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Richard Reti vs Alexander Alekhine
"Roughin' Reti" (game of the day Jan-22-2005)
Baden-Baden (1925), Baden-Baden GER, rd 8, Apr-25
Hungarian Opening: Reversed Alekhine (A00)  ·  0-1



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Given 46 times; par: 70 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 13 OF 13 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-25-14  Dave12: 26..Re3, Rook can't be taken (Qxg3+). 28..Nc3, N is protected. 30..Nxe2, N is protected. 31..Ne4, the Rook can't be taken (Nxd2 and then Nxc1, or Nxf3). 32..Nxf2, protects the B. 33..Be6, kicking the R back to the b file, not to win the N- because 34..Ng4+, and here comes the use of the Rook on a1, white must play Kh3. 36..Rxf3, the R can't be taken (Nxf3+). 40..Nxd4, winning... the N on b7!!! calculating all this is a miracle
May-11-15  A.T PhoneHome: Haha, only now I realized how Alekhine wins here. I've had a brief look at this game every now and then; until now, I hadn't even considered the fact both White Knight and Bishop are on the same diagonal.

NOW I know what is so brilliant about this game. Hooray!

May-12-15  Howard: Oh ! Talk about a horrible pun ! Who the hell came up with that one ?!

It's based on, of course, a certain 1960's cartoon that I watched as a kid.

May-12-15  Howard: There's a PDF file available online which contains corrections/improvements to the games that Alekhine presents in his two classic books on his best games---I've looked at it several times.

If I remember correctly, the computer agrees with all of his moves starting with 27.Nf3.

Jul-11-16  Howard: The book Alekhine Move by Move, mentions that on the 38th move, Alekhine did have an alternative winning move, but I don't recall what it was...

....not that it really mattered!

Apr-25-17  Jeweller: Chess friends. Chess engines analyze this game here:
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: 32. pxe3? 32. Ne5? reti seems to take a very narrow path.

alekhine was a magician in his knight combinations.

Oct-02-17  Howard: First, this issue may have already been addressed on this website, but I'm not gonna wade through 12 pages of commentary to find out---so I apologize if this is redundant.

Back in April, 2003, someone posted a comment that according to Alekhine's book, the position did not occur three times. As I've read before, this is an example of how Alekhine was known to "fudge" several of the game scores in his books so as to boost his reputation.

In other words, Alekhine apparently omitted a pair of moves, so as to disguise the fact that Reti could have made a certain move and thus claimed a draw. Alekhine considered this game one of the two best ones he ever played..

...and he didn't want it to be known that Reti had had the opportunity to abruptly end the game around the 20th move !

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Howard, you might check out page 4 of the kibitzing. It was Alekhine who insisted there had been a 3 fold repetition, according to the Andrew Solis story given by Shadout Mapes
Sep-06-18  thegoodanarchist: <Apr-09-03 Shadout Mapes: ...

At this point the arbiter stepped in and corrected Alekhine. "The position has only been repeated twice and the game must continue," the arbiter (TD) told The World Champion somewhat fearfully. (Alekhine's temper was already quite well known!). >

This game was played in 1925, at which time Capablanca was World Champion!

Nov-08-19  ilhom84: who was better alekhine or tal.
Nov-21-19  HaydenB: I think it was Andy Soltis who wrote somewhere that Alekhine had to have seen at least 13 moves deep into his combination, not counting all the candidate moves in the possible side variations. He therefore considers this game to be the greatest example of calculation of any player ever.
Nov-21-19  Sally Simpson: ***

No Alekhine Gun in this game but we do get the Alekhine Torpedoes - Black Knights on e2 and f2.

click for larger view

And the Alekhine 3 Fold Rep Trap.

Alekhine could see Reti was going to play 20...Bg2 in answer to 19...Bg4

click for larger view

So Alekhine put on his hat and scarf and claimed a 3 fold rep. Reti walked straight into it by insisting it was not, an arbiter was called across, heated words were exchanged, the arbiter ruled in Reti's favour.

Alekhine took off his hat and scarf, played 19...Bg4 and said 'why all the fuss, it's a draw.' Reti now felt honour bound not to play 20.Bg2 and instead played 20.Bh1. Game On.

Source: Reti vs Alekhine, 1925 (kibitz #59)

Awful pun for such a great game.


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Sally Simpson> It might have been an honest misunderstanding. As has been often kibitzed, Russia's definition of three-fold repetition at that time was based on sequence of moves, unlike Western countries where it was based on repetition of position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <beatgiant: <Sally Simpson> It might have been an honest misunderstanding. As has been often kibitzed, Russia's definition of three-fold repetition at that time was based on sequence of moves, unlike Western countries where it was based on repetition of position>

Hi. I don't think I've ever heard about that. Neither the Wiki article* or Winter** has any mention of it. Do you have a link?


Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Diademas>
Check out B Verlinsky vs Ilyin-Zhenevsky, 1925 where it is discussed at length.
Nov-21-19  Sally Simpson: ***

Hi BeatGiant,

I recall we had this interesting three fold rep discussion before.

I think Alekhine knew of the three fold rep law because he refers to it in his book on New York 1924. (this game was played in 1925).

The bit about the Alekhine Three Fold Trap is me messing about, but it should be part of chess lore along with Marshall waiting 7-10 years to spring the Marshall Gambit on Capablanca (not true).


Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: <beatgiant> Thanks!

Seems like the most thorough treatment of the question is in Botvinnik vs N Sorokin, 1931 by <senojes> where he quotes Kotov's "Play Like a Grandmaster" (1978), pages 44-46.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: That got very complicated there. Lots of pieces very close together, with multiple captures available.
Aug-11-20  qqdos: <Sally Simpson> According to an eye-witness - source Bruce Hayden's book "Of Cabbages and Kings" - Alekine scrambled up the pieces which placed Reti in a psychological bind. He was the one strongly objecting to the irregularity and it would have been very strange and defeatist to make a great fuss and then lamely take the half-point.
May-06-21  SymphonicKnight: This game has been called Alekhine''s best game, and is truly marvelous, being also a reversed Alekhine's Defense. Tartakower said, "Capablanca has the title, Lasker has the results, but only Alekhine has the style of a real world champion." One can see how such an opinion might be sustained by this game. The Kibitzing for this game is also very instructive.
Aug-29-21  N.O.F. NAJDORF: Alekhine is reported to have remarked that this was his best game, 'from the artistic point of view.'
Nov-23-21  SebasJT: Hello! You can watch a video of this chess game here:

Jan-20-22  Margetic D: <ilhom84> it is imposible to compare 2 chess world champions which lived in totally different time. During time, chess theory is changing. Opening theory is nothing else, but practice of leading chess players, so it is always evolving. But still, if i should compare their total chess skills, i would put Alekhine on top. Tal war a brillant tactician, no doubt. Alekine was also a brillant tactician(see his deep, great combinations), but unlike Tal,he was also a gigantic positional player with technique which sometimes allowed him to realise microscopic advantages and transfer them to a victory.
Apr-12-22  et voila: Alekhine is as good a tactical player as Tal, but he's unlike Tal tactics are not his priority; winning is. Alekhine held his own against great endgame specialists such as Capablanca and Rubenstein and theoreticians such as Nimzowistch, Gruenfeld, and Reti leave alone many tactical players.
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