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Alexander Alekhine vs Zoltan von Balla
Budapest (1921), Budapest HUN, rd 10, Sep-17
Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation (D02)  ·  1-0



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sac: 19.Rxc3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-26-08  ToTheDeath: 17.Rfd1 sets a deep trap. Typically crushing Alekhine chess.
Dec-27-14  TheFocus: Alekhine won the Budapest International tournament held in Budapest, Hungary with a score of +6=5-0.

This is round 10, September 17, 1921.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Great Balla Fire>
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: 23...Qc8 24.Qe7 seems to end it quickly.
Jul-14-20  zydeco: I think Alekhine has a couple of other games with this motif, a queen rolls to the other side of the board gaining a tempo on every move and landing on an unexpected square. The position at move 23 is like a three-move problem: how does white’s queen get to g5 as fast as possible. Probably both players saw more or less this position from around move 17. Von Balla decided to pocket the pawn and exchange missing the route d7-e7-g5.
Aug-04-23  Brenin: 19 Rxc3 Qxc3 20 Bb5+ Bxb5 21 Qxb5+ Kf8 22 Bh6+ Kg8 23 Qd7 Qc8 24 Qe7 and 25 Qg5 mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Some days you're the pigeon, other days you're the statue: today we see Balla on the receiving end of a typical Alekhine onslaught.

From this angle, it appears 19.Rxc3 Qxc3 20.Bb5+ Bxb5 21.Qxb5+ Kf8 22.Bh6+ Kg8 23.Qd7 leaves Black defenceless, the point being 23....Qc8 is met by 24.Qe7.

Aug-04-23  Refused: 19.Rxc3

a) 19...Qxc3 20.Bb5+ Bxb5 (what else?) 21.Qxb5+ Kf8 22.Bh6+ Kg8 23.Qd7 is curtains (dual mating threats of Qd8+ and Qe7-g5+)

b)19...Bxd1 is similar 20.Bb5+ too lazy to write down all the lines, key motifs are Rc7+ Rd7+ if the king goes forward, otherwise it's rinse and repeat with Bh6+ and Qxd1 to create mating threats with Qxg4

Aug-04-23  Mayankk: For a change the line I analysed turned out to be the same as text.

Black King is half naked and if we get Bh6 in at any time, we basically consign it to the last rank. So my focus was to get Bh6+ by any means.

Hence 19 Rxc3 Qxc3 ( 19 ... Bxd8 20 Bb5+ is probably no better) 20 Bb5+ Bxb5 21 Qxb5+ Kf8 22 Bh6+ (the main idea behind sac) Kg8 23 Qd7. And now there is no getting away from a back rank mate.

Aug-04-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: One first think: 19. Rxc3 Qxc3 20. Qe4 Bxd1 21. Qxa8+ Ke7 22. Bg5+ Kd7 23. Bb5+ Kc7 24. Qxa7+ Kc8 25. Ba6#. Another line: 20... O-O 21. Bd3 f5 22. exf6 Kf7 23. Qxh7+ Ke8 24. Bg6+ Rf7 25. Qg8#. 21. Bd3 Rfd8 22. Bh6 f5 23. exf6 Qxf6 24. Qxh7#.
Aug-04-23  jrredfield: 19 Rxc3 appears to be White's best option. I would say 19 ... Qxe5, 19 ... 0-0 or 19 Rb8. Not sure which. It appears that whatever Black responds with, his game is shot.
Aug-04-23  Delboy: Von Balla could have tried one last nasty trap in the final position. 23. ... Rf8, hoping for the flashy 24. Qd8 (24. ... Rxd8 25. Rxd8#), with seemingly unmeetable mating threats on f8 and g5. But after 24. ... Qe1+! black might even be winning. (Of course Alekhine would have played 24. Qe7)
Aug-04-23  mel gibson: The first ply stands out easily but as it was a puzzle I thought it had to be something more interesting but couldn't find anything.

Stockfish 16 says:

19. Rxc3

(19. Rxc3 (Rc1xc3 Ra8-b8 Rd1-c1 Qa5xe5 Bc4-f1 O-O Qb1-b4 h7-h5 Qb4xa4 Rb8-a8 Rc3-c7 Qe5-f5 Rc7xa7 b6-b5 Qa4-a3 Ra8-b8 Qa3-e7 Rb8-e8 Qe7-h4 Re8-d8 Ra7-c7 Rf8-e8 Rc7-c5 Rd8-d5 Bf1xb5 Re8-b8 Rc5xd5 e6xd5 a2-a4 f7-f6 Be3-h6 Qf5-g6 Qh4-g3 Rb8xb5 a4xb5 Qg6xh6 Rc1-c8+ Kg8-h7 Qg3-c7+ Kh7-g6 Rc8-g8+ Kg6-f5) +7.03/43 348)

score for White +7.03 depth 43.

Aug-04-23  paavoh: Quite straightforward IMO. White must take on c3 diverting the Black Queen from b5 square and Qxb5+ and Bh6+ will follow. Then doubling on the d file to end the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The genius of Alekhine.

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The f1 Rook is brought in play as irresistible bait.

First he allows it be Queen skewered and then Knight forked. I think most of us may have stopped looking any further after seeing 17...Ba4.

Aug-04-23  nalinw: There is a decent pun waiting to be selected .....
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

Black threatens Nxb1, Nxd1 and Bxd1.

The uncastled black king invites to play 19.Rxc3 Qxc3 20.Bb5+ Bxb5 (else Bxa4) 21.Qxb5+:

A) 21... Kf8 22.Bh6+ Kg8 (22... Ke7 23.Qd7#) 23.Qa4 f5 (due to Qxg4#) 24.Qf4 (24.exf6 Qxf6 25.Qxg4+ looks unnecessarily complex) 24... Kf7 (24... Qc7 25.Qg5+ Kf7 26.Qg7+ Ke8 27.Qxh8+ and mate in two) 25.Qg5 Qxe5 (25... Rg8 26.Qf6+ Ke8 27.Qxe6#) 26.Rd7+ Ke8 27.Qe7#.

B) 21... Ke7 22.Qd7+ Kf8 23.Bh6+ Kg8 24.Qd8+ Rxd8 25.Rxd8#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Again the problem of seeing a winning line (23.Qa4 followed by 24.Qf4) an overlooking a clearer, quicker alternative (the text 23.Qd7).

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