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Benjamin Markovich Blumenfeld vs Alexander Alekhine
"Ben-Hurt" (game of the day Apr-07-2008)
Moscow m (02) (1908), Moscow RUE, rd 2, Oct-??
Philidor Defense: Hanham Variation (C41)  ·  0-1



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sac: 32...Qxf1+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-13-14  plumbst: Very Easy. Material is even.

33.Kxf1 Rd1#

Gotta love Mondays on CG.

Oct-13-14  geeker: After some tricky Mondays, back to the tried and true Monday Queen sac: 32...Qf1 and mate in 2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop for a knight.

The white rook prevents a back rank mate. Hence, 32... Qxf1+ 33.Kxf1 Rd1#.

Oct-13-14  ucbu: Spend 2 minutes trying to find the mate/repetition but could not find it.

Realize that I'm trying to mate BLACK King :P

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <32.Qxf1+>
Oct-13-14  stacase: Took about 3 seconds to see that one.
Oct-13-14  zb2cr: This is quite simple, due to the Black Pawn on f3: 32. ... Qxf1+; 33. Kxf1, Rd1#.
Oct-13-14  Abdel Irada: When will players develop their "spider sense" about that pawn on the sixth? ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The puzzle itself is nice and easy.

The interesting question from 2008 is why did Alekhine play 12...Nxe2+ in his position?

click for larger view

There are several reasons why he shouldn't. He's moving a piece twice in the opening. He is giving up a well-outposted knight for a moderately weak bishop.

Flatfish has given one good reason for 12...Nxe2+ White's previous move was 12. Re1, preparing the way for a later Bf1 and g3, evicting the knight.

I think we can also explain this move on general principles. Black doesn't mind the lost tempi because the position is relatively closed.

He is happy to exchange off a pair of pieces because his position is relatively cramped. It is easier to survive and thrive in a cramped position if you have a smaller army.

Nxe2 also swaps a bishop for a knight, giving black the bishop pair. That might be an advantage when the position opens up.

The move I really liked was 24...Qd3

click for larger view

The black queen invades the white position and clamps everything in place. White's pieces are tripping over each other.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: The queen and rook take the star parts but the advanced black pawn wins the Oscar for best supporting role in a black and white drama by pinning the king without moving a muscle.

32. .... Qxf1
33. Kxf1 Rd1#

Oct-13-14  mistreaver: Monday. Black to play. 32...? Very Easy.
32 ... Qxf1+
33 Kxf1 Rd1 mate
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Back rank mate, assisted by Pf3: 32...Qxf1+ 33.Kxf1 Rd1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: It's Monday and "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" time with a back rank mate after 32...Qxf1+ 33. Kxf1 Rd1#.

P.S.: For the uninitiated, "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" is an introductory Chess book which features a number of back rank mate tactics. According to the Wiki article on Bobby Fischer at (see "Writings" and notes 615 and 616), Soltis said Bobby contributed some ideas but "chiefly his name" to the 1972 Bantam (publisher) Book. The Wiki article indicates the book was written "Under Fischer's name" and co-authored by Donn Mosenfelder and Stuart Margulies.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Hehe. For a second there I was wondering why the puzzle was so easy, but then remembered it was Monday, while in Canada's it's Thanksgiving. :p Anyway, easy puzzle to spot, as with pretty much any Monday queen sac puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> For what it's worth, Fritz 12 gives 12...Nxe2+ = to as its top choice for Black.

With his remaining Bishop out of play on b2, I don't think White has enough of an edge in development to exploit 12...Nxe2+.

Moreover, the alternatives don't look any better.

Oct-13-14  YetAnotherAmateur: Queen sac Monday: 32. ... Qxf1+ and it's over.

And why the heck did white play 22. Rxd8? Giving up that d file for no compensation is at least a part of what got him into trouble in the first place.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Black made sure White stepped directly on the f3 sargnagel.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: I am interested in the 2011 comment by <Gambit All> regarding "Alekhine's ...6th (Ne7), 14th and 15th Knight moves (Nf8, Ne6) were unusual for the Defensive system." I see that he is gaining more control over the center but the Bishop move ...17 Bb4 was confusing. I guess he was trying to put some control on the e1 square keeping the rook off of it. After the somewhat natural reply 18. c3 Alekhine leaves the bishop hanging while he advances the Knight (18....Nf4) to a post he could have had anyway. I understand, almost, the next bishop move (19...Bf5) as connecting the rooks and securing a place for RxR response protecting himself from loosing the Queen file. I am suspecting that Alekhine saw something after 17...Bb4 that lead him to hang it out that way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I looked on the g file for mate, but instead looked toward the back rank and the pawn at f3: mate in two by the queen sac.

Fooled me, the queen sacs were missing for a few weeks. At least today, it's back.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Longview> I think 17...Bb4 is a high class positional move, as Bobby Fischer might have said.

click for larger view

One of the important features about this position is that white doesn't have his light squared bishop any more. That means he is potentially weak on the light squares.

So what black wants to do is to make the white light squares even weaker. And that means provoking white into putting pawns on black squares.

After 17...Bb4, black threatens Nf4 trapping the white Re2 and winning the exchange. White can prevent this but only by making pawn moves that he doesn't want to make. 18. c3 makes the d3 square weak (and makes the black bishop into a "bad" bishop). 18. g3 makes both f3 and h3 weak.

Fast forward to the position after 21. Bf8 and we can see that black is almost comically overloaded on the black queenside squares:

click for larger view

It's almost as if he is playing draughts / chequers.

Because of Bb4/Qc3, black is able to dig himself a foxhole for his queen on d3. And the final position shows atotal domination of the light squares around the white kind:

click for larger view

17...Bb4 doesn't guarantee a black win. It is not a wham-bang tactic. But it does make black's pieces that little bit better than their white counterparts.

The wham bang tactics can come later.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: A point to add to <Once>'s summation, if I may.

This game by the fifteen year old Alekhine is an instructive exercise in the trading of one advantage for another, to wit: one asset in the hands of the possessor of the two bishops is that the player can exchange one off at a propitious moment.

Oct-13-14  DarthStapler: Got it easily
Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: Wonderful appraisal and very enlightening<Once>; <perfidious> your annotation is helpful as well. Interesting that a 15 year old's mind could be that well versed in the stratagem and execute it so skillfully. It is a delight to see but even more now to understand. Thanks to you both.
Oct-13-14  BOSTER: <Longview: Interesting that a 15 y. old's mind could be that well versed in the stratedem>.

My opinion that white lost this game himself.

As a student of chess psychology Blumenfeld should clearly understand that in pos. white to play 16.(diagram) it was necessary to play Nef5 to open lines for his pieces on the king side (if 16...Nf4 Re3).

So, Alekhin should defend g7 pawn .

But whte played 16.de5 dxe5 opening the d file for the black rook, and giving more mobility for the bishop e7.

click for larger view

Maybe chess psychology has changed completely since 1908.

Dec-06-16  wilfredo munoz: What an odd Hanham has it become! I was waiting for Ngf6 and then Al played Ne7, which as it turned out is playable after all.
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