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Efim Bogoljubov vs Alexander Alekhine
"Bogo Stick" (game of the day Oct-19-2008)
Alekhine - Bogoljubov World Championship Match (1929), Wiesbaden GER, rd 8, Sep-19
Indian Game: Saemisch-Indian (A50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-19-08  drunkbishop II: hmmm seems like a lot of alekhine nuthuggers here... seems like alekhine can only win when his opps blunder... 26. Kh1??? Bogo should have done 26. Be3 easy win for white.
Oct-19-08  beginner64: I think 26. Be3 is much better than Kh1. (If someone has refuted it, please post it.) Not that white gains equality in that case, but Kh1 was sheer disaster, leading all the way up to 30.. Rh2#.

In case 26. Be3 does not work either, then I think white should just have resigned at that point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: 26.Be3 Bxe3 27.Rxe3 Nf4 28.g3 hxg3 29.hxg3 Rhg8 30.Nh1 Bg4 31.resigns
Oct-19-08  Calli: 26.Be3 Bxe3 27.Rxe3 Nf4 with the threat of Nxg2 is a lost position. For instance, 28.g3 hxg3 29.hxg3 Bh3 30.Rb1 Bg2
Oct-19-08  DoubleCheck: <<Calli>: 26.Be3 Bxe3 27.Rxe3 Nf4 with the threat of Nxg2 is a lost position. For instance, 28.g3 hxg3 29.hxg3 Bh3 30.Rb1 Bg2>

I agree with your choice of 26. Be3 even though that is white's 'good' bishop. His only choice really was to trade the dark square bishops and try to get some counterplay by possibly sarcifiring the a-pawn to double pawn blacks b-file for whites rooks on the vacant a-file.

(white's light square bishop is unless because of the blocking centre pawns and black controlling the other strong diagonal)

Oct-19-08  Vishy but not Anand: Did anyone wonder why Alekhine picked-up Bogulyubov as his challenger instead of a rematch against a more credible Capablanca who topped every tournaments after his defeat against Alekhine. Also did anyone notice that after Alekhine beats Capablanca in the WCC match he avoids every tournaments that Capablanca is part of it? He avoids Capablanca rematch (up till Capablanca's Death) even the pot money is much higher than Bogulyubov.

Well, do you know that Bogulyubov is the cousin of Alekhine?

Last but not the least, even an amateur (a very beginner maybe) will not attack and destroy the opponent's side at where his king is castled to make it easier for his opponent to attack his king. On the other hand Bogulyubov did not even exploit the possibility to attack the opponent's king, he somewhat had an open "B" file at where his opponent's king was located, instead he brought all his pieces to kingside to ensure that his king's movement is clogged. He even puts his knight into "a1" square for what purpose? To make sure that his knight is safe and to limit more his king movement or to make sure that it is away from the battleground to make it easier for a helpmate.

I am sure that very good theories are already existed during that time and it shows that Bogulyubov doesn't even have any of it. Normally when the position is hopeless it is resignable even at the amateur level.

The only thing Bogulyubov beats were all good chess theories to achieve helpmate game.

Alekhine and Kramnik have in common, they both deprived a rematch against Capablanca and Kasparov.

Oct-20-08  drunkbishop II: who said anything about RxB?? that's almost as dumb as Kh1. Obviously QxB is superior. Even a 2900 rated player would know that.
Oct-20-08  kevin86: The epaulette mate that finished this one must have delighted the audience as it did me.
Jul-20-10  aragorn69: In his last on-site newspaper report, Alekhine was (quite rightly) well satisfied with his play in this game, his first Black win in the match:

<New York Times, 22 September 1929, page 6 of the sports section:

‘WIESBADEN, Sept. 21 – The eighth and last game of the first series of tests in the world’s chess championship to be played at Wiesbaden proved to be a sharp and lively contest.

As the player of the black pieces, I, this time, decided in favor of an immediate development of my queen’s bishop, but achieved only a half satisfactory result inasmuch as the pawn formation adopted in the centre by E.D. Bogoljubow, the challenger for my title, in the fourth and sixth games – P-KB3 and P-K4 – again seemed to serve his purpose. Indeed, the preponderance of White in the centre threatened to become so menacing that I decided, for the time being, to dispense with castling, which would have exposed my king to direct attack.

I therefore initiated a demonstration on the queen’s wing, beginning with P-B4. In my opinion Bogoljubow should have countered this sortie with P-K5, which would have netted him a promising game. His move, B-Kt2, was a bit passive and as a result he soon was confronted with grave decisions.

In order to prevent Black’s attempt to gain elbow room, PxP PxP P-K4 etc., he elected to play, on his 13th move, P-KB4, which immediately changed the entire constellation on the centre of the board.

His move enabled Black to initiate an interesting king-side attack by advancing his rook’s pawn. Perhaps White might have withstood this attack a bit longer if he had played bishop to queen’s bishop’s square on his 17th move, whereupon Black probably would not have castled on the queen’s side, which otherwise suggested a safe undertaking.

After Q-K4 [sic – Q-Kt4] on his 17th move, he only had a choice between several evils during the remainder of the game.

The score now is four to two, a result which was reached in my match with José R. Capablanca only after the 21st game. If the present championship match also would call for only six victories one might possibly count on a relatively early termination, but it requires the absolute majority of 30 games, that is 15½ points, counting drawns [sic]. It may therefore be assumed that only about one-third of the match thus far has been carried out.

The ninth game will be played in Heidelberg Oct. 3.’>


Nov-15-10  sevenseaman: I am told Bogo was a good player. On CG he always comes out as the whipping boy of x,y,z or he has some good wins here?
Nov-15-10  percyblakeney: <I am told Bogo was a good player>

These tables look good:

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <sevenseaman> Bogoljubow was one of the finest players of his time and in the mid 1920s, had some outstanding results in tournaments-less so in match play, however. He was twice selected by Alekhine as the challenger for the crown because Alekhine well understood that Bogo's optimistic temperament would have no chance against his steely pragmatism and all-round superiority.
Nov-15-10  sevenseaman: < percyblakeney and perfidious> thanks. The first cause of my delight is that it was only by a happy chance that I came back to my yesterday's comment and turned lucky to know of two active kibitzers.

I am dazzled by the overwhelming information (tables). I'll never again utter a word of disrespect towards the great Bogo.

One disturbing thought: <perfidious> are you saying there was a time a WC could nominate his own convenient challenger.

Nov-16-10  Shams: <One disturbing thought: <perfidious> are you saying there was a time a WC could nominate his own convenient challenger.>

Absolutely. No doubt this bit of unfairness was phased out despite howls from the traditionalists, singing their one song, "But that's how we've always done it!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <sevenseaman> Indeed; the champ could accept a challenge from anyone willing to put up the gold under the London Rules, promulgated in 1922, though Alekhine managed to artfully elude Capablanca after their 1927 match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <beginner64> You are right about 26.Be3 being better than 26.Kh1, but disaster is imminent after 26...Nf4 (if 27.Bxf4 then Bg4). I would not resign yet, though. I think a few more moves are called for.

Bogoljubow conducted the whole game with little strategic sense. 13.f4 seemed hurried when Black hasn't castled yet, and placing the Knight on g3 invited Black to push the h-pawn with a tempo gain. Then 23.gxf6 lets Black open the g-file, with catastrophic consequences. Even 23.f6 giving up the pawn should be better than 23.gxf6 opening the g-file.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

This game was played on Sept. 19, but the next game in the match was not played until Oct. 3- Alekhine vs Bogoljubov, 1929

This was a scheduled break, arranged so that <Alekhine> could attend the 6th FIDE congress in Venice.

-"Tidskrift för Schack" (Nov-Dec 1929), p.263

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:


You wrote: <perfidious: <sevenseaman> Indeed; the champ could accept a challenge from anyone willing to put up the gold under the London Rules, promulgated in 1922, though Alekhine managed to artfully elude Capablanca after their 1927 match.>

That's not quite accurate. As it turned out, de facto if not de jure, the World Title holder could accept a match from anyone under any agreed upon conditions. <Alekhine> proved by example that the world champion was not bound by the London Rules. <Alekhine's> 1929 contract with <Bogoljubov>, and contracts with subsequent challenges deviated from the London Rules on a number of provisions, most notably the lack of a $10,000 dollar purse.

In addition, with regard to the $10,000 provision- the London Rules were explicit that the title holder could accept a challenge for a lower sum. They stated that the champion "need not defend" his title "for a lower purse than $10,000 U.S. dollars."<"American Chess Bulletin" Sept-Oct 1922, p.150. In Winter, "Capablanca" p.188> That wording leaves the door open for the champion to play anyone for a lower sum.

Finally, <Alekhine> definitely singled out <Capablanca> as the one opponent he would hold to the full $10,000 dollar purse guarantee- just as <Capablanca> had held <Alekhine> to this provision.

It was a case of resentful "tit for tat" more than a case of "artful dodging."

Not much art to it at all- "you did it to me, so I'm going to do it to you."

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

<perfidious> On the other hand, here is some rare footage that may shed further light:

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

More on the proposed <Alekhine-Capablanca rematch>:

"In a letter to the <<<American Chess Bulletin>>>...Dr. Alekhine... confirmed the report that he had agreed to meet Capablanca during 1929 in a return match, or, as he termed it, a 'match-revanche.'"

<Alekhine: "It is perfectly evident that the match in question, in order to justify its denomination- revanche- must be played on <<<absolutely the same conditions>>> as the first one- namely the rules elaborated by Capablanca himself in London, 1922.">

-"American Chess Bulletin" Feb. 1928, p. 29.
In Edward Winter, "Capablanca"
(McFarland 1989), p. 207

Sep-16-14  Eric Farley: The Kasparov x Short of the old days.
Sep-11-15  thegoodanarchist: I wonder if this is the last checkmate played in a world championship game?
Jan-04-18  circleVIII: Like lambs to the slaughter.
May-10-21  SymphonicKnight: The first match had been the first to 6 wins, and that is what Alekhine wanted for a return match, but Capablanca wanted to change it to 6 wins but with not more than 16 games played (when the player with most wins is champion). Alekhine responded by saying that was not enough games, and that he refused conditions that "reduce chess to a game of roulette." Bogoljubov agreed to Alekhine's conditions and paid the deposit before Capablanca changed his mind (which he did). Although Alekhine got paid his asking price against Bogoljubov here, Bogoljubov did not raise enough money to fully compensate himself, and it is said he was playing for the title alone. However, in Weisbaden in July 1929, Alekhine and Bogoljubov agreed to play to a maximum of 30 games, with a winner needing at least 6 wins.

In this game, Bogoljubov throws away his advantage by playing 12.Bb2? instead of Be3, and then there were other inaccuracies, but Stockfish does a good job with them.

May-10-21  Petrosianic: <Alekhine responded by saying that was not enough games, and that he refused conditions that "reduce chess to a game of roulette.">

I'm generally not on Alekhine's side, but he was right on that point. If he'd lost the title back +0-1=15, that would hardly seem comparable to what they went through in 1927.

<However, in Weisbaden in July 1929, Alekhine and Bogoljubov agreed to play to a maximum of 30 games, with a winner needing at least 6 wins.>

No, not quite. There was no Maximum Number of Games in the match. Like 1927, it was an Unlimited Match. But whereas 1927 required 6 Wins only (in theory, a match like that could be over in 6 games), this match required 6 wins AND 15.5 points. (One or the other isn't enough.)

So, if after 30 games, the score in this match had been +5-0=25 to Alekhine (17½-12½), the match wouldn't have been over. It would have kept going until Alekhine got that 6th win, however long it took. All four of Alekhine's Post 1927 title matches were fought under these rules, although in all 4 cases, the winner got the required 6 wins before Game 30.

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