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Alexander Alekhine vs Oscar Chajes
"Filed Down" (game of the day Jul-14-2010)
Karlsbad (1923), Karlsbad CSR, rd 14, May-15
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Rubinstein Attack (D64)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-20-05  Heavy Metal Thunder: Wonderful knockout. Gotta love the rook run h8-h1-a1.
Oct-05-05  notyetagm: White's 62 ♘d6 takes control of the b5- and b7-squares. Black's reply, 62 ... ♖eb8, takes away the b8-square from the Black king. <The end result is that the Black king on a6 is now trapped in a corridor on the a-file>, the squares b2-b7 being covered by White pieces and the b8-square being self-blocked.

Alekhine knows that a rook check on the a-file would then be mate so he plays 63 ♖h1!, threatening 64 ♖a1 and 65 ♖xa4#. Black is oblivious to this threat and plays 63 ... ♘d7, escaping from what used to be a terrible pin on the backrank. Alekhine then executes his threat with 64 ♖a1 and the game is over, since Black can avoid mate only by shedding material (e.g., with 64 ... ♘b6).

Oct-19-05  Helios727: Any time you have a knight on e6 or d6 that is called a Steinitz Knight.
Oct-19-05  Helios727: Assuming the knight is hard to dislodge.
Oct-22-05  Brown: <Helios727> Really? Thought that was called a knight on the sixth rank
Oct-24-05  Helios727: No, if the knight was on a6, b6, c6, f6, g6, or h6, it would not have the same bite. Of course black can have a Steinitz knight on d3 or e3.
Oct-26-05  Brown: <Helios727> Never heard the phrase. Is it somehow commonly used without me stumbling across it over 8 years of reading and playing? Who of any significance coined or uses this moniker?
Nov-06-05  Helios727: Leonard Barden uses the term. He's a British chess-book writer.
Jul-06-06  farrooj: this is an interesting game, could black have escaped the squeeze earlier in the game, or was it perfect play by white? (because black wasn't so bad either)
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: According to Alekhine, his winning plan had the following three steps:

1. White brings his King to the centre, so that after the exchange of all major pieces on the h-file, the King can penetrate the Black position via a5 To counter this plan, Black's King will also have to head towards the centre and/or queenside. 2. By threats against Black's King and pawns, White forces the Black pieces to leave the Kingside. 3. At the proper moment Whites doubles rooks on the h-file, forces the exchange of Queens and Bishops, and penetrates with his Rooks into Black's kingside.

Source: Ednar Mednis, "King Power in Chess", McKay Publishing, 1982

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Long-Distance Runaround.
Jul-14-10  scormus: Great long term strategy superbly excuted by Alekhine, to grind B's position into dust with the h-file ..... Hey, I got the pun!

<Helios727> Steinitz Knight, Leonard Barden? I never knew that, always thought the term was from Jim Steinman .... at least when its a White Knight

Jul-14-10  screwdriver: Alekhine had his opponent in a positional bind for much of the middle game. He is finally rewarded with a killer mating attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Fancy! White quickly moved the attack from the 8th row to the a-file in two moves!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: btw,the pun:"filed down"-is R A N K.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Although the specific tactic is different, Alekhine's manoeuvre with his Rook at moves 63 and 64 reminds me of this game (which is best-known for the thematic Knight sacrifice at Black's 38th move):

Karpov vs Taimanov, 1977.

Jul-14-10  lzromeu: This dance on chessboard did remember Sugar Rey Leonard
Nov-08-11  ForeverYoung: Kotov uses this game as an example in planning. Putting this on a board to watch it is amazing!
Dec-09-13  jonie: A great game for which maneuvering is the theme!
Premium Chessgames Member
  SpaceRunner: Played the game thanks to Kotovs Play like a Grandmaster 1978 (he used this example earlier than Ednar Mednis!)

I Thought it obvious that Alekhine missed a combination because of the black piece placement!

40. Bxd5 Rbc7 41 Bf3 Bd7 42 Kc2 etc.

Black cannot recapture with the c pawn because White get 2 connected passed pawns and great attack. The e pawn is pinned to the knight!

May-07-17  Saniyat24: From move 48 onward Alekhine takes his chess on to a higher level...stealthy and lethal...!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: There are different move orders beginning with Black's 56th move.

The one given above (56.. ♔a8 57. ♖g8 b4 58. ♖hh8 ♖ee8 59. axb4 ♔a7 60. ♔c3 ♔a6 61. ♘f7 ♖a8 62. ♘d6 ♖eb8 63. ♖h1 ♘d7 64. ♖a1) is also in "Meine beste Partien 1908-1923" by AA.

The tournament book however gives: 56.. ♖a8 57.♖g8 b4 58.♖hh1 ♖ee8 59.axb4 ♔a7 60.♔c3 ♔a6 61.♘f7 ♖ec8 62.♘d6 ♖d8 63.♖h1 ♖d7 64.♖a1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Yes, the pun is duff. <Reversing the Chajes> would be apposite.
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