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Alexander Alekhine vs Karel Opocensky
Paris (1925), Paris FRA, rd 5, Feb-15
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 9 times; par: 55 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-15-05  dac1990: Brutal. Alekhine was not one for mercy.
Apr-24-09  xombie: Thunderbolt. I thought black was doing rather well.
Jul-04-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The standard response to 5..cxd would have been 6 Qb3 with a promising position. 5..Nxd5, however, gave White a powerful center after 7 Nge2 (first introduced by Rubinstein against Bogoljubov at Hastings 1922) and 8 e4. Alekhine felt that 13..Ne5 was necessary maintaining the right to castle. His comment after 17 h4: "From the 14th move onwards White has only one idea - to prevent the co-operation of Black's rooks. The answer to 26..Kg7 would have been 27 Rxg6+!..Kxg6 28 Qf6+..Kh7 29 Bxf7..Rg8 30 Qf5+..Kg7 31 Qg6+..Kh8 32 Bf6+ and mates.
Jun-17-11  dull2vivid: ...Bb4 before white castles or ...Be7 followed by a quick 0-0. Once Kf8, black is DEAD.
Oct-11-13  GumboGambit: No Quarter for the Black King. Alekhine was relentless.
Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: It just makes sense to sac the exchange for blacks most dominant piece and then exploit pin on f7 by 26 Rc6 threatening mate in 2. 26..Kh7 seems as good a try as any but the simple 28 Bf7 leaves the black king fatally exposed. Didn't consider 27 ..Rc8 but quickly saw 28 Rg6 is devastating though 28 Bg6+ drops the hammer as well.
Sep-05-19  RandomVisitor: 25.Be7 also works...


click for larger view

Stockfish_19082608_x64_modern:

34/42 04:24 +14.37 25.Rxd4 Rh7 26.Re4 a5 27.Rd1 a4 28.Bc2 Rg7 29.Qf6 Kh7 30.Qxb6 f5 31.Rxa4 Rb8 32.Rd8 Qxd8 33.Qxd8 Rxd8 34.Bxd8 Rf7 35.Bb3 Kg7 36.Bxf7 Kxf7 37.Ra7+ Ke6 38.Bg5 c4 39.Rg7 Kd6 40.Rxg6+ Ke5 41.Rh6 Ke4 42.Rf6 Ke5 43.Kg2 Ke4 44.Rd6 f4 45.Bxf4

<34/58 04:24 +13.37 25.Be7 Qg7 26.Bxc5> Bxc5 27.Rxc5 a5 28.Re7 Rf8 29.Rcc7 Rh7 30.Qc6 Kh8 31.Rxf7 Qxf7 32.Bxf7 Rhxf7 33.Rxf7 Rxf7 34.Qxg6 Rb7 35.Qc6 Rb8 36.Qh6+ Kg8 37.Qg6+ Kf8 38.Qd6+ Kf7 39.Qxb8 Nd7 40.Qd6 Nf6 41.Qc7+ Ke6 42.Qb6+ Ke7 43.Qxa5 Ke6 44.Qg5 Nd5 45.Qxh5 Kd6 46.Qf7 Nc7

34/60 04:24 +9.00 25.a4 Rh7 26.Be7 Qe8 27.Bf6 Qf8 28.Bxd4 cxd4 29.Rc6 Nd7 30.Rxg6+ Kh8 31.Rg5 f6 32.Rg8+ Qxg8 33.Bxg8 Rxg8 34.Rxd4 Rf8 35.Qf5 Ne5 36.Rd8 Rhf7 37.Rxf8+ Rxf8 38.f4 Nf3+ 39.Kf2 Nxh4 40.gxh4 Kg7 41.b4 Rd8 42.Qxh5 Rd2+ 43.Ke3 Rg2 44.Qc5 Rg3+ 45.Kf2 Ra3 46.Qxa7+ Kg6 47.b5 Ra2+ 48.Kf1 Ra1+ 49.Kg2 Ra3 50.Qd4 Ra2+ 51.Kf1

Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: I donít feel too bad. I went for Be7. Not the absolute best move, but smiting nonetheless.
Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Went for 25.R:d4 cd4 26.Rc6 Rh7 27.R:g6+ Rg7 28.Bh6

26...Kh7 is better.

Sep-05-19  mel gibson: I wasn't sure and Stockfish 10
has a different move to the text:

25. Be7

(25. Be7
(♗g5-e7 ♕f8-g7 ♖e4xd4 c5xd4 ♗e7-f6 ♕g7-f8 ♗f6xh8 ♔g8xh8 ♖c1-c7 ♕f8-g7 ♖c7xf7 ♖a8-g8 ♕f3-f4 ♔h8-h7 ♖f7-c7 d4-d3 ♗b3xg8+ ♔h7xg8 ♖c7xg7+ ♔g8xg7 ♕f4-c7+ ♔g7-f8 ♕c7xa7 d3-d2 ♕a7-b8+ ♔f8-e7 ♕b8-e5+ ♔e7-d7 ♕e5-d4+ ♔d7-e7 ♕d4-e3+ ♔e7-f7 ♕e3xd2 ♘b6-c8 ♕d2-d5+ ♔f7-e7 ♕d5-e4+ ♔e7-d7 ♕e4xg6 ♘c8-e7 ♕g6xh5 ♔d7-e6 ♕h5-c5 ♔e6-f6 g3-g4 ♔f6-e6 ♕c5-e3+ ♔e6-d7 ♕e3-d4+ ♔d7-c7 ♕d4-e5+ ♔c7-d7 g4-g5 ♔d7-e8) +16.27/39 172)

score for White +16.27 depth 39.

Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

After 25.Rxd4 cxd4 26.Rc6 Black seems to have problems to protect g6:

A) 26... Qg7 27.Rxb6 wins material (27... axb6 28.Qxa8+).

B) 26... Kg7 27.Qf6+ is crushing (27... Kh7 28.Bxf7; 27... Kg8 28.Qxg6+ Qg7 29.Bxf7+ Kf8 30.Be7+).

C) 26... Kh7 27.Rc7 and Black is defenseless against Rxf7.

Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The real difficulty in today's Thursday puzzle (25. ?) is finding a move which doesn't win.

My pick, 25. Re7 +- (+6.49 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 10), is 9th best of 30 winning moves.

<RandomVisitor>'s Stockfish analysis gives the top three moves, including the computer top pick and game continuation 25. Rxd4! +-.

The key threat posed by 25. Rxd4! is 25...cxd4 26. Rc6! +- (mate-in-14, Stockfish 10 @ 56 ply).

P.S.: So where does Black go wrong?

For starters, bringing the Queen out early (i.e. before completing development) with 10...Qh4? is a bad idea.

After 10...Qh4? White gains the advantage with the surprisingly strong 11. d5!, when play might go 10...Qh4? 11. d5! Rd8 12. dxe6 fxe6 13. Bxe6 Nc5 14. Qg4 Qxg4 15. Bxg4 Be7 (+0.81 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 10). White can also secure a near winning positional advantage with 10...Qh4? 11. f4 Nb6 12. Bd3 ± to +- (+1.52 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead of 10...Qh4?, Black can improve with 10...b5 ⩲ to = as in the draw in Z Schleining vs A Stefanova, 1995 or 10...Nb6 ⩲ to = as in the draw in R Akesson vs N Malesevic, 2010.

After 11. d5! exd5 (better is 11...Rd8 12. dxe6 ±) 12. g3! ± (+1.15 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10), White holds a strong positional advantage.

Black's clearly decisive mistake comes only three moves after 10...Qh4?, with 13...Bc5? allowing 14. Re1+ +- (+2.91 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, 13...Be7 14. Re1 ± (+1.06 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10) appears to give Black drawing chances.

Sep-05-19  mel gibson: However - the text move was almost as good when I forced Stockfish 10 to take it:

(25 Rxd4

Rc8 (♖a8-c8 ♖d4-d2 c5-c4 ♗b3-c2 c4-c3 b2xc3 ♘b6-c4 ♖d2-e2 ♕f8-c5 ♗g5-f6 ♘c4-a3 ♗f6xh8 ♘a3xc2 ♕f3-f6 ♕c5-f8 ♖c1xc2 ♕f8-h6 ♕f6-a6 ♕h6-f8 ♗h8-d4 ♕f8-d8 ♖e2-e7 ♕d8xe7 ♕a6xc8+ ♕e7-f8 ♕c8xf8+ ♔g8xf8 ♗d4-f6 ♔f8-g8 ♖c2-e2 g6-g5 h4xg5 a7-a5 ♖e2-e8+ ♔g8-h7 ♖e8-a8 ♔h7-g6 ♖a8xa5 ♔g6-h7) -15.00/34 319)

score for Black -15.00 depth 34

Sep-05-19  rudiment: I always try to play these like I would OTB so after much thought I went for 25. Re7 but that pesky bishop ruined my plans. Should've dealt with him first.
Sep-05-19  King.Arthur.Brazil: Today, I failed to see the combination, maybe a little tired or sad about the defeat of my football team yesterday. I didn't see 25. ♖xd4 nor 26.♖c6!. But I guess, I did see this game before... lgs. The following comes easy. However, after that, I wondering about 26...♔g7 which could follow by: 27.♕f6+ ♔h7 28.♗xf7 ♕g7 29.♗xg6+ ♔g8 30.♕e6+ ♔f8 31.♖c5 ♕d7 32.♖f5+ ♔g7 33.♕f6+ ♔g8 34.♗f7+ ♔f8 35.♕xh8#. Other moves seem to led to a quicker check-mate.
Sep-05-19  saturn2: I saw the exchange sacrifice and the weekness at g6 but deviated at the second move 25. Rxd4 cxd4 26. Qe4 Kh7 27. Rc7 with f7 falling.
Sep-05-19  RandomVisitor: After 24...Qf8


click for larger view

Stockfish_19082608_x64_modern:

<46/140 12:16:39 +28.77 25.Be7 Qg7 26.Rxd4> cxd4 27.Bf6 Qf8 28.Bxh8 Kxh8 29.Rc7 Qg7 30.Rxf7 Rg8 31.Rxg7 Rxg7 32.Bc2 Kg8 33.Qf6 Nd7 34.Qxd4 Kh7 35.Qd6 Nb6 36.Qd1 Re7 37.Qxh5+ Kg7 38.Qxg6+ Kf8 39.Bb3 Re1+ 40.Kg2 Ke7 41.Qg7+ Kd6 42.Qd4+ Ke7 43.Qb4+ Kd8 44.Qxe1 Kc8 45.Qc3+ Kb7 46.Qg7+ Kb8 47.Qe7 a6 48.Qe5+ Kb7 49.Qa5 Ka7 50.Qc5 Kb7 51.Be6 a5 52.Qxa5 Kc7 53.Qa7+ Kc6 54.h5 Kc5 55.h6 Kc6 56.h7 Kb5 57.h8Q

46/80 12:16:39 +24.82 25.Rxd4 Rh7 26.Re4 a5 27.Rd1 Rc8 28.Qf6 c4 29.Bc2 Na8 30.Re7 Qg7 31.Qf4 Nb6 32.Bf6 Qh6 33.Qe5 Qf8 34.Qe4 Na8 35.Red7 Nc7 36.Rd8 Ne6 37.Rxf8+ Rxf8 38.Qxc4 Re8 39.Rd7 Rh8 40.Re7 Rd8 41.Bxh8 g5 42.Bf6 gxh4 43.Bxh4 Rd4 44.Qc8+ Nd8 45.Qf5 Rxh4 46.gxh4 Kf8 47.Ra7 Kg7 48.Qxh5 Kf6 49.Qg5+ Ke6 50.Qxd8

45/154 12:16:39 +10.08 25.a4 Rh7 26.Be7 Qe8 27.Bf6 Qf8 28.Bxd4 cxd4 29.Rc7 Rc8 30.Rxa7 Nc4 31.Ree7 Nd2 32.Bxf7+ Rxf7 33.Qxf7+ Qxf7 34.Rxf7 d3 35.Rfd7 Nf3+ 36.Kg2 Ne5 37.Rd5 Re8 38.a5 Nc6 39.Rc7 Nb4 40.Rd6 Kf8 41.Rf6+ Kg8 42.Rxg6+ Kf8 43.Rd7 Re7 44.Rd8+ Kf7 45.Rb6 Ra7 46.Rxb4 Rxa5 47.Rb7+ Kf6 48.Rxd3 Ke6 49.Rd8 Ke5 50.Rb6 Kf5 51.Rh6 Ra2 52.Rxh5+ Ke6 53.Rb5 Kf6 54.Rdd5 Ke7 55.Rb7+ Ke6 56.Rd8 Ke5

Sep-05-19  cunctatorg: Karel Opocensky was a GM by today standards, perhaps one 2,650 GM but Alekhine played against him like against a mere novice!
Sep-05-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  jes47: Alekhine was certainly more efficient, but I varied with 26 Rc7 and stockfish agrees that it's a decisive win. e.g. 26 ... Rh7 27 Qf6 Rc8 28 Rf7 Rf7 29 Qg6 +-
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