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Alexander Alekhine vs Herman Steiner
Blindfold simul, 26b (1924) (blindfold), New York, NY USA, Apr-27
Sicilian Defense: Hyperaccelerated Dragon (B27)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-10-06  Whitehat1963: Truly underrated game! 39. Bxb7! is an excellent move, throwing a little bait at Steiner, and the ending proves to be a slippery one right up to the last move, but the young Alekhine prevails nevertheless.
Jan-10-06  who: I don't understand your comment about 39.Bxb7. It's the only winning move (along with 39.Rc8+ which just transposes) - near as I can tell. What do you mean about bait?
Jan-10-06  Koster: <the young Alekhine prevails nevertheless> Alekhine was 32 when the game was played, Steiner 19.
Jan-10-06  Whitehat1963: <Koster> good point. But I only meant that it was still relatively early in Alekhine's career, as he didn't not really reach his best until the late 20s and early 30s.

<who> I mean the seemingly free bishop would be bait for a lot of patzers like me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: This game is from Alekhine's "World Record" blindfold exhibition at the Hotel Alamac in New York on April 27, 1924.

The exhibition was held at the same site, and 10 days after, the famous New York tournament of 1924.

Up to that date the blindfold exhibition record had been held by Breyer, who had played 25 on January 30, 1921 in Kaschau, scoring +15, -3, =7.

Alekhine, who faced strong opposition in this blindfold exhibition, scored +16, -5, =5. Play started at 2 PM and finished at 2 AM. Play was continuous except for a short break for dinner.

This record of 26 games was soon surpassed by Alekhine himself, when in Paris on February 1, 1925, he played 28 games.

At move 36, Steiner held the advantage. Fritz at that point prefers Black: (-.97) (20 ply) 36...Kg7, or (-.75) (20 ply) 36...Nf5, or (-.74) (20 ply) 36...Rf7.

After 36...Rf7 37.b6, Fritz indicates Black should have played: (-.73) (20 ply) 37...Re7 38.Rc8+ Kf7.

After 37...Nc6? 38.Ba6!, Fritz indicates Black still had a near equal game with: 38...Nd8! 39.Rc8 Rd7 40.Bxb7 Rxb7 41.Rxd8+.

Later, Steiner still had drawing chances with 45...Re8!. Perhaps Alekhine should have better prepared his Pawn promotion. Additional analysis is needed to determine if 44.b8Q should be delayed. After 44.b8Q Nxb8 45.Rxb8, Fritz indicates the following continuations, all with drawing chances for Black: (.58) (23 ply) 45...Re8! 46.Rb7+ Kf6 47.Rc7 g5 48.fxg5+ Kxg5 49.Ba6 Ra8 50.Be2 h6, and now, if: (.51) (20 ply) 51.Rc6 Kf5, or (.50) (20 ply) 51.Re7 Kf6, or (.50) (20 ply) 51.Rg7+ Kf6, or (.50) (20 ply) 51.Rd7 Kf5, (.48) (20 ply) 51.Kf3 Ra3+, or (.46) (20 ply) 51.Kh3 Ra2, or (.45) (20 ply) 51.Rc1 Ra2, or (.44) (20 ply) 51.Kf2 Ra2, or (.43) (20 ply) 51.Bd3 Ra3, or (.42) (20 ply) 51.Rf7 Ra2.

At move 46, Fritz strongly prefers 46.Rb6. Although after 46. Rb6 Re8 47.Rc6, it is difficult to prove a win for White. After Alekhine's 46.Kf3?, Fritz indicates the game would have been equal had Steiner player 46...Re8!.

A great exhibition performance by Alekhine. This game, even with the errors, is fascinating.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Phony Benoni> queried whether <Herman> was Capa's opponent here: Capablanca vs H Steiner, 1924 and it was tentatively agreed that he was.

But what about this game?

Helms in the <BDE> of May 15th, p.4A, referring to this as a game 'to stir the blood' has:

<One of the longest was with A. Steiner, one of the many younger experts lately developed by the active chess life of the Metropolis. It went to 65 moves before Steiner finally resigned, after exhausting every resource wherewith to outwit his blindfold antagonist.>

Skinner & Verhoeven have <H. Steiner> but the <BDE> of May 15th is one of the quoted sources. Also mentioned is the <ACB>, 1924, p.129. Does that have <A> corrected to <H>?

Did Herman ever write about taking part in this famous event?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In the publication, 'Alekhine in the Americas', by J. Donaldson; N Minev & Y. Seirawan; part three of this publication is titled; 'Alekhine's World Record Breaking Blindfold Exhibition'. The report given for this exhibition is stated to be a condensed version of the one appearing in the ACB. The report also provided a listing of Alekhine's 26 opponents in the blindfold exhibition. Opponent number three is listed as Herman Steiner. The full game moves were also provided, with H. Steiner listed as playing Black, and with annotations by Alekhine. Alekhine's annotations for this game are probably from his book, 'On the Road to the World Championship'. If someone has this book, they could check for additional verification of Steiner's name.

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