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Alexander Alekhine vs Karel Treybal
"Bridge Over Treybal Water" (game of the day Mar-12-2012)
Karlsbad (1923), Karlsbad CSR, rd 3, May-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: General (D30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  meloncio: I think the best win of Player of the Day deserves a kibitz at least.

<Gypsy> writes today an interesting story on Karel Treybal page.

Jun-17-10  znsprdx: <

click for larger view

> 35. White plays the dubious Bxe4

Could it be? It seems as though even 35...d4+ wins

36.Kb2 (what else?) Bc4!? If 37.Rc1? Rb8+
38.Ka1 Rb3!

Mar-12-12  rilkefan: Thinking 29.Re1 meant white had really gone astray, I wondered if he was not lost as of move 28 with Rh1, but stockfish exchanges and plays ...c5: about -2. (Instead 28.Rf1 is about a pawn worse.) In fact, it thinks white was in trouble after 24.cxb6 (perhaps played to avoid the apparently very drawing 24.Kc2). It seems (at a cursory level) to find black at least equal since 7.f4, preferring Be2, or even 6.Ne5, preferring Be2 or Bd3 (+0.5 at a depth of 26).
Mar-12-12  LoveThatJoker: Wow! Treybal playing like Kramnik!

I wonder if Kramnik ever studied some of Treybal's best games.

Anyway, joining rilkefan on the Stockfish side of things, I gave the position after 15...h5 to the engine to see what it would say after 16. gxh5 Be8! and Black has a newly minted great LSB.

Position after 15...h5 16. gxh5 Be8!

click for larger view

Note: After 17. h4. Stockfish likes the simple 17...Bxh5 for a -1.89 eval.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Why is this not classified as a Dutch/Stonewall?
Black's 7...Nxe5 is unique in chessgame's database.

Voluntarily giving up the h-file with 18.Rxh8 looks strange. The black rook eventually used the file to penetrate white's position.

The white bishops were spectators most of the game; they sat in place moves 20 - 32. In contrast, white's opening up the queenside with 24.cxb6 ep and then trading queens off with 25.Qa6 gave the black bishops scope and attacking points.

35.Bxe4 looks like desperation; black's mobile e and d pawns are ready to do damage.

Rough day for Alekhine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Interesting. I first thought that Alekhine had just blundered with 35. Bxe4. But look a little deeper and we see that white is in trouble anyway. He might as well lash out and generate some counterplay.

Here's the position after 28. Kb2

click for larger view

It might look level but actually black has the more pleasant game. He has a ready-made pawn break with c5, his bishops have more scope and he his rook commands an open file. What is more, he can attack e3 and send white's pieces passive.

This means that black can attack and white can only hang on grimly. And as Alekhine does not like to hang on grimly he tries to break out with Bxe5. Best to die with your boots on and a sword in your hand.

Mar-12-12  chopin4525: Was Alekhine sober? :)
Mar-12-12  newshutz: <chopin4525> Was Alekhine sober? :)

In 1923 it is likely he was, or at least not drunk :)

If only I could play as well sober as Alekhine did drunk.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Ouch. A failed bishop sacrifice. It takes practice. That's why it's recommend that beginners don't do it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Two questions always asked after an Alekhine loss: Did he drink too much? Did he not drink enough?

How about a cross between Alekhine and amos Burn? Then opponents can "enjoy" the combination of liquor and pipe smoke...No doubt Alexamos Khineoburn would have been champion-by default-most likely. Or he would have been dead at 30...

Mar-12-12  ephesians: Don't know if it's best, but 29....c5 was shocking and evidently just what Treybal needed to win this.
Mar-12-12  zakkzheng: Alakine defeated
Mar-12-12  Memethecat: I played this through from blacks side & thought the B swap was a bad idea for black. I then swapped & played from whites side & realised I was totally wrong, the B swap was the disaster that lost the game for Alekhine.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Originally Paul wanted to name his song "Bridge Over Harlem River", but Artie talked him out of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 35.Bxe4 was not a mistake but rather the best practical chance in lost position. After 35.f5 d4+ 36.Kb2 Rh2 37.Rg1 exf5 38.gxf5 e3 (diagram) white can just resign.

click for larger view

Feb-27-15  jerseybob: White's position after 22..Qe8 is already drab, but 23.b4?,b5! really begins his downfall in earnest. White may or may not have underestimated the strength of 24..Qb8! but to not capture E.P.on move 24 would just allow black a strong q-side assault with Kb7 and advancing the a-pawn. So can white improve at move 23? How about the maneuver Rc3/a3 to try and cajole the weakening a6, then try and work the black-squared bishop into the picture with Be1/a5? Black is allowed to move too of course, but it might've given him something to think about.
Mar-21-18  Stratic: Positionally, I'd say Alekhine's mistake was using both bishops merely to ward off a rook, while attacking two bishops with a lone rook on the other side and no coordination between sides due to poor pawn choices. This was clearly an imposter!
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