old schoolboy, they would be agog at such an attacking talent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <visayan> This is indeed a pleasing combinative effort by Alekhine, but there were few viable sidelines for him to calculate. For a competent player, it is not at all difficult to perceive the forcing process commencing with 10.Nxh7 and carrying on with 13.h4. The one potential pitfall comes when, as you note, Rozanov defends in the strongest way possible with 16....Qxg2, the problem being that the forcing rejoinder 17.Qf6 puts paid to his efforts.

So far as <I would bet that if present-day kibitzers saw a game like this being played live in the internet by a 16 year old schoolboy, they would be agog at such an attacking talent.> goes: cannot agree more.

Jul-06-15  visayanbraindoctor: <perfidious> Speaking for myself, I would have easily seen and considered the position at 13. h4. But being the unimaginative dumbbell that I am, I probably would have thought that upon 13. h4, then Bxh4 ends my h-pawn's queening aspirations, and would most probably have stopped there in my mind's eye. Not even considering that I could just eliminate that bishop and go for the e7 square.

If the position on the board is already at 13. h4, it would be no problem to me to think of the double rook sac. One of the first options I would think of is 14. Rh4 Qh4 15. Bg5, as AAA played. I would play it too. However, to be able to consider this option at move 10 is probably too much for my unimaginative chess mind. So I might not have gone into the 10. Nxh7 sacrificial line at all.

I think you ought to see this game too. Alekhine vs B Gregory, 1909 played by the 16 year old Alekhine later in the Russian amateur championship. He sacs a rook based on two themes, shifting his Queen in a sudden twist via the back rank to directly attack his opponent's King. And shutting off the capturing bishop after two pawn pushes several moves later after the initial sac.

I was astonished. I would not have the imagination to even think it's possible.

The 16 year old Alekhine was quite a phenomenon. I kind of regret he was not born in the computer age, so we can get wowed by the incredible tactics of this 16 year old live in the internet.

Jul-07-15  MarkFinan: I've just been back through the game and unusually for me I got the 9..Nf8 move wrong, lol. It's probably one of only 2 moves.. Anyways, here..

click for larger view

What's wrong with 24.Nf6+ ? Because after ..kd8 Ng8 ..Ng6 f5 ..exf NxN ..NxN Rh8 you have this position

click for larger view

That's much better, I know the game was already won but even so..

We're all GM's with engines, lol. Great game though.

Jan-01-18  visayanbraindoctor: <Phony Benoni: An unusual double-rook sacrifice: one active, one passive.>

A companion game to Alekhine vs Levenfish, 1912 and Rodzynski vs Alekhine, 1913

In the Levenfish and Rodzynski games, Alekhine does a more 'conventional' double rook sac.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Inspiration for early Ng5 move here - sweet - used this early Ng5 many times online with great success.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <kingscrusher: Inspiration for early Ng5 move here - sweet - used this early Ng5 many times online with great success.>

Black is in bad shape after 8.Ng5 -- for example, trying to undermine the center with 8....c5 loses immediately to Nxe6.

4....Bb4 is much more common for Black, and certainly scores better than 4....d5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <keypusher> Yep I have won a tonne of games with tactics like h6 Qh5 Qe7 Nxf7! with idea of Qxf7 Bg6 too in similar positions :)

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