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Alexander Alekhine vs Rudolf Spielmann
Karlsbad (1923), Karlsbad CSR, rd 16, May-17
Queen's Gambit Declined: Barmen Variation (D37)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-03-03  Open Defence: Karlsbad 1923 - Alekhine 11 pts Spielmann 4 pts in last place

Alleged conversation between Reti and Spielmann:

Spielmann - 'I will win tomorrow'
Reti - 'Do you know who you are playing? You are playing Alekhine!' Spielmann - 'I know'
Reti - 'You will be playing Black!'
Spielmann - 'All the better!'

It is said that after the game (which Spielmann won) Alekhine smashed all the furniture in his room hehehehe

Nov-03-03  ughaibu: It's also been claimed that it was Alekhine's loss to Yates that caused him to get wild with the furniture, as he won the tournament I would be surprised if he did it after this game which I think was in the final round. Who knows? I suspect it's another colourful myth.
Nov-03-03  Open Defence: <ughaibu> Probably .. it may be some of the 'journalism' that Tal refers to hehehe but I think it's believable coz Alekhine it is said hated to lose and this must have been his first loss to Spielman .....
Nov-03-03  ughaibu: Open Defence: There's this one Spielmann vs Alekhine, 1911
Nov-03-03  Open Defence: thanks ughaibu, must have been 'journalism' then hahahahaha
Nov-13-04  kostich in time: One other sidelight to the Reti-Spiellman anecdote..which was recounted by Reinfeld and Kmoch in Chess review back in 1951. Reti found Spiellman at the bar, the night before the game, "drowning his sorrows in beer" as the country song put it. He solemnly reminded Spiellman of his duties, which is when the exchange took place.
Jan-16-05  Donmagnus: Spiellman was great I think.
Sep-01-05  aw1988: The moral: don't buy Alekhine house-warming gifts.
Sep-01-05  Anastasia: your funny!
Sep-01-05  PaulLovric: <Anastasia> where are you from?
Sep-01-05  RookFile: Well, 7. Bxc4 can't be what white is aiming for in this opening, to give up that beautiful bishop for a crummy knight on b6. Of course, white could have played 5. cxd5 to avoid all this. But I wonder, in the game line, whether 6. a4 is a try for white.
Sep-02-05  who: <PaulLovric> Ashot Anastasian
Sep-02-05  who: Why not 56...Rxf4+ and then taking the h pawn after? Wouldn't that be simpler?
Sep-02-05  Anastasia: I am from Ucranium.
Sep-04-05  PaulLovric: i thought you were a richard cranium
Sep-04-05  Boomie: <who> The white f-pawn blocks the bishop from covering h2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Robert Byrne mentions this game in the New York Times today.

Good game by Spielman, too.

Aug-18-07  Karpova: <And there the matter was left. But now we note that in an article published 11 years before Reinfeld’s book appeared (i.e. in Chess Review, May 1950, pages 136-138) he co-authored with Hans Kmoch an article on Carlsbad, 1923 which stated:

‘Alekhine was as furious as only he could be when he unexpectedly lost a game in his palmy days. On such occasions, rare though they were, he was filled with savage anger, so much so that he ran the danger of getting a stroke if he did not have an adequate outlet for venting his rage. Having resigned his game to Spielmann, he stormed back to his room at the Imperial (the best hotel in Carlsbad) and smashed every piece of furniture he could get his hands on.’>

It was Reinfeld who claimed that the incidence had occurred after the game against Yates later. But this seems unlikely as Winter writes that he lost to Yates in the seven round (out of 17) and it's therefore quite unlikely that Alekhine was so enraged because of giving away his chances to win first prize.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Karpova> Nevertheless, I can't understand Alekhine's unkind manner.
Feb-06-12  King Death: < Open Defence: ...Alekhine it is said hated to lose and this must have been his first loss to Spielman ..... >

It wasn't, he also lost to Spielmann at Karlsbad in 1911. The moral of this is that Alekhine shouldn't have ever played Spielmann in this town because both of his losses came there and he was 3-0 with 10 draws everywhere else. In this event Spielmann tied for last place with 5-12 and every game had a decisive result.

Jun-19-13  Bowen Island: The problem, who, with 56...Rxf4+ then 57...Rxh4 is that with the f4 pawn gone White's Bishop can get back into the game to defend against Black's h-pawn push.
Feb-17-14  avidfan: The final position gives a very striking example of good Bishop vs. bad bishop. The light squared bishop on the <long> diagonal controls h1, the promotion square.

click for larger view

The f4-pawn is a liability as it <blocks> or masks the bishop at d6 from <ready access> to h2, the last chance for White to neutralise the passed pawn on a dark square.

This diagram also shows two other noteworthy strategic features:

1. Rook on the seventh rank <limits> each king's activity.

2. Rook <behind> the passed pawn watches over the pawn no matter where it moves on the file.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Black's bishop arrives on d5 at move 31 and never moves again.
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