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Stefan Levitsky vs Alexander Alekhine
Alekhine - Levitsky (1913), St Petersburg RUE, rd 9, Mar-13
Ponziani Opening: Leonhardt Variation (C44)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Perhaps somebody can help: If there is a profound idea behind <39...Ra8?!>, I do not see it. All I see is that 40.Bg2(!) could have retained the extra bishop for White and thus gave him a decisive advantage. Black's attack in variations like (i) 40...Ra2+ 41.Kd1 Qa1+ 42. Ke2, or (ii) 40...Qa1!? 41.d4! Ra2+ 42.Kd3 Qb1 43.Ke2 just fizzles and dies out. In contrast, game <40.d4? Qxf1 41.dxc5? Ra2+> returns the bishop and throws in also the White rook as an interest. What am I missing?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Also, why didn't White 3-peat position by 50.Kc4? He was a rook down for god sake!
Sep-29-04  Tartalacreme: 40.Bg2 Qa1 (Ra2+ 41.Kd1 Qf1+ 42.Bxf1) 41.d4 c4! 42.bxc4 Ra3 (black threatens Rc3# and white has to give the queen to parry the threat

43.Rd3 Ra2+
43.Rd1 Qc3+)

However the position is far from clear after 43.Qd3! as white has rook, bishop and a couple of passed pawns for the queen.

Sep-29-04  clocked: <Gypsy> profound? The idea is simply to attack the king. What else do you want? 40.Bg2 Qa1 41.d4 c4! 42.bxc4 Ra3 and white has no advantage at all.
Sep-29-04  sagahelten: After 40.Bg2 Qa1 41.d4 c4! 42.bxc4 Ra3, the best thing black can get out of the position is a draw! And yes, Gypsy, white could have forced the draw by 50. Kc4!!
Sep-29-04  marekg248: I think the reason why white didn't play 50.Kc4 after which the game would be drawn is that he was still believing that he was going to win! Look at the march of d pawn, he probably trusted in the power of connected passed pawns. He could have made it, had black played passively, but 55...♕f6+ made all his hopes vanish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <All> Thanks a lot for the help!! Of course I knew I was making a tactical oversight, but for a dear life I could not find it.

Now I know: After <40.Bg2 Qa1 41.d4>, I was discarting <41...c4!> because I eroneously thought that the pawn was exposed to the queen (Qxc4). It was a side effect of the order in which I examined the variations. I examined the continuation 41...cxd4 first and then I failed to mentally replace the white pawn to d4.

I do not quite know how best to prevent mental errors like this. I will figure out some book-keeping scheme (to prevent such mixing of variations). But the hard part will be for the scheme to take hold and become a natural thinking habit...

As for the <50.Qe8?!>, I mainly wanted highlight the fighting balls Levitsky shows in the game.

Nov-24-04  johnwgoes: I don't understand why black didn't make 37. ...Bxg2.
Nov-24-04  Knezh: 38. Qxf5
Dec-14-14  TheFocus: Match Game 9 played in St. Petersburg, Russia on March 13, 1913.

Alekhine won the match by a score of +7=0-3.

Jun-15-19  mifralu: Different move order and additional moves
44. Kb5 Qd1 45. Kc4 Qc1+ 46. Kb5 Qd1 47. Kc4 Qc1+ 48. Kb5 Qd1 49. Kc4 Qf1+ 50. Kb4 Qa1 51. Kc4 Qf1+ 52. Kb4 Qa1 53. Qe8+ Kg7 54. d6 Qd4+ 55. Kb5 Rb2 56. Kc6 Rxb3 57. d7 Rd3 58. Qe7 Qf6+ 59. Qxf6+ Kxf6 0-1 >

< Skinner&Verhoeven, Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games 1902-1946, pp. 78-79 >

Correction slip submitted.

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