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Jacques Mieses vs Alexander Alekhine
Mannheim (1914), Mannheim GER, rd 10, Jul-31
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-28-05  Tabula Rasa: 35...Kh7!!

Even though material was even, Black's connected passed pawns offered promise of success. 35...b5 leaves the rook unprotected and White can reply with 36.Nf7! A surprising King move puts an end to all of White's hopes.

35...Kh7!! Black now simply threatens to push his b-pawns to victory. With Black's King on h7 the tactical 36.Nf7 is parried by 36...Rxg5 37.Nxg5+ Kg6! with White's knight trapped and lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: A deep trap by Alekhine! Once Mieses went for 31.Rc6? , the game was over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
<Once Mieses went for 31.Rc6? , the game was over.> But other possibilities like 31. h4 Rxb5 32. Nd3 Rb3 33. Rd2 Ng7 34. hxg5 Ne6 look pretty hopeless to me too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <betagiant> 31. h4 Rxb5 32. Nd3 Rb3 33. Nc1! (tempo) Maybe thats what Jacques missed?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
<Maybe thats what Jacques missed?> At first glance, I thought it was still losing after 31. h4 Rxb5 32. Nd3 Rb3 33. Nc1 Rb1 (with pin) 34. hxg5 c5 35. Kf2 Nc7 36. Ne2 Ne6, but it becomes surprisingly tactical if White then counterattacks with 37. Rd2 (the strength of which I had missed).

I suspect Black still wins, but I haven't found a line yet, so I agree this looks like a better try for Jacques.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: I like the counterattack idea. Even giving up a pawn to get the King up the board is worth it. for instance

Long variation - mainly for illustration of an attacking idea 31.h4 Rxb5 32.Nd3 Rb3 33.Nc1 Rb1 34.hxg5 c5 35.Kf2 Nc7 36.g3 fxg3+ 37.Kxg3 Ne6 38.Ne2 Nxg5 39.Kf4 Ne6+ 40.Kf5 Kf7 41.Ra2 and blacks rook looks out of play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Calli>
You are right, it becomes a close race if White counterattacks. This makes me think Black also should play more agressively: 31. h4 Rxb5 32. Nd3 g4!? but unfortunately I can't then find a winning line against 33. Kf2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Alekhine says that he spent 40 minutes on 28...Ne8! calculating the next 7-8 moves. Unfortunately, he gives no variations on 31.Rc6 but says

"White is falling into a trap set by his opponent. However, after other moves, Black's passed pawn would also decide the game in his favor."

Heh, a bit self-serving. If it is a trap, then other moves should be better and the annotator should at least give an alternate winning plan. Maybe AA couldn't find it either!

Mar-01-08  MichAdams: <Also at Mannheim Alekhine won a 50-move game from Jacques Mieses - but he omitted the final 15 moves in My Best Games, 1908-1923, making it seem that his quiet 35th move stunned his opponent into resignation.> (Andy Soltis, Alekhine's 15 "Improvements", Chess Lists)
Dec-25-14  talwnbe4: nicer game.. Mieses goes awry with 32. Rg6 when 32. Re6 was fine
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <talwnbe4>
It doesn't look fine to me after 32. Re6 Ng7 33. Re7 h4, threatening ...Nh5, ...Ng3 with a mating net. How does White avoid losing more material?
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