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Isidor Gunsberg vs Alexander Alekhine
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 1, Apr-21
Italian Game: Classical. Closed Variation (C53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-22-09  ughaibu: I guess the only interesting think about this game is that it's an Alekhine game without any kibitzing, and now I've even taken way that point of interest.
Mar-28-11  shalgo: This was the first game in Gunsberg's disastrous final tournament (he scored 1/10).

His exchange sacrifice with 8.a5 and 9.Rxa5 is a little strange, but he has some compensation at move 12 with his edge in development and Black's fractured pawns.

Then, however, instead of the natural 13.Nxe5, he played 13.b3?, when Black is able to unravel his pieces nicely and White remains down a rook and a pawn. Alekhine shows no mercy after that.

Mar-08-14  estrick: Gunsberg didn't "sacrifice" the exchange on move 9. It appears that he blundered in his calculations.

In a similar game annotated in "Logical Chess Move by Move," Irving Chernev writes that with 8. a5, White is hoping that Black will take the a-pawn, which will result in White netting two minor pieces for the rook.

Von Scheve vs Teichmann, 1907

It's odd that Chernev appears not to have known about this game played between Gunsberg and Alekhine, since it occurred in a very famous tournament, and the game is even included in a volume titled "100 Instructive Games of Alekhine" by Fred Reinfeld.

Both Gunsberg and Chernev, nearly 50 years after this game won by Alekhine, failed to notice that after

8. ...Nxa5
9. Rxa5 Bxa5
10. Qa4+

Black can play 10. ...b5 which wins another piece by the second player, leaving him up the exchange, rather than simply giving up two pieces for a rook.

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